Best Photography Light Boxes
Photography

Top 9 Best Photo Light Boxes

Lighting is very important in photography – it can be used to create a more dramatic looking scene or to make it seem as if the image has not actually been touched. One of the tools you need when you are trying to take professional product photographs or small objects is a photography light box.

If you don’t have time to read the full article, here’s our 3 stand out picks:

OUR #1 PICK
Orange Monkie Foldio 3 Foldable

  • Incredibly Portable
  • Kickstarter Launched
  • Super Lightweight
  • Quality Add Ons

Check Amazon →
Read our review
LARGEST
Havox Photo Studio HPB Light Boxes

  • Up to 32x32x32 Inch
  • Dimmable LED Lights
  • Easy To Store
  • High Quality Build

Check Amazon →
Read our review
ON A BUDGET
LimoStudio Tabletop Tent Kit with Lights

  • Super Affordable
  • Comes with 2 Lights
  • 1400+ Reviews
  • Multiple Backdrops

Check Amazon →
Read our review

What Is Light Box Photography or a Light Tent?

A light box a very common piece of equipment in the photographic trade and is used mainly for product photography which is commonly referred to as light box photography.

You will notice from a quick search on Google or Amazon, there are a wide variety of different photo boxes (also known as photography light tents) to choose from. How do you buy the right one?

We’re going to help you by taking the hassle out of choosing the best one by reviewing some of the top 10 best photo light boxes available online. Not only will be discussing why we like these particular light boxes, but we will also provide a helpful buying guide that will hopefully set you off in the right direction towards the best photo box for your needs and requirements, and also teach you the basics of how to use a light box to get started.

Best Light Box Photography Picks & Reviews

1. Foldio3 Portable Photo Studio Light Box

Sizes Available 25 x 25 x 22 Inch
Material Molded Plastic
Dimmable Yes
Add Ons Halo Bars, Foldio 360, Backdrops
Qty of LEDs 3 Strips as Standard
Price Range Mid-High End
Customer Reviews Read reviews

Foldio by name, Foldio by design. The Foldio3 is a portable photo studio box that more than lives up to the interesting manufacturer’s name.

A very reputable and popular product, it can fold right down to a thickness of just 1 inch and includes an attached handle to carry it from place to place.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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It includes a triple LED and diffuser lighting system, with three strips of LEDs. There is also a built-in dimming control that can help you to achieve a variety of lighting conditions to suit the subject you are snapping.

This is the fastest to assemble, most lightweight and most portable light box on our list.

We’ve recently published a very comprehensive Foldio 3 Photo Light Box review which covers all the different sizes, models and accessories available. We highly recommend you check it out.

Why buy this model?

  • Super quick and easy setup and folding system make this a hassle-free portable light box to use
  • Addition of a carry handle is helpful for transporting and storage
  • LEDs are very high quality, controllable and adjustable in brightness

2. Havox Photo Studio HPB-80

Sizes Available 16³, 24³, 32³ Inch Boxes
Material Reflective Cloth
Dimmable Yes (on 'D' models)
Add Ons Dimmable LED System
Qty of LEDs Varies on Model
Price Range Mid-High End
Customer Reviews Read reviews

The next light box on our list is the Havox HP-80 Photo Studio which has 60 individual LED lights that produce 5,500 kelvins of daylight colored light that has a brightness level between 12,500 and 13,000 lumens depending on your requirements.

With those numbers and the 93+ on the color rendering index, you can be sure that your light box photography will stand out vibrantly with colors true to real life.

There are two different openings to give you various angles to snap from and thanks to the addition of three different backdrops, you can produce very versatile looking shots. It comes in a handy and robust carry bag and is very easy to install.

We’ve recently put aside the time and done a whole page for the HAVOX Photo Studio review, be sure to check it out if you want to learn more about this light box.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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Why buy this model?

  • One of the brightest lights on our list, thanks to the maximum 13,000 lumens, 93+ CRi, and 5,500 kelvins
  • Range of small to large sizes & flexible shot options from the two openings
  • Diffusing fabric helps to keep lighting consistent and to reduce reflections
  • Easy to set up, simply pop the frame together and wrap the material around

3. Amazon Basics Portable Photo Studio Lightbox Tent

Sizes Available 25 x 30 x 25 Inch
Material Reflective Nylon
Dimmable No
Add Ons AmazonBasics Tripod
Qty of LEDs 3 Strips
Price Range Mid Range
Customer Reviews Read reviews

The second photo lightbox on our list is the budget range, but nevertheless high-quality AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio. This particular photo light box features a 3-door system which gives you the space to take shots from a variety of different angles while reducing reflections.

Thanks to this system shadows are also eliminated or at the very least reduced and you are able to capture images of objects that are incredibly small with reasonable accuracy and clarity.

What makes this photography light box stand out? It’s very user-friendly, portable, designed and manufactured to a high standard and available at a very competitive price.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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Why buy this model?

  • Easy to setup portable light box
  • Allows you to take a wide variety of angled images thanks to the 3 door system
  • Enables you to capture images of the incredibly small and large items
  • Unfortunately, the LEDs aren’t dimmable, so creative photographers are better off with a different model

4. Samtian LED Light Shooting Tent

Sizes Available 24 x 24 x 24 Inches
Material Nylon
Dimmable Yes
Add Ons Backdrops, Brightness Dimmer
Qty of LEDs 126 Piece Light Bead
Price Range Mid Range
Customer Reviews Read reviews

Sitting at the mid-price end of the market, the Samtian professional light box shooting tent is a great option if you are looking to sell small products or work on your small subject photography. The perfect box design is easy enough to install and is made from soft, but durable nylon. In fact, it takes just 5 steps to transform what looks like a small folder into a fully functional light box.

While the exterior is black, the interior walls are made from a highly reflective material which helps to distribute the illumination provided by the 126-piece LED light bead more evenly. Thanks to a selection of different openings around the box, you can angle your shots precisely to make sure every shot is perfect.

The additional items are obviously what bumps the price up on this product. However, we still think it’s reasonably priced considering you get 6 different colored backdrops (beige, red, gray, blue, white and black) and a dimmer controller.

Whether you are planning on using it with your digital camera or just your smartphone, you will find the Samtian photography light box is effective and versatile. It is versatile, flexible and easy to use.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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Why buy this model?

    • Wide variety of shooting angles possible thanks to the different openings in the tent
    • The interior walls are made from a reflective material that increases the brightness
    • Excellent value backdrops and dimmer make this worth the price tag

5. MyStudio MS20 Tabletop Photo Light Box Review

Sizes Available 20 x 20 x 12 Inch
Material Metal, Card & Plastic
Dimmable No
Add Ons Canopies, Jewlry Packs & More
Qty of LEDs Fluorescent or LED Models
Price Range High End
Customer Reviews Read reviews

The MyStudio MS20 is dubbed as a professional tabletop photo studio lightbox kit and judging by the price, many of you may be hoping that this is true.

There is an LED model and fluorescent version available, the fluorescent model includes a 15-watt fluorescent bulb that produces 5,000 kelvins of light (learn more about Kelvins and color temperature) with a CRi of 92 for a strong and intense beam.

The lights are held up and you can position them through a full 90 degrees for better lighting. As the term professional probably suggests, this is an ideal lighting solution if you are looking to take photographs of products for an online store or auction site.

The material used has a seamless design that gives your photographs an extra elegance and professionalism and it is also highly waterproof too.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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Why buy this model?

  • Perfect lighting solution for professional product images
  • Seamless design makes your product images look all the more professional
  • Comes with an instruction DVD to get you started

6. Fotodiox Pro LED Studio-in-a-Box

Sizes Available 16, 20, 24 & 28 Inch Models
Material Reflective Nylon
Dimmable No
Add Ons No Official Ones
Qty of LEDs Integrated Strip Lights
Price Range Mid Range
Customer Reviews Read reviews

As well as the integrated LEDs, this Studio-in-a-box from Fotodiox also has a diffusion panel which helps to soften the light. There is also a selection of different vinyl backgrounds in three different colors – white, black and blue.

As with many of the items on this list, it is very easy to setup and because of the shoot-through hatch in the top, you can arrange the box to get an array of different angled shots. Comes with its own carry case and handles.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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Why buy this model?

  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Carry case is excellent for transportation and storing the light box away when not in use
  • Shoot-through box provides flexibility with the angle of shots you can take

7. Slow Dolphin Portable Photo Studio Box Kit

Sizes Available 9.4 x 9.1 x 8.7 Inches
Material Nylon Cloth
Dimmable No
Add Ons Backdrops
Qty of LEDs 2 x 20 Piece Strips
Price Range Budget Range
Customer Reviews Read reviews

The incredibly affordable Slow Dolphin portable shooting tent kit is what we want to talk about next. First things first, it’s very easy to set up and folds out in seconds. You simply secure the snap-style buttons together to create a firm and sturdy structure. When you are finished using it, it folds back down into a compact package that’s the same size as a piece of paper.

You also get the benefit of two different openings, affording you the freedom to choose a variety of angles to get the best shots for your products or small subjects.

The LED light strips feature 20 bright white bulbs that provide bright, but even illumination that enables you to show off your products or small items in the best light possible with limited reflections and shadows.

To give you some versatility with the color of your shots, to help different colored items really stand out, you also get 6 backdrops in green, blue, red, orange, black and white. Really, the thing that impressed most about this is the price point and just what you get with it.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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Why buy this model?

    • Portable and incredibly compact – approximately the size of a piece of paper
    • 6 different backdrops are included – amazing for a product at such a low price point
    • Folds and unfolds very easily, meaning it’s not a battle to set it up

8. Amzdeal Light Box Photo Studio

Sizes Available 20 x 20 Inch Model
Material Reflective Nylon
Dimmable No
Add Ons Comes with Diffusers & Carry Bag
Qty of LEDs Integrated Strip Lights
Price Range Low-Mid Range
Customer Reviews Read reviews

The next photo light box we are listing is from Amzdeal and consists of 2 LED strips of 20 LEDs each and it produces 5,500 kelvin in color temperature at a brightness of 4,027 lumens. The fact that it produces light that is 80+ on the color rendering index, means that there will be no issues having bright enough light for your professional photographs.

There is two windows, one at the top and one at the front that enable you to take a number of different angled pictures and because the silver reflective material is used on the interior, the light is retained within the box. There is a standard white backdrop and 2 other photo backdrops in orange and black.

The installation is as easy as pie and it comes with a carry bag, much like the others on this list.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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Why buy this model?

  • Extremely bright and vibrant colored light
  • Multiple choices of angles to take snaps from
  • 3 different backdrops, white as standard, as well as orange and black
  • The light diffuser helps to reduce glare

9. LimoStudio Table Top Photo Light Tent Kit

Sizes Available 16 or 20 Inch Models
Material Pop Up Nylon
Dimmable No
Add Ons Optional Tripod & Lights
Qty of LEDs None as Standard
Price Range Budget Range
Customer Reviews Read reviews

LimoStudio are the brand behind the next entry and is a tabletop photo light tent kit that includes 2 LED strips capable of producing 5,500 Kelvins with a brightness of 600 lumens each.

It is a full kit and comes with a tripod for holding your camera in place to take professional standard shots avoiding the dreaded shaky hands.

It is just as easy to disassemble as it is to assemble, making it easy to store away and transport. The product has been made to a very high standard and for the price is quite a robust light box.

Read Recent Customer Reviews on Amazon.com →
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Why buy this product

  • A cheap, low-end product that gets the job done
  • Apart from the actual camera, this kit includes all you need – even a small tripod
  • The brightness and color temperature of the included LEDs means you can take visually appealing photographs – great if you are taking product shots
  • Carry case makes it easy to store away and transport

Photo Light Box Buyers Guide

Now that we have looked at what we feel are the top 10 best photo light boxes you can buy online, we thought it was only fair to discuss some of the important things you need to consider when choosing the right one for your needs.

We hope this section is especially helpful if you are a newbie to photographing products or small objects and want to get the best shots possible, and don’t know the first thing about a photography box or how to use a lightbox for photography

We will give you the lowdown on the important factors you need to take into consideration before making that final decision to purchase a light box, as some of them can be quite expensive.

Figure Out The Size of Lightbox You Need

As most portable light boxes are available in a wide array of different shapes and sizes, it is important to think carefully and work out what will suit you.

What Size Light Box to Buy

The best way to do this is by measuring the biggest object or objects you are planning to take photographs of using a light box. Make sure you measure the width, height, and even depth. Write these figures down so that you have a note of them when you are looking at lightboxes online, so you can always refer to the numbers and don’t end up buying something that is too big or too small for your needs.

Importantly, if you plan to use a lightbox for product photography, remember also to take measurements of any props you intend to photograph along with the objects – display hooks, boxes and jewelry stand for instance.

Ideally, you need a photo box that can hold everything with plenty of space around the edges for the backdrop to make it into your shots. You will undoubtedly want to avoid sides and corners of the light box being visible in your shots. If you can’t find a light box big enough for your photography needs then you may need to consider creating a lifesize light box environment using backdrops and speedlight softboxes or umbrella lighting.

If you have any items or products that are too big too fit inside even a fairly big light box, you might have to consider snapping them outside of the box in a more natural setting.

Top Tip – when it comes to buying a lightbox, if possible, always try to buy one that is slightly bigger than you actually need. Not only will this mean that you have plenty of space to play around with, if you need to take pictures of bigger items than the ones you did initially, you may not have to look to buy a bigger light box.

Tips for Improving Product Photography
Image source: Creative Box

Tips for Better Product Photography

Ask any expert about what it takes to take the best product photography and they will all say the same thing – you need to become an expert in using light. If there is one thing that will elevate your photographs from just being okay to professional, it’s achieving those perfect shadows and angles.

We’re not going to lie to you it does take a lot of practice and time. We know, boring. But, stick with it and you will get there. There are also some great editing tools you can do to give your shots that slick finish.

The key to professional product photography lighting is having the right setup. Your budget may not allow you to splash out, at least not when you are just starting out. There are, though, some basic and affordable items that can improve your shoots almost immediately.

Check out the following tips to see how you can switch your product photography game up to the next level.

Always Use a Tripod

We can’t emphasize just how important this is enough, but whether you are using your smartphone or a full-on DSLR camera, it’s crucial you use a tripod to ensure those shots are perfectly in focus. Even if you think you have the steadiest hand, use a tripod!

You don’t need to spend a lot – you just need something that’s going to keep your camera or phone still while taking photos.

Using a Sweep

Always Use a Sweep

For the uninitiated and newbies, sweeps are basically solid backdrops that are normally white, but come in various colors that provide you with a backdrop that has no creases between the wall and floor. This helps you to easily compose shots and keeps a sense of continuity between photographs, even if you change the position or item.

Sweeps can also help to eliminate most glare and noise which in turn can reduce the time you need to spend editing your images.

Using Bounce Cards for Product Photography
Image source: SLR Lounge

Invest in Bounce Cards

The use of bounce cards gives you greater control over the shadow and light levels in your photography.

Bounce cards come in two different colors – black and white. Black bounce cards are used to help emphasize the shadows, while white bounce cards, you’ve guessed it, brighten up shadows to reduce them.

Pro Tips – Make sure you have at least two of each to hand and find a way to prop them up so you don’t have to hold them, as that will free your hands up. Also, if you don’t feel you can afford to invest in proper bounce cards, you can just use printer paper, poster board or a foam board for the same purpose.

For more great ideas of how to achieve the best lighting, why not check out our comprehensive guide to taking professional product photography.

Determine Your Available Budget

Although they are all different prices, depending on how complex the setup, you can expect to pay anything between $30 and $200 approximately. There are high-quality light box kits available at most price points. However, if you try to save money, without considering the value of a particular box, you could miss out on the benefits of some of the extra features and accessories models have for the higher prices, or higher quality lights and increased durability.

When you are looking for something that you are going to use to take professional photographs with, it’s okay to want to save a little bit of money. That being said though, you need to have the proper expectations with regards to the quality. Less rarely ever means better, a term especially true in the photography industry.

Think About The Extras and Accessories You Really Need

Photography Lighting AccessoriesAs you can undoubtedly tell from the 10 we have highlighted and from other points in this post, or even just from your own searches; there are a lot of different light boxes for sale right now. Many of them are sold as an all-in-one, all-inclusive products that supposedly provide you with everything you could ever need and want. Tabletop studio kits attempt to be “all-inclusive”, giving you everything you need in one convenient package to help streamline your product photography process.

While it is certainly true from a value point of view, if you were to buy many of the accessories and extras included in these bigger more expansive kits separately, it would cost you a lot more than if you just bought them together in a set.

What you really need to give some thought to is whether you actually need the extras and accessories. If you are rarely going to be taking pictures outside of your home or workspace, then a carry case may not actually be necessary. Likewise, you may not need a tripod or even backdrops, if you already have a reasonably good lighting setup in your studio or home.

In Summary

There we have it ladies and gentlemen and all budding photographers, our guide to the top 10 best photo light boxes and many of the important factors to take into consideration when making the right choice for your needs and requirements. You now have all you need, so the only thing left for us to say is happy shopping and even happier snapping!

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19 comments

Avatar
Nate August 31, 2018 at 3:28 am

What, in your opinion, makes the Foldio3 better than the AmazonBasics? Also. How does the durability compare between them?

Reply
David Willis
David Willis September 8, 2018 at 9:30 am

Hi Nate, sorry for the delay in getting back to your comment, it was lost in a sea of daily spam.

I’d personally go for the Foldio3 all day long, it’s well made and wont break that’s for sure! Not sure if you’ve seen it but we recently done a full review of the Foldio 3.

You may not even need to Foldio3 if the products you’re photographing aren’t that big, you may be able to get away with a Foldio 1 or Foldio 2 and save quite a bit of money!!

Hope that helps 🙂
David

Reply
Avatar
T Man September 13, 2018 at 8:00 pm

I’m the perfect example of all the gear and absolutely no f’in idea, do you have any guides on how to use a lightbox for photography? Any Youtube links or guides you recommend would be awesome man!

T

Reply
Avatar
David Willis September 14, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Check this vid out 😉

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Avatar
Sara & Pablo E September 25, 2018 at 8:02 pm

PLEASEE HELP US DAVID!!!!!

we make homemade necklaces and for the life of us can’t get a decent shot with our phones. We’ve looked into a lightbox for product photography before but couldn’t justify the cost at the time as we didn’t want to buy a cheap one that wouldn’t last.

Our budget is pretty fixed at 100 bucks, what would you buy if you were in our shoes?

Louise & Pablo

Reply
Avatar
Keith October 1, 2018 at 8:19 am

Reading the tons of different light box reviews on the web I’m still not 100% on which to buy :'( I sell jewelry on eBay. What would you recommend? Thanks

Reply
David Willis
David Willis October 2, 2018 at 9:20 am

Check out Fovitec model Keith, it uses reflective sides which should give you some nice light refractions when it comes to the jewelry reflections.

Hope that helps bud 🙂

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Aaron C. Satterwhite November 1, 2018 at 1:44 pm

I’ve just bought a new cheap photo light box but am not very happy with it as there’s a ton of work in Photoshop to remove the crappy background.

I read your full Folio 3 review, but can you confirm that decent light boxes will reduce my photoshop time? Taking me about 20 minutes a picture at the minute would rather invest in better kit and save time.

Reply
David Willis
David Willis November 1, 2018 at 10:25 am

100% Aaron! The saying buy cheap buy twice comes to mind with this one.

When it comes to photography you can rarely get away with buying cheap equipment if you want professional results. The more expensive models in this list have perfectly smooth backgrounds so you won’t have all the creases and other ‘crap’ to edit out. You won’t regret spending $100-$200 trust me!

David

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Natalie November 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm

Hi David, very helpful article. What would be your first choice for high end Jewellery product photography. Clear white backgrounds, top quality. price is not relevant.

Reply
David Willis
David Willis November 6, 2018 at 5:06 am

Hi Natalie,

Thanks for your message 🙂 Glad it was helpful.

For high end jewelry photography, I’d definitely go for one of the Orange Monkie Foldio light boxes if money isn’t an issue (I actually used to work as a high end jewelry/watch photographer :D), although you may not need the big Foldio 3 so might not be very expensive but It’s an amazing piece of kit with some great extras you can optionally add on later (such as a 360 turn table).

Hope this helps 🙂
David

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Avatar
Tim James November 11, 2018 at 6:25 am

David, I work for an auction house and we’re looking to start putting our catalog online.

What would you recommend as the best tabletop photo studio kit for a wide variety of different sized items? Will we need proper lighting umbrellas and backdrops for the bigger stuff along with a small photo light box for product photography?

Would appreciate your guidance.
Thanks, Tim

Reply
David Willis
David Willis November 11, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Definitely get both if you have large objects otherwise half your product photography will look professional and the other half not! The Havox light box is probably the largest you’ll find on this list so be sure to check that out!

In terms of the larger stuff, most softbox light kits or photography umbrellas will do the job for you. I’ve linked a few guides here for you 😉 (P.s – here’s the difference between the two types of lighting incase you’re interested!)

David

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Walter January 19, 2019 at 2:28 am

I see a lot of interest in product photography.

How about flower macro photography using a table-top light box? What light box might you recommend? I am thinking of maybe 24” square with semi-transparent sides for side lighting. What lights would be appropriate? I think the bright led lighted boxes would be too bright and not allow adjustment of light placement to enhance the photos. Or am I going about this all wrong? Thank you?

Reply
David Willis
David Willis January 20, 2019 at 3:42 am

Hi Walter,

Great question my friend.

To be honest, most flower macro photography is done outdoors in their natural environment (this provides a nice natural blurred background) which is why you don’t see much about light boxes and flower macro photography.

When it comes to macro, especially flowers, the aim of the game is to not illuminate the whole subject (only accent lighting) so you’d need to use some form of mini LED spotlights with either color filters, diffusers or tracing paper/baking paper.

Alternatively, perhaps a halo ring (like this one) if you’re using a DSLR?

A good halo ring with adjustable brightness should allow you to capture images like this:

But thaat does render a photography light box a bit redundant, other than giving you some control over the light from other sources or providing a clean background.

Hope this helps Walter!
David

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Jeslyn February 13, 2019 at 7:32 am

Hello David, if i would like to use the light box for product photography – such as snacks, beverages. Which light box would you recommend?

Reply
David Willis
David Willis February 16, 2019 at 6:51 am

Hi Jeslyn, thanks for your comment.

Food and drink photography can be difficult due to reflections showing in metalic or shiny surfaces (much the same in jewlry photogaphy). Because of that I’d recommend a photo light box with built in lights as it will diffuse the light more evenly.

If budget isn’t an issue, the MyStudio MS20 is probably the best for even diffusion, alternatively the Foldio will do just as good of a job and is bit easier to move and store.

We’ve reviewed the Foldio light box here and reviewed the MyStudio MS20 here.

We’ve also recently published some product photography tips here which might give you some ideas.

Hope that helps 🙂

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Deborah Salmi February 18, 2019 at 10:29 pm

Hello David,
Thank you for this informative article. I went on to read your other articles, but I am still undecided on a light box. My products are candles in glass and tin containers. The largest jar is about 5″ tall. But since the jars are glass, they are reflective, so I’m wondering if I need more light bars rather than less.

Also, I do “flat lays” that need a bit of space and are photographed from above, so a top opening would be good.

Do you have any favorites for these circumstances? Thank you!

Reply
David Willis
David Willis February 20, 2019 at 7:14 am

Hi Deborah!

When it comes to glass photography, all rules go out the window I’m afraid. There is no ‘ideal’ setup for it, every piece of glass refracts light differently so lighting is generally moved around for every product.

I’m not too sure of you budget, but given you need full control of lighting you might be best off with an ‘open air’ light box, like the MyStudio MS20 light box.

It’s not the prettiest of the light boxes, but it offers the most flexibility in terms of lighting as there are no fixed sides. You’ll be able to use household lamps, natural light, mini spotlights and a range of other possibilities which should give you enough ways to photograph your products.

I’ve not had much glass photography experience but I know that no two pieces of glass are alike, thus the setup will need to be moved around according to how it looks through your camera viewfinder.

P.s – The photography you have on your site looks pretty good already in my eyes! Good job.

Hope this helps in some way!
David

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