Lighting is a very important aspect of photography, and can make the difference between a good shot and an excellent shot. However, for most of us that are just starting out, it can be quite expensive to invest in studio lighting, flash diffusers, etc.
Digital Photography School, one of my favourite photography blogs, has an amazing list of tutorials that show you how to create your own lighting equipment at home without spending a ton of money. You can check out the list here:
One thing I noticed in many commercial photographs is the crisp white backgrounds that appear behind objects. A great way to achieve this look is by using a lightbox that creates a soft light effect on the object from above and gives the image a crisp background.


I created my own versions of the lightbox today, one with a black background and one with white. The fabric I chose to use was white fleece, simply because I already had some lying around at home. But any type of fabric will work well. I wasn’t very picky with the box sizes, since it was just to try it out and see how it works. But after seeing the final results, I wish my white box was as big as the black box. I may end up creating another one that’s a bit bigger.


I also created my own lighting (with the help of my awesome dad). At first, I went looking for table lamps and desk lamps that I could use, but I was unsatisfied with everything I saw, so I ended up creating my own version of lighting that can be used to light up the lightbox, as well as be used for portraits and other shots. Here’s what my light looks like:

DIY lightbox

As you can see, the cone is pretty tall. I tried different sizes, and this was what satisfied me the most in terms of how well it lit up the lightbox. Of course, the sizes will vary according to the light bulb you use and the size of your box.

To make the light, I took an old extension cord I had lying around at home, and cut off the end that had the sockets (don’t cut off the end with the plug!). Afterwards you need to pull out the wires from inside the outer rubber covering and attach it to a light bulb holder (my dad helped me with this part). Basically, you need to get one of those light bulb holders (I got mine at Home Depot for 3 bucks) and attach the wires on one end and the light bulb at the other end, and screw it all in place. It only took about 5 minutes to put everything together. I used a bright white light bulb, and a 12ft extension cord (this allows a bigger range of movement if I decide to use the light for portraits). For the cone, I used a piece of black bristol board, with white paper glued on the inside, and wrapped it around the holder and taped it in place.

Here are some samples of how my pictures turned out when taken inside the lightbox:

It’s super easy to make, super cheap, and works super well!! 🙂


If you decide to try it out for yourself, let me know how it turns out! 🙂

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