Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Miniature Photo Booth

My DIY Miniature Photo Booth

So I am wrapping up a bunch of miniatures that I have been working on for my Etsy shop. I'm starting to think about photography. I have a pretty nice digital camera that takes wonderful pictures without trying too hard, but the problem is always the shadows.
I did a little research and found that a photography booth with proper lighting will get rid of the shadows. I priced a few booths and thought they were a little pricey, so I started researching how to make one. Seems you can make one fairly easy so off to Staples I go…

This is what you will need to make the box:
2 foam board 20 x 30
Vellum Paper (I bought the wrong paper, I am going to try it with white tissue paper)
White duck tape
X-acto knife
Yard Stick
Glue (I use wood glue, it works great on foam board)

Update: Add a few new test shop using my professional camera (see below)

Titebond Wood Glue works great with foam board
Supplies needed to make miniature photo booth

Step 1: Take one of the boards and measure 1" from each side (I laid mine out "landscape"). This will act as a stand when the box is finished. Use the X-Acto knife to cut thru the top of the board and foam. Do not cut thru the bottom paper layer of the board. Once done bend the board back and you should have a stand. Do this on both sides of the board where you made your 1" measurement. 
Measure 1" for stand

Step 2: Next find the center of the board and mark it. You will create two sides for the booth from this one board. Use the X-Acto knife to cut the board in two.
Center point of the foam board
This is what I mean by creating a stand, you should have 2 of these

Step 3: Next, measure 2 inches all the way around the board, you will be cutting a window out the center. Do this to both boards.
Tip: Once you cut one, use it as a template for the next one.

2" marked all the way around the board

This is what the board should look like once you cut out the center

Step 4: Now the top. I stood the two sides to the top and measured the depth. I added and extra two inches to the depth so that I could have a flap to bend. This is where I will hang my background paper with tape. Then I measured 2" all the way around the board and cut out the window.   (Below is not the right sized top, I forgot to take that picture. This is how it should look though)
Top with flap

Step 5: Now lets put it together. You should have two frames, equal in size and the top frame measured to whatever width you choose. Grab a few Q-tips and glue one side to the top, make sure the top flap is folded inwards and the side flaps (the stand) are folded outward. Let dry, and do the other side. 
Once the frame has dried, turn it over, you should have a pretty cool photo box with a top, two sides and legs so that it won't fall over.  

You should 2 sides and 1top frame

One side glue with wood glue…it works fast

The other side glued

All pieces glued together and standing…almost there

Step 6: This morning when I ran, and I do mean ran (I was so excited), I saw Vellum paper but somehow grabbed lightweight sketch paper. It was expensive, so I am taking it back. In my research, I found that some people use tissue paper, so I will try that for today. If it doesn't work well, I will switch to Vellum when I get back to the store. (Rambling…I know). 
Back to the instructions,  Once the frame was completely dry, I used white duck tape to reinforce my frame. Putting the duck tape around windows will allow you to change the paper without ripping the frame. 

Reinforcing the frame with duck tape

Step 7: I covered the windows with white tissue paper using tape. Finally, on the rear flap, which I reinforced also (in case I want to change the infinity paper), I taped the background paper (infinity paper). The photo booth is complete. I just know my daughter is going to think this is for American Girl doll! 
Time for testing.  

Added the white tissue paper to the outside
The flap in the back to add the infinity paper

The finished product

Tesitng: I did not set up any lighting, nor did I use my digital camera. The below images were shot with my iPhone. I played around with the flash and took photos indoors and outdoors.
I will update the photos in a few days when I set up the lighting and pull out my "real" camera.

Nice day today, taken outside, natural light only

Taken indoors with the dining room light on

Taken with the iPhone flash on
Update: taken with my digital camera

Close up with digital camera

Close up with digital camera


Tutorial and Photos 
by Anita Smiley

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