This Impressive DIY Human-Sized Lightbox Creates Even Lighting Anywhere in Minutes

When trying to perfectly light an object, there’s a method of shooting it inside of an environment called a lightbox — essentially a 360° softbox that emulates the soft, natural, even lighting you would get on an overcast day.

Lightboxes are fairly small in size, meant for lighting small objects for product photographs and so on. But what if it were possible to create a human-sized lightbox for use with people? It turns out you can, and in the BTS video above, photographer Kevin Lynch shows off his version.


Using some PVC pipe, clamps, fittings, interchangeable fabrics and wheels, Lynch’s creation is a perfectly consistent studio that can be set up and torn down in the matter of a few minutes (granted you have a small team with you). Designed with consistency, efficiency, and portability in mind, the setup gets shown off briefly in this two-minute video alongside collection of work he’s shot inside of it.

Press play, get some inspiration, and be prepared to plan a trip to the hardware store as soon as you’re done. If anyone asks, you’re buying your Dad some power tools for Father’s Day…

(via ISO 1200)

  • Louis

    appalling photos

  • Realspear

    One of the local school portrait studios has been using this type of lighting for years. Nothing really new about it.

  • Mark O’Brien

    nothing new, really.

  • Glen Berry

    I’m rarely impressed by the work of photographers that firmly stress how important they feel it is to get everything accomplished “in camera” with no post work. I think some of those photographers just don’t know how to do post work, and they’re trying to hide that fact. In other cases, I think some of those photographers are so wrapped up in the minute technical details of of how to shoot an image, that they often lose sight of the final image itself. There can sometimes be too much emphasis on technique, and not enough on the end results.

  • Louis

    Agree completely, I’m just looking at the setup, the assistants the Hasselbad for what?, those terrible blurred shots, I honestly would be embarrassed to show that work,

  • Paul Pond


  • Ron

    I thought they would show how to built it, meh :-(

  • Pickle

    Yeah, that’s why I’m skeptical of any photographer who has set up some arbitrary set of rules that makes them feel superior: The “I only shoot manual, all the time” guy; The “I only shoot manual focus” guy; The “I never crop my pictures” guy *cough* Fro; The “Straight out of camera” guy; The “I only shoot natural light” guy; The “I’m a strobist so I’ll add 5 lights to every shoot whether it needs it or not” guy; The “I only shoot with primes” guy; etc.etc.

  • Pickle

    Sorry there are not shortcuts. You can’t have one light set up for every time of look you’re looking for. A lightbox gives a flat boring look to every picture and sometimes you need shadows. Another narcissistic photographer who has achieved greatness in his mind. The motion blur here does nothing for the picture other than to make him look blurry. If he wanted to be creative, he could have done a multiple exposure but then that would require post processing which he obviously doesn’t know how to do. *I* strongly believe that.

  • Matt King

    That was the most dramatic and anti-climatic music ever.

  • Vicious

    Has anyone looked at his work prior to criticizing?

  • Omar Salgado

    His conveying motion, movement. I don’t see the need to have tack sharp and frozen photos. I don’t see people quarrelling over panned photos. Of course, now everything can be achieved through long hours of software use, but I don’t think that mastering software makes a great photographer out of one; the other way around, it makes us lazy in photography (and its practice) and it does not motivate us to find or create in-the-place solutions, while it make us great at the PC screen.

    Talking about ” achieving greatness”, well, that seems a little bit narcissist to me. He has merit, but not “greatness”, for having done that huge lightbox.

  • Vin Weathermon

    Don’t be silly….what good is baseless criticism if you actually bother to look at the artist’s work? You might actually have to agree with the author for once.

    BTW I have used this technique for several commercial shoots and believe me if anyone criticizing had even attempted something on this scale they might not criticize. Product lighting for example on the scale of a motorcycle is a fair bit of work.

  • Pickle

    Looked at the work related to this human sized light box. Just a blurry mess.

  • Pickle

    He could have flown his client to the moon and used the light being bounced off the surface as a soft light but the only thing that matters is the final result.

  • Adam Cross

    far less interesting than I thought it was going to be.

  • Vin Weathermon

    sigh. He has done a fair amount of work using this solution, and only this one for the benefit of readers/viewers was using the martial arts guy. I guess the point here is lost on nearly every “photo critic”.

  • mlianopr

    Really!! WT i just saw…???

  • Jim Johnson

    When I was in university, my class met once at a modern art museum. The instructor waxed lyrical over a particular work and how the artist had given himself all these arbitrary rules to work with. After a while I overheard a fellow student say to another, “So, he did these for himself? Why should I care?”

    The audience only cares about the finished product or if your technique somehow redefines the direction of the art genre (then you are important in history— Duchamp, Rothko, Pollack), otherwise your rules are a form of artistic masturbation and it means nothing to anyone else.

  • Eddie Davis

    I like the shots but was looking for how to build this human size light box

  • Vicious

    I read the article and saw the video like everyone else. Now show us all your work pickle. Im interested in seeing it.

  • Foq

    So.. he is just lucky to have a great studio space.. woop tee doo.. :|

  • Stuart Little

    Maybe he was giving the client exactly what they wanted? Sometimes I make images for clients that I would never ever show to rest of the world mainly because they are not my thing, but its what the client wants and they are paying for it. The guy has a pretty sound body of work. As for the actual softbox. Meh! Its been done before and in my view is only good for certain situations.

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  • Zuhair A. Al-Traifi

    yes everything is possible with a crew like that.. still the results are just amazing !

  • Jeremiah True

    Looks like PVC pipe and fabric similar to what they use as baffles or diffusers on soft boxes. Could probably be put together, or something similar for not too much money. The priciest part, in my eyes, was the plexi floor.

  • petapixelguest

    Yes … and the other work is not much better.

  • Glen Berry

    You said that very well. It’s not just the “SOOC” people that I have similar skeptical feelings about. There are all sorts of variations on the theme, and you mentioned a few good ones.