Cheap and efficient home-studio for dog photographing.

As much as I love photographing my dogs (and other peoples dogs) outside, sometimes it’s really nice to be inside. And let’s face it – there are some photos that are, if not impossible, very hard to do outside because you can’t control the light enough.

So I actally have two sets. One in the barn, and one in my office. I use them a lot, not only for the endresult (a photo), but also to learn and test different kinds of lighting.

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In my barn. Super easy to move! I do on location studio photosessions 🙂

I love a cute backdrop, I love cute props, and I like the effect of an all white or all black backdrop as well.

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“Shopaholic on four legs”

As most people I don’t have a ton of money just laying around waiting to be spent. I do things cheap at first, and when I can afford it I invest in quality where I need it.

This is what I have:

  • Two softboxes with daylight bulbs
  • One small videolamp
  • One small speedlight
  • One reflector screen, small
  • One two-sided foldable backdrop
  • One backdrop stand
  • One large white backdrop in paper, that I cut when necessary
  • One large black backdrop that I haven’t tested yet
  • Four cheap fabric backdrops (the one above is one of them)
  • Three more sturdy vinyl backdrops
  • Boxes, suitcases, toys, blankets, pillows, and other cute props

I have invested about 7000 sek in all my stuff (not all at one go). That really is not much!

So…what do you need to have (in my opinion)?

You need light. I like continuous light, because it’s really easy to see what the effect is, and I think the dogs like it more than the flash. I know I do. I got my lamps second hand, you find something similar here: https://kaffebrus.com/produkt/dagsljuspaket-2-x-1000w-set-i-vaska

The videolight is perfect as a third lightsource that doesn’t have to be very strong. This one is the one I’ve got: https://www.cyberphoto.se/info.php?article=371027

I do have a speedlight, but I almost never use it. When I do use it, I bounce it off something or use it to light the background or create a backlight. Never directly towards the dog. It’s just not pleasant.

My reflector is this one: https://kaffebrus.com/produkt/reflexskarm-soft-guld-vit . I’m going to invest in a bigger one. The reflector reflects the light, to lift shadows on the shadow-side.

My foldable backdrop was the first one I got, it’s perfect to just put wherever I want it: https://www.cyberphoto.se/info.php?article=LA-5921

My backdrop stand and my fabric backdrops are from wish, they are cheap and not the best quality. But they work and they are fun!

The white backdrop in paper is this one: https://www.scandinavianphoto.se/produkt/4292863/lastolite/bakgrund-super-white-9001-2-72-x-11m

I bought my vinyl backdrops second hand, you can find nice ones here: https://www.kamda.se/bakgrunder-vinylbakgrund . Pro vinyl: lays flat. Easy to clean. Con vinyl: reflection from the light.

All my prop is stuff I have found in different stores. I see, I like, I buy, I photograph 🙂

This is what it looks like in my office:

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Ooops…maybe a closed door would look better on photo…

And this is the finished result:

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My main source of light is about 45 degrees in front of her, to the right. On the left is a small reflector, to give definition to the head. And I need to iron the floor-bit of the backdrop 🙂

My office is small and I don’t have room for the backdrop stand. The backdrop is attached to a round bar that is suspended from the ceiling next to the wall. Easy solution!

And I should point out that I am in no way sponsored by any of the companies I have mentioned. There is a lot of great stuff out there, this is just an example of what I happened to buy 🙂

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