Make This DIY 2-Legged Leaning Light Stand for Tight Indoor Shoots

New Zealand-based commercial photographer Chris Cameron wanted an ultra-portable solution for supporting lights in cramped indoor spaces, so he created a simple 2-legged leaning light stand.

“I shoot a lot of yacht interiors and many cabins do not have enough space for a conventional light stand,” Cameron writes. “I’m also often shooting these cabins while the yacht is underway so […] conventional light stands would require weights to keep them from toppling over.”

Cameron’s 2-legged stand is made of 5mm carbon fiber tubing, kite hinges (with holes drilled to 5mm), and a 3D-printed cold shoe head.

The kite hinges.
The 3D-printed cold shoe head.

One end of the spreader pole is fixed to a leg while the other is free sliding to allow the stand to be folded up.

Elastic line in each leg keeps the sections together when folded and helps make setting up the stand fast and simple.

The resulting stand weighs just 0.26lbs (120g), has a deployed height of around 4.6ft (1.4m), and folds down to 17.7in (45cm).

To use the stand, simply lean it against a wall or corner, which stabilizes it and acts as the third leg.

“I put a piece of sticky back Velcro (Hook side) on the back face of the 3D printed head part so that I can attach a piece of microfibre cloth to prevent scratching or marking walls,” Cameron says. “I added some small rubber feet to the bottoms of the legs and a Velcro tie to keep it all together when folded.”

You can make most of the stand by buying and assembling the parts described above. But if you’d like to use Cameron’s exact cold shoe head, you can buy the design for $3 from his website and 3D print it yourself.

If you’d like to go a DIY route with the head, “it could be replicated simply by drilling a couple of holes in a piece of wood and the attaching an off the shelf cold shoe mount,” Cameron says.

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