I need to make a photo shoot of clothing articles (headbands, headscarves, etc) for an online store.

I tried building a lightbox the other day (cheap way) and then put a light from the top. It was pretty dark though so I was using my flash to shoot. The pics came out too bright and not very natural, probably because my flash was not diffused enough.

I prefer to have a white background (laying on the floor) and then some flat light on the item and then shoot with my camera. Would you have any suggestions as per how I can build this setup for not too much money?

Should I shoot with my flash and use a diffuser to spread the light? Or is it better to use a softbox light and then shoot with no flash? Any good links with DIY options are much appreciated!


1 Answer 1


A soft box is a means of diffusing light. You can use one with flashes or constant output lamps, but you still need multiple lights positioned around the box to provide good light from multiple directions. The idea is just that the light hits the box and then the walls of the box act as the diffused light source that lights the object.

If budget is a concern, I'd try to use several cheap constant output lamps first, if that doesn't produce sufficient results, then speed lights will likely be cheaper than getting multiple high output lamps.

Normally you want at least one lamp on top and one on each side, for at least 3 lamps in total. More can be used as necessary though if there are still some areas of shadow that need to be filled in.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Any suggestions for lamps/bulbs (inexpensive if possible)? \$\endgroup\$
    – samyb8
    Jul 25, 2013 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Samyb8 - We try to avoid product recommendations as products change over time, but on the cheap end, just look for something with high output from your local Home Depot. If you need to move in to professional lights, the cost goes up very rapidly compared to simple lights from a consumer/construction oriented store. The light frequency make up is less ideal, but should still suit your needs OK for doing stuff on the cheap. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Jul 25, 2013 at 15:47

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