Budget Friendly Photography Lighting

When you're a blogger, you rely on good lighting, and finding budget photography lighting can take some time but isn't too difficult. However, I've figured out a really cheap solution or three.

In California, natural light came in through the window nicely, and I regret that I didn't take advantage of it more. Now that I live in Texas, the lighting in my apartment is terrible, so I figured out some sort of on-budget photography lighting situation. I didn't want professional softboxes, so I reconstructed a lighting scenario similar to what I used when I first started blogging 5 years ago. Also check out my DIY LED Ring Light and DIY LED Light Panel too!

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The Main Setup

I set up one 3-head floor lamp to light behind and to the left of the subject and one 5-head floor lamp with lamp heads arranged in a semi-circle to light the front of the subject. It's easy, cheap, and works like a charm.

With a little searching and proper timing, you can find these multi-head floor lamps at Target or Walmart for under $20. I picked up this 3-head lamp* for $18.00 in store, but depending on sales events and such, you might find a better deal. For light bulbs, I use daylight LED bulbs like these* for $11.99. My setup cost a total of $42. The 5-head floor lamp was already in my apartment; add $18 for a second set of lights if necessary. Depending on your shooting style and needs, rotate the necks of each lamp head where you need light to shine. Experiment and make adjustments to see what works best for you.

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Soften and Filter

Filter out the harsh glare from direct light exposure with paper coffee filters. For a softer effect, I placed paper coffee filters over each lamp head. The light is diffused through the filters reducing light reflections and glare onto the subject. I attached the filters to the lamp head with strips of duct tape that can be removed when the bulbs need to be replaced. Again, easy and cheap.

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Photos Taken With This Setup

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Very different styles of placement and shooting. Experimentation can take you far. A little creativity and really cute paper clips go a long way, am I right?

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