Great photographs are key to any blog, online store, or social media account. But how to achieve the best product photos or engaging flat lays when you're working on a budget? Try a homemade light box!
Making a light box is easier than it sounds. Not interested in investing the time right now? Check out my review of my light box and whether light boxes are a worthwhile investment. On a budget? Read on for homemade light box tips!
Essentially, a light box is a container that houses and reflects pure white light. This is how products and flat lays tend to look best. Natural light is also great, if you can harness it. Here are two methods for achieving an inexpensive light box set-up at home.
1) Flat Lay Station.
A very basic set-up for home photography involves a large box (plastic storage totes work well), two lamps with high-quality light bulbs, and a large sheet of white paper or foam board.
Set up near a large window that lets in plenty of light. Lay the white material over the plastic box. Position your items on the white background. Try to take photographs when the natural light is bright and even. If you are unable to achieve this sort of lighting (like in my house, where it's always dark), give the lamps a try. They should point in from either side and create even lighting across your paper or foam board.
2) Homemade Light Box.
For higher-quality photos, you can also build a more sophisticated set-up using similar materials. This time, cut the front and sides out of a large cardboard box (you'll be left with three sections of the box; three will be cut away). Attach translucent white paper to each side of the box. Use a long piece of white paper to connect the top of the back side and bottom of the front side. Do not fold it to be flush with the box. Instead, it should curve downward. Next, place a lamp on either side of the white paper and allow it to cast filtered, even light onto the paper below.
Have you ever built a light box? How did it turn out? Share your tips and photos below!