Can You Build a Photo Studio on a Shoestring Budget?

Let's be real, photography gear can get expensive. Between cameras, lenses, lighting, and backdrops, the cost of setting up a studio can quickly drain your bank account. But what if there was a way to create a functional studio without breaking the bank? 

Coming to you from Rocky Mountain School of Photography, this fun video explores the possibility of building a budget photo studio using equipment exclusively from, a website known for its incredibly low prices. Buckle up for a wild ride as Forest, along with RMSP instructors Sarah and Mike, put Temu's photography gear to the test in a real portrait shoot. 

From surprisingly decent softboxes to a camera that's more fashion accessory than photographic tool, the video offers a candid and entertaining look at what you can expect when shopping for photography gear on a tight budget. While there are unsurprisingly some misses, some of the equipment is strikingly functional. 

While the $80 Temu camera might not deliver professional-grade image quality, the video demonstrates that it's possible to find some hidden gems in unexpected places. The softboxes, for example, performed well and provided decent lighting for the portrait shoot. The video also emphasizes the importance of managing expectations and understanding that budget gear may come with limitations, but it also shows what you can accomplish with technical know-how. Check out the video above for the full rundown.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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