DIY Light Box for great home-made product pics

one of my first tests

one of my first tests

Professional great product pictures cost.

I suck at taking pictures. I honestly am really bad at it. But after making my little children’s book and wanting to promote and/or sell it to online shops, I realized I would need good quality pictures of it. I asked around and realized that product photography can get quite expensive. I had an offer for 5 high resolution files for 150 euros and that was a friendly price. Don’t get me wrong, I know that photographers have to invest a lot in equipment, that good cameras are expensive and so is professional lighting as well as photo processing programs, such as adobe photoshop. Therefore the high price is justified. After all, photographers are making art and I am a big fan of supporting artists.

Professional great product pictures are worth it.

Great product pictures are costly, but in my humble opinion they are a worthy investment. After all, presenting your product properly brings in more clients and it is more likely that your product picture will be shared on social media, therefore will reach a greater audience. If I had a big budget, I would not hesitate to dedicate a large part of it to product photography. However, my budget is small. Well, more like tiny.

Professional great product pictures can be a DIY project.

So what do you do if you have a tiny budget but really want to present your product in the best possible way? You DIY. That’s what you do. Once again, it was N., my life partner, manager and mentor who suggested I stop being lazy and google a bit, to see if I can take decent pictures on my own. After all, we do have a pretty good camera and there should be a way to work around the Dutch dull light and early sunsets. And indeed, there is. All you have to do is google “DIY light box”.

another one of my first tests

another one of my first tests

So yesterday I made my first light box, that cost a fraction of the price of what 5 professional pictures would have cost me. In fact, here is a break-down of the cost:

  • cardboard box: free. We have tons of them. A sturdy moving box is a good option as well.
  • 2 lamps that you can put on your desk/move around as needed. Mine cost me 8 euros each.
  • warm white or daylight light bulbs. I got the energy saving ones and they cost me 5 euros each.
  • White paper or fabric, to line your light box. I just used our A4 printer paper and I am going to try with a leftover piece of fabric as well.
  • I also bought a new set of cutters, just because I love my exacto knife too much to use it for cutting boxes. That was about 2 euros.
  • I also used some tape and I already had that at home.

So in total my first light box set up cost me less than 30 euros and now I have the essentials to create bigger/smaller boxes without having to pay extra. I do have photoshop on my laptop anyway, because I use it for my illustrations work, but I am pretty sure you can find similar free software as well.

Here is how my first light box looks like:

my first DIY light box

my first DIY light box

Now, even though it worked great for small objects, as you can see from the glasses and pomegranate pictures, it is too small for my book pictures. There are lots of shades around and there is just not enough space to position the book the way I would like. Therefore, I will make a second light box the following days and take pictures while making it, in order to help you out with your own DIY endeavor.

Here is how the book picture from my first light box looks like:

that's why I need a bigger light box.

that’s why I need a bigger light box.

So stay tuned for more DIY product photography and learn with me, as I learn 🙂

(I might even start using my camera settings one day!)

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