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bright photographs

DIY Photo Light Box - a finish fifty project

Did you ever wonder how people get those beautiful endless finishes in their photos? White and bright shots of their products? This is how (or, at least it is an inexpensive diy substitute). By taking photos inside a box that diffuses natural light from all sides, you can remove shadows and give a white, magazine-like finish to your photos.

I first learned how to make a light box from Alessandra Cave, a beautiful photographer, from whom I took a great class at the Makerie, a lovely retreat in Boulder, CO. I built the first light box for my jewelry tutorials, 24 Days of Glam. Taking photos using the box seriously elevated the level of and look of this this blog as a whole.

My old light box had died a slow death in Boulder and was not worth moving. Making a new one landed on my Finish Fifty list the minute we walked in the door of our new house. I kept putting off building it, though. I tried to take photos every which way in an attempt to get good shots without it–a frustrating proposition.

The box is inexpensive to make. It’s simply a cardboard box, white paperboard and some tissue paper. My excuses piled up–I don’t have the right size box (um, hello, I just moved) or I couldn’t find the tissue paper, (again, with the move). But truly, the light box is so simple and fast to make and the impact on photo quality is SO enormous, I have no idea why I waited. So, here is project 3 from my Finish Fifty list along with a full tutorial. You can see complete Finish Fifty projects here.

Have fun with this!

DIY Photo Light Box Tutorial:

Cardboard box
Tissue paper
Craft knife
Packing tape
White posterboard (should be at least 30% longer than the box length)

Cut off the tops of the box.

Cut out a rectangle 1" shy of sides on three of the four sides of the box.

Pop out the side

Box should look like this after all three sides are cut.
Piece together tissue paper with packing tape to a size large enough to cover one side of the box.
Attach tissue paper to each open side of the box with packing tape.

It should look like this after you cover all three sides.

Cut white poster board the width of the box.

Place the poster board in the box such that it curves inside the box.

Place object inside box at flat part of cardboard. Place box in as much light as possible. Take photos.

Cropped with a little brightening and voila!

Here is another side-by-side to compare. Before:


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