Inter­est­ed in sub­ject pho­tog­ra­phy? Want to shoot a small item for a mag­a­zine, adver­tise­ment, cat­a­log or social media? You don’t even have to rent a sep­a­rate stu­dio for this. It is enough to buy a pho­to box for sub­ject shoot­ing with back­light. About what it is and how to work with it, they told in this arti­cle. Prices for all prod­ucts are cur­rent at the time of writ­ing.

A back­lit pho­to box is a great solu­tion for shoot­ing small objects. Pho­to: mscheevious.com

What is a lightcube and what is it for?
How to take pho­tos in pho­to­box
The best pho­to box­es
How to make a DIY pho­to­box

What is a lightcube and what is it for?

Both names of this item already reveal its pur­pose. This is a cube, light box, mini stu­dio, which is suit­able for shoot­ing var­i­ous sub­jects.

The design usu­al­ly does not have one front wall. Just through this hole inside the struc­ture, you can put an object for shoot­ing. And from this side put the cam­era. But there are mod­els in which this wall is, but it comes unfas­tened, leans back, or it has a slot for the cam­era.

The bot­tom and back wall of the struc­ture are a “sub­ject table”. The side walls are made of a dense, white mate­r­i­al that dif­fus­es light (iden­ti­cal to what is installed on the front of the soft­box).

There are mod­els already with built-in light­ing (they are usu­al­ly more expen­sive). And there is with­out it. In this case, an addi­tion­al light source is need­ed. The beam (or beams) is direct­ed to the walls of the pho­to­box. Light is scat­tered through the fab­ric. As a result, not hard direct light, but dif­fused light hits the pho­tographed object. If the design has a built-in back­light, then addi­tion­al light­ing is not need­ed.

An exam­ple of using a pho­to­box by a man­i­curist. Pho­to: hakume.xanudimez.ru.net

LED pho­to­box is need­ed for:

  • com­pa­nies that sell small items. For exam­ple: jew­el­ry, wood fig­urines, gad­gets for phones, glass­es, shoes, hats. Pho­tos tak­en in a lightcube can be placed on a web­site, in print­ed cat­a­logs, used for design­ing social net­works, brand books, etc.;
  • pho­tog­ra­phers who shoot things for cat­a­logs, online stores. If you want to focus on com­mer­cial prod­uct pho­tog­ra­phy, a back­lit prod­uct pho­tog­ra­phy lightcube is the right pur­chase;
  • food shoot­ing. Pieces of cake, cup­cakes and cake pops — all this can be shot in a pho­to box. Such pic­tures can be used in adver­tis­ing brochures, elec­tron­ic and print­ed menus;
  • man­i­cure mas­ters. Recent­ly, users have ceased to be impressed sim­ply by pho­tos of nails with decor. The view­er needs a high-qual­i­ty pic­ture, prop­er light­ing, glare that empha­sizes the ele­gance of the nails. In addi­tion, prop­er light­ing helps to assess the clean­li­ness of the man­i­cure itself. Or reveals all the flaws that (under nor­mal light­ing) the mas­ter can hide. There­fore, shoot­ing a man­i­cure in a pho­to­box is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to show skill, clean cuti­cle pro­cess­ing and flaw­less cov­er­age.

With Lightcube you can:

  • take great macro shots with soft light­ing;
  • get pro­fes­sion­al pho­tos with­out a stu­dio in any room;
  • take a pho­to on a white back­ground. They are then con­ve­nient to process and use for any pur­pose. By the way, there are pho­to­box­es in which you can change the back­ground col­or. For exam­ple,

Fal­con Eyes LFPB‑3. The set includes black, blue, red and white back­grounds.

Pho­to box­es come in dif­fer­ent sizes and shapes. For exam­ple, not only in the form of a cube, but also in the form of a par­al­lelepiped. Pho­to: dpreview.com

How to take photos in photobox

one. Use man­u­al shoot­ing mode. This will give you bet­ter con­trol over the light­ing. You can also select man­u­al focus. This will help increase the con­trast. White bal­ance is also bet­ter to set man­u­al­ly. This will help to achieve a nat­ur­al trans­mis­sion of shades in the pho­to (as in life).

2. Exper­i­ment with light­ing. It is not nec­es­sary to put a lamp on each side. You can illu­mi­nate an object from above, behind, com­bine dif­fer­ent light sources.

3. Get a tri­pod. Most often, lightcubes are placed on the table. And it’s hard to stand in a bent posi­tion for a long time. Hands get tired quick­ly and begin to trem­ble. A good tri­pod will get rid of this prob­lem.

four. Do not neglect col­ored back­grounds. White back­ground is good. But on bright red, deep blue, juicy green, you can get great shots. The main thing is that the select­ed back­ground is com­bined with the sub­ject.

5. Exper­i­ment with sub­ject place­ment. You can put it not only in the cen­ter. Change its posi­tion to get a dif­fer­ent shad­ow. And if you want the thing to look more volu­mi­nous, shoot it from above and from the side.

Such equip­ment can be used for both ama­teur and com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­phy. Pho­to: fatllama.com

The best photo boxes


Mod­els with walls up to 45 cm. Need­ed for shoot­ing nails, very small items (jew­el­ry, glass­es, sta­tionery). There are very cheap mod­els. For exam­ple, Fal­con Eyes Macro Cube. Option with walls of 25 cm, built-in light­ing for 1640 rubles. The case is made of plas­tic, and the LEDs are attached to mag­nets. They can be moved along the walls to choose the best loca­tion.

If you need some­thing com­pact, a lightcube with 30 cm walls is a good option. It assem­bles quick­ly, there are LEDs on the top and on the sides. Advan­tage — there are back­grounds of dif­fer­ent col­ors in the set (red, green, black, white).


Uni­ver­sal option (50–80 cm). In these, you can pho­to­graph almost any prod­uct, even small fur­ni­ture. There are bud­get mod­els. For exam­ple, Fal­con Eyes PBF-60AB. The body is made of steel, and the walls are made of poly­mer fab­ric. There are 4 col­or vel­vet back­grounds in stan­dard col­ors in the set. The price of the mod­el (60x60x60 cm) is 2,390 rubles.

FST LT-80 — the mod­el is larg­er (walls 80 cm each) and more expen­sive — 10,580 rubles. There is built-in LED light­ing, the pho­to­box is black on the out­side, white on the inside. The frame is quick­ly assem­bled and dis­as­sem­bled. Mobile and com­pact.


Typ­i­cal­ly, pho­to box­es in size range from 25x25x25 cm to 90x90x90. But you can find very large mod­els. For exam­ple, Las­to­lite Cube­lite. This is a spe­cial mod­el, the walls of which are 2 meters long and high.

Why such a huge option? This is a real portable stu­dio. Such a shad­ow­less light cube when fold­ed does not take up much space (100x100x10 cm), it can be eas­i­ly hid­den in the room. If nec­es­sary, it can be expand­ed in a cou­ple of min­utes. Light­ing is not includ­ed and must be pur­chased sep­a­rate­ly. The price for a design of such impres­sive dimen­sions is also impres­sive — 88,186 rubles.

You can find a design of almost any size. Pho­to: se.wikimedia.org

How to make a DIY photobox

Why do you need a home­made design?

  • When you want to try shoot­ing in a lightcube, but you don’t want to spend mon­ey.
  • When it is inter­est­ing to make a cool thing with your own hands.
  • When you want to make a pho­to­box of a non-stan­dard size.

You can make a frame for a future pho­to­box from any durable mate­ri­als. For exam­ple, from box­es. But we sug­gest to take box­es for wires. They are hard­er, more durable, it is dif­fi­cult to bend them when chang­ing the back­ground, they will last longer. You will also need:

  • what­man;
  • white cor­ru­gat­ed paper;
  • dou­ble-sided adhe­sive tape;
  • nails.

How to assem­ble a do-it-your­self pho­to­box for prod­uct pho­tog­ra­phy? You need to con­nect 12 box­es togeth­er. It is opti­mal to make the sides the same size. But you can make your box stretch up or length­wise. It all depends on the idea. The sticks are con­nect­ed to each oth­er as shown in the pic­ture below. One needs to make a hole. The sec­ond is insert­ed into it. A third is insert­ed into the hole in the sec­ond. The fourth is insert­ed into the hole in the third. You can con­nect struc­tur­al parts with ordi­nary nails or liq­uid nails (they work like super­glue).

An exam­ple of how parts of a struc­ture can be con­nect­ed togeth­er. Pho­to: www.habr.com

The floor and rear wall can be addi­tion­al­ly sealed. For exam­ple, adding a sol­id ply­wood bot­tom to the struc­ture or nail­ing more box­es. But this is option­al.

The next step is to attach the “sub­ject table” from what­man paper. It is glued to the top of the back wall. The object table con­tin­ues up to the edge of the base (i.e. cov­ers 2 of the 6 faces of the cube). Cor­ru­gat­ed paper is attached to the top and side faces. It is impor­tant that there are no gaps. If your draw­ing paper is nar­row, then addi­tion­al­ly glue the edge with cor­ru­gat­ed paper behind it so that there are no gaps.

The pho­to­box is ready. Now it is enough to place a light on one of the sides (or even from above), and you can start shoot­ing.

This is what a fin­ished assem­bled lightcube might look like. Pho­to: sdelaysam-svoimirukami.ru

We hope that our arti­cle helped to under­stand what a lightcube is and how to use it. And if you are plan­ning to shoot jew­el­ry, objects with a com­plex and inter­est­ing tex­ture, we rec­om­mend that you pay atten­tion to TILT-SHIFT lens­es.