toy bike

My DIY, Most Basic Photography Setup at Home

wooden car

I was at a gift shop the other day when I recalled promising my readers some behind-the-scenes photography post some time back. I picked up a few items and decided to share with you how I took the pictures.

First, I went through the rooms to check and compare the light coming in through the windows. The best spot I found (at noon) was the corner-most window in the living room, where sunlight was being reflected off the newly-constructed glass building just across the street. I pulled a coffee table and positioned it across the window. Then we have this small wooden cabinet at home; the hinges of one of its doors broke a long time ago. I pulled that door out and made it my background (it sometimes pays to keep some things broken around the house).


See? It’s the most basic setup ever, but it gives you the opportunity to shoot indoors using natural light sans the unflattering flash. Plus the lighter background bounces off a bit of the light reflecting on it.

I shot the pictures on aperture-priority mode so that I could control the depth of field (while the camera adjusted the shutter speed automatically). I turned down the exposure compensation just a little (because the light coming in was still too bright), and white balance was set to auto.

Β toy bike

Post-processing was the next step. I used a free photo editing software called PhotoScape, where I treated the first picture to some vignetting effect. Then I added watermark and borders.

So there you go, I’ve shown you guys how things look behind the scenes. Perhaps someday I’ll also show you my food photography setup.

PS: I replaced the door once I was finished with my photo shoot.


  1. I personally prefer Miniature effect. My samsung st60 is said to be having that effect but I don’t find it in my camera. πŸ™

  2. Sometimes finding the perfect background can be a mission and a half. I usually steal one of mums white trays from the kitchen. And she’s always wondering where they’ve gone. But you’ve done this really well, the colours fit in perfectly.
    Thank you for this post! And yes! please show us your food setup. πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you so much, Smiley! Finding the perfect background does take up so much time and effort, and when you find it you realize all the good light is gone πŸ˜€

      I really like your pictures. They feel so casual and fun. But do try remember to return your mum’s trays after the photoshoot πŸ˜‰

  3. Hah! And I thought with high-end cameras the pictures just turn out auto wonderful!
    So my LG phone camera is not that bad afterall lolz….

      1. I had to thank you for the link to Photoscape! I downloaded and been having fun editing my pictures! πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you, Tien! Being resourceful saves money and makes the husband extra happy. Who knows he’ll be so elated with my resourcefulness one day that he’ll surprise me with my favorite lens? πŸ™‚

  4. Beautifully shot,Nadia! i love them! Now I’m wondering how you took the food shots πŸ™‚ What broken/unwanted pieces have helped you to make the shot that extra wonderful! You are genius darling!

    1. Thank you, Lat! Fortunately, no broken piece is used for the food photography. In fact, I am in the process of looking out for pretty plates and napkins πŸ™‚

  5. I look forward to your food photography post.
    I recently had to prepare and shoot ‘Shahi Tukray’ for a magazine and was it hard. By the time I cooked, dished out in a platter and arranged the props, the natural light no longer entered the room. Didn’t want to lose any more light nor risk getting the dish looking soggy by delaying further, I headed outdoors with all the paraphernalia and just managed to capture my subject decently before dusk. Couldn’t avoid getting the blue sky reflected on the silver platter though. πŸ™‚
    Would love to know how you do it.

    1. Hello Serendipitouslife! Oh I know what you mean! Lighting is so crucial, and you must do everything to shoot with that perfect light. I’m sure the shahi tukray shots turned out great. When can we see the picture in the magazine?

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