By Tammy Porter on | No Comments
Our great friend and fantastic photographer, Tammy Porter, set up and photographed this beautiful and super fun "In the Box" photo for her children's school art auction project.
Her images went viral in our Pretty Presets Facebook group, with more than 500 likes and 200 comments in less than 24 hours. We all wanted to know how she did it, and Tammy was happy to share this cardboard box photography tutorial:
And make sure to check the bottom of this post for links to a FREE box template and a special offer that YOU WILL LOVE!
You will need very minimal supplies. The most important thing you will need is a good solid box, preferably square. We bought our 30x30 cardboard box at a local shipping store and put paper inside to cover the fold in the back. The quality of our box was not that great, so don't worry about it being perfect or super sturdy!
We put our box on a table with the flaps open and slightly bent back. Make sure the box is secure so that it won’t move between students. We used pieces of tape to mark the exact placement so if the box DID move; we could easily reposition it back to its original spot.
Use a tripod and make sure your camera is head-on with the box's center (not tilted up or down) so the box appears square. We used a ring light for extra brightness, so we didn't have to deal with flash. We set our shutter speed at 350, so we could work with moving kids, an f-stop of 1.6, and an ISO of around 1200.
Let the kids do fun poses, but keep in mind you will want some diversity in where they are located within the box (left/right/center). Remind the kids not to push on the box, which can distort the square shape. Make sure the kid's entire body stays within the box and not over the side or edge. Also, once you determine your final camera settings, do not adjust them - this will help you with consistency and editing during post-processing.
Next, I edited the original images in Lightroom, including basic adjustments to White Balance, Exposure, and Sharpening, and then retouched them using brushes from Pretty Preset's Clean Edit Portrait Workflow Collection - MY FAVORITE PRESETS AND BRUSHES, BTW!
I edited the first shot the way I liked and then used the Sync Tool in Lightroom to quickly copy those adjustments to all of the other images, so they matched! I did have to make a slight crop adjustment to each shot to ensure it was perfect.
Next, I moved the images to Photoshop to place them into a grid pattern or pre-made template. This step can be time-consuming, but taking the time to choose the best spot in your grid for the shape and pose of each child will make a big difference in the final result!
After placing all the photos, I used the Magic Wand tool to choose the white portion of the grid, created a selection mask, and then used a plain photo of the box scaled really large to make the space between each image the same color and texture as the edge of the boxes - making the edges uniform and seamless.
TIP: Be sure you know the exact dimension of the print you plan to use, so you have the correct number of squares in your grid. Here, we had to add nine squares to make the correct ratio for our 20x30 prints... so some students appear twice.
We had a lot of fun with our box photo project, and I'm sure you will too! Here is our final image!
BONUS: Go to this blog post here to learn how to create your own Photoshop grid pattern template - it also includes a grid pattern template just like the one I used here that you can download and use for FREE!
SPECIAL OFFER: Due to POPULAR DEMAND, we have created a BRAND NEW collection of ten (10) In the Box Photography Templates, so you can quickly composite your photos straight into these unique box templates. They are ON SALE NOW at an amazingly affordable price! Click HERE for more information. DON'T MISS OUT!!
Do you have any questions or comments about In the Box Photography? Leave us a comment below - we would LOVE to hear from you! And PLEASE SHARE this post using the social sharing buttons (We really appreciate it)!
Tammy is a child photographer based in the desert of Arizona. A mother of two, a wife, and a secret lover of interior design. She spends her days juggling a hair salon, a budding children's jewelry line, and her camera. Photography is the driving force behind her relentless need to create beautiful things. You can follow her on Facebook.