Foldio is a mini portable studio perfect for product photography
Sites like Etsy and Ebay have made selling items online easy, but it's hard to reach customers without high-quality images of your product. Even though some sellers are willing to shell out the big bucks for a top of the line camera, they often don't have any clue how to light their items.
A new product is Kickstarting its way into entry-level product photography. The Foldio lightbox aims to help inexperienced photographers on a budget capture their items in the best light possible. Folding down flat enough to fit in a briefcase, the Foldio easily props up with the use of magnets.
A sheet falls diagonally down the interior of the box to give a horizonless clean background. LED lights stay on to illuminate the Foldio from the top, casting an even light across your product. The Foldio is made out of a waterproof material and the background sheets are washable, so you could use it for food photography as well.
Foldio is marketing directly to smartphone photographers. If you prefer to use your 8MP smartphone instead of purchasing a separate, pricey camera, you are not likely to shell out another $300 for a lighting set up. By keeping prices low — $34 for the basic white Foldio and a carrying case — Foldio is reaching out to the smartphone photography community. But Foldio could also be used with any other camera, and it's small enough to slide into any photographer's backpack.
Unlike other tabletop lightbox kits, Foldio is affordable and appears extremely easy to use. It's designed in such a way that you don't need a lot of knowledge about photography and lighting to take a good photo. And its design steps away from the common spring-loaded tents that can be tricky to fold back down.
One of the possible downsides of Foldio is that you will be getting the same light in every shot. But top-light bounced from the bright white sides is better than fluorescent lights or busy, distracting backgrounds.
Any uncertainty about the need for Foldio will be quelled by taking one look at Foldio's Kickstarter numbers. As of this post, Foldio has raised over $68,000 of its $10,000 goal, appealing to artisans and photographers alike.
One limitation of Foldio is its size; measuring at 10.2 x 10.2 inches, the Foldio is not big enough for a lot of items, but for Etsy sellers with small product or others who need to take some well-lit macro shots, the forthcoming Foldio could be a good addition to your photography tool kit — smartphone or not.