How to Build a Photo Studio for Less Than $100

How to Build a Photo Studio

Wouldn’t it be great to have your own photo studio at home (or at your boutique) to take your own photos?

What if I told you that it could be done for less than $100?!

Great and professional looking photos are the single most important thing for your online boutique. You will need awesome photos to be able to compete with other online boutiques and to be at the same level of so many other online boutiques out there. 

The good news is that you don’t need to be a professional photographer to take professional looking photos!

And if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to spend a fortune on trying to achieve professional photos.

I’m always trying to come up with ways to do a lot of things for my boutique with a “DIY” mentality without having to incur a high cost.

Recently, I have been creating listings for my Poshmark closet to sell unworn items from my closet. I have been taking these photos with my iPhone 6+ so I can upload them right of way in the Poshmark app. Here are some of the photos I was able to take with the items I purchased for my photo studio:

top in photo studio      shorts in photo studio

When just starting out, you don’t need to purchase an expensive camera and really can use any smartphone or other camera you may have to take your photos with. If I’m not using my iPhone 6+ for photos, I also have an Olympus that I use.

In order to build your photo studio for less than $100, here’s what you will need to get started:

Choose Your Lighting

Since I was planning to have my photo studio in my home which has (and I’m not kidding) the worst lighting ever, I knew I was going to have to purchase some additional lighting to really help make my photos look great.

I chose the Photography Photo Portrait Studio 600W Day Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit by LimoStudio LMS103 for $49.50 (pictured below) mainly because it was a cost effective option and it got good reviews on Amazon because quite frankly, I don’t know much about photography lighting. I also love that it comes with a storage bag and when it’s broken down it takes up very little space.

I set up the lights and umbrellas at different heights adjusted to hit the garment at the right angle for the best looking photos. I tested out a few photos before figuring out how to exactly angle the lights for the look I wanted.

Choose a Backdrop

The good news is that there are a TON of different backdrop options available. You can choose just a plain white background or choose colors, textures, etc. I liked the distressed wood look, so I chose a printed paper background.

I went with paper instead of vinyl again for the low cost and because I wasn’t sure if I was going to totally love it or maybe want to try out a few backgrounds before finding one that I really liked.

I chose the Ella Bella Photography Backdrop Paper, 4’x12′, Vintage Wood  (pictured below) for $10.39 to try out for my first photo shoot.

Since the backdrop was 12′ long I cut it to the size I needed and taped it to my living room wall. I’m sure there’s a better way to hang it, but I was too excited to take some photos to think too much about it and the tape worked out just fine. The piece of the backdrop that I cut off I used for the floor to take photos of accessories or shoes. 

Optional: Hangers

I decided to purchase some nice wooden hangers to hang my merchandise. It just looked SO much better than my plastic hangers could have ever looked :)

I used the hangers for listings in my Poshmark closet, but I also have a mannequin that I plan to use for my boutique’s website.

The hangers below were a pretty good deal at $6.99 for the top hangers and $9.99 for the pant hangers. (For the link, click images below) I casually hammered a nail in the wall to hang the hangers on – again probably a better solution for this, but it worked just fine for me. 

For a grand total of $76.87 I was able to build my little photo studio and get some pretty great pictures using my iPhone.

I am very happy with how my photos turned out. I plan on buying another contrasting backdrop soon to take more pictures for my boutique’s website.

As you can see, there is a lot you can do for under $100 to take awesome photos for your boutique’s website. You can even use your new photo studio for your child’s portraits, art projects, showing off your baking skills, or so many other things!

photoshop ps

My New(ish) Instagram @boutique.inspo

For a long time, I haven’t really had any social media accounts associated with my site. I think mainly because I felt like it was one more thing I had to keep up with and I’m already doing a horrible job keeping up with posting here!

Nevertheless, I have created an Instagram account that I’m excited to share with you. I feel like it’s a way to share things a bit faster than writing a post. I hope to share inspiration for your boutique and I hope you find it helpful and fun! :)


“Journey of a Dress” – DVF Exhibit at LACMA

DVF Exhibit - LACMA

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Diane von Furstenburg’s ‘wrap dress’, the exhibit “Journey of a Dress” made it’s way to Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) January to May.
I headed over to LACMA a few weeks ago with a girlfriend and wanted to share my photos with you below.
While all of the dresses were fun to look at, I found myself more intrigued by Diane von Furstenburg as a woman in business. I was fascinated by her story and history as she made a name for herself in the fashion industry.
Did anyone else have a chance to view the exhibit? What did you think?

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

DVF - Journey of a Dress - LACMA

The Business of Fashion – New Look for 2014


I decided my blog needed a redesign for 2014. What do you guys think? Do you like it? :)

I like simple, clean design and I think that was achieved! There’s a few more things I’m going to adjust and play around with, but nothing major.

In other news, I’m finishing up a package similar to my “Open For Business” package – but focusing more on the online aspect of setting up your boutique. I’ll be starting the online package in April with limited spaces available, so please sign up early! :) Look out for that post with package information and pricing this upcoming week.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone! <3