Once you've taken a few photography lessons at photography workshops, you'll be eager to try out some of the techniques you've learned. One common way to use your photography skills is to take your own high quality photos for your website by using a light box. Professional light boxes can cost hundreds of dollars. But with these easy instructions, you can make your own version for under $5.
- Decide what you want to photograph. This will determine the size of your light box. Leave enough space on all sides so that light can reflect onto your subject. A minimum of six inches is recommended. Don't leave too much space, because then not enough light will reach your subject from the sides of the box. If you think you will want to photograph subjects of different sizes, you can simply make more than one light box and use whichever one suits your particular needs.
- Purchase a cardboard packing box from a hardware store, but don't put it together yet. Lay the box out flat on a work surface. Use heavy-duty scissors or a carpet cutter knife to cut off the two flaps on one end of the box.
- Use a ruler and pencil to draw a square shape on one of the side panels of the box, two inches in from the edge, all the way around.
- Repeat step 3 on the opposing panel.
- Repeat step 3 on the top panel of the box in between the two panels you've already cut.
- Purchase pure white spray paint from a hardware store. Lay the box out flat in your backyard or workshop, with the inside facing up. Following manufacturer's instructions, spray paint the entire interior of the box. Follow up with a second coat if needed to produce a white opaque effect. Allow to dry thoroughly.
- Cut a long width of thin, cotton white sheeting; enough to cover all three panels of the cardboard box cutouts.
- With the box laid out flat, staple the cotton sheeting in place on the exterior side of the box, making your way around each cutout. Do not stretch the fabric too tight, as you will need some give when you finally put the box together.
- Fold the box together, and use packing tape to secure.
- Your light box is finished, ready for you to use lighting lamps on up to three sides.
As you progress in your photography career, you'll want to experiment with different size light boxes, and different colors of fabric. And at the price of this easy project, you'll be able to afford it.