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How I Made a Homemade Photo Box

Studio setup for homemade photobox for microstock photography

My studio setup for homemade photobox for microstock photography

I recently posted about taking photographs for microstock photography using my new homemade photo box. Here is how I made mine, using only materials that I had on hand:

How I Made my Photo Box:

1. I found a fairly large box, roughly 14x18x16. This box can be different sizes, but you don’t want it too small. A roughly square shape is desirable too.

2. I located a roll of rice paper and duct tape. Other materials can be used, such as white tissue paper, light white fabric, etc. I had rice paper sitting in my closet, so that’s what I used. Of course, masking tape can be used instead of duct tape.

3. With the box opening facing me, using an Xacto knife I cut an opening into the left side, right side, and top, leaving about a 2 inch frame around each opening. I was not very particular with measurements – I did this freehand.

4. I cut rice paper large enough to cover the 3 openings.

5. I used duct tape to secure the rice paper over each opening.

6. I cut the cardboard pieces off of the box top (which is the front opening of the photobox), except for the bottom piece.

7. I cut a long piece of rice paper and taped this to the back inside of the photobox. This is used as the white background for photographed objects within the photobox. This piece of rice paper can always be replaced if it develops any wrinkles, stains, or other imperfections, as you will not want to remove these imperfections with Photoshop every time.

8. I am experimenting with various desk/portable lamp combinations. You will need a combination of lights angled from the top and side(s) of the photobox to achieve the lighting that you want.

9. I’ve also learned the trick of placing a square of clear glass (I used a piece of glass from an old picture frame that I wasn’t currently using) on the white rice paper backdrop (the part that extends to the bottom of the photobox). This adds that subtle reflection that is popular in some stock photography. Of course, the addition of this glass is optional, depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

Photobox Setup and ‘Springified’ Deck

Spring plants and hanging baskets
Our “Springified” Deck

Hope you had a great weekend. I was able to accomplish what I set out to do for this weekend, despite some setbacks….devastating tornadoes and storms were in our area and knocked our power out for awhile, but luckily, Carrollton was spared from the tornado’s path. I feel for those who weren’t so lucky, though…

After our local garden center cleaned up its mess from the storm, I picked out some plants for hanging baskets and potted plants to “Springify” our deck (see above).

I also entered photographs into a photography competition…I don’t usually give much stock to these competitions, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed….

Studio setup for homemade photobox for microstock photography

My studio setup for homemade photobox for microstock photography

I worked on my stock photography photobox setup (above), and took a few photos which I submitted to Fotolia. The results on whether or not they are selected usually takes a couple of days. If they’re not accepted, I’ll try my backup microstock site, BigStockPhoto. My setup includes a macro lens on my Canon 50D, a tripod, macro ring light for a little frontlighting of the products, my homemade photobox, and two hand-me-down lamps used for side lighting and are  currently not serving any other purpose. I think some additional light would benefit this setup, so next time I will find another lamp that is just sitting around. Not bad for FREE – using materials I already had.

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