Kallax photo setup - the most handy photobox!?!

by Andy

Hello everyone,

It's Andy, again. Today, I want to give you an overview and “how to” tutorial of my current photo setup. The idea was to build an easy-to-use, quick set-up photo box suitable for fast WIP shots and final pictures.

To be honest, the main reason I didn’t use my “standard photo tent” that often in the past was the set-up time, the need to clean up my desk to have enough space and the inconsistent lighting.

I have been thinking back and forth about this topic over the last years and the solution was in front of my eyes all the time with the IKEA "Kallax" cupboard, which is probably one of – if not the - most-often sold cupboards in the world. The squares are perfect for a photo setup with fixed conditions, but the concept of the photo box should be possible to realize with any other cupboard and boxes as well, but I’m just an IKEA-addict when it comes to hobby furniture ;)

Things you need (links as example and not paid):

Optional equipment

My jungle brother Hansrainer came up with the idea of a ring light for quick pictures and I adapted it for the Kallax project. A 12-inch ring light is the largest suitable for one of the square spaces.

Samla boxes in general do not fit the Kallax well but for our project they are perfect because they create a nice little niche on top and to the side to store the ring light.

This is how the whole setup looks like in the stored position. The whole assembly as seen in the picture above is very simple – clamp attached to light and shelf, nothing special here. The optional turntable can be stored on top of the box.

The modifications to the shelf can be seen without the boxes. In the picture you’ll see the backdrop in the storing position pushed upwards between Kallax and the wall and the ring light stored to the side to have space for the boxes.

The black foil is attached on each side and on the ceiling to avoid unwanted light reflection. I first measured the size of the walls, then cut the foil with a bit of extension to have a little room for failure. The installation of the adhesive foil is done step by step by taking away a small piece of the protection layer on the back, starting the attaching process by adjusting it to the wall as straight as possible on one edge (I recommend the back), pushing with a straight round-edge cardboard or plastic lid to get rid of air bubble and working the way to the end of your layer. The last step is cutting away the extension. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials of wrapping with foil if you want a detailed explanation ;)

In the shooting position it’s super clean and easy to use. I recommend attaching the clamp in the middle of the shelf to have stiff hold for your mobile and lamp. Adjust the angle of the lamp and phone (or camera) to your preference – for me it’s a bit tilted from the top.

As a base, I use some black caps from spray cans or wooden sockets. Recommendation is black, white or gray to avoid tinted reflections from the bottom. Just play around which suits best for you.

Now that you know how I built it – you will wonder whether the whole set-up actually can fulfil its goal: to reduce the time and hassle of setting up the photo equipment. So, here are the results of a little experiment: I stopped the time it took me to set-up and store the photo box.

The pic to the left shows the time it took me to set up the photobox, the pic on the right shows the time to store it away. Both setting up and storing the stuff took me less than a minute! – I’d say: “mission accomplished”:D

The box in action

Here are two examples of photos taken with the photo set-up and lightroom app.

Both miniatures will be featured in detailed posts - stay tuned ;)

Thanks for reading and your interest and leave a comment below if you have any questions.



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