Saturday, February 19, 2011

Let There Be Light!

I was recently inspired by a LIVE Etsy Symposium to do everything in my power to have a successful shop. One of the biggest parts of success on Etsy is to have spectacular photographs of your products. I had been taking my photos in my attic in an area I had set up to take photos to the best of my ability, but it really just wasn't good enough. Not only was it hard to photograph certain colors, but it was also very inconvenient to have to run up to the attic every time I needed to photograph a product. My finished items would pile up until I could finally get around to getting it done. That meant less listings to my Etsy shop.
I finally decided I needed to do something about this problem. I searched "How To Make A Light Box" and came up with some great tutorials which all pretty much gave the same directions. I'll share my process with you here...


  • cardboard box (large enough for whatever you are photographing... mine measures 14x14x16 inches)
  • white tissue paper
  • at least 2 lamps with bulbs (get bulbs that are crisp white light... not the basic bulbs that give off a yellow tint
  • tape (I used painters tape)
  • box cutter
  • ruler
  • black or white poster board (I got both to use depending on the color of what I am photographing)

First, assemble the box by taping the bottom. Cut off the remaining flaps (that would normally be used to secure the top). Measure 2 inches in from the sides for the top of your box and 2 of the sides. Draw lines to connect these measurements and cut out the centers with your box cutter.

Cut a long these lines with your box cutter to create 3 square openings- one in the top and 2 on the sides.

Cut the poster board to the width of the box and mount it inside. It should curve down and out- not be made to fit in the bottom back corner of the box. This creates the seamless effect of the background in your photos.

Layer 1-2 sheets of tissue paper over each opening (or however many you need to create the desired lighting effect). Position a lamp on each side (I use desk lamps with positionable necks). I only have lamps on the two sides which has worked fine for me, but you could also position a lamp to shine through the top if you fend that works best for you.

Voila! You are ready to take magnificent photographs! You may still need to do a little light balance editing in photo shop, but you will be amazed at the quality of your photos. Things I was never able to photograph well before turn out spectacularly!

If you found this useful, let me know! I love hearing from you guys!

As always



  1. Getting a better photographing station was on my to do list today. I'm totally going to make one of these boxes. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I forgot to mention that all the supplies I had to buy (box, bulbs-I bought Halogen ones, and tissue paper all cost less than 10 bucks and the majority of that was the bulbs! I got all the supplies at WalMart.

  3. I've just followed you -saw you had signed up for "followers" on sb [I am blackbird 4] and i am tring to get followers myself.Thanks for the tutorial on the light box i'm going crazy tring to get good photos in bad daylight,so I'll try this tomorrow. Sorry I missed you're giveaway.


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