How To Make A White Box For Photography

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Whether you lot’re taking pictures of something you desire to sell online, or you but want to practice your photography, proper lighting is fundamental to getting the perfect shot. You could go out and invest in an expensive lighting gear up up or try and work with natural daylight, just nothing will be quite equally easy to larn and utilize equally a homemade photography lightbox. By adding some diffusing panels to a cardboard box and wielding some cheap lamps properly, you tin can brand a lightbox that’ll requite y’all great shots within an afternoon.

  1. 1

    Choose a paper-thin box big plenty for the object you lot want to photograph.
    Try and find the biggest box that you can, every bit this volition allow you accept pictures of almost anything you’d need to photo. Ask at local shops, find a box you’re no longer using, or look at purchasing one from a storage company to go the perfect paper-thin box.[1]

    • If you want a lightbox that lasts longer, you can use a box made of a more than sturdy cloth. A large wooden box or one fabricated of an opaque plastic would also piece of work. Still, you’ll likely need something stronger than a box cutter, such as a saw, to cut the lighting panels in the side.
  2. ii

    Tape up the flaps on i side.
    Plow your paper-thin box over and fold the flaps down to create a flat lesser. Use packing tape, duct tape, or something like to concur the flaps in place and keep the box steady. Tape down the flaps on the inside of the box likewise, to keep them out of your way while y’all work.[2]

    • Some boxes will come with ane side already held together with paper-thin tabs. While this should keep the box steady equally y’all work, it might pay to record the edges of the box together as well for extra stability.


  3. iii

    Measure out windows on either side of your box.
    Place your box on its side, and so that the open flaps are facing you. Use a ruler to mark a point roughly ii inches (5.1 cm) from each border on ane side of the box. Draw a straight line with a pencil along the edges of the box to connect these points, creating a rectangle with space effectually the edges. Repeat on the opposite side.[3]

    • This will be the size of the window that you will cover with a piece of cloth, parchment paper, or tissue. If you have a particularly big box, you might want to brand the window smaller to ensure that you can still comprehend it with i slice the fabric or paper.
    • You tin can also trace a window on the top of your box every bit well, which will let you to light the particular you’re taking a moving-picture show of from above.
  4. 4

    Cut out the windows in your box.
    Utilize a box cutter or a sharp pair of pair of scissors to cutting along the lines you have marked. Get around each line until you tin can remove a piece of paper-thin in the middle, leaving you lot with a small window. Repeat on the other side to make another window.[4]

    • To keep the lines extra straight, hold a ruler against the pencil lines and cut along them. This won’t impact the functionality of the box but will make information technology wait better.
  5. 5

    Trim a piece of white poster board to be the aforementioned width as your box.
    Place a piece of white poster board or a thick piece of white newspaper over the meridian of the box. Use your scissors or box cutter to trim away any edges, so that it will exist able to fit on the within of your box. The poster board should be the same width as the box, and around twice as long equally the summit side.[5]


    • White poster board works excellently for this, as it will be smooth and will not easily crease within the box. It should be available at your local craft shop for a depression price. If you lot tin can’t observe information technology, whatever large piece of sturdy white newspaper or carte du jour with a matte terminate should work only likewise.
    • White poster lath volition give you an easy “infinity” look equally if the particular you are photographing is sitting in an empty space. Attempt using different colors to get dissimilar cool furnishings.
    • The about of import role of the material that y’all choose is that it has a matte surface. Anything that is too shiny will reflect the lite and ruin the purpose of a lightbox.
  6. 6

    Tape the posterboard to the top inside edge of the lightbox.
    Attach a long slice of duct or packing tape to the top edge of your poster board. Being conscientious not the allow the record impact annihilation else, press it onto the inside of your cardboard box equally close to the top of the back side equally possible. Use another slice of tape to concur the other end of the posterboard to the bottom of the box.[seven]

    • Avert folding or creasing the affiche board every bit much as possible. Try and make it bend so that you have a slight curve along the back bottom corner.
    • Don’t worry about covering the entire box, as long every bit y’all have a wide enough department that you lot can take a picture without seeing any of the exposed cardboard.
  7. 7

    Cut out two pieces of white fabric or tissue paper to cover the windows.
    This volition work to diffuse the light that shines into the lightbox, giving the whole picture even lighting. Cut out some pieces of white fabric, tissue newspaper, or something similar to exist around 1 inch (2.5 cm) bigger on each side than the windows you have cutting.[viii]

    • To brand this easier, you tin can use the piece of cardboard you cut from the box when making the windows as a guide. Place it on the fabric or tissue paper and cut around it, leaving space on each side to adhere it to the box.
    • A smooth white fabric, tissue paper, parchment paper or anything like volition piece of work for this. The cloth you choose just needs to be non-reflective, and let some just non all of the lite through it.
  8. 8

    Tape or glue the fabric or tissue newspaper in place.
    Starting with the top edge of your called textile, use a piece of tape or some hot glue to secure information technology over one of the windows. Let it drape down over the window and secure the other sides with more than record or glue. Repeat for all of the windows you lot have cut until all of them are covered.[ix]


  1. 1

    Put the item yous desire to photo in the heart of your lightbox.
    Place your finished lightbox on a big apartment surface, leaving infinite to position lights on either side. Position the item yous need to photo in the middle of the white surface in your lightbox.[10]


    • Utilise the viewfinder or screen on your photographic camera to help position the item in the lightbox. Shift the camera and the item around until y’all can get a clean shot without any exposed cardboard showing.
    • If you can’t become the item or your camera positioned just right, you can ever ingather the photograph to remove anything you don’t want to be seen. You shouldn’t need to do any other photo editing, but a simple crop can relieve you a lot of careful repositioning.
  2. 2

    Ready up a lamp on either side of the lightbox.
    Lamps that provide directional lighting, rather than ambient lighting, will piece of work best with your lightbox. Find as many desk lamps or other directional lights equally you have windows on the lightbox. Position the lamps so that they are facing directly into the windows y’all have cut, and switch them on.[12]

    • Go on your lights at to the lowest degree five inches (thirteen cm) away from the windows at all time, to prevent the cloth covering them from getting likewise hot.
    • Your lights should exist an even altitude from the lightbox when y’all first plow them on. Try moving different ones farther away or closer to the windows to create some more interesting lighting effects within.
    • Use low-cal bulbs with a absurd white lite for the best results, as other types may give your images a yellowish tinge.
    • You should be able to find inexpensive desk lamps or lamps that can clip onto article of furniture for a few dollars online or at your local homeware or role stationery store.
    • If you don’t have a practiced lamp, feel gratis to use a northern-facing window (for indirect calorie-free) and signal the lightbox at the window to permit the light bounce off the white newspaper.[xiii]
  3. three

    Play with the
    settings on your camera.

    Information technology’s not frequently that you’ll exist taking pictures of something then evenly and brightly lit, so your first pictures might end up being too bright or entirely the wrong colour! Change the shutter speed, ISO, and white balance settings on your photographic camera until your photos look normal.[fourteen]

    • If you’re using a smartphone camera, or a photographic camera with an automatic mode, you shouldn’t need to touch the settings at all.
    • Photos that expect as well yellowish or bluish are normally a sign that your white residual settings aren’t right. If your photos are too dark or too vivid, try adjusting the exposure by changing the ISO, shutter speed, or aperture. Keep on trying until you get a perfect photograph!
  4. iv

    Take the picture.
    Once yous’ve got your item lined upwardly and your camera settings perfect, it’s time to accept the moving picture. Motion the camera around so that there’s nothing other than the white background in the shot, hold it steady, and snap a few pictures![xv]

    • Employ the flaps of cardboard that are left open to block any lite shining from the lamps straight into the camera. Any lite that’s not going through the windows might create a lens flare and reduce the issue of a photography lightbox.


Add New Question

  • Question

    Will white cotton wool work too? How transparent should the cloth exist?

    Community Answer

    Yes, this will work as long equally it is not a heavy thread count. Concur it upwardly to the light to meet if information technology is bright white. Things that do not work include: Cheesecloth, taffeta, upholstery fabric and burlap. White silk is a good fabric to use.

  • Question

    Are special lite bulbs needed? Don’t want it to look yellow!

    Community Answer

    Just apply white low-cal bulbs.

  • Question

    Tin can I practice it with white newspaper?

    Community Answer


  • Question

    Can parchment paper be used instead of cotton?

    Community Answer


  • Question

    Where can I purchase white and black matte poster board from?

    Community Answer

    Target or Walmart probably has it in the craft section, or you could get to a craft store like Joann’s, Michael’s, etc.

  • Question

    My pictures are coming out yellow when I turn the lights on. I am using white bulbs in desk lamps on each side. The pictures look better without the lights on. Why?

    Joseph Hendren

    Joseph Hendren

    Community Answer

    This is likely due to the white residual settings on your camera not beingness adapted to the calorie-free coming from your white bulbs. Turn the lamps on and arrange the settings in the camera until your photos wait the way you want them to.

  • Question

    What wattage of bulb practice I use?

    Community Answer

    Only try whatever yous have — peradventure try fifty-fifty your phone’s built-in wink light if you have a divide photographic camera to accept the picture.

  • Question

    I practise not accept white poster paper. Is there whatsoever other kind of paper I tin use?

    Community Answer

    The reason for the affiche board is that it is more difficult to crease. You could use big printer paper, equally long every bit it’s a bright white, merely you might discover it doesn’t work every bit well as the poster board will, because it develops folds that volition show up in your photographs. You lot can find affiche board at Target or Michael’south Crafts also.

  • Question

    Can I utilise baking paper instead of tissue paper?

    Joseph Hendren

    Joseph Hendren

    Community Answer

    Baking paper is simply another name for parchment paper, so it should work excellently for this project. Annihilation that lets light through while diffusing it should work.

  • Question

    I’ve read about light boxes and a lot of sites use tissue paper. Which is better, paper or material?


    Both piece of work, but paper may be easier to come by.

Show more answers

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  • Brand certain to use matte and not glossy poster lath. Glossy poster board can reverberate the low-cal and cause glare.

  • Try other colors of affiche lath and fifty-fifty cloth to achieve the desired effect.

  • Wear long sleeves in a single color when taking photos to prevent your artillery or the camera from showing upwardly in the reflection of the item you’re photographing.


  • Brand certain lights don’t offset a fire!

  • Be careful when working with a box cutter. E’er cutting away from yourself and from your hands.


Things Y’all’ll Demand

  • Paper-thin box
  • White material, tissue, or parchment paper
  • Matte white poster board
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Box cutter or scissors
  • Desk lamps or other directional lights
  • Camera or smartphone

About This Commodity

Article Summary

To create an inexpensive photography lightbox, start by getting a cardboard box that’s big enough to hold the object yous desire to photograph. Then, tape the flaps at the top downward so they’re not in your mode. Next, turn the box on its side and trace and cut a rectangular window out of one of the sides, repeating on the opposite side when you’re finished. Once you’ve done that, trim a piece of white posterboard to be the same width as the box and and then tape it to the top within edge of the light box. Finally, cutting out ii pieces of white fabric or tissue paper and utilize them to cover the windows you lot cut out.
To learn how to employ your photography lightbox, curl down!

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