How to Make a Portable Mini Studio in a Box

Written by jesse horn
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How to Make a Portable Mini Studio in a Box
Make a mini studio in a box. (film-camera on camera-bag image by Andrii Oleksiienko from

In this world of eBay, on line selling, and Photoshop, a portable mini studio in a box has become a useful tool for taking professional photographs. Although there are a variety of inexpensive brands available for sale at retailers and on line stores that include the necessary components, a mini studio can also be put together and constructed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cardboard box
  • White fabric
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • White Bristol board
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Purchase soft lighting. Most portable mini studios in a box are comprised of three basic types of items, the first being lighting. The general standard for mini studios on the market is using two 35 to 50 watt floor-standing lights. Deluxe prepackaged kits focused on just lighting are available at many electronic and photography stores. These lighting kits are generally more expensive then the lower end all-in-one studio kits available.

  2. 2

    Purchase a 6- to 7-inch extension mini-tripod, preferably with a three-way panhead for maximum flexibility. Aluminium or plastic tripods of this type can be purchased at many retailers for less than £13.

  3. 3

    Purchase or construct a lightbox. The lightbox is one of the most important parts of the mini studio, and is generally 16 to 32 inches cubed. This is a foldable fabric box tent that creates a soft light through its reflective texture. This can be purchased from many electronic or photographer stores, or can be constructed using basic inexpensive items found at most retail stores. This will require a cardboard box, Bristol board, and some white fabric, a writing utensil, glue and scissors.

  1. 1

    Take a cardboard box, approximately 16 to 32 inches square, although it can be of any size you choose, and measure and draw a 2-inch border around the four visible vertical sides. Cut out the squares that you have drawn. Keep in mind that the larger the box is the more Bristol board and fabric you will need.

  2. 2

    Draw a straight line every 2 inches on the Bristol board, making 16 strips, and cut them out. Glue the strips inside the box around the border of the square hole you made, but making sure that the wording and lines are not visible.

  3. 3

    Cut and place a panel of the white Bristol board in a curved shape in the upper back of the box, angled down to the lower front of the box. This will create a horizon-less white background.

  4. 4

    Measure, cut and tape the fabric to cover the holes that you made in the cardboard. Cover the remainder of the box as desired for appearance. The end result will be a box capable of capturing the soft light well, but limiting the background image for professional-looking photographs.

Tips and warnings

  • Before purchasing individual pieces to construct your own mini studio, research the all-in-one packages and compare pricing. Many of the prepackaged studios are cheaper to buy as a whole then the individual pieces, and come as a foldable case that can be easily carried.

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