Create Your Own Photography Home Studio-Guest Post by Laurie Flickinger

One of my favorite things about doing a 365 is getting to meeting some amazing ladies. I “met” Laurie in January of 2010. She has the most beautiful photos of her kiddos! She was also the kindest person. I remember when she announced her pregnancy on her blog, I was so excited I yelled to my husband “Laurie’s pregnant!!”. His response “Who’s Laurie?”. I have to remind myself that I have never met her in real life. After you read her amazing post be sure to check out her inspiring blog – Blink of My Eye.


First off, I want to thank Courtney for thinking that my little “ghetto studio” was interesting enough to write about! It has been great getting to know you the past year and a half!

I make fun of my little “ghetto studio”, but in reality, it gives me the look I want and it doesn’t cost a lot of money. Studio type portraits are not my particular style, but I do feel that there is an appropriate time and place for them. Because I am not a professional photographer, I am not interested in spending a lot of money on equipment that I will rarely use, so I use what I have readily available. I would much rather put my money toward a new lens!

So, with that said, welcome to my “Ghetto Studio”!

This is a pull back of my ghetto studio. It is fine to laugh at me, believe me, I am laughing with you….

I have a roll of Savage Thunder Gray Seamless Paper (“53) to use as my background. Get ready, here comes the ghetto…to hold the background paper, I use a long piece of bamboo that a rug was delivered on. I’m sure a long piece of PVC would work just as well, as long as it is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the paper. I then thread the bamboo/PVC through the paper and balance it on two dining room chairs. Next up, I pull the paper out far enough onto the floor to provide a large enough space to place my subject. I like a good distance from the subject to background in order to blur the background a bit and make wrinkles/creases a little less obvious. Less time in Photoshop later! Then I use painters tape to hold the backdrop paper into place on the floor. I have used the seamless as the flooring, the actual wood floor, and on occasion a wool rug or fabric.

I have set up in my foyer as well as in my garage. I use all natural light, so, as in any natural light situation, I take a look at my subject and determine how the light is falling upon them prior to setting up. When using a garage or overhang, depending on the time of day, the direction of the light will change, so on different days and different seasons even, the orientation will differ. So, after about a 5 minute setup, here are a few images that I have come up with.


Since there were several questions about what type of blanket/fabric was used in the images, here is the link to the Faux Fur Mongolian Gray Fabric .

Thanks for reading! I hope this has inspired someone else to create their own “ghetto studio”!


I’m Laurie Flickinger, a stay at home mom to Ben, Delia, & Brayden, and wife to a wonderful husband, Brent. Photography is my hobby and my sanity. When not pestering my children with the camera, I enjoy macro. Blog: Blink of My Eye

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Laurie Flickinger - Contributor

I am a stay at home mom of three kids. Ben, Delia, and Brayden. Photography is my passion, my outlet, and my sanity. I have loved art all of my life, but really started getting into photography once my oldest son, Ben, was born. I wanted to learn everything I possibly could to take better photos of my family. I love that with photography, there is always room to grow and learn. I’m still trying to soak up every tidbit of knowledge there is to know about photography. Blog | More posts My Camera Bag: Nikon D700 | 50mm 1.4G | 85mm 1.8D | 105mm 2.8G
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Comments

  1. loved this:)
    Ashlyn recently posted..miscellaneous musings.

  2. I love it! I actually have a long curtain rod that would be perfect for something like this. Thank you for the inspiration!
    Heather recently posted..Photography Terminology

  3. Awesome! I was just wondering about this ..my boyfriend built me a light box& could easily build a piece like this as well! Thanks for letting me see how you did yours :)
    Yvonne recently posted..Rambling really

  4. Where did you purchase your seamless backdrop? I have researched in the past, but was wondering if you got a really good deal somewhere. Thanks for letting us in on your “ghetto” secret for getting not so ghetto, but soooooooooooo fabulous photos.
    Amber Cullum recently posted..Multitude Monday 68

    • Awwww! Thanks Amber! I haven’t really gotten any deals on my seamless. I have White, Ivory, and Thunder Gray. I would think Amazon would have deals occasionally. I have never seen it on sale at any of the big name photography equipment stores. I can say I would not recommend White for natural light images. It will either appear blown or gray. Happy shopping!
      Laurie recently posted..262/365

  5. That’s a beautiful in-home set-up! And your ideas are very creative! I don’t really see anything “ghetto” about it, though. Some pretty awesome photographers have actually come from surroundings, or upbringings, that would be considered “ghetto” and have become great successes. Maybe we shouldn’t let ourselves become so desensitized with that word. :-)
    Amarie recently posted..Project 52: Weeks 33 – 36

    • I know Laurie and she is the sweetest, most kind person that I have ever met. There is no way she is being disrespectful when she uses the word ghetto. I can’t imagine she would ever believe that because something is considered ‘ghetto’ it isn’t good. Just the opposite in fact. She is saying she used things around her house that are not intended for making a photography studio to get amazing results. One of the definitions of ghetto according to the Urban dictionary is this: 4. (adj.) jury-rigged, improvised, or home-made (usually with extremely cheap or sub-standard components), yet still deserving of an odd sense of respect from ghetto dwellers and non-ghetto dwellers alike
      Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge other people’s intentions.
      Barb recently posted..Wednesday, September 21, 2011

  6. Wonderful photos Laurie. Thanks for sharing. Where did you get that rug/blanket?
    Sarah recently posted..Dustyn’s 1st Digital Camera & Pictures

  7. Thanks for sharing. I am a fan and love your kids as well.
    Valeria recently posted..Day 262. bedtime

  8. Love it Laurie! You are so creative!
    Barb recently posted..Friday, September 16, 2011

  9. Wow, that’s it – Love it!
    Easy enough of a set up for me, thanks for sharing!

  10. Very creative – who needs expensive equipment?? :) Gorgeous photos and very photogenic children. Thank you for sharing.
    Karen recently posted..Monthly photo overview

  11. this is a great post! I did something similar. I’ve emptied my master bedroom to use as a studio since it has the best light in the house. LOL
    Photography is about being creative, right? :)
    Mira recently posted..Should You Apply Texture to Your Photo?

  12. Fabulous, Laurie! Thanks so much for sharing :)
    Megan Cieloha recently posted..263/365: 5 Minutes Until Preschool Pick-up Time and I Need a Picture!

  13. Great post!. Simple setup but useful…

  14. This was absolutely amazing!! I think this type of set-up was working it’s way into my head. I’m glad I’m not the only person that would do this!! Incredible. I hope to be a professional photographer one day, but like you, I prefer outdoors and a less “studio” style unless circumstances call for it. This was truly inspiring!

  15. That is GHETTO-FABULOUS!!

  16. Help! We are having family pictures made in November outside. It will be my husband and I , his 18yr old son and our 6 month old daughter I have no idea what to wear it will be our FIRST family photo so I need help please. Thanks so much Tiffany

  17. Great idea! I think I may need to do this. :)
    Sarah Delwood Photography recently posted..Weddings… I love weddings!

  18. I think it’s great!!! It definitely serves it purpose! :)

  19. I want to set up a little studio up in my living room. I have 3 large windows on the north side and a little window on the east side. Where do you suggest I set things up?

    • avatar Laurie Flickinger - Contributor :

      Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you! You can use a doll (or a live subject) and just move them around until the light is flattering. Ususally a 45 degree angle to the light is a nice “pretty” light for portraits. 90 degree is more dramatic. I suggest just playing around with a doll while watching the shadows and catchlights to find the most flattering angle. Hope this helps!

  20. I have been attempting my own “studio” with natural light to photograph my kids. (I am a beginner). I have the white seamless paper, 53 in. I have problems with shadows on the background as well as yellowing look to background (which I understand now from your post about the coloring). How do I get rid of background shadows? Also- I find the 53in is not wide enough, I really can only seem to fit my 3 year old in the shot without getting the rest of the room in the photo as well. I am working in a a small room, so maybe I cant backup enough? Do you use wider backdrops for more people? Thanks for your help!

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