Box Photography - How to Set Up and Shoot an In the Box Photo Collage
Our great friend and amazing photographer, Tammy Porter set up and photographed this beautiful and super fun In the Box photo image for a school art auction project.
Her photos quickly went viral in our Pretty Presets Facebook group, with over 500 loves and 200 comments in less than 24 hours. We all wanted to know how she did it, and Tammy was happy to share this box photography tutorial:
1. Supplies & Setup
You will need very minimal supplies. The most important thing you will need is a good solid box, preferably square. Our box was 30x30 cardboard with paper in the back to cover the fold, that we bought at a shipping store. 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 it won’t move between students. We used a piece of tape to mark the exact placement so if the box did move, we could easily reposition it.
2. Camera Settings and Posing
Use a tripod sit exactly head-on with the center of the box, not tilted up or down so the box appears square. A ring light was used for extra brightness without dealing with flash. We used a shutter speed of 350 so we could work with moving kids, an f-stop of 1.6, and ISO of around 1200.
Let all the kids do fun poses, but keep in mind diversity in left/right/center justification. Remind the kids not to push on the box which can distort the shape. Be sure the kids entire body stays within the box, and not over the side or edge. Also, once you set your camera settings, do not adjust them - this will help with consistency and editing during post-processing.
3. Editing in Lightroom
Edit the original images in Lightroom, including basic White Balance, Exposure, Sharpening, and retouch with Pretty Presets Clean Edit Portrait Workflow - awesome presets btw!
I edited the first shot the way I liked and then used the Sync Tool in Lightroom to quickly make the edits on all the images match exactly! I did have to do a slight crop adjustment to each shot to be sure it was perfect.
4. Take it to Photoshop
Then, I moved them over to Photoshop to place into a grid pattern or premade template. This can be the time-consuming part, but choosing the right spaces for the shape and pose of each child will make a big difference in the appearance of 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, then used a plain photo of the box scaled really large to make the space between each photo the same color and texture as edges of the boxes, making the edges uniform and seamless.
BONUS: Go to this blog post here to learn how to create your own Photoshop grid pattern template - it also includes grid pattern template just like the one I used here that you can download and use for FREE!
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 9 squares to make the ratio correct 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!
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)!