Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How to DIY a Photo Box + Photography Tips for Better Pics!

Let me start out by saying I am in no way, shape, or form a professional photographer. However, I have done a few paid gigs and I've picked up a couple things that have helped me to better create timeless photographs. 

Now I do have a more expensive camera - which I use for holiday photos and special events - but majority of the time I use my iPhone 4s. That's right, the photos you see are simply from an older model iPhone. The reason I use it the most is simply because it's my phone, so it's always with me. I've also been trying to better my photography skills with this particular camera, because I wanted to prove that you don't necessarily need a fancy camera to create gorgeous photos. Does it help? Absolutely. Do you NEED it? No. 

To start off I'll share with you all how to create a photo box. This box isn't one of the nicer models I've made, but that's because it's my mini version. I take it with me when I'm doing tiny photography, mostly for my own gain. For big photos, I simply use one of 3 things. My white bookcase, my brown desk, or a piece of white poster paper (89 cents from Michaels). I'll explain why in a minute. 

This particular tutorial is simply to show you how to create a mini - or big - photo box for your own personal gain. The majority of the time, this would be used to replace settings with absolutely natural light, which is the best for photography. This can also be perfect for focused photography - perhaps if you need to take photos for selling items. 

Before I tell you my key tips and how to take photography without a photo box, I'll share with you all how to create your very own photo box for less than $1.

All you need is:

A binder clip (optional)
A ruler
A cardboard box
A pen
3 plain white pieces of paper or white tissue paper
1 large white poster paper (big or small enough to cover the bottom and 1 side of your box)
3 lights (flashlights, lamps, etc.)

First off, take your cardboard box and cut off the flaps. On 3 sides of the box, take your ruler and mark a straight line on all 4 edges, 1 inch from the edge. Make sure to leave one side AND the bottom of the box intact. The top of the box should be completely clear from removing the flaps. 

Next, take your white pieces of paper -or tissue paper - and tape to the 3 edges you cut squares out of. Now take your white poster paper and clip - or tape - to one edge of your box. The "top" of your paper should be against the bottom of your box, while the "bottom" of your paper should curve and cover the 1 side of your box that you did NOT cut out. Make sure to NOT bend the poster paper. You want it to curve inside the box so you don't show any edges. You're looking for a smooth background with not ends. 

After you've attached everything, take your 3 three lights and shine them into/onto the 3 sides you've cut out and covered with paper. This will give focused light into your photo box. You can also choose to only use 2 lights and play with the areas you shine them through, to create different effects with your item. For example, 1 light on top and 1 light on the left side, or both lights on the sides and none on top. It all depends on how you want your item to be viewed. Trust me, shadows can alter an image. 

And there you have it! One photo box! Like I said the box I photographed for you is my mini box, so it isn't perfect. The best part is that you aren't going to photograph the box, just the item inside. 

Now for the few photography tips that I've learned throughout the years. Mostly for indoor photography. 

1. Use as much natural light as you can. Harsh lights alter your images and blur the photo, which defeats the purpose of capturing realism. Be careful when using direct sunlight though, it can cause harsh shadows. 

2. The best time of day to take a photo is an hour or two after sunrise AND an hour or two before sunset. This won't give you the direct sunlight, but will give you a beautiful glow. 

3. When taking a photo, try to go WITH the light. What I mean is if you have an item on your bookcase - like I often do - and your light is shining through the left side, face the right side when taking your photograph. Of course you'll have to position yourself to not block the glowing light, but you can stand on a chair to obtain the perfect angle. 

4. Photography is beautiful, photographers are not. Just like I mentioned before, you may need to be in odd angels to get a really good photo. This could result in odd bending, laying like a crab, or even climbing on tables. Sorry, but it's true. Some of the best photography is taken in thee most awkward positions. 

5. Use your focus when using a phone and take TONS of shots. Cameras can be finicky little pests, so you need to tap on the screen to focus multiple times. Snapping multiple shots will also help guarantee that you get at least one good shot. 

6. Contrasting colors are your best friend. If you're item is white, don't use a white background. It will cause your image to blend in. Unless of course that is your idea, then go for it. 

7. Practice re-creations. I go on Pinterest all the time and I find photographs that are absolutely gorgeous. My photos don't always turn out like theirs - hence why I'm not a professional - but by practicing, I'm able to get better acquainted with how my camera works and what angels I can use to create certain effects. Sometimes when you're trying so hard to get the perfect one with the item you need to photograph most, you can't have fun with it. You're too busy stressing about the "perfect shot". Practicing will help ease your mind and better equip you to try new things. This piece of advice is NOT to say that you should steal someone's art. It's merely a suggestion to go out and practice!!!

Like I said, I'm not a professional. I don't have a degree in art, nor do I own a camera that costs more than my rent. I'm simply someone who's learned a few tricks and thought you guys could use them as well, because everyone could use a little knowledge right? 

Hopefully this has been helpful for you guys and it inspires you to be creative with your everyday photography! I do know a few more tips and tricks when it comes to taking pictures, but this is a generalized list that I think could benefit anyone. 

So go out there and photograph those memories!

No comments:

Post a Comment