DIY eBay Photo Studio – $0

If you’ve ever wanted to take professional looking photos for your eBay listings, look no further. Today, I will show you how to make a simple macro photo studio using common household items. You will need the following supplies:

  • Empty Corona 24-pack box (or any cardboard box)
  • Paper towels (I used Bounty quilted)
  • Printer paper (8.5″ x 11″)
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors and/or razor blade
  • Reading lamp (Mine has a 60W bulb)
  • Camera

Step 1:

step 1

step 2

Start by cutting out the top, sides, and bottom of the box, leaving the back intact. The Corona box will be the enclosure to your macro photo studio.

Step 2:

step 3

step 2

Cover up the top and side compartments with paper towels. Use duct tape to hold them in place with the box. Leave the bottom completely open.

Step 3:

step 3

Tape two sheets of printer paper together and attach them to the back-top of the box so that they drape down.

You are now ready to start taking professional quality photos. Take your reading lamp and position the light to the side of the box. The paper towels will diffuse the light to create soft, beautiful shadows on whatever you’re photographing.

setup

Below are a few sample photos:

altoids

ipod

nokia phone

corona beer

Update: I used a Canon Digital Rebel with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. Shots were taken about 2 feet away from the object with no flash, 400 ISO, white balanced to Tungsten (do this for incandescent bulbs), and automatic setting. Photoshop was used only for cropping and auto level.

Update 2: If your images are coming out too dark, you may want to switch to a compact fluorescent bulb. They’re much brighter and more efficient than your standard incandescent bulb, and they also come in daylight color so your photos won’t come out yellowish.

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76 Comments on “DIY eBay Photo Studio – $0”

  1. Andy Piper Says:

    Cool idea. I just started building a light tent, but it’s a little more expensive than the Corona box option :-)


  2. thats a wicked set up man. Thanks for the idea. I will be using this next time I need shots.

  3. Amber Says:

    wow…………………………………………………. i see you are hard at work.

  4. Joey Says:

    Thats awesome.

    I have three things my husband and I just decided to put on Ebay. . . . .

    . . .tonight might just turn into craft night. I hope ‘Blue’ boxes will be ok. :)

  5. freshfodder Says:

    Don’t forget to set the camera white balance to Tungsten if you are using an incandescent bulb.

  6. the letter p Says:

    hah i have a similar set-up. who needs aesthetics as long as the foto comes out great, who cares what conditions you shot it under and what equipment u used ;)

  7. Bill Hughes Says:

    Should I turn off my flash on my digital camera before I take the picture?

  8. freshfodder Says:

    Bill: I left my flash off while taking these photos because it was completely washing out the shadows. You can use a higher wattage bulb (or switch to flurescent) if the lighting is too dim.

  9. Tony Chung Says:

    What an awesome DIY trick. No wonder I’m not getting any responses on my craigslist positngs ;)


  10. wow thanks for the ideas! wonder what will you do if it’s apparel and bags?

  11. Jamie Says:

    Obviously, the best part of this is emptying the box. I think I might need several of these lightboxes. No need to take any pictures, but it wouldn’t hurt to have 2,3, 10 of them lying around just in case.

  12. bloglily Says:

    Jesse, this is really great! I’ve always wondered about this, and am just thrilled to see these simple helpful directions. Happy new Year, BL

  13. fina Says:

    hmmmmm… an interesting concept, i will try, thx

  14. Ed Says:

    Great Idea!. Thanks for the tip.

    Thanks also for showing me that lovely, smooth, refreshing, inviting bottle of Corona!.

    *nips off to the pub for lunch and an ice cold one* ;-)


  15. that’s aces…but you see…. i need to sell a running machine…

  16. bluesoup Says:

    That is totally mint!!

  17. Chris Says:

    great tip, thanks for sharing


  18. [...] Very Very Nice Photo Tip DIY eBay Photo Studio – $0 [...]

  19. ageekymom Says:

    Cool idea! I will be taking pictures of over 600 mini bottles to sell on EBay and have ben trying to come up with a way to show them at their best. This will work great!

  20. vegandiva Says:

    What a great and frugal idea. Thanks for sharing :)

  21. CM Says:

    I love the idea. However, I have one question. Maybe I’m missing it, but from what angle are you taking these pictures? If the sides and top are closed with paper towels, how are you taking a picture looking down on the object?
    THANKS!!

  22. Stephen Says:

    Ingenious! I really like this idea. I’ll be on the lookout for a spare box to make one of these. Thanks!

  23. A Man Says:

    Hey thats pretty sweet – my favourite bit is u get to drink lots of beer!!! I found this series of blog articles that help with ebay photos they have a manual flash diffuser that requires you to eat pringles!! AWESOMEEEE!

    Take a look at: http://frooition.blogspot.com/2006/11/perfect-product-photos-macro-mode.html

  24. flax seed Says:

    now that is pretty cool, I found this link on another blog and thought it was supposed to be a joke, I think I will build one

    steve

  25. engtech Says:

    Genius. I’ve recently started a photo project that this might be perfect for.

  26. Andy Piper Says:

    I posted part 2 of my guide to making a more expensive light tent, which talks about the parts and assembly. Tomorrow I’ll try to post some example shots.


  27. [...] 2007 at 11:07 pm (Blogroll) This guy has great ideas. A truly magnificent blog to check out. This post is particularly great for you people into [...]

  28. Mutahir Says:

    Classic technique….really liked it and will experiment it on soon!

    Thanks


  29. [...] an eBay Photo Lightbox… out of a Corona Beer Case Found this blog post today on WordPress.com on how to build an inexpensive eBay photo lightbox.  An amazing [...]


  30. Nice idea and I loved reading the post.

    Would definitely give it a try as it got me attracted :).

  31. Barri Adair Says:

    Very useful, thank you.


  32. This is a great idea. You had me rummaging around my basement looking for a box and lamp. Alas, none were found. Will definitely give it a try.


  33. [...] Check out the instuctions at one of my favorite wordpress blogs Fresh Fodder [...]

  34. Andre Scott Says:

    Wow…someone just sent me this link…awesome idea!

    Can’t wait to drink the beer first. Thanks man.


  35. Another Etsian posted this link. Great idea, I’ll have to try this one.

  36. Red Says:

    Wow! I am certainly going to link here as I have loads of ebay friends who would love this idea. Thanks for the how too!


  37. [...] love how too’s on the web and this is my favourite so far ‘DIY eBay Photo Studio – £0‘ This post tells you how to ‘Blue Peter’ a light box for your ebay photos, all [...]


  38. [...] How to build your own light box and infinity board: improve your eBay photos for almost no expenditure, with the added bonus that you need an empty beer box. [...]

  39. ByNicola Says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve started selling on Etsy and just can’t get consistent pictures, let alone very good ones. I’m going to try building this!

    Thanks -Nicola


  40. [...] DIY eBay Photo Studio – $0 If you’ve ever wanted to take professional looking photos for your eBay listings, look no further. Today, I will show you how to make a simple macro photo studio using common household items. [...]


  41. [...] Do it yourself eBay photo studio (@11h06) Comment se fabriquer son propre mini studio de photographie pour moins de 10$ [...]


  42. [...] Photocritic DIY Archive Studio Lighting – Really cheap homemade diy studio – no lighting needed DIY eBay Photo Studio – $0 How to Make A Inexpensive Light Tent DIY Photobooth DIY Softbox Muslin Photography [...]

  43. J J Says:

    good one lol


  44. [...] Wanna know how it all fits together? Read Freshfodder’s how-to! [...]

  45. Jacob Says:

    thanks!


  46. Homemade “studio”

    Not much time lately to update and write, but I had to make time to write about this.  I, as a hobbyist, always look for great ideas and things to make it easier and cheaper to have photography as a hobby. One thing I’ve realized is VERY importa…

  47. Lightmaster Says:

    This lighting setup is rubbish, and hence so are the photos! But it has potential….. Firstly, tracing/copying paper instead of printer paper will diffuse light and let more pass through. Secondly, A brighter light source will work better….but unfortunatly this will set you back a little more than $0.00.


  48. [...] Greer Photography Video Tutorial: Removing Backgrounds from Product Images – Practical Ecommerce DIY Photo Studio – Fresh Fodder Studio Lighting – Super Simple Light Tent – DIYPhotography.net Product Photography and Its [...]

  49. paul warren Says:

    Hi,

    Really cool idea:)

    I mainly sell dvds on ebay and have trouble with glare from
    the shrink wrapping. Any ideas to stop this?

    Thanks

    Paul Warren


  50. [...] one of the coolest things out there, someone decided to make a lightbox out of a Corona beer box and some paper. It’s a rather simple design, and works quite well, as you can see from this [...]

  51. Tanzil Says:

    Thank you for this information.

  52. Michael Says:

    Thanks for the nice tutorial!

  53. Jim Rand Says:

    Great idea I will drink the beer and get started


  54. [...] Tips på hur man kan bygga ett eget ljustält av en kartong [...]

  55. David Says:

    This is a great economy idea, remember that depth of field is as important in a tiny object as it is in an interior shot, or a group of people- use as slow a shutter speed as possible -if you can run manual in a digital compact- and the whole object will be in focus. (possibly drinking the beer a few days before will prevent camera shake, and obviate the need for a tripod). D


  56. [...] DIY eBay Photo Studio – $0 [...]

  57. createmo Says:

    Thank you for your site ;)
    I made with photoshop backgrounds for youtube, myspace and whatever
    my backgrounds:http://tinyurl.com/5cy5cq
    have a great day and thank you again!


  58. [...] vanity area in our downstairs bathroom that is ideal for staging shots. There are a bunch of great tutorials out there on how to set up your own photo studio or lightbox.  So, using this space, some white [...]

  59. Pretty Cool Guy Says:

    Thank you so much!!! I made one out of an Amazon box I had. It works SO WELL! I will try to post a picture I took with it. THANK YOU!!! PS: I found something similar for $100.00, WHAT A JOKE! This works just as well I bet except for $0 as I had paper towels, the box, tape ,and razor+scissors already for other purposes. I guess you could say I paid for and used up towels and tape, so I would put the cost of this at around $0.25 if I had to, 1/400 of the cost as a real one. Thanks for saving me $99.75 mate!


  60. [...] highly recommends it! Here are a few other tutorials on light box alternatives: Making It Lovely, Fresh Fodder, Jyo [...]

  61. pat Says:

    what’s DIY? Great piece of information. I just learned how to leave factual negative feedback for seller who refused shipment and refund until PayPal claim filed and won but eBay’s system is designed to
    STOP buyers from leaving Negative Feedback even if t’s factual. I got this from an eBay PowerSeller C/S rep 1st hand. I also learned how to trick the voice menu into putting me through to C/S without having to hear ALL the BS options for emailing them.

  62. buknuk Says:

    Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your info.And this is Home Improvement site/blog. It pretty much covers Home Improvement related stuff.

  63. Ant Pav Says:

    Hey, the images are all gone!


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