1 May 2009

Photography Tutorials: Photographing with a Light Box

For those crafters and artisans out there who aren’t home during daylight hours or who prefer to shoot in a controlled light environment, a light box is a fantastic option. This week I sought the help of the very talented Kim Turley, a photographer who has, in my opinion, mastered the art of photographing with a light box.

As you can see in the photo above, the light box provides a clear, consistent light source perfect for displaying the true color and detail of your work. Kim has kindly shared her fabulous (and affordable) light box set-up:

She purchased the tent above (called the “Square Perfect”) for $35 online, but also recommends this tutorial from the Digital Photography School for folks who want to build their own for just a few pennies.

Kim’s favorite sources of artificial light are her metal clamp work lights with reflective dishes that she purchased at Home Depot. These lights come in three sizes: she currently uses two medium-sized lamps and plans on purchasing one large lamp to complete her set. Kim recommends the n:vision CFL 100 watt “daylight” bulb of at least 100 watts. The clamp lights allow you to position and accurately direct the light, and the lights do not overheat (Kim has tried using fluorescent lighting and warns that these lights get super hot!)

Photographing your products doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – Kim estimates that her lights (including reflective dishes and bulbs) cost $13, a small investment that will certainly enhance your wares and hopefully boost views and sales.

After you photograph your products, go have a little fun with your lights, as Kim has done here:

(I thought this shot of hers would make you smile!)

Please feel free to visit Kim’s Etsy shop and her blog for more great tips!

Written by Michelle of MKC Photography


  1. Excellent post. I need all the help I can get with my photos!

  2. Thank you so much for interviewing me about my thrifty photo techniques :P I'm so happy to share them with people who can use them!


  3. great post..that photograph of the strawberry is awesome

  4. great post and super helpful

  5. Thanks for this post - I have a light tent but never use it because I can't seem to get satisfactory lamps ... they never seem to be bright enough or too blue.
    I shall have to keep looking


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