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A frequent question I hear from aspiring portrait photographers – or established photographers looking to invest in their business but still wanting to manage their budget – is about how to ramp up a studio without crushing their cash flow. As many photographers know, it can be incredibly costly to run a photography studio – there is real truth to that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some creative and innovative ways to boost your shooting options in a more budget-friendly way.

A couple months ago, as part of my 3-day class at Creative Live, we taped a 30-minute segment, a Budget Design Shopping Challenge. I started the day out with $250 in cash and visited a series of stores in Seattle to collect a significant amount of posing, lighting and studio tools to help stock up a photography studio (and actually managed to stay under budget.) Along the way, I purchased, studied, and spoke to what low-dollar products can add a lot of value to your shooting – well, at least from my perspective!

The crew at CreativeLive also created a 4 1/2 minute version of the more detailed segment. . Hope you enjoy.