How to Make a DIY Light Box for Better Product Photography


If you’re an entrepreneur or a maker of great products, blogger or designer, then you know that photography is key to communicating your brand and selling your goods. A beautiful, well-styled picture can elevate your product, build trust, capture media attention, attract customers and generate revenue. But how do you create those images yourself?

Lighting and backdrop are key to any great product photo. From food to shoes, lighting and a crisp background are essential to taking a perfect photo. When the media shows interest in your products, and they want to publish a story featuring your brand, they will want product photos on white backgrounds. There are many reasons for this, but white backgrounds are almost non-negotiable when sending the press your photos.

If you aren't able to hire a photographer who specializes in product photography (and it's important that if you do hire a photographer, that they specialize in this...photographers are gifted in different areas, and a landscape photographer might not take professional looking product shots), then here is your go-to guide for making your own light box that brings you so much closer to having professional grade product photography!

You can elevate the quality of your photos with an easy to make DIY light box in one afternoon!

1. Materials
To make you DIY light box that will create great light, you'll need:

  • a box (size depends on the objects you are photographing)
  • a box cutter
  • packaging tape
  • transparent white paper (I like to use white baking paper)

evi abeler diy light box materials

2. How to Make Your Light Box

With the box cutter, cut off one side of the box completely, then cut out a window on each remaining side. Make sure to leave enough "window frame" so the box keeps it's stability.

evi abeler diy light box step 1 evi abeler diy light box step 2

Cut your transparent paper and tape it to the inside of the "window frames".

evi abeler diy light box step 3 evi abeler diy light box step 4

3. How to Use Your Light Box

Put a light on either side of the box. Clamp lights from your hardware store are good options. Make sure you have the same type and strength of light bulbs in each light. I like to use daylight compact fluorescent bulbs. They do not get hot and have the same color temperature as daylight.

evi abeler diy light box step 5

Set up your product and experiment with different backgrounds and props within your light box. It is easiest to have your camera on a tripod so that you can make changes to your set-up and keep the same camera perspective.

evi abeler diy light box step 6


Product Shots Before and After Using a Light Box

Using a light box can make a huge difference in your product photography. You avoid the harsh shadows you'd get from using your camera's flash, and you get a beautiful soft and even light on your products.

evi abeler diy light box before and after

Plus, see how the photo on the right has an almost perfect white background? Adding a third light that shines through the back of the box will give you an almost perfectly white background. If you wanted to get it even more white, you could cut out the product from this photo using Photoshop, and place it on a pure white "background" color in your graphics program. There are plenty of professionals who are color correctors who could cut ou the picture in far less time with far more precision than most of us, so hiring a professional to cut out a photo for a perfect white background is worth it. However, if you have great products shots from your DIY light box, you may be all set!