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Picture Perfect: Setting up a DIY Portable Studio


SELPHY CP1300 compact photo printer is not only portable and ideal for remote photo printing, it is also a great interactive tool that improves the experience of teaching and learning. In this third and final instalment, we will share with you simple practical ideas of how to better capture portraits and create a DIY Photo Studio.

"How we normally take student portraits is simply from a pocket camera, with a red cloth as backdrop. Photos are then sent to the regular printer. Quality isn't always good, but that's the only way to print," said one teacher.

3 Key Obstacles of Quality Photography

The lack of consistency and choices is just two of many challenges in photo printing, especially during the start of a semester as well as graduation when most ID photos are taken.

Another obstacle also arises from the lack of photography skills as not all teachers know how to operate a digital camera effectively. Capturing an image goes beyond the press of the shutter button.

selphy cp1300 diy mini studio
 selphy cp1300 diy mini studio

Trying out and setting up the the mini studio

Limited access to equipment is also another problem. Often, poor picture quality is the result of outdated camera models and poor lighting conditions. Done mostly indoors, the school's photography setting is dim except for the camera's flash; brightness levels become either jarring or too dark.

Solution: DIY Portable Photo Studio

What this school needs is the luxury of portability – access to a photography setting at wherever suits best. With that, photos can be taken anytime and anywhere. Easy to set up, photo shoots can even be carried out at multiple places on the same day.

selphy cp1300 mini studio diy canon

Teachers learning how to operate the Camera

Canon IXUS digital camera comes in handy. With Auto settings, stabilising tripod and portable LED light, even novice photographers can get a decent shot effortlessly. All that's left, is to find a photo printer that matches this newly-created portable photo studio.

Good Quality Photo Print

What's a more portable match than the SELPHY CP1300 compact photo printer? Small and compact, with multiple choices of photo transfer there's no need to print from a computer anymore. It's now as easy as slotting a memory card to instantly turn your photos into photo ID prints ranging from up to 43 different sizes. The printer is also battery-powered, with optional battery packs as back-up – no external power source required.

selphy cp1300 diy mini studio
 selphy cp1300 diy mini studio

Learning how to replace the cartridge and navigate the print menu via user-friendly LCD screen on SELPHY CP1300

Let's take it to the test

The timing of our visit couldn't be any more perfect; it was their graduation photo-taking period. Our intended portable photo studio took only two teachers to set up. While one was preparing the tripod, the other went behind the class to put on the backdrop.

selphy cp1300 diy mini studio
 selphy cp1300 diy mini studio

Teachers were taking photos for the school's yearbook 

One by one, the IDs were taken using the Auto setting on the IXUS compact camera together with the simple LED lamp for added picture brightness. And when it was time to print, we simply transferred the camera's memory card into the slot on the SELPHY CP1300, selected to print 8 photos in one sheet from the LCD display and started printing.

selphy cp1300 photo booth diy mini studio

Everyone waiting for the photo IDs being printed out by SELPHY CP1300

Right from the setup to photography and print, creating this year's student yearbook was as easy as expected. The best part? It didn't even took us much. Everything was portable and effortless, and the result was picture perfect.     

selphy cp1300 photo ID layout

Things you need for your portable photo studio:
- Camera (digital pocket camera or DSLR)
- Tripod (simple and strong), you can read this guide if you are not sure which tripod to get
- Additional Lighting (portable LED light)
- Cloth backdrop
- Portable photo printer

Learn how to print creatively with Canon SELPHY printers from below articles:

Print Photos Creatively Using the Selphy Printer

Get Creative with the Canon Selphy CP1200 Compact Photo Printer

Bring your Photos to Life with the Canon Selphy CP1200 Compact Photo Printer

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