Blogging Basics: A Low-Budget Photography and Filming Set-Up

I have been seriously blogging and making videos for a little while now and I feel like I finally have my routine done. This is mostly due to having a set picture and filming set-up which I can just grab and use. It doesn’t require a lot of preparation, so I can just start taking pictures or filming whenever I need to. I am really happy with my current set-up and the things that I can create with it, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a really low-budget set-up, so it’s perfect for a starting blogger/YouTuber, like I was a little while ago. If you want some tips on how to get an affordable set-up, do keep reading!

Just to be warned: this post does not include any high-quality, beautifully set up pictures. I just took pictures of what my behind the scenes look like, because that’s just the reality of things. It’s the easiest way of showing you what I use and how I use it, and I don’t like twisting around the subject. I like to get straight to the point, so don’t be expecting any pretty pics! Just so you know.

We’ll start with my filming set-up, since this involves the most pieces. I really started working on this set-up at the start of this quarantine, when I (sort of) moved back in with my parents. So I’m still trying to figure out how I will recreate this in my own room, but we’ll see about that when the moment is there. Anyways, I use this set-up to film YouTube and Instagram videos, and it’s a very simplistic set-up. First of all I have my camera on a tripod with some extra things attached to it (I’ll tell you about those soon) and a studiolight behind it. This was one of the cheapest studiolights I could find, and it works amazing for what I want out of it. I got it at VidaXL and at the time it was only 30 euros, while more professional lights went for over €100 (get it here). So I am very happy I got this. I bought some extra lightbulbs as backups for it, which were like 8 euros a piece, so it is still a very affordable lightbox. It’s lightweight, easy to set up and it has decent enough quality for my starting YouTube career. I would recommend this one if you’re able to get it and you’re looking for something affordable!

Moving on from the light, I have only two important pieces left. I have my stool on which I sit, which is just a stool we had standing around the house, and I have my background. My background consists of two A2 pieces of coloured paper which are stuck together using ductape. I attached those between my doorpost and my closet using ductape as well, so they just hang behind my head at the perfect height. I think this cost me €3 total, a realy cheapskate move as you can tell.

The rest of my filming set-up consists of my camera and tripod. The camera I use is a Canon EOS 600D, which is a pretty old version of the EOS series. It does film in 1080p and it has a flippable screen, so I can see myself in the viewfinder while filming. It’s a really handy camera and I’ve had it for I think 6 years already (maybe even more). It still does the job perfectly and I’m definitely not yet looking for a new one! I got this one secondhand at some kind of auction, and I think it didn’t cost me any more than €250 euros at the time. It included the basic 18-55mm lens which I still use. If you want to start filming you can definitely start with your phone camera, but if you want to move up it’s a great idea to look for secondhand cameras. There are a lot of people who buy the newest models, so they get rid of their perfectly fine, almost-new models. Most of the time you can get a decent camera for a great price, which will last you a few years.

I got my tripod at a fleamarket for only €10 euros. It’s just great to look for these things secondhand. You can often find great products for a great price, which are a good addition to your affordable set-up. Besides my camera I have two more things attached to my tripod. First off is a small mirror, which I attached using masking tape. It’s very simple, but now I can see exactly what I’m doing while filming, without having to hold a mirror in my hand (and accidentally in front of my face) the entire time. The other addition to the tripod is a phone holder. This is a phone holder for a bike, so it’s meant to be attached to such a slim pole. I can just clamp my phone in it in the exact position I like. I use this when I need info on my phone with me during a video, or for recording audio. I don’t have a microphone yet, but I do have the voice recorder on my phone which has a lot less white noise than my camera while filming. So I can just attach my phone to my tripod with the mic pointed to me so I can record audio well. I think it’s a pretty smart solution, if I may say so myself.

So now we’re done with the filming set-up, let’s move to my photography ‘studio’. I like to take pictures on different sorts of backgrounds, especially in my room in Nijmegen where I have lots of little spots to take pictures. At my parents’ place I’ve been loving taking pictures on my bed. I use plain white bedding to create a nice, white background, which still has some playful texture. This makes the pictures clean, but not too boring. I prop up the bedding in the back of the picture as well so everything is evenly white. I use the same lightbox for pictures as I do for filming, since it’s perfect for both! I like to set up the product that I’m photographing either just on the sheets, or on an empty photophrame. This creates a nice ground for the product to stand on, plus you can do all sorts of new, fun tricks with it, like smearing cream on it when taking pictures of cream. It may sound like a weird example, but I saw this hack on TikTok and I’ve really been loving the options it gives me!

I also sometimes like to add props to my pictures. For this I have a few fake leaves and flowers, and some shells and other small decorations. This is just to spice up any boring pictures, while still keeping the focus on the product. The way I take pictures is to walk around with my camera in my hand and shoot. I don’t like using my tripod for this, since I like to experiment with different angles and focuspoints. I’m still learning to use custom settings on my camera, so I can’t really give you any tricks on that. I can only tell you what has really elevated my pictures: standing further away and zooming in. Yes, it’s so easy, but it makes the depth in the pictures so much nicer. Since you’re further zoomed in, you don’t have a lot of the background visible because you’re reducing the fish-eye effect in the lens. I don’t know, it just looks a lot nicer. If you didn’t already know this trick (I am assuming everyone knows this, since I am such a noob with a camera), it’s a fun thing to try out with your upcoming product pictures.

And when I finally manage to take some pictures, this is what they turn out like! I really enjoy my current style of product pictures, and my set-up has really helped with that, even though my set-up is very simplistic and low-budget. It just shows that you can create good content, even without a big, expensive set-up and state-of-the-art technology. It’s all about finding your own way and making something you are proud of, because that radiates towards your followers. I hope you enjoyed today’s article. If you have any fun tips or tricks for a set-up, don’t be afraid to let me know! I am always excited to learn new things, especially when it comes to blogging and creating content. I want to thank you for reading, and I’ll see you next time!

The links used in this article are affiliate links. When you decide to buy something through these links, I make a small commission off of it. It does not cost you any more as a buyer, but it does help my blog when you buy through my links. This way you can support my blog in an easy way. Thanks if you do!

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