Thad Allender

photographer, web developer & startup founder based in Brooklyn, NY.

Do It Yourself Lightbox

Professional product photography is one of the most overlooked aspects of running a successful online business. Bad photography can loose you sales. Good, clean product photography can increase sales. After all, your clients are basing their decision largely based on how the product looks in the photograph. This post is for all amateur photographers or online business owners looking for a professional product photography solution on a very tight budget.

Note: Some of the ideas in this post build off of light diffusion ideas available at Strobist.

What you need:

  • Cardboard Box
  • White cellophane (trash bags work too)
  • 11 x 17 white office paper
  • Clear tape
  • Box cutters (the terrorist-free kind)
  • Three 60 watt lamps

DIY Lightbox

  1. Open the box
  2. Cut away windows from three side of the box
  3. Cut your white diffusion bag/cellophane/paper to fit the three windows
  4. Tape the diffusion onto the three sides
  5. Bend and tape the white paper to the bottom of the box, creating a seamless curve down onto the side of the box that was not cut.
  6. Set up the three lights, one on each side of the translucent white diffusion panels on the lightbox.
  7. Set your camera’s white balance on the incandescent setting (the light bulb).
  8. If shooting small products (lets say less than 6 inches tall), then set your camera on macro focus
  9. Start shooting

Total construction time: 15 minutes
This won’t win you the Pulitzer Prize, but it might earn you some sales.
Super Rat Stem


  1. did you manage to get any shot of some of the other products in the works?

  2. Simple yet highly convenient. Did about the same and found out about the possibilities with colored cellophanes for more semi-natural warmth.

  3. what a neat idea, I will try this one out myself 🙂

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