I wanted a photography studio. All i had was my bedroom, a couple of flashes and my DSLR camera.
The picture is one that i took using my setup.
Step 1: Backdrop.
I realise there are a lot of ways of making a backdrop. I started out by hanging some bedding off my wardrobe. This worked well, until of course, i needed to access my wardrobe.
I wanted a more permanent, but yet still portable solution. It also needed to be cheap. I bought a load of PVC pipe and fittings for about £20. I then got into my lego mindset and assembled it into a frame like shape. I'm sure you can use your imaginations to create a stable design.
I then got a big piece of white fabric, this cost me about £3.
I sewed a pipe sized loop at the top off the piece of fabric, to loop it over the top of the frame.
Step 2: Flash.
I already had 2 flash's. For this application, they do not need to be new fancy ones. Mine are my dad's, probably about 10-15 years old. But they still work. Flash's can be picked up on eBay for good money.
Diffusers soften light, this makes for softer shadows, more aesthetically pleasing photo's. There are plenty of instructable's on making diffusers. I plan on making some one day... But for now, i use a tissue and some elastic bands.
But what i prefer to use, and find it works better, Is to aim the flash's at the ceiling (provided it is white) and use that as a big diffuser. The results are quite remarkable.
I have my flash's on tripods, but you can use anything really. Rest it on the floor or clamp it to your ears, I don't care.
To illuminate the whole object you are photographing, you want a flash on either side. You could use lamps, i guess. But you have to be careful, as they give off a more yellowish colour, which sucks.
Step 3: Radio Slaves.
Radio slaves are a wireless way to set off flash's. They are very easy to use and fairly cheap. Search for them on ebay, mine cost me about £15. I got one transmitter and 2 receivers, so i can set off two flash's at the same time. It's important to move your flash's away from your camera especially when taking pictures of people. As with built in flash's when you pull your best pout and stare into the lens, the flash goes straight into the back of your eye and this is how red eye is caused.
Step 4: Settings.
I like to use manual mode, auto doesn't cope very well with the extra flash's.
As a general rule i use a shutter speed of 1/125 ish. This allows enough time for the flash's to be set off, and it's also not too slow so unless you're real shaky you wont have blurred photos.
An aperture of about 5 is about right, but this depends entirely on your flashes, or windows or whatever. Just play about with it.
Basically, that's about it. Give me a comment, or two. I'll like that. Have fun taking pictures.