Photography is an expensive business to get into, especially if you start getting into studio work. Often ordinary househouseld things can be used which are as effective. Many things such as diffuser panels can be made from cheap materials or things bought at an art shop. After extensive searching on the internet, I found several articles on how to make things yourself and put them together in a document. The credit for the contents of this document must be given to other people as all I have done is download it from various places and put it into a single word document.
I often go to the local art shop where I buy 3ft by 6ft foamcore board to use as reflector panels or 2mm thich sheets which i use as diffuser panels. Some I have painted black and taped together so they are free standing and can be used to absord light. From a clothes hanger with wheels, I stuck velcro to the frame and turned it into a 4ft by 8ft diffuser panel on wheels. The velcro allows me to stick different kinds of cloth on it according to what use i need.
Here is a link to the document:
An easy and cheap way to make a great product photography table.
I found this a very convenient solution to photographing products at home or out on site. This table is made from normal shelving brackets and sections bought from a hardware store, round head bolts and wing nuts for easy assembly, and a 3mm thick sheet of translucent PA board (it is called PA in Taiwan, maybe PP in other countries). The shelving sections slot together and the PA board fixed down with the bolts and wing nuts, it takes about 10 minutes to assemble. It is pretty much the same as pre-made product photography tables, except the back doesn't swivel and it cost a fraction of the price, 2000 NTD (Taiwanese dollars, about 40 US). The table is 75cm high, 75cm wide and 90cm deep. The back stretches up to 150cm which I have found to be more than enough to photograph small to medium size products. The shelving sections can be bought at different sizes, therefore the table can pretty much be made to any size required. The table can be used as it is or paper of any colour can be put over the PA board. I also use a 2mm sheet of PA board which I clamp to the sides of the table to form a dome to photograph metal or glass products.
Another great way to make your own photography table on the cheap. For this I used standard household things and a few bits and pieces bought in a hardware store. The beauty about this set up is that it can be folded and tucked away in the corner when not in use and can easily be taken anywhere. It cost next to nothing.
This is what I photographed (click on the picture for bigger view):
I went down to the local hardware store, purchased a couple of saw horses or trestles, a sheet of glass and a sheet of white flexible plastic board (about 3mm thick), a couple of lengths of 2" by 2" wood. I had an old clothes hanger and standard clips I used to hang the background cloth (the type you often used in offices). I use the clothes hanger a lot in my studio, it has pieces of velcro glued to the frame, so I can easily attach different kinds of cloth to it for diffusing light and backgrounds, wheels and is adjustable in height.
For lighting, I used house hold desktop lamps (the kind with clamps) and a home made lamp from a couple of bits I bought in an electrical/light shop. An old microphone stand was used to hold the overhead light.
The small reflector board is made of styrofoam cut to size and taped together so it is free standing.
Here is the set up: