One of my goals this year was to update some of my photos that I use for Etsy and in general to take some higher quality photographs of my work. I decided that upgrading my light box would be a help and was super happy and posted it on instagram. Lots of people were curious about what I thought of it, so here’s my review!
My previous light box was one that I created myself (with my husband’s help) after watching some tutorials online. I wrote a blog about photography and I also went into detail about how I made the box which you can check out here: How I made my own Lightbox
Before getting to the review of the product, I did want to address why I use one of these. I have found that using a lightbox has been helpful in a variety of ways. The most important being, that I live in an apartment and don’t have space for a crafting area, or a dedicated work space. So I have to shuffle projects around, and creatively use my living space to keep my business up and running. Therefore, I haven’t been able to have a big photo set up with large lights. I don’t even really have an open space that I can transform with a backdrop that will easily be in the sunlight. My other reason is that I work a 9-5 job. It doesn’t leave me a ton of time for taking photos. Especially during the winter when it’s dark out when I leave and dark out when I come home. I like to use my weekends in a variety of ways and having to rely on the solely on the sun to take photos wasn’t working out. Enter the lightbox!
I used my previous lightbox for a few years and found it to be pretty helpful. But recently I decided that I needed something bigger and more importantly one that was collapsible. I did some research and decided on this one from amazon called: Amazon Basics Portable Photo Studio
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the purchase. Here are some basic specs that interested me, and the rest can be found in the link above. The dimensions of the box are 25” x 30” x 25”, it comes with one white background that is removable, LED lights at the top left corner inside and also along the top center. It is collapsible and when closed it has handles that can be used for carrying purposes.
Here’s the light box I recently purchased. The front flap is currently up on top of the box.
Here it is all folded up!
I figured it would be easier to discuss this product with a pro and con list. So we will begin with the pros.
- My favorite aspect is that the light box folds up and can be easily stored. The first time I had to fold it, I was definitely confused. But once I realized where everything went, it became easier and easier. It weighs about 15 lbs, so lifting it up and carrying it when it’s collapsed is very doable. Trying to move it when it’s fully opened is tricky because it’s so large.
- The space it provides is really helpful. I love that I can fit more of my objects inside and not have to worry about squashing anything or getting the unfortunate angle where you can see the back corner of the box. This box is really big. It can probably fit a baby inside with no issue. My products aren’t that large, but I like to get big group shots of them, and this makes it a breeze!
- The provided LED lights aren’t always the best because they can sometimes cause shadows to happen. There’s a light in the top left and center front. Sometimes you can see a shadow since there isn’t a light in the top right corner. However, it’s on the pro side because it’s one less thing I need to set up before starting to take photos. You pop open the box, pull the plug out of the convenient case on top of the box and then boom, you can start setting up your shots. I love it!
- I like the flap that comes down the front which has 3 openings. You can have one open, or all three open depending on how much light you want reflected back onto your product. Sometimes if it’s really bright in my apartment I find I can leave the flap open and take pictures like that. The flaps are easy to open and close because they are magnetic. The whole front piece can be attached to the bottom with Velcro which can be a little finicky sometimes, but I got used to it.
The front 3 flaps are magnetic and you can open or close whichever ones you want. Also this whole piece flips up and you can keep the front open.
The AV cord is connected here which makes it easy to plug in the lights. However, once it’s plugged in then the lights are on. There is no switch.
This is the top of the light box. I took this in selfie mode, the light on the right is actually the front of the box.
- There is a zipper pouch at the top of the light box. Inside one section is the plug for the lights. Which is great, but there’s no on and off switch. So once you open the box, you plug in the lights and they are on until you unplug it. I do appreciate that it is a plug rather than batteries so I don’t have to worry about recharging or replacing, however the lights can get really hot sometimes and I worry about them being on for too long a stretch of time.
- There’s a circular viewing hole at the top under the zipper pouch that can be used for taking photographs. Its a circular opening and I’ve found it difficult to get a good shot in. There seem to be a lot of shadows and I need to zoom in since I take photos using an iphone or an ipad. I would imagine it would be easier if you used a camera with a lens that could fit right into the space provided. Maybe that would cut down on the amount of shadows, but I’m not one hundred percent sure about that. I know for my purposes, photos haven’t worked this way.
- The white background provided has a crease I can’t get rid of. The front side of the white is a plastic type of material, and when you fold up the box for storage, the white backdrop is also folded in half. Depending how you are taking the picture, you can see the crease in the background of the photo sometimes. When I have seen it, I use an app to brighten the white and it usually disappears. I would imagine it would be easier to get rid of in photo shop, but that’s not a program I use. Also, because the background is plastic, I don’t think you have the ability to iron it, and as soon as it’s folded again for storing purposes, the crease would most likely come back since the background is folded. However, the background is removable, or you can add fabric to the top. So this isn’t a huge deal, but I could see it being a possible reason that people would not like it.
The zipper pouch at the top keeps the power cord and this is where the small round hole is for camera access.
The crease in the background that I can’t get rid of!
Here’s a recent picture I took using this light box. Once edited using AColorStory you can’t see the crease in the background.
After editing – you can slightly see the crease
Above you can see the Porg photo (which is a pattern from the awesome Geeky Hooker has no crease line, this is partially due to angle of the photo and editing. The baby mandrake photos were a straight on shot. You can see the crease line in the before photo pretty clearly and after editing it is still there but less noticeable. Someone more experienced with editing software can probably make the line disappear completely.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the purchase. I’m not a professional photographer and have no background in the subject. I’m just trying to find my way through it all and to try to take the best photos that I am capable of.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions about this particular light box or light boxes in general that I didn’t address, ask me in the comments!
If there’s a topic you’ve been curious about, let me know I’m the comments!