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:
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.
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!