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Builing a photography booth


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My parents sell crap on eBay. All the time... they primarily do it for the cash, but I know at least my dad enjoys it. It's basically his hobby. So, being bored and feeling like creating something I've decided to do a photography booth for their product photos. They always throw a sheet over a table and prop up the back of it with a box or something. I figured they would enjoy something proper.


I started this with nothing more than a mental design, nothing on paper expect a non-measured and not-to-scale concept just to see what I was thinking about. With that, I went out and bought some supplies, listed below.


5 - 8' x 3/4" x 2.5" boards ($9 in total)

A saw ($8)

A clamp ($4)

Nails ($4)

Sandpaper ($4)


We're looking at a total of less than $30 invested so far, and reall it was only $13 in materials. I do expect another $50 or so to be put out for this project though.


What I had:

A balcony of my apartment to work on

A hammer

Smaller nails


So I originally cut out 8 32" pieces for the depth and height of the box... then realized that's huge. The items being shot in this thing will rarely be deep or tall enough for that. So I re-cut them (yeah... that was fun) down to 24 inches. Much better, although still a bit bigger than expected. The two remaining boards will be cut to give the box an overall internal width of 36 inches (41 from edge to edge).


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One side of the box done. I used red duct tape around the areas where nails were being driven into longitudally, to avoid splitting. It helped for the most part I think (had a couple accidents along the way).


user posted image


And the second one...


user posted image


Finally for today, I cut the 41" pieces for the width of the box. I made it so there is 36" in the center (for reasons later explained). The boards needed to be 41" in total to allow for the 2.5" width of the boards these boards were being nailed to.


user posted image




That's all for now. I'll be working on it further. My next step is to hopefully rig up the lighting. I plan to use some industrial style fluorescent lighting since it'll be evenly distributed. They come in standard sizes like 24, 36, and 48 inches. So that's why the inner area of the box is 36". The lighting will be diffused... with what? I'm not sure. I might just use cloth, but I'm worried about heat. I may just look into a frosted type of clear plastic or something similar.


I would like to add an adjustable arm to the box to attach the camera to so my dad can just adjust the camera position and use a wired shutter to take the pictures. I've got some ideas for this involved a cabinet slider and some Loc-Line, but I'll have to look into it further.


For the backdrop I plan to use some thin sheet styrene. I have a large sheet that's 0.04" thick, I think it should work well. I want to make it replaceable in case it gets dirty or damaged so I'll work on a clipping system.


Once all the above hardware is nailed/bolted down I plan to paint the frame white. Then I'll use some white cloth to cover the inside areas and create a clean interior.


So, that's what I've done and some of my plans for what I will be doing. If anyone has any suggestions please shoot them out. I'm worried about the color of the lighting. I don't want it too yellow or too blue, fluorescent lights usually go yellow or blue from what I've seen. But I just can't seem to think of anything that would be so uniform and relatively inexpensive. The rest of the project... seems pretty straightforward to me.

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