Trying to replicate natural light in the studio can be frustrating, but with this cheap, DIY trick, you can imitate window light in any studio shoot.
The first step to making your DIY faux window is buying poster board. It can be any size, just make sure you get white colored poster board so that the color of your lighting isn't affected (when you start shooting). I bought a full size, standard poster board from my local grocery store and cut it in half (as pictured below).
Once you have your poster board the size that you want it, it's time to measure out the window lines. These lines are meant to replicate window blinds, thus giving the appearance of natural light coming through window blinds in your photo. I made my lines about 1-inch wide, but you can alter that number depending on how big you want the shafts of light to appear in your photo.
The amount of 'window blind' lines that you need varies a little bit based off of how big your light is. Since I was using a smaller light during the shoot, I only measured out 5 lines. Feel free to adjust that number as needed.
Continue measuring out the start of your lines, skipping an inch of space (or whatever length you chose) between each section.
After marking out the starting points of your lines, draw a straight line down your poster board, leaving about three inches of space from the end. This line will help you later when you start cutting.
Once you've measured out the starting points of your 'window blinds,' it's time to cut! I found that the easiest way to cut the poster was by pinching it slightly and then making a hole with one end of the scissor. After that, I slowly made a cut to mark out the start of the line. Then, I cut down the line, eventually cutting out/removing a rectangle of poster board.
While I used scissors to make my poster board, if you have a razor available or another sharp cutting utensil, that will probably work better and more precisely for this project. Don't worry too much about making it perfect, as long as you don't have jagged edges it should turn out great!
This is how my final faux 'window blind' DIY project turned out. As you can see from the duct tape, I used tape to attach my 'window blind' to a boom stand and placed it in front of my bare bulb light.
To see more images from my shoot, go check out "Precious'" shoot under my "Portraits" page!