Pros and Cons of Turning Your Room into a Photo Studio

Capturing those essential moments of life through photography isn’t just a fun hobby, it’s a meaningful way of documenting your family history. Photography is all about timing, lighting, and scenery. Timing has to do with you and the situations you find yourself in. Lighting and scenery tend to be linked concepts, and are much easier to control once you move your photo shoot indoors. That said, take a moment to set the ISO camera setting, as well as your shutter speed. Snap a few sample photos to get the composition right, and shoot in RAW if your memory card allows for the extra space. Having a larger file to work with helps a great deal when you’re editing the photo.

Even an outdoor shoot in the backyard, a more controlled environment, can act as your photo studio. All you need are some tips for creating the ideal set on a budget, using these DIY tricks.

Background and Sets for Kids

To find success with kids photography, take lots of shots. A good one is nestled in there somewhere. Clear your memory cards, and try one of these backgrounds:

Paper Crafting

Use paper to make a draping backdrop, or to “wallpaper” space. Affix the sheets with painter’s tape to avoid damaging the wall, then drape the paper from the middle of the wall (about waist high) to the floor. Fun and a little artsy, book pages from old novels lying around the house also make for a good backdrop. Make a collage ahead of time on two pieces of poster board taped or glued together.

Painted Boards

Painting different sized boards give you multiple options to work with as the child ages. Similarly, you can do some paper crafting or apply wallpaper to your board for a customized design.

Background and Sets for Adults

Adults tend to sit still, so you can do a lot more in terms of placement and lighting than with infants. Some of the same tips above for paper crafting work for adults too, but you can try these other tips for a different look:

Curtains and Fabrics

Hung from hooks, or replaced as curtains, cheaper and thinner fabrics with intricate designs are perfect as photography backdrops. Pair them with proper light-blocking curtains as needed to prevent an unwanted silhouette effect.

Old Furniture

Older furniture in an empty room, with either a white or colored wall, creates some drama in your photo. It adds a bit of character and artfulness. Hit a local garage sale or swap meet and find a chair you can refurbish.

Background and Sets for Pets

Shooting pets and children is very similar in terms of patience, and the volume of shots you will accumulate. Backgrounds can’t be too distracting, so try to add character to your shoot with these tips:

Solid Color Fabric

Thinner fabrics of a solid color that you can afford to lose makes for great pet scenery. Scrap fabrics from old projects or even towels can work. The natural folds of fabric look great on camera too.


Pets love being outside. It’s basically their natural state, so let them play and get some candid shots. Remember to adjust your shutter speed to capture high-speed movement. Faster shutter speeds don’t let as much light in, though, so you may need to adjust other settings to capture detail.

Final Thoughts

Scenery can make the attitude of a photograph and give it life. The best kind of scenery is a more interesting locale, but you can turn any space into a studio with some clever thinking.

Maintaining awareness of your own camera settings will result in the best kinds of photos. Remember the trinity of exposure, shutter speed, and aperture. Keeping those three elements within certain ratios is the key to mastering the art of photography.




I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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