Make a photo light box (basically for free) and take stunning pics with your phone

Make a photo light box (basically for free) and take stunning pics with your phone

Photography can be fun and frustrating, often at the same time. But one thing photography doesn’t have to be these days is expensive. While there are still lots of photo jobs to leave to the professionals, with a little tape and time, you’ll be able to photograph still-life with your phone and be happy with your results.

Got new jewelry into your boutique? Just finished making some beautiful pottery? Below is a step by step instruction guide to building your own DIY photography lightbox out of materials around your home. With this DIY trick, no one will know you don’t have a photo studio in your home.

What you will need:

  1. Large cardboard box
  2. Box cutter
  3. Scissors
  4. White t-shirt (or other translucent material)
  5. Duct tape
  6. Large sheet of white/black paper (depending on what color you want your background to be)
  7. 2 Clamp lights



Here, you are making the two sides of the box that light will flow through. Eventually you’ll cover each side with a t-shirt, but for now remember not to cut it larger than your shirt.


Without that 2-3-inch edge, your box could fall apart and you’ll have a hard time taping anything to it.


This is the window that you will photograph through.


Keep an eye on the size of hole you cut in your box. Remember: measure twice, cut once!


You can tape the shirt inside or outside the box. It shouldn’t affect your finished lightbox.



This paper should be the width of your box, and about twice as long. You want the paper to extend the entire base of the box, then up the back side to make full background coverage underneath your object, and behind it as well.


You will have to tinker and find the exact right spot for your lights. Maybe it’s better for you to clamp them on your table rather than the box itself. I’ve found that the closer the light is to the fabric, the better light comes into the light box.


This is when things get fun! Angle the objects into the light and experiment with what angles work the best. Use your phone to shoot from below, above, the sides – everywhere! Eventually, you will have a stunning photo ready to post on social media. Below are some examples photographed with a 3-year old Samsung smartphone.




Hopefully, more than anything, this will be a FUN project for you. Warning: Photography can become addicting. You might begin grabbing every object around you to photograph in your new lightbox. KE cannot be held accountable. If you’re in need of larger-scale photography, Matterport, or drone shots, give us a call. We love tackling large-scale photo projects, and would happy to work with you.