It doesn't matter if you are trying to learn product photography or you are already a pro. Light box is an extremely helpful tool when it comes to product photography and it can literally transform a regular photo of any item into a professional looking photo that can be easily used for promotion.
Light box is generally used for small and medium sized objects, due to its size. Obviously, it depends on the size of the light box, but typically the size of the square light box is 30-50 cm (around 19 inches). However, that is totally enough for you to create professional looking product photos from the comfort of your home.
When purchasing a light box online, I highly recommend keeping in mind these three things: size, features and portability.
My personal recommendation is to go with a medium sized light box. You might be having problems doing a photoshoot in a small light box and therefore, the result will most likely not be as expected. On the other side, bigger light boxes might be harder to manipulate, fold and bring to other places, where you want to do a photoshoot. Most of them are also easier to get destroyed.
Typically, light boxes don't come with many features. However, in my opinion lighting is the most important. Always look for light boxes that have two or more lights, as the shadows will disappear on the pictures. Having only one light might end up in having too dark spaces - shadows that will disrupt the overall look of your picture.
Most of the light boxes come with a usb port that can be easily plugged in the pc, laptop or an external charger. Others are battery based and have even a small controller, to adjust its color palette or more. Think about features that you will actually use. Do not purchase the light box just because it has lots of cool features and you won't even use them and it will also cost you much more.
It is also important if you can take the light box with you, anywhere you want to go. The majority of light boxes are easy to fold and bring anywhere you go. However, usually the more features it has and the bigger light box is, the more problematic it is to fold and some parts might even get destroyed.
Conclusion: Choose wisely and ask yourself a lot of questions before making a purchase. Do not necessarily go for the best or most expensive option. Sometimes less is more.
I didn't feel like making my own light box at home, so I purchased one from Aliexpress and it works perfectly. It doesn't have many features and the size is also quite limited, but it works for what I need.
I will definitely try to make a diy light box at some point and I will try to share it with you guys here. For now, I can at least show you the light box I have bought.
It comes with 6 color backgrounds and two led lights, with an easy connectivity with a usb port. It cost me around $15 and I have honestly nothing bad to say about it.
Do you want to see pictures I have taken in the light box? Then check out my product photography page.
You can find the light box I bought here. There are lots of other options to choose from, but keep in mind the purpose of buying the light box. As you can see on the picture above, I have 6 different colors to choose from. However, I am mostly using white and black backgrounds as the contrast gives the pictures a real value and feeling.
Check out my product photography page, where I have used my very basic photography light box.
You can easily make a do it yourself (DYI) light box at home, or purchase one online. There are literally thousands of different light boxes, with different additional features, such as more color options, different sizes, foldability and so on. However, if you feel like making one yourself, then keep reading and I will recommend you ways how to do it.
DYI light box
There are plenty of videos on how to make a diy light box for photography. They will usually tell you that it's gonna cost even under $10. Yes, it is possible, but let's be realistic. If you want to use it regularly, then it will cost you a bit more than that.
It all depends on how much you are going to spend on accessories such as light/s, paper, glue and the box itself. As you already might have guessed, the only expensive thing is the light, which you might be able to buy online for actually a quite reasonable price.
I highly recommend watching a couple of videos on YouTube, where you can see the whole process of building your own light box for photography. I recommend watching this and this video to see how they have done it. I have personally watched at least 5 videos before I started to create my own diy light box.
If you are not in a rush, then I highly recommend buying everything from Aliexpress, as the prices are usually very low in comparison with other websites. You will need a LED light, something like this light.
You can also buy a ring light, which is commonly used by bloggers, photographers, but it can also be very helpful when you have an online meeting. The light can really highlight your face and it can be very beneficial for your interview. I recommend this ring light, or this one, which is the half of the price. You can find four options I highly recommend.
You don't even need a professional camera. Cameras on smartphones are nowadays so advanced, that many of them can actually compete with professional cameras. However, if you care about the quality and details, then I definitely suggest you to use a camera. I personally use a Sony Alpha 7ii with 24-70 mm lens.