Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Boudoir Photography Studio Prop Bed

If you're doing photo shoots in your home you can just set up a bedroom to double as a boudoir studio if your bedrooms are large enough. If you're shooting boudoir photography in your studio you'll want to have a bed in it. Since space is limited for many photographers, having a bed that doesn't take up much space is important.

I've been trying to come up with plans to build a photo studio prop bed that will fold up when not in use and not cost too much to make.

The plans to build the prop bed are below but chances are I'm not going to build it after finding a better alternative.

While browsing through Amazon I found this Zinus folding bed frame that folds even smaller than my design and is cheaper to buy than it would be to build from my plans.

Zinus Full Frame Folding Bed

Unlike a lot of other folding frames I've seen it is high enough off the ground that it will put the top of the mattress at about the same height as if there was a box spring underneath it. This way you can take natural looking shots with the model seated on the side of the bed.

What size bed for Boudoir Photography?

The bigger the bed the better so it looks like you're taking photos in an actual functioning bedroom instead of a set. Size however may be an issue because you need a lot of room on the sides of the bed to frame your shots properly using a good lens in the 50-100mm range.

A queen size bed would be perfect but if size is a consideration a full size bed gives enough room to do a variety of laying down poses and the model won't look like she's on a kid's bed.

What type of Mattress?

I remember talking with a glamour photographer a few years ago that just used a plywood platform as his prop bed. He said that way the model won't sink into the bed like she would in a regular mattress. That made sense but some of the shots didn't look natural to me and it wasn't the most comfortable for the woman in the photos.

At the very least I think a foam topper over plywood wood be nice but that doesn't really give a real bed look. I think it's best to get an actual mattress. You can frequently find mattresses on craigslist cheap or free.

Another alternative, one which I'll probably go with, is to use an air mattress. It will need to be a thick one to look like a full sized mattress. Something like this Intex Comfort Plush Mid Rise Full Airbed. It's not very expensive and it doesn't take up much space when deflated. Just be careful if you have a model with spikey heels on the air mattress.

Boudoir Photo Prop Bed Plans

To build the boudoir photography prop bed you'll need to visit your local Home Depot to pick up:

  • 1 4' x 8' Sheet of 3/4" Plywood
  • 2 8' long 4x4's for the legs
  • 3 8' long 2x4 studs
  • 4 Hinges, door hinges will work
  • Assorted screws
You'll want to cut the plywood so you have:
  • 2 23-1/2" x 75" plywood panels
  • 2 7" x 37-1/2" plywood panels which you'll join together to make one long panel.
Cut the 2x4s so you have 48 5" long lengths.

Cut the 4x4's to anywhere between 13-15" each depending on how high you want the bed. You'll need 12 legs all together. The amount of legs seems like a lot but if you're going ot have someone moving around and posing it's good to have it as sturdy as possible.

Then you'll just need to assemble everything together. This is a view of the bottom side of the prop bed frame. The 2x4's are attached on their edge to the plywood in a way that leaves a socket for the 4x4 legs to slide into.

When the prop bed isn't in use you remove the 4x4 legs and it folds up nicely. It's a good size to be used as a sofa table or other table that won't take up much space.

It's not the prettiest looking bed frame but throw a full size bed skirt over it and it will look just fine.

Place the air mattress on top, use some nice sheets and decorative comforter set, place a headboard in the back. Dress the rest of the set and you have a nice boudoir set in your photo studio that won't take up a lot of space when not in use.