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Build a DIY Home Studio

Lesson 14 of 20

Live Shoot: DIY Home Business Photography

Mike Hagen

Build a DIY Home Studio

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

14. Live Shoot: DIY Home Business Photography

Lesson Info

Live Shoot: DIY Home Business Photography

Well let's move to our next area here. Just for grins and giggles, I'm just gonna quickly take a picture using the light tent and then I'm gonna move over to this bigger surface area here and show you how we would use that. Just cause I wanna prove to you. You probably already know this as you're watching, but light tent often times looks almost exactly the same as the do it yourself light tent. We need a nice base, so I need a white base. Again, local craft store to the rescue. I just have white paper. Cool. And I'm just gonna drop that here, so I don't get any color spillage. Here we go. Excellent. I am going to grab my backdrop. Move that one over. Here we go. And this light tent's a bit bigger, so I have to reach farther back. Okay, cool. Let's grab a Lego. I love Lego's. I hate to admit it because I'm an adult, but I love Lego's. Alright, so we have two little mini-figs. I got a fireman and a policewoman. They're gonna talk. They're gonna have a conversation. Hopefully they're not...

gonna fall over. Cool. Great. Just gonna turn this light over there. I think I've got enough extension to just move this over. If not, because it's a light tent it's really easy to work with. Hey, I've got a better idea. I'm just gonna move this one out of the way. You gotta be so careful when you move the do-it-yourself thing around that you don't like torque it, cause it will actually fall apart on you. Okay. Here we go. Mini-figs to the rescue. Gotta love our first responders. Great. I'm a pull this one over, get it nice and close again. Again, the only reason I'm really doing this is just to show that you don't need to spend the big bucks on these things to get professional results. Okay. A little bit lower. Just one other point I want to make with this light tent, sometimes it's actually nice to have this over the fork front. The reason why is because it prevents reflections from outside the tent from landing on your shiny surface products. So, let's say that you are photographing and you're wearing like a green shirt or a yellow shirt or an orange shirt, a lot of times the photographer, or even your hand, this happens to me all the time shooting shiny stuff, the reflection off of my hand causes a kind of a warm tint on the subject and it just looks bad. One of the advantages here, you just open the zipper up, and you shoot through that little segment. For now, I'm not worried about reflections or colors, so I'm just gonna shoot straight. I'm a straight shooter. And focus. I'm not using any magnification here, this is just straight with the lens. Okay, great. I think that was a little over exposed. There we go. So, our little Lego mini-figs, they perform well for us, and oh my goodness, don't they look nice? So, throw that up on Pinterest, and I'm sure you'll develop a following of 10,000 followers, just from that photo itself. Great. Alright, so the commercial level light tent and the DIY light tent about the same overall look. That's pretty cool.

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!