So I’m fairly certain, at this signal, that I’ve committed to setting up my professional person photography business and creating a working model that even so works with our family unit. Non to mention works with a few other “career” goals and interests I accept going on not excluding standing to teach art…
As this idea grows and changes, I’ve slowly been putting together [what I think of in my head as] my ‘kit’. This includes props, gear, and supplies that are cost efficient, practical and mostly created past me.
If you are just starting out in photography, or looking to start making and finding some non-conventional photography hobby ideas, hopefully this helps. Here’south a wait at the collection so far.
Ok, so clearly I have a thing for newborns. I love me a brand new babe to photograph and dressing them upward is half the fun! My favorite props past far are newborn headbands (for girls) and chunky knit hats, wraps and cocoons for boys (though girls look tre adorable in those as well!). My issue- it’due south pretty difficult for me to fork over up to $fourteen
eachfor a teeny tiny headband. Non that I don’t love and adore all manner of headbands I’ve stalked on etsy- I do. But if I can make them for pennies or buy them 2d mitt, I’d rather practise that.
I found a set of headbands used (through the Prop Aholics Bearding Facebook Folio) that were sold in a fix of 8 for $30 including aircraft. That’due south, what, just under $4.00 a piece? I’ll take it. Following a group like that is definitely a worth while endeavor though it does require a certain corporeality of commitment to stalking… fine with me.
These headbands are relatively like shooting fish in a barrel to make too. The thin, soft, elastic is really cheap (like $0.59/ yard) and the flowers can sometimes be found on other items (broaches, handbags, scarves etc.) and pulled off with pliers. With a little bit of hot gum and felt, you can reattach the flowers to the elastic, back them with felt circles, and be good to become.
I’grand fifty-fifty worse with all of the handknit and hand crocheted items available for sale on the net. In that location are gorgeous pieces that are to-die-for, but I just tin can’t bring myself to buy something I can theoretically make. A few youtube videos and some lovely pattern books later- I have nice, one of kind pieces to employ in my shoots without breaking the bank. I’m still learning, and there are many more than pieces in the works (mostly newborn) but slowly, steadily, I volition get them done and put them to use on brand new babies that are ready to exist snuggled up in cozy creations for their commencement gear up of pictures.
I too made these vivid cheesecloth wraps (the pinkish and xanthous are pictured, I too made a deep blue and a greenish) for well-nigh $ii.00 a slice with plane white cheesecloth dyed at dwelling house. I got 4 wraps from 1 pre-packaged pack of cloth and used Rit dye.
Next up, that annoyingly necessary
Newborn Posing Edible bean Handbag
I’k not going to link to the ones available for purchase- if you are into newborn photography you lot probably know which 2 I am referencing. I don’t want to slight them by listing them hither (because if I had the coin, I’d buy theirs in a heartbeat!) but since I tin can’t spend $200+ on a beanbag encompass and an actress $fifty+ on the filler beans, I found a great tutorial every bit the basis to make my own. I enlisted my mother to do the assembly (thanks Mom!) and voila- a perfect, totally inexpensive newborn posing beanbag for a fraction of the price.
Be warned, this beanbag is ENOURMOUS. Still figuring out how to get information technology to fit in my car… I call up information technology’due south meant as a studio pocketbook- I’d shrink the dimensions if you lot are planning on carting it around in your trunk.
This took four huge bags of styro bead filling from Walmart. Information technology was really, really, really hard to fill. The beads were so static-y and stuck to everything. My Mom and Sammy can vouche for how incredibly annoying it was to A) fill up the beanbag and B) unstick the beans from ourselves and everything effectually united states. Nosotros ended up rubbing everything down with dryer sheets (yes I’k a genius) to reduce the static cling. Just information technology wasn’t pretty.
We wound upwards cutting open the tops of the numberless a fiddling bit, and stuffing them into the opening in the bag of the vinyl. This is the only thing that even kind-of worked for u.s..
Nosotros call information technology the hockey puck as it’s exactly that shape- two circles separated by a long strip of vinyl with velcro closure in the back. Here is the link if you desire to make your own:
Moving on to…
Backdrops and Vinyls
This is my achilles heal. I would really love to have a few gorgeous wood floor vinyls in my collection. Simply these, unfortunately, cost a small fortune and just aren’t in the cards right at present. What
in the cards for me is regular, inexpensive, Newspaper. That’south right folks. Paper. I have white, black, and “barn wood floor” right now but would dearest to requite a bright color a try soon- possibly for a birthday smash cake photo shoot? Who knows. But this paper comes from the “Didactics” department at my local craft store and is cheap plenty to use a bunch of times, throw away, and buy new without a second thought.
Example of the white newspaper in use:
Example of the blackness paper in utilize (babies Aunt was draped in cheap blackness material too)
Woods floor paper in use:
(I as well made the knit fringe blanket pictured above- it’s a prop, so it’southward only 2′ by 3′.)
Misc. Kids Items
Newborn nail cakes- I make my own (how convenient to also accept
my own baking shop!) but here’s an idea- team upward with a local home business bakery and offering to provide them with professional photographs of their cakes in substitution for discounted mini cakes to use in your nail cake sessions. This volition get them bully exposure locally, provide them with a usable image in exchange for their production, and create a great partnership for yous. The best mode to observe bakers like this is through facebook. Simply do a simple search- you lot’ll be amazed at all the creative, in-dwelling house, cake businesses popping upward all over the place!
Crate for newborn and kids sessions- I love the await of dark wood, merely am not about to pay the price for high quality wood pieces (however). Unfinished woods crates like this are inexpensive then easy to stain with a tiny, sample size tin of floor stain. This crate took me about 30 minutes to stain and seal and it works beautifully as a something to put kids INto, or on TOP of. Merely make sure you exercise this well ahead of a photo shoot and so it has fourth dimension to de-fume.
In the in a higher place photo, baby is laying on top of a small beanbag tucked into the wooden crate. It was great to get her upward off of the floor so she was at a amend shooting height.
Chalkboard forest slice- I dearest chalkboards. Like, seriously,
love. Then customizable and really, really like shooting fish in a barrel to make. I made this one on a store-bought piece of forest (sold at the craft store for a few bucks) and painted both sides with black chalkboard paint. You tin buy it in tiny fiddling tins from the hardware shop and they are very reasonable priced. I want to get some chalk pens to utilise on this simply until then, regular chalk works wonderfully.
Toddler rocking chair- we picked this precious stone upward at our local Goodwill a while ago. Afterward a few rounds of sanding, I coated it with iii coats of yellow spray paint. I used information technology in my daughters commencement birthday pictures and accept since taken it to the park for a session. Goodwill is a Slap-up place to scavenge for photograph prop finds (and trust me, you will be scavenging…information technology’s not pretty most times…).
Quilts- once once more, I’yard lucky enough to brand my own. I’thousand kind of obsessed with quilting which is a whole different field of study but I have a beautiful surplus of quilts to use for shoots. These are corking for use exterior, underneath playing kids, or draped over chairs, benches, etc. etc. If you lot aren’t a quilter, you should go one. Just kidding (kind of). Only attempt browsing etsy for quilts that catch your center. If y’all find a maker yous love, offering your services once more- professional photos in exchange for a discounted quilt. Or scour the depths of ebay to observe used, slightly damaged quilts that are being sold for a steal. Even if it has tears or rips or stains or damage, you tin can ready it up in a style that hides the flaws, or edit them out in photoshop later.
This was my biggest internal struggle. There is i very particular stand that I wanted so badly. It was the exact set up upward I wanted- a “T” shape instead of a (?) bottom half of an “H” shape maybe? I dearest that there was but one base of operations- less to trip over- and that information technology was centered in the middle. Once again, though, this lovely stand was close to $200 before shipping and was just one of those items on the not-in-the-cards (read budget) list.
In that location are ii like pieces that might work together from Cowboy Studios. Information technology’s technically a studio lighting stand, but with some clips from Habitation Depot ($ii.50 for iv giant clamp clips), and the center mountain nail, I retrieve this volition work for me.
Sorry, I know that’south really hard to explain. I’ll post nearly it when information technology comes in the mail. I’m not exactly certain why, just it takes upwards to 2 months to ship. Saving money takes a loooooong time!
Photographic camera, Lenses, Flash
My camera came from craigslist. I have no idea what information technology toll as information technology was a gift, but I’1000 SURE it was $100’southward less than what it would have cost retail. And then craigslist and ebay are a great place to search. All of my equipment, actually, was gifted. But that’southward a good thought too, right? For all hereafter birthday’s, mother’s day (if that applies), Christmas, etc. Enquire for gear!
And finally, my greatest pride-
My Camera Purse
Then this is a totally not-essential item on the listing. I could have made-do just fine with the bulky black bag that came with my photographic camera- no big deal. But I’ve been eyeing some absolutely gorgeous bags that are feminine, and pretty, and fashionable. Besides that, I love the thought that a camera “purse” is much less conspicuous and less likely to be stolen. Obviously that happens more I thought. Long story short, the beautiful bags price betwixt $300-$500 which, needless to say, is not in the budget. Are you ready for this?
SkipHop Duo Diaper Bag turned PERFECT Camera Bag. No joke, this bag was made for me. Take a look inside.
These ii, outer, bottle pockets are PERFECT for my external flash and my lenses. When I’chiliad not trying to show you what’south inside, I have the lenses and the flash wrapped in two of the foam pieces from my original camera bag (did you know those black separators can come up completely out?!) merely you can’t run into them that way which isn’t really the betoken of this post… Totally protected, hands accessible.
And look at these zipper pockets. The shallow ane is perfect for small items- batteries, retention cards, connection pieces. The deeper one fits an ipad perfectly! And the zippers are unlike colors, one red and ane gold making it easy to keep track of what is stored where.
Using the pads from my former photographic camera bag, I fit together a perfect compartment for my camera trunk inside. Protected from all sides, and deep at the bottom. The two wide pockets downwards there are where I go on my external hard drive that I use simply for photos and all of my cords/charger/etc.
And here’southward the bonus I was not expecting. The outside sleeve fits my laptop perfectly! I tin wrap it in the changing pad then information technology’s safe and protected and deport all my gear with me all at in one case. Perfect for traveling.
I snagged it from an online retailer with one of those “inside admission, 30% off coupon codes, but good for .39 seconds” emails and dubbed it my brithday present for the year- yippee! Side note- I but unsubscribed from nine million e-mail coupon websites to convalesce email checking anxiety, then goodbye coupons, but sometimes all that junk e-mail is worth information technology in the end.
My final tips:
*I do well-nigh of my crafty shopping at JoAnn Fabrics with 40%, fifty% and even occasionally 60% off coupons. It’s ho-hum to await and merely buy everything with coupons simply worth it. And I also get a fifteen% disbelieve on everything with my educators discount. If you are/were a teacher- take reward!
**My favorite spots to detect photograph prop “treasures” are thrift shops, Goodwill, and places similar T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. Find out when your stores stock new merchandise and be an early bird. Good stuff is snatched up by treasure hunters in a heartbeat!
***Sometimes I chase specifically for baskets that are damaged (at that place are always a few at the bottom of the pile!) and ask what the disbelieve would be for that item. Sometimes these discounts are between lxx and xc% off which is HUGE. If it’southward something you tin cover with blankets, a infant, or some other prop- it’southward totally usable.
I hope this listing gave y’all a few ideas you can try yourself, or become your gears turning on how y’all can salve some coin while increasing your ain “kit” too.
Accept other DIY ideas for your photography kit? Share them below! I’d love to hear nearly them 🙂
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