DIY Lightbox for Photography

As I mentioned in my last post, when it comes to photography, I’m on a tight budget. A photographer can spend thousands of dollars on camera gear and accessories and still not have what you need to get a great shot. But I don’t have thousands of dollars and I’m a DIYer. So there are always ways to get around budget limitations. For example, when I want to get a well lit shot of a great looking sandwich or something, I’ll put it in my DIY lightbox. I didn’t buy this lightbox. I just painted the inside of a cabinet with a reflective white paint and put in little brackets to hang some clip on lights. It’s works great.

DIY Lightbox for Photography


Recently I built a quick and easy holder for photography backdrops and made a YouTube video about the project. Sometimes I don’t want the edge of the cabinet in the background of a picture. And with one of these rolls of fabric (white or black) I make the edge disappear. This way the focus is on the subject of the picture and not the background.

How I Use My DIY Lightbox

When taking pictures of food, I like to bounce the light off of the back of the lightbox. The result is food with more depth when lit from behind. You won’t get that flat look non-3D look. Then I’ll use another light in front with a piece of parchment paper clipped over it. The parchment paper diffuses the light for a softer look. This front light fills in any shadows. The parchment paper is made for cooking so you don’t have to worry about heat from the light. The best light is always outside in the morning or the evening. But I blog even in the winter so outside isn’t always the most comfortable choice. And for those times, I’m glad I set up this DIY lightbox.

I recently purchased a used Canon EOS-M mirrorless camera and a decent macro lens. The iPhone 6 on the tripod in the picture above will be retired from active blog duty. It took a lot of research but I finally figured out what was the best camera for blogging for me and my budget.

If you have an unused cabinet or even a old cardboard box you can build a DIY lightbox for photography too.