Why Photography is Vital

Photography is vital for your item to sell on eBay. Nobody will buy your item if you have a crappy picture. Well, someone might, but it will take forever. One way to make your item photography better is by using a light box. And you can make one for under $10, and in under than an hours time.

Gathering The Materials

Here’s a list of the items you will need:

  • Cardboard box (size is up to you, bigger the better)
  • 2-4 sheets of white tissue paper
  • matte white posterboard
  • matte black posterboard
  • scotch tape
  • packing tape
  • ruler
  • pencil or pen
  • scissors
  • box cutter
  • lights


  1. Choose Your Box
    • Choose an appropriate box that will fit your needs. You can pick up free ones from any store around you. You might want to ask appliance shops because they will have bigger boxes. If they do not have any, Wal-mart or another retailer sells big moving boxes for under $2 that will work just fine.
  2. Secure the Bottom of Your Box
    • Tape up the box as if your shipping something, then tape the inside flaps. This will keep them from getting in the way of the product when it is all finished. 670px-SecureBottomTape-Step-2
  3. Lay the Box On its Side
    • Make sure it’s facing you. You’re then going to want get your ruler and your pencil or pen. Then mark an inch around the whole length of the box, this is where you’re going to be cutting. 670px-MarkLines-Step-4 (1)
  4. Using The Box Cutter…
    • Cut out along the lines you just drew. Feel free to use the ruler as a guide, but this doesn’t have to be straight. Notice that the flaps on the front of the box have been left on for now to add stability and make it easier to cut. You may find that taping the front flaps shut makes it easier to cut.
  5. Cut the Flaps off
  6. Cut a section of white fabric (white muslin fabric) or White Nylon and white fleece, large enough to fit over each of the openings you cut
    1. Tape it using the cellophane tape to the outside of the box. Start with one layer of fabric. After taking a few shots, you might want to add a few more layers. After that you’re going to want to cut off any of the remaining fabric that is overlaying the outside of the box.
    2. 670px-DiffusingMaterial-Step-7
  7. Cut a piece of matte white poster board to fit the inside of your box.
    • The piece should be in the shape of a rectangle, with the width being the same as a side of the box, but the length being twice as long.670px-InsertMattePaper-Step-10
  8. Insert the poster board into the box, curving it up towards the top of the box. Curve it gently; don’t crease it. Trim it if necessary. This will create an infinite, edgeless look for the background of your shots.
  9. Cut matte black poster board in sections large enough to cover the tissue paper areas. This will allow you to block light from certain directions when taking photographs.
  10. Add your lighting. Photo lights, flashes, and even standard desk lamps can be placed on either side or above the box to produce the desired lighting effect. I use 60 watt light bulbs from Walmart. Get the Daylight one! You don’t really want the yellowish tint when you take a picture for your customers. I believe a 4-pack of them were under a dollar. I get the knock of brand, there just light bulbs.
  11. Take Some Test Shots
    • You don’t need a $400 camera to get started. I got a simple point and shoot from Goodwill that goes for like $20 on eBay for $3. I love it, it works great! You can also use your smartphone. My iPhone 5C took crazy good shots a while ago when I went Lake Surfing in September.
      I took this on my iPhone 5c. It's only an 8 MP camera!

      I took this on my iPhone 5c. It’s only an 8 MP camera!


      • Make sure to use matte and not glossy poster board. Glossy poster board can reflect the light and cause glare.
      • Try other colors of poster board and even fabric to achieve the desired effect.
      • If you take shots straight down from above, cut the bottom of the box like the sides and top, and cover with tissue paper. Then set the box open side down and cut a lens sized hole in what is now the top of the box. That way you can lay out your subject on a piece of white matte cardboard, then drop the box over it, and shoot the photograph through the hole.
      • If your camera has one, learn how to use its “custom white balance” (WB) feature–this can make all the difference when shooting items in this fashion.
      • You may find that removing the bottom of the box makes it easier to just drop the light box over your subject.

      That’s all for now!


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