Light boxes are pretty much essential if you want to take great photographs of your work, but if you haven’t got $100 to spare, you can make your own DIY Light Box really easily.
Light Boxes diffuse the light bouncing off your ceramics, which means the light is spread out evenly when it gets to your ceramics – so you don’t get hard shadows or glare. (This is perfect if you’re having a hard time taking photos of your glossy ceramics)
Another great thing about using light boxes is that you can change the background colour really easily – just by changing the paper that’s inside. You would have noticed that most photos in ceramic magazines have a dark gradient background. While this is currently the norm, you can also play around with brighter colours which could suit your work better. You can get a multi pack of different coloured gradient paper from amazon.
Reasons to make a DIY light box:
- It’s a nice little weekend project to do.
- It’s cheaper than buying a light box.
- It hides the mess of your studio (see: how to organize your studio)
- You can use up some of your materials that are just lying around in your studio anyway (we’re looking at you, cardboard boxes!)
- You can start to take professional photographs of your work.
- You will probably sell more of your work online (who has ever bought something that’s been badly photographed?)
- Having your own photography space makes the task of photographing your work less daunting and less time consuming.
How to make a DIY Light Box:
What you need to make your own DIY Light Box:
- Cardboard box, or just cardboard sheets
- Tissue paper
- 3 desk lights
- Gradient paper (or just use white paper)
- A Knife
- A straight edge
- Duck tape
How to make your own DIY Light Box:
Step 1: Get your materials listed above
Step 2: Cut a hole in 3 sides of your cardboard box (top, left and right) and cut off the other side for the opening.
Step 3: Tape the tissue paper over the holes.
Step 4: Add some background paper to the inside of the box – attach it diagonally from the top corner furthest away from the opening, to the bottom of the opening, and give it a nice curve at the bottom corner.
Step 5: Add two or three lights to the outside of the box
Step 6: Place your ceramics in the middle of the box, and start taking professional photos!
- Mark a point on the inside of your DIY Light Box to show where you should place your work – this means all of your work will be in the same place, and centered correctly when taking photos.
- Use a phone stand or a tripod to hold your camera in position – this means that all of your photos will use the same angle and distance.
- Design your Light Box to be foldable, so you can store it away when you don’t need it.
If you have the time (you only need around 20 minutes!) and if you have the space in your studio (depends on which size you want to make), and if you are currently taking sub-par photographs of your ceramics, then you should invest in making your own DIY Light Box.
Of course, if you have no time, or your DIY skills aren’t up to scratch, then buying a light box is also an option, and if so, then you should check out our blog post about the best light boxes to buy.
Let us know how you get on building your own DIY Light Box in the comments below!