We’re looking at a cheap alternative to buying softboxes, today on The Slanted Lens. Many photographers want the softbox look but cannot afford a softbox. Why not use your bathroom as a softbox instead?
Taking Portraits On a Budget
I know many photographers who are first starting out don’t have the money for studios or softboxes, etc. We’ve all been there and we all wished we could affordable build a portfolio!
Using Your Bathroom as a Softbox
The easiest way to get the softbox look without the softbox price is to go into the bathroom and place some duvetyne or black foam core against the door. This is going to be the backdrop for your portraits. You want to make sure that whatever surface is opposite your bathroom window becomes your backdrop.
Remember that every window in your house is different. Some windows are frosted, some are not. I like to put up pieces of tracing paper in order to make the light coming through the window even softer. That light, though flat, is very beautiful and makes for great portraits and headshots.
Why does your bathroom work as a softbox? Remember that a softbox is simply a controlled area of light that goes through one controlled opening. The window is exactly that- a controlled opening. You can do this in any room in your house, so if your bathroom doesn’t work find another room that will!
The biggest challenge with this setup is going to be your camera settings. You are going to need to shoot at at least 800, if not 1600 ISO. Though I did not use a tripod in this lesson, I would highly recommend using one because you will probably be shooting at 1/40 second or 1/30 second.
Even the weather will affect how these shots turn out. If the weather is overcast the light coming in through the window will be substantially different than the light on a bright, sunny day. Take that into consideration. Also remember that time of day will also affect these shots.
There you have it! Any room in your home can be turned into a softbox! Let me know how you do it!
Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!