Make a Photography box!

A gal from Oriental Stamp Art asked me how I photograph my cards and artwork, she was curious about the handmade setup I had. Well I thought I would share it with everyone here on my blog. To kill a couple of birds with one stone I decided to use the card I made with this weeks sketch at OSA as an example {I’m proud to say that they picked my sketch to feature this week} Here is my card photographed in my photobox:

Stamps: About Art Accents, Paper: K&Co, Other: Assorted clipart and vintage efemera, hand crochted butterfly

I use a Canon Powershot point and shoot camera, nothing fancy 🙂 The pretty stamp I used in this card is from About Art Accents. I crochted a butterfly with white cotton and chalked it to match my card. To photgraph the detail I used the macro mode button on my camera and got close to the card:

here is a close up of the stamped image and croched butterfly

Here is the box, it is made by taping 3 different sized rectangles of foamcore  together. I have a hook on one of the sides so I can photograph hanging projects like ornaments or necklaces. I just turn the box however best fits my project.

this is made from foamcore and tape

I used plain ol’ masking tape to put it together. I made this box about 3 years ago and I use it daily so as you can see it is sturdy (it’s also a bit grimy so I’ll need to make a new one soon 🙂 } it is also cheap to make, all you need is a sheet or two of white foam core and you can get that at the dollar store or wal-mart on the cheap! Other than that you need a utility or craft knife, a metal straight edge (ruler) and a roll of masking tape. cut 3 rectangles of foam core and tape them together on the back to make a 3 walled box, easy peasy!

I work in my basement so I need good constant lighting, here is my set up:

the daylight CFLs shine at a 45 degree angle towards my photobox and the shop light provides an all over light.

It was lucky for me that we have a pool table under the flourescent light, I simply put a large plastic storage tote on the table and my photobox on top of that to get it close to the light. I like to shoot my work on white most of the time but if I decide to use a background cloth I make sure I have part of the white box showing (I will crop it off later) so I can white balance it if I need to when editing. I don’t use the camera flash. usually I open my photo in Paint Shop Pro, click adjust then curves and select either levels or contrast. If it still doesn’t look right I balance it by clicking on the white eyedropper icon, then on a white spot on the photo, and black if need be.

Here is the same project shot on white:

Here is the same project shot on white. Have fun experimenting with your artwork!

I hope this helps anyone interested in taking good photos of their cards and artwork. Thanks for stopping by and till next time happy crafting!


11 Responses

  1. Beautiful card!

    Thank you for the info on the light box. I think I am going to have to copy your set up. Right now I rig stuff using a white table cloth or paper.

    Happy New Year!


  2. What a great idea! Wish it was so easy to get foam core over here in England, though. I just don’t have space for a permanent photo box as we live in a very small house (you ever visited England, lol?) and my craft room is filled to overflowing, with not one space anywhere – not even on the floor, lol. Your blog is really inspiring – thank you for all the effort you put into it. You really are an inspiration.


    • hmmm, you need an expandable set up…I’ve seen these little pop-up photo studios: I bet if you could get a small white pop up box (in the US we have these at department stores like target or wal mart) and line the back with velco (hook side) then but a few peices of felt to put in back for what colors you want to so soot against. It would be cheap and fold up when not in use:)


  3. I just found your website. I wanted to try out a few of your scal files but can’t figure out how to open them to use. The one I have been trying is the snowflake border, and when opened it doesn’t give an outline. What am I doing wrong?


    • Hi KP,
      It is an svg file so you need to import it, not open it:) when you are in scal, click file and “Imposrt svg” then pick the snowflake border. Just remember you Open a .scut file but you import a .svg file;) hope it helps.


  4. Nice Card! Thanks for sharing the technique of taking photographs of cards and artworks. I would love to read your next post.


  5. Good idea. Though you can buy a photo booth here in the UK foam core board would be a good option. My local art store carries it so I might have a go at this.


    • good to know, I wondered after Kathy’s comment if it was called something else in the UK 🙂 I like how it is lightweight yet very sturdy!


  6. I may have to re-think my scanning vs. photographing my work by making one of these. I also have a cheap digi camera and I often end up with blurry pictures (esp. if battery is getting low). I’ll still have some difficulty getting all the light you use, so I’ll have to give that some more consideration.

    PS. Thanks for the freebies you give. The Thank You image is very timely.


  7. lol, I made one too, but think I made it too big. Old house – small rooms! To get the black background, did you make a lightbox with black foamboard? I am always in such a hurry, plus always being the photographer, I don’t worry about the quality of the photos for crafts – something I really need to change.

    I love your card…. I have such a hard time using DSP…. and it always takes me forever to decide, lol…. Love the envelope too!


  8. Super cool – I haven’t put anything together yet – but I obviously need to! I hate fiddling with the photos and then having them come out blurry!


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