the blog

the make-shift studio

Last time Taylor and I were pulling this all down he suggested that I take a few pictures and show how I set up my makeshift studio on Go{4}Pro… It was such a great idea that I couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t thought of it. But seriously I knew he was on to something. So thanks to Taylor here is my makeshift studio. The thing is, as much as I’d love to have dedicated studio space and as fun as it is to gawk over other people’s studios, it’s just not where I am right now. We are not here permanently so until we know exactly where we’re settling down I don’t want to root myself too deep. Plus there are other options. In the colder (wet) months I lease studio space, when I’m shooting maternity and newborn they either come to my home or I to them and when ever possible I try to use my favorite backdrop of all – the great outdoors.

Today I want to show you my makeshift “studio” that I can easily set up anywhere I need to. I use the Savage Port-A-Stand Backdrop from B&H to hang my paper rolls, fabric, and backdrops and the Elite Portable Projector Screen to act as a reflector and help remove the color cast that my red wall (not by choice) puts off. With a sliding glass door I know I’ll get plenty of window light and I can even blow a fan if I want that windblown look. It’s certainly not perfect and no where near as beautiful and put together as I’d like it to look but it does the job and keeps my finished images looking the way I want them to… Professional!



  1. Stephanie says:

    Leah, I just want to tell you that I love your website. It’s the first site I visit each morning!

  2. Kalli says:

    This helps SOO much! Thanks for your self-less service to us all!

  3. Heidi Lawson says:

    Ha ha … I’m laughing because I think we have the exact same “makeshift studio” going on … same port-a-stand, same cheap-o beanbag (HAVE to get me a nicer one soon!), same makeshift black background. Whatever works, right?! Do you use any lights at all or is it all just the natural light? So far all I have used is a wireless flash as fill light and it has done the job. But I would LOVE to get some alien bees some day!

  4. Maggie says:

    Thanks for this! I’m trying to figure how to use my unfinished garage as a make-shift studio.

  5. Jamie says:

    Very cool! Thank you for posting this!

  6. Love the pull-back shot!!!! Go4Pro is such an amazing resource for photogs! Keep up the good work Leah! 🙂

  7. Kristen S says:

    THANKS for sharing this! The formal dining room in our house would be great for me to use as a makeshift studio except it gets very little light. 🙁 Our house is surrounded in trees which is great for some reasons, but they sure don’t let much light in our house. I just HATE that! Thanks for the links to the projector screen and backdrop stand.

  8. Carrie says:

    This is so great! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Morgan says:

    I have been thinking for months that I was the only person that had a make-shift studio. When people come over they look at it like I am joking! The other day I was feeling like it wasn’t enough. So, I told my husband that I was going to find a great studio lighting workshop and turn our garage into a ‘real’ studio. Poor guy.

  10. Thanks for posting that…I’d love to see a few shots taken with that set-up!

  11. Andrea says:

    Love it! It’s real! It’s honest! and best of its shows that you don’t have to have fancy expensive equipment to have great photos. It shows that if you are good at what you, it will come out in your work. Thank you for showing us the realistic side of photography.

  12. LOVE your blog by the way, came across it this morning :)! I am wondering how much of that “Cheap” fleece fabric you got??? What other kinds of fabrics would you recommend for backdrops, that won’t break the bank???


  13. Tracy says:

    Hi – Thanks for sharing this. I see you wrote “don’t do fabric” by the bean bag….can you explain. I was just about to buy one so I’m curious. Thanks.

  14. If you have a fabric beanbag… When baby has an accident it’s going to soak right up into the bag but if you do plastic you’ll be able to clean is and sanitize it much easier! I didn’t think that through till after I bought the first one. …Helping you learn from my mistakes! 🙂

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