Introduction: DIY - Portable Mini Photo Studio

Picture of DIY - Portable Mini Photo Studio

For publish my project on instructables, I need to take lots of photos and needed a handy place to quickly take the step-by-step project shots that has a plain background and lots of light. I always work in my bedroom, that have a minimal lighting and just a have a little space. When I took photos of projects that I made, especially for electronic project that have a lot of small components – there was always a distracting background and became blur because of the lighting. So I think, it will really helpful if I have my own photo studio.

There are Mini Photo Studio tent and lighting kit that you can buy from eBay or other online shop, it is compact, portable and easy to set up, Mini Kit Photo Photography Studio . But the price are not friendly for me. So I could make that, from cheap materials and it cost me just about $1.

OK, let's get started!!

Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools

So, here is all you will need :

(1) Carton Box (the size is up to you)
(6) LED 5mm Super Bright (White)
(6) Resistors 100 Ohm
(1) DIP switch 8 pin
(1) 16 Pin DIP IC Socket (optional)
(1) PCB Matriks / Perfboard
(1) Batteries 9V
(1) Battery box with on-off switch
- Jumper Wire
- A lot of white paper
- Breadboard (optional)
- Shrink tubing (optional)

- Soldering iron
- Solder
- Scissors
- Cutter Pen
- PVAc Glue
- Duct tape

Step 2: Making the Circuit on Breadboard

Picture of Making the Circuit on Breadboard

Let's build it on breadboard first. First, lets put the components on a breadboard so we could see how it worked and how to fit it onto the perfboard. The circuit diagram was made with Fritzing.

Step 1
Put the LEDs on breadboard. Add 100 Ohm resistor and put it inline with the cathode (-) to the top section of the breadboard. It will be connect to the ground.

Step 2
Connect the anode (+) to the pin of DIP switch. And other lead of the DIP switch pin connect to positive (9V). You can turn ON/OFF the LED as you want.

Test everything out and make sure that you're circuit is going to work before you start soldering.

Step 3: Build the Studio

Picture of Build the Studio

Let's build the studio first, before we attach the circuit onto it.

Step 1
Use a duct tape to make a sturdy box. (see image 1)

Step 2
Cut the front side of the box. (see image 2)
And cut some piece of it. It will be an additional to put the LEDs. (see image 3)

Step 3
Take a lot of white paper and paste them onto the carton box with the help of glue. (see image 4)

Step 4
You can repeat step 3 to get the better result.

Step 4: Move to Perfboard

Picture of Move to Perfboard

Step 1
Cut the perfboard about 7 cm x 4 cm.

Step 2
Arrange the component, I usually place all components in before starting to solder. But if you want to do soldering one by one,  you can mark on the perfboard which legs of your component will be placed.

Step 3
Arrange the resistors. Put the 16 pin sockets IC. (it's optional, you can just solder the DIP switch without the sockets) (see image 1)

Step 4
Solder the resistors. (see image 2)

Step 5
Solder anode and cathode of LED with jumper wire and shrink tubing is essential to prevent shorting. Make 6 of these. (see image 3)

Step 5: Complete the Circuit on Perfboard

Picture of Complete the Circuit on Perfboard

Step 1
Solder all the wire from cathode (-) of LED with resistors. Using shrink tubing is essential to prevent shorting. (see image 1)

Step 2
Solder all the wire from anode (+) of LED with pin of DIP switch or socket IC. (see image 2 & 3)

Step 6: The Power!!

Picture of The Power!!

Step 1
Put together the other lead of resistor, to be connected to ground. (see image 1)

Step 2
Put together the other lead of DIP switch / socket IC, to be connected to positive (9v). (see image 2)

Step 3
Solder two wires for power. (see image 3)

Step 7: Put Them All Together

Picture of Put Them All Together

Step 1
Put them all together. And let's check with 9V battery. (see image 1&2)

Step 2
Put the circuit onto the box. Draw the position of LEDs with marker. (see image 3)

Step 3
Make a hole in the box. Make sure the LEDs can in and out easily.

Step 8: Finishing!!

Picture of Finishing!!

Step 1
Cover the outside of the box with white paper too. (see image 1)

Step 2
Make an additional cardboard that you can pull and push. (see image 2, 3 & 4)

Step 3
Put the circuit onto the box. (see image 6)

Step 4
Try to pull the additional card for LEDs . Just make sure it works. (see image 7)

Step 9: Let's Take the Photo!

Picture of Let's Take the Photo!

You can see the difference of my photo before-after using mini photo studio.

Now you have your own Portable Mini Photo Studio. It's quite easy to make and very cheap.

Have fun :D

Greetings from Indonesia!!


Pilgrimm (author)2013-09-22

Very nicely done! Excellent description of the steps required to make your lighting circuit. I'm just a hobbyist, but I can follow your steps quite easily. Also, I agree that the prices of mini photo studios for taking digital photos for ebay or any other purpose are very high, and prohibitive. Unfortunately, here in the USA, the electronic parts (without the cost of soldering guns, etc) would amount to considerably more than $1.00US. But a very nice 'ible just the same!

faziefazie (author)Pilgrimm2013-09-22

Thank you so much. Yeah, I kinda shocked to know the price of electronic parts in USA, there are so big difference with the price in here. With only $1 you can buy many basic electronic parts.

Btw, thanks for trying my 'ible. It's a great honor for me, I'll do my best for my next 'ible :)

Builders Shed (author)2015-06-22

Cool.. maybe i'll make it someday...

TerzaN1 (author)2015-06-14

mo bikin ginian eh nemu si agan disini. kyknya gw prefer pake lampu meja belajar aja deh, ganti lampu led putih, sentrong dari atas gitu. tapi kardus indomie nya nih yg bikin shock.. hahaha..

bakal bikin kardusnya, great job mas bro. makasih tuts nya.

ElectroFrank (author)2015-02-24

White LEDs are usually rated about 25mA, 3.3V, so from 9V the resistor must drop 5.7 Volts.
So for 25mA from 9V, the resistor should be 220 Ohms.
With 100 Ohm resistor, 5.7V / 100 = 57mA, about double their nominal current rating. This may shorten their working life.

(I did experimentally run a 25mA white LED for 24 hours at 100mA, and there was no measurable change in brightness.)

But you can run two white LEDs in each string from a 9V battery, doubling your brightness for the same battery life.
2 x 3.3V LED from 9V, leaves 2.4V across the resistor. So to run at 50mA, 2.4V / 50mA = use a 47 Ohm resistor

My diagram for this: (click image to see it properly)

Akin Yildiz (author)2015-01-01

this is really cool, i like the dip switch addition :)

farhandhitya (author)2014-11-20


faziefazie (author)farhandhitya2014-11-21

hehehe sengaja, biar indomie go internasional :p

faziefazie (author)2014-04-23

Wow that's great, nice work :)

RingoWild (author)2014-02-24

Very nice! Thank you!

faziefazie (author)RingoWild2014-02-24

You are most welcome :)

vkomparak (author)2013-10-01

Consider using Led strips ;)

faziefazie (author)vkomparak2013-10-02

Yes, of course that would be a great idea :)

egbertfitzwilly (author)2013-09-28

I voted for you, this is an outstanding piece of work. This can also be used to make videos involving various articulated toys or other small objects such as card models. Anyone with a good all in one camera should be able to generate some interesting stuff using this. I've got a related instructable called Studio On a Stick that shows how put together a simple video editing system on a USB.

Wow thank you so much for the vote, I really appreciate it :)

I love video editing too. Thanks for the reference instructable :)

darman12 (author)2013-09-27

This is great! I've been looking for a cheap light box solution. I love how it is a mix of photography and electronics!

faziefazie (author)darman122013-09-27

Thank you so much, I'm glad you like it :)

bonansa (author)2013-09-24

siap deh gan
dah di vote tuh
td nya skalian aja yg jd objek nya pk pop mie / indomie
jd siapa tau pada ngiler tuh

hidup pop mie eh maksudnya hidup Indonesia

faziefazie (author)bonansa2013-09-24

makasih ya gan. wah iya bener harusnya pake pop mie, kok gak kepikiran ya saya hahahaha

waldo57 (author)2013-09-23

I have only one constructive comment. Your mini-studio would photograph even better if you used one long, continuous sheet of white paper for both the floor and backdrop. Instead of the two-piece joint that is now in the bottom, back corner, imagine how smooth and line-less a single sheet draped to round out that corner would look, by comparison. You often see this trick used in any professional photographers backdrops.

faziefazie (author)waldo572013-09-23

I'm using A4 paper, because I only have it at the time. But I will buy some white paper with size larger than A4 soon and fix some inner side. Thank you so much for the suggestion. really appreciate it :)

bonansa (author)2013-09-23

wah cara hemat nihh
teryata ada org indo jg hehehehe.
keliatan dari kardus indomie nya

nice Info gan

faziefazie (author)bonansa2013-09-23

Hehehe iya nih, sekalian memperkenalkan indomie ke dunia hahaha

bantuin vote ya gan, thanks :)

prakis (author)2013-09-23

Thank you.

faziefazie (author)prakis2013-09-23

you are welcome :)

founderbrn (author)2013-09-19

besides making the bottom/back seamless, the lights should be on the OUTSIDE to eliminate the harsh shadows

(Firstly, good job with the implementation and the instructions.) You might also consider having lights below so as to light the underside. This page on lighting for head shots is helpful in understanding lighting a bit better

faziefazie (author)founderbrn2013-09-20

Ok, thank you for the advice :)

founderbrn (author)faziefazie2013-09-20

NP :-) ...if you still end up with "hot spots" you might also try taking some sandpaper to the LEDs to further diffuse the light. Enjoy! =)

faziefazie (author)founderbrn2013-09-20

oh, that's will be another good option too, I'll try it soon :)

kbanda (author)2013-09-23

Love this, thanks! This Photo Studio is just what I need.

faziefazie (author)kbanda2013-09-23

You are welcome, glad you like it :)

sparkleponytx (author)2013-09-22

Great project!

faziefazie (author)sparkleponytx2013-09-22

Thank you so much :)

lschwartz (author)2013-09-22

Nice job, and especially well done documentation! You might consider putting a filler (long triangular tube) in the internal corners of the back and sides, and back and bottom. Carefully done, you will end up with no visible seams. If you find you temporarily need extra light, use a string of white Christmas tree lights with only those needed in the box. I've done this before, punching small holes in the box with a screwdriver and sticking the bulbs in the holes.

lschwartz (author)lschwartz2013-09-22

I forgot to add: when you line the box with paper, the fillers will help give you rounded corners for the no-seam effect. When starting, you might want to try fitting and trimming your paper to the OUTSIDE of the box. This will give you a close approximation to the shape and size you need without having to make so many trial fits. Another thought is to use many coats of a high gloss white spray paint to line the box, or to just hide the inside corners.

faziefazie (author)lschwartz2013-09-22

Thank you, I learn so much from your advice. That's a great idea too, for using white Christmas tree lights. It will be awesome. I'll improve my project soon.

Once again, thank you so much. Appreciate it greatly :)

out-of-the-box (author)2013-09-21

I love this idea! I always need perfect lighting for small pictures and the flash on my camera just blinded out the object. I will do this later for sure! Great idea. Did you run the leds in paralle just to use the dip switch? I think when I do this ill wire them all in seriesand just add a pot to tune the brightness. Also might use a 5vdc supply.

Thank you so much, glad you like it.

Yes, i just use the dip switch to run the LEDs. That's a great idea too, to add pot to tune the brightness. but because my room is too dark, so I need my LEDs shine so bright as I using 9V battery :)

avan der veer1 (author)2013-09-20

Great job, i like your working with normal/cheap materials. Q; why do you need all the 100ohm resistors for?

the function of resistors are to keep the LEDs from burning out. I'm using 9V battery, it's enough to burning out all my LEDs in a seconds. I used 100 ohm resistors so that the LEDs wouldn't be operating at their maximum ratings.

epalomeque (author)2013-09-20

This is great!!! i build it now :D

faziefazie (author)epalomeque2013-09-20

Thanks, glad you like it. Have fun and tell me how it goes :)

kminer49er (author)2013-09-18

Nice job. Especially the use of LEDs. I have a suggestion. Use a single, continuous piece of white paper to cover the back and base of your "Studio." That will eliminate the distracting line - seam that appears in the upper right corner of your "After" photo.

faziefazie (author)kminer49er2013-09-18

I'm using A4 paper, because I only have it in my room. But I will buy some white paper with size larger than A4 soon and fix some inner side. Thank you so much for the suggestion. really appreciate it :)

myhomeco (author)2013-09-17

Great Job

faziefazie (author)myhomeco2013-09-17

Thank you :)

myhomeco (author)2013-09-17

Great Job

About This Instructable




Bio: Bachelor of Wireless Telecommunication Engineering from Bandung State Polytechnic, Indonesia | Software QA - Junior Engineer at Oberthur Technologies | A Rhesus(+) | Aries | Photography | Computer Geek | Chiliphobia | Art ... More »
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