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Build a DIY Home Studio

Lesson 1 of 20

Class Introduction

Mike Hagen

Build a DIY Home Studio

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hey everybody, super excited to be here today. Today is all about do-it-yourself home studio. I've been having so much fun putting together this class, lots of duct tape, lots of cardboard. Today's layout, the schedule for today is we're gonna be doing lots of things like how to use use your own studio, maybe in a bedroom at home, or in the basement. A little bit later on, I'm gonna show you all how to make a backdrop out of PVC pipe, I'm gonna show you how I built a lot of these lighting tools, and all this lighting equipment. And then in the third segment today, we're gonna be talking about tabletop photography. So I'm gonna show you how to make a light tent out of cardboard and tissue paper, and make some really fantastic lighting tools that you can use for Pinterest, or maybe you're selling products online. And then finally at the end of the day, we're gonna put it all together, and we're gonna do a really impressive photo shoot using available light, and flashes, and home built li...

ghts, all this great stuff. So, who is this class for? Well, let's say you're a photographer, you're kind of new into photography, and you don't have a lot of money to spend on buying really expensive lighting equipment. That was me, that was me a number of years ago. I've been a professional photographer full time for about 12 years now, and when I went full time, I remember I had to build a portfolio. In fact, I didn't have a whole lot of portrait photographs, and so I was like, "I gotta go build a portfolio. "How do I do this without having all this equipment?" So I literally made a bunch of equipment. I made a background, I made a backdrop, I had some flashes, I had some little speedlights, but I didn't have all the soft boxes, and all the reflectors, and all the umbrellas. So I had to build some of that stuff. You know what the cool thing is, is that I was actually able to make some really great photographs using this inexpensive gear. As time went on, and as I built my portfolio, I was able to buy some more equipment, which is cool. And now I have lots of nice stuff, I've got pro photo lighting equipment, and studio strobes, but I didn't 10, 15 years ago. So this class is for you, it's for all the people out there who wanna build great photographs, but don't have the money to actually go out and buy all the equipment. So to that end, I'm gonna show you how to build a soft box out of a cardboard box, how to build reflectors out of foam core, how to use a studio like this. We've actually fabricated this little area here to represent a small bedroom in your home, or in your garage. So that's the plan for today. I'm really happy you're here, and I just hope that you guys are gonna learn a lot about this equipment and this great way to do photography.

Class Description

Getting started in photography and looking to go beyond natural light? Not every piece of equipment needs to hurt your wallet. Join Mike Hagen as he shows you how to create your own do it yourself home studio. He’ll show you to create a $10,000 DIY photography studio on a budget and how to utilize and still create quality looking images. 

 You’ll learn:

  • How to find and create grip equipment by shopping at your local hardware store 
  • How to create a tabletop studio in your home 
  • How to put together and light a portrait studio on a budget.
You don’t have to have your own studio space or purchase thousands of dollars worth of equipment to build your portfolio of images. Join Mike as he gets you expanding your portfolio so you can gain the clients to eventually purchase the gear you want to own!

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

DIY Schematics

Lighting Diagrams

Product List for DIY Home Studio

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I was so glad to see Mike! He taught my first DSLR class (Nikon D70 - then Nikon D300). I love his presentation style. It is so clear and he takes care of showing details that get in the way of actually 'doing it'. And I like the way he emphasizes good manners when dealing with a model. Well done Mike!


I've watched this class a few times when it's been on-air and I realized I really need to just buy it. I find Mike so likable and engaging, and I love how he talks you through the shoot while experimenting. Sometimes the experts show you the perfect way to do it the first time but it leaves you not really able to troubleshoot when you are doing it yourself. I already own a lot of gear that his DIY equipment is emulating, but it's really artistically inspiring to see his creative approaches.


This course is fantastic! You don't need a lot of money to start a studio or go on location. Mike shows some great easy hacks anyone can use to create a studio and create professional photographs that will earn you the money to then purchase more pro equipment. I got some great ideas I'll be using on my next shoot!