I Made My Own Light Box!

This is NOT my homemade light box.
This is a real, professional light box for reference.
I snagged the image from Google images.
Mine is the saddest, ugliest little thing but, by golly, it works!! Not bad for $5. To be fair, the biggest expense are the lights which I'm borrowing (you need 3) but if you're lucky to have a couple desk lamps available or some clamp-on work lights in the garage, then you're all set. I spent $3 on a yard of inexpensive cotton fabric, and $2 on posterboard (I really only needed one though, but now I have a spare if mine gets dirty or creased). You also need shipping tape (or glue) and an Xacto knife (or boxcutter) and ruler. I used the box that our pool vacuum came in.

I reviewed three tutorials (here, here and here). I won't go into too much detail rewriting the steps, but I will try to explain a couple things that I found confusing. Basically you take a regular old box, cut the sides out and cover with white fabric, and put a piece of posterboard inside to serve as a bottom and background for your subject. You shine light through the fabric for perfect lighting and professional looking photos.

Here's what I found confusing:
  • Some tutorials cut 3 sides, some 4. I cut 3 because the posterboard covers the 4th side (the background) anyway. Plus my box is pretty flimsy so I didn't want to take away too much of the foundation.
  • Another discrepancy: It looks like some people slide the posterboard up from the bottom, and in one tutorial they cut a slit in the top/back to slide the posterboard down through. Again, I didn't want to weaken the box any more than necessary so I put the board in from the bottom.
  • The other thing that perplexed me is that you're supposed to let the posterboard curve in the back corner, so how do you place your subject so that it sits flat? And it slides out unless I'm holding it down which doesn't seem right... Comments appreciated here!
I know there are some shadows but I thought these came out pretty good considering I used NO LIGHTS and used my iPhone!

By the way, you don't have to use white posterboard.  Check out this site for some cool pictures with a fuscia posterboard!  Black is popular too.  I'll update when I get a little more experienced.  I have a feeling I'll be making another sturdier one soon :)

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