How to Set Up a Photography Studio at Home

by Rick Diffley on March 20, 2012

Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual


I knew the perfect shot for this week’s “Word Press Photo Challenge: Unusual” as a lead-in for an article on: “How to Set Up a Photography Studio at Home.” This article is for you if you want to shoot small still life photography or you need to take some shots for an eBay project. With this setup you will get a very good background for your images, with little shadows, and good even light.


I quickly threw together my inexpensive home photography studio in my kitchen to shoot the “Orange with a Straw” image. Here’s what you will need:

  • White butcher paper (2’ wide by 5’ length)
  • Three Goose Neck Lamps using 15 watt spiral CFL compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Camera and tripod
  • Lastolite 12 inch Ezybalance” white balance tool (Optional)

How To: Tape one end of the paper to the wall and let it roll over and down the kitchen counter-top to create a “seamless background” like seen in the drawing below. Set up your object away from the back of the butcher paper. You will have to play around and position the lamps to eliminate as much shadow as possible. Finally, I highly recommend using your camera’s “Pre” white balance feature for this type of set up because of the white background. If you use your “Auto” camera setting there is a good chance the “white” butcher paper will come out more gray in color. Plus, using the “Ezybalance” will achieve a truer color balance and correct exposure. You can read more about how to do this here: “Camera White Balance – A Secret Tool for Dazzling Color Images.”

Seemless butcher paper look

My Camera Sets

  • Nikon D300 with a Tamron 90mm Macro lens. Any zoom lens will work, for example, 18-200mm.
  • SS 1/125… F/22… ISO 800… Manual mode… “Pre” white balance.

Image Processing

  • First processed image in Nikon Capture NX2, saved as .tiff file, and imported into Photoshop Elements.
  • Nik Software Plugin tools as follows… 
  • Dfine to eliminate “Noise” because I used an ISO of 800.
  • Color Efex Pro 2 to add the “Vignette” effect.
  • Vivea 2 using a few “Control Points” to balance out brightness and add “Structure” to the orange. 


Thank you for stopping by. Please contact me if you have any questions.

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