*Warning* This will be a text and picture heavy post!
A few weeks ago, I was getting fed up with depending on natural sunlight which determined when I could or could not take pictures of my nails. Ever since the time change, it gets darker sooner which means that when I get home from school it's already pitch black outside! I wasn't able to share my nails as often as I wanted to and it was also kind of embarrassing to walk outside of my house with my pajamas to take a nail selfie (I got so many weird looks!) I decided that I should invest in some equipment to stop my problem. For Christmas I received some money, so this was a perfect opportunity!
I started my journey on Amazon, searching for the perfect set up within my 15 year old budget (50 bucks). After hours of searching for the best deals for a pretty decent quality, I found a few things that I'm in love with!
On the top right corner you can see my 16 inch soft box that I purchased for $14.95. When taking pictures of your nails, a soft box gives you the perfect, crisp background. It also takes in light which softly illuminates your hands. I bought mine here for a pretty decent price compared to others that were $50-$70! This came with a soft box, 4 different background colors (white, black, red, & blue), a removable front cover with a camera lens slit, and a carrying case. The soft box almost comes in the mail folded up in a strange way (when I unfolded it, it sprung up and out which really startled me!) that I don't think I can recreate so I can't really put the soft box back in the carrying case but that's not a problem for me since I just keep it in my room :) The soft box is really nice quality and has given me zero problems so far, I love it! It's also a perfect size for my hand, not too big and not too small!
Moving down you can see my two lamps. When searching for these I really didn't need anything special, just something to hold the specific bulbs I wanted. These are pretty basic, you can find these almost anywhere in a range of different prices, you might even already have some in your house! In my case, I didn't have any with a flexible goose neck so I purchased these with free shipping for $13.99 each (light bulbs not included + no assembly required.) These lamps might not look so special but after reading some reviews for other lamps, I read that others had the on/off switch near the bulb which became hazardous because the lamp apparently got extremely hot. This lamp has the switch on the base which I found very convenient because I did not want to burn my fingers! So far these lamps haven't given me any problems either, they're standard and they do their job.
The last thing I needed were daylight bulbs. To be honest, I don't know much about lights but after reading other posts about lighting, I learned that daylight bulbs are very important. Daylight bulbs are light bulbs that mimic natural daylight the closest. You don't have to use these, but they do give a nice look to your nails. These came in a pack of four for $10.71. I don't remember paying this price for these, I think the sellers might've raised it BUT even with them being more expensive, all of the things I purchased are still under $50! These bulbs are perfect and I love the light they give off. I obviously only need two for now so I'm glad that I have two more for a later time! These lights are also 14 watts which the specific lamps I bought can handle.
Here you can see the way I set it all up. First I clear off my desk and place my soft box in the center, directly above my chair so that I can sit down. Next, I take my lamps and place them on either side of the box. The lamps look really close to the box in the picture but they're actually a good few inches away. Make sure to not put the lights too close, the bulbs get pretty hot! As you can see, there's a major difference between these two pictures.
After I'm done with everything, I neatly store away my soft box underneath my desk along with my camera case on the left. I keep my lamps on my desk just because I don't mind them :) Overall I love my set up, it is 10 times better than depending on natural sunlight. It's a complete lifesaver for me and I'm so happy that I stayed within my budget. If you're on a tight budget like I am, or maybe you just don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on this kind of stuff, I really recommend everything I purchased!
Since I'm on the topic of how I take my pictures, I thought I'd throw in some info about my new camera! I got this for Christmas this year and I'm obsessed with it! This is the Canon Rebel T3i, it came with the body, two lenses, a carrying case, and some dvd's that help you learn how to use it. It takes the BEST pictures and has so many different settings that I love to mess with. It's honestly perfect and I love discovering new tips and tricks on how to take pictures, everyday.
Well ladies, that is all for today. Sorry for the long post, I wanted to include as much as possible to help you guys out. If you made it this far, here's a *virtual high-five*! I hope you enjoyed and maybe got some ideas. I'll talk to you soon!