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DIY Photography: How to Make a Light Box with Paper
There are several ways to make a simple light box at home using a few materials that are both cheap and easy to put together yourself. Professional home studio kits can be expensive. Why spend hundreds of dollars when you can get quality results by using some simple DIY photography techniques? This hub will explain how to make a light box with paper (and a few optional materials).
Materials to make your mini DIY light box:
- 3 sheets paper
- 1 light
- 1 photo object
- Tape (optional)
- Extra lights (optional)
Step 1: Paper
Knowing how to make a light box with paper is relatively easy and straightforward. To start, you will need three sheets of white A4 paper. White works best since it reflects the light better than other colors and it will flood your photo area with the most light. As a result, your photos will appear more professional.
Step 2: Folding
Take two sheets of paper and fold them both in half. Assemble them together by attaching one folded half to the folded half of the other sheet. This can be done with or without tape. In my setup, I didn’t use any tape and the paper provided enough support on its own. Stand the folded sheets up together on a table or desk -- upright so that there are three sides. You could also set in on the floor if that angle is more convenient when you add the light.
Step 3: Backdrop
Your mini DIY photography studio is almost ready. Next, take your third piece of paper and attach it to where the folded areas meet on the other two sheets. Again, tape application is optional here as well. Curve the piece of paper slightly so that it forms a seamless backdrop for your light box. It may take some adjusting, but the end result should look like the picture below.
Step 4: Light
With your mini studio assembled, now all you need is to setup your light in the appropriate area. It works best if the light is closer to the light box so that it floods the entire area; however, feel free to experiment. The proximity depends on the intensity of the bulb. You can use a fluorescent or incandescent light bulb -- just remember to set the proper white balance in your camera before photographing anything.
Step 5: Photograph object
Finally, the last step is to take some pictures! Since the surface area is small, you will need to find smaller objects that will fit in the space. It’s an ideal size for things like fruit, coins, stationary, tiny plants or other small objects for product photography. The mini DIY light box is quite useful for both hobbyists and photo enthusiasts alike.
Using tape for assembling your mini DIY light box will help keep the paper together, though it isn’t absolutely necessary. Some people prefer the simplicity and ease of using just the paper to hold it together.
Adding another light or two will add to the intensity of the light. Try experimenting with a few more lights and discover what works best for you. By directing a second light along the backdrop it can significantly reduce shadows and improve the overall results of your shots. Just make sure the lights are all the same type and luminosity or else it the color will look unnatural.