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As Photography Week continues here on the blog, today we are going to talk about light boxes and tents. So, what exactly is a light box or light tent? They are basically boxes with translucent sides that diffuse light onto your product without producing shadows. To use a light box, you place your product inside and point lights through each side and the top to illuminate your product. Light boxes are available in all sizes and shapes. Here’s a few from Amazon:
DIY Light Boxes
It’s not hard to craft your own DIY light box with a cardboard box, some tissue paper, and some desk lamps or photography lights. I dug up a few tutorials around the internet for you: click here, or here, or even here.
Storage Concerns with Light Boxes
Most commercial use light boxes collapse flat – and are easy to store. What’s not easy to store are the lighting components because they are bulky and fragile. Similarly, if you have crafted your own light box from a cardboard box and tissue paper or fabric – it’s even harder to store! Fortunately, the team at Shotbox has solved this problem.
Tell Me About the Shotbox
So glad you asked! The Shotbox is a collapsible light box with lighting inside it! Here’s a few pictures of the features and how it works.
First, the Shotbox includes a tote to carry it and all its accessories fit nicely inside – this fixes the storage issue completely!
When you pull it out, it’s about 4 inches thick in the collapsed state:
To set it up, just pull on the top and it pops together – measuring about 15 inches tall:
Then, plug it in, insert backgrounds, put your product inside – and shoot away!
One awesome thing about the Shotbox is that you can shoot overhead photos as well as straight on due to open spaces on the top of the box. The Shotbox has additional accessories like a cell phone holder (the Sideshot) that connects to the top and additional background packages.
Where Can I Buy the Shotbox?
You can pick up your own at this link. The link provided includes 4 infinity backgrounds, the Sideshot holder accessory, and a similar carrying case. A pack of 48 additional backgrounds (including the ones seen in this post) can be found here.
Sample Photos from the Shotbox
(All photos were taken with my iPhone 6.)
Before you go – I know you are going to ask: Would I recommend it? I absolutely would recommend the Shotbox if product photography isn’t your thing or if you are just beginning. If you’ve already invested in other lighting and backgrounds and have a good understanding of product photography – skip it. So far, I’ve been impressed with the photos I have taken using it. Do take note that if your products are large, this is not a good solution for you.
Tell me in the comments: Do you use a light box for your product photos? Which one?
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.