I did it myself. And it was a success! (No, this is not a mug shot.)
I did some investigating online and found that we could make our own visa photos. The government's travel site (travel.state.gov/passport/pptphotoreq/pptphotoreq_5333.html) actually explains how to take your own photos, and includes a handy-dandy tool for making sure the photo meets the size/composition requirements. Then I went to www.epassportphoto.com to create the image you see above, so I could print off several photos at once. This site also has its own photo template. For a price, they'll print the photo(s) and mail them to you. Just click "no thanks" to save the photo and print it yourself.
Even though I thought our photos came out looking adequate, certainly visa-worthy, I was nervous that they'd be rejected at the Embassy.
But they weren't. Total cost = $0.54 + the time it took me to iron a white bed sheet (for the first, and hopefully the last, time in my life) and drape it just-so over the hall bathroom shower curtain rod.