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Studio on the Cheap

I’ve been asked a few times about my backdrop/studio set up, so last week I took some pictures of it to show those of you that are curious.

When I started my photography business 4 months ago I knew I would need some sort of backdrop set up for newborn sessions, but the price of frames was kind of staggering. Eventually I’ll buy one, because the idea of one that telescopes easily and fits into a handy bag is quite appealing. For now though, the frame my lovely husband built me is just perfect!

The inspiration behind this frame came from the sprinkler Nick built the boys early this summer, and it translated beautifully to a backdrop frame!

Don’t mind the garbage and random junk. Now you’re seeing how we really live;)Oh, and don’t tell the boys that trash bag sitting next to the cans is full of old toys that we’re tossing (broken). Shhhhh….

Anyway, back to the frame. It’s made out of 1 inch PVC pipe and various connectors and end caps. It pops apart into several pieces so that I can fit it in my car. All of the supplies cost about $12 at a hardware store. Nice!

I also bought a package of these Muslin Clamps on Amazon. They were inexpensive, they’re easy to use (i.e. not so hard to open that I have to use both hands) and are the perfect size to use on the PVC pipe. I use those clamps to hold my backdrops on the frame.

Of course my backdrops are also high class cheap, but effective. I use a variety of blankets and fabrics that I’ve picked up in stores and online. Gets the job done!

(Ignore the severely blown-out Jackson – you have no idea how much it pains me to post such a poorly lit picture of one of the boys!)

There’s Chase, standing in my garage, in front of my homemade frame and a black blanket. I haven’t retouched this picture – it’s straight out of the camera. You’d never know it was a blanket hanging in a garage, huh?

So there ya go – one of the little ways I’ve saved some money as I launched my business. I loved answering this question, so if you have any others (especially photography related) leave it in the comments below!

  • November 5, 2011 - 7:44 am

    Leah - Thanks so much for posting this, I’m going to get some PVC pipe today! Can’t wait to have some fun experimenting with this backdrop set up. And did you say that you shoot in full manual?ReplyCancel

    • November 5, 2011 - 11:03 pm

      Helen - Have fun with it, Leah! And yes, I always shoot in manual mode – thanks to lots of reading and experimenting!ReplyCancel

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