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Tips for beauty bloggers: the infinity effect

I had fully intended to make a larger lightbox (and create a tutorial with it) when I realized that, well, there’s simply no need. I don’t actually use my lightbox as a lightbox – moreso as a backdrop than anything else – so I figured, what the heck, right?

Anyhow. I’m calling it “The Infinity Effect,” because that’s what it’s for and I’m dazzlingly uncreative.

Choose a lightbox if: you want something that can be set up with artificial lights

Choose the infinity effect if: you want to shoot larger objects, you want something very low-effort, or you always shoot in natural light

1. Gather your materials.

That is: a box, a large pair of scissors, a pen or pencil, packing tape, and white (or black, or grey) bristol board.

The box doesn’t have to be anything fancy, though you could certainly choose a more aesthetically appealing box if you wanted! I’m just using a canola oil box from the market – want not, waste not, right? If you haven’t any packing tape, feel free to use plenty of scotch or masking tape instead, or even just liberal amounts of glue.

2. Prep the paper

You could use a ruler to draw in your lines, but I find the easiest way is just to use the side of your box. Line it up with the edge of the bristol board, then slide it about a half-inch off the paper (to account for the thickness of the sides), and pencil in the line. Flip the box onto the next surface (side or base) to get an idea of the length, then add a few inches – you’ll want to account for fold-over on the edges.

I don’t need to tell you how to cut the line, so just… don’t run with scissors, you hear?

3. Prep the box

You’ll only want your box to have a base and one wall, so cut away the rest. Leave just a small triangle in the corners where the base and wall attach, with each side of the triangle at about 1/3 of the total length of the side it’s attached to.

4. Set the paper

From here, it only gets easier (which is a little crazy, seeing how simple this project has been thus far!) Make sure your paper’s not too wide for the box, and trim if it is.

5. Fold your edges

The folding isn’t actually all that necessary, seeing as you could just tape it to the front of the surface, but having the tape on the back does give you an extra inch or two of shooting area. So, if you’d like, fold the paper over the top and bottom, crease, and secure with tape.

The finished product

It’s not much, but it’s all I needed! The “infinity effect” (that is, the creaseless backdrop for a photo) adds a really clean, polished feel to photos, and it’s just so easy to do.

I hope you’ve found this to be helpful, and please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments! I’ll post comparison photos sometime tomorrow (lightbox photos vs. infinity effect photos), so stay tuned.

Cheers!

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48 Comments

  • Reply Chaosbutterfly

    Thank you for the tutorial!! I've been looking for a way to start taking pictures with artificial light, but am too lazy to make a lightbox. This looks easier than a lightbox but like it'll still work for what I need.
    Can't wait to see the pictures tomorrow!
    My recent post Its Giveaway Time!

    May 18, 2011 at 9:26 PM
  • Reply callitbeautyblog

    OOH! OOH! OOH!

    i'm SO doing this! thanks so much for all your awesome photography tips, gorgeous! :D
    My recent post Liz Earle Cleanse &amp Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser- One-Step Cleansing At Its Finest!

    May 18, 2011 at 9:33 PM
  • Reply Belen

    Wow! This is such a creative and great idea! Thank You! Im exited to see how those pics turn out.
    My recent post Quieres ganar pinta unas de GRATIS! CERRADO

    May 18, 2011 at 10:03 PM
  • Reply vijiis

    I think I'm gonna bookmark this for a rainy day. For now, my floor feels pretty good. Also, no effort on my part just putting things on the floor. *Is a lazy bum*
    My recent post CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

    May 18, 2011 at 10:17 PM
  • Reply Paris B

    Love this post! I made a lightbox once but it was too small – I did like the effect though. I mostly shoot anywhere these days (the floor being my fave for now) but I should look to making one of these – you're right. The infinity background makes for very pro looking photos!
    My recent post The Clarins UV Plus HP SPF40 Sunscreen and I are inseparable!

    May 19, 2011 at 12:01 AM
  • Reply Angela

    Why did it never occur to me to set up my bristol board in a box? x__x Thanks for the tutorial, babe!
    My recent post SlutWalkVan

    May 19, 2011 at 12:11 AM
  • Reply Polarbelle

    Just in the nick of time. I really need a streamlined photo process.

    May 19, 2011 at 2:27 AM
  • Reply Bev

    My setup is almost identical to this one :).
    My recent post Review- Milani One Coat Glitter

    May 19, 2011 at 5:05 AM
  • Reply Beauty Reflections

    Thanks so much! I am so doing this-I have a few boxes lying around! Perfect! Rae, you are awesome!
    My recent post DR JART Water Fuse Beauty Balm

    May 19, 2011 at 6:45 AM
  • Reply Connie

    Fantastic tips – thanks Rae! Your pictures are always gorgeous!

    May 19, 2011 at 8:16 AM
  • Reply Shivani

    I definitely need to do this. Thanks so much Rae!
    My recent post Benefit Girl Meets Pearl

    May 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM
  • Reply Larie

    Oh, helpful! If only I could conquer my laziness, and my lack of a box. :D I do have another question, though: what kind of lighting do you use for EOTD shots? My eyes…are not photogenic.
    My recent post The Thursday Post

    May 19, 2011 at 1:09 PM
  • Reply MFunnyValentine

    Thankyou thankyou for this post! I've decided that I need to take my images more seriously, and it's a great help learning how you pros do it!

    May 19, 2011 at 6:32 PM
  • Reply Blog Link Love | My Funny Valentine

    […] Rae does a must read photographic setup tutorial at The Notice. […]

    May 19, 2011 at 6:45 PM
  • Reply Ashley

    Rae, you are my hero!
    All I need is bristol board and packing tape and I'm all set to make my own infinity effect. Though, I'll need adult supervision since I'm not the best scissor-handler ;P
    My recent post Review- Hada Labo GOKUJYUN Lotion

    May 19, 2011 at 7:08 PM
  • Reply Rainy Days & Lattes

    The most helpful thing ever! Thank you!!!!!!!! ^_^
    My recent post Review- Quench Bath and Body Natural Skincare

    May 19, 2011 at 10:23 PM
  • Reply Vida

    Ah thank you so much for sharing this! I am always trying new ways to make my pictures better and I love the "infinity effect" but I never knew how to get it! Thanks again =)

    May 19, 2011 at 10:41 PM
  • Reply Vesna

    I was thinking of making a light box but instead I'll make something like this especially since I use natural lightning all the time. Great tutorial and it's really cheap and easy to make something as this :) Thanks for the tip! :)
    My recent post Nail polish haul!

    May 20, 2011 at 2:16 AM
  • Reply theNotice: a beauty blog » The Infinity Effect: comparison photos

    […] promised some comparison shots to follow Wednesday’s Infinity Effect How-To, so here they […]

    May 20, 2011 at 5:25 PM
  • Reply Jenny

    OMG this is so cool! thnks for sharing!

    May 21, 2011 at 10:59 PM
  • Reply Vonvon

    My lazy version of the "infinity effect" would be to take 2 pieces of A4 size paper, lay one down on the desk and the other propped up against something….there you are…not the most ideal…

    I shall try it with the box version.
    My recent post Look- Colorful Pastels

    May 22, 2011 at 9:41 PM
  • Reply It’s Friday. Finally. « Beauty addict

    […] from theNotice blog showed a very simple and great tutorial about how to take photos of your beauty products (or something else, if you’d […]

    May 27, 2011 at 12:29 AM
  • Reply Mascara Mom

    Thank you so much for this quick and easy fix. I just fixed myself a basic light box for infinity effect…
    My recent post Quick photo session as the brats nap

    August 18, 2013 at 2:56 PM
  • Reply The Luxola Guide to Starting A Beauty Blog (Part 1) - LX Edit

    […] Blog thenotice.net has a great tutorial on an inexpensive and effective photo backdrop here. […]

    February 13, 2014 at 11:28 PM
  • Reply The Daily Cookie

    […] I have time I’ll be making this Infinity Effect, courtesty of The Notice’s extremely helpful step by […]

    February 27, 2014 at 7:17 AM
  • Reply Background ideas for product photography |

    […] year I came across Rae’s blog when searching for inspiration for photography. She had this cool tutorial for an “infinity effect” backdrop. To create one all you need is a stapler, a fairly large box […]

    September 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM
  • Reply How To Start A Blog - The Ultimate Luxola Guide - LX Edit

    […] Blog thenotice.net has a great tutorial on an inexpensive and effective photo backdrop here. […]

    October 23, 2014 at 12:05 AM
  • Reply Create professional quality product photos fast and FREE!

    […] you’re photographing larger products you can try using an infinity back drop. These can be as simple to make as taking some larger format paper (A0 for example) and fixing […]

    August 3, 2015 at 12:41 PM
  • Reply The fastest, cheapest way to create professional quality product photos - DanDoesDigital

    […] you’re photographing larger products you can try using an infinity back drop. These can be as simple to make as taking some larger format paper (A0 for example) and fixing […]

    December 17, 2015 at 3:22 PM
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