Make a Cheap Photo Studio

When starting any small business it’s best to bootstrap and avoid large costs. If you sell products online and need professional pictures taken of the products, skip that step and do it yourself. I’ve done this for a while by making a Cheap Photo Studio:

-2 pieces of white poster board (Regular white paper works too)
-Swivel Lamp
-Regular digital camera
-Basic Photoshop skills

Depending on what you are photographing, setup the poster board(s) accordingly. The goal is to take a picture with a clean, white backdrop without lines or interruption. Blemishes or lines can always be removed by Photoshop later.

For Example:
I took a picture of an old playing card.

With Photoshop I brightened the picture and removed all the red and white blemishes.

Playing around with Photoshop yielded this picture which looks nothing like the original. Point is: digital enhancements can make even bad pictures look good.

You can also do the same thing with less 2-dimensional objects such as this lock:

<-- before Photoshop

After Photoshop:

Just 2 magic eraser clicks in Photoshop and some cropping made this clean picture. The already white background makes Photoshopping very easy.

Pictures like this can also be used to enhance Ebay auctions or Craigslist postings. This is just one way to save money when running or starting an online biz, especially if running on a low budget.