Nail this fun box-stacked portrait idea with these tips

Jan 26, 2024

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Nail this fun box-stacked portrait idea with these tips

Jan 26, 2024

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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Nail this fun box-stacked portrait idea with these tips

It’s always fun to meet up with other photographers and try out new ideas. That’s exactly what Scottish photographer Evelyn Fraser ended up doing at a New Year’s Eve party. And it had hilarious results.

Of course, this stacked box concept is not new. However, it’s a really fun way to create memorable and alternative portraits. And the puppy photos are just so darn cute!

The set up

Evelyn says that it’s so important that the scene is set correctly. Your camera needs to be on a tripod with the centre of the box in the centre of your image. Your box and your tripod can’t move, so you might need someone to help keep these still or mark them out with tape.

You must also make sure your subject is fully inside the box so no hands or paws stepping outside the box.

Keep the same settings

All images need to be taken using the same camera settings, a key light and fill light helps too!
“The hardest part,” says Evelyn, “is definitely keeping the box and tripod steady, especially if you are doing it with children or over-excited dogs!”

To make it simpler, she suggests using a square IKEA Kallax unit with the shelving taken out instead of a cardboard box.

Post Processing

All the editing is done in Photoshop. All the images are first opened and cropped down to the box only. This can be tricky, Evelyn says, so she makes sure to zoom in to crop the images perfectly. This makes lining up each box easier for the final edit.

Evelyn created a background canvas which is extended from the first cropped image, and she copies and pastes each image to this. Then she moves all the images around until every image fits perfectly together (this can be the most time-consuming part). Images composed of 9, 12 or 15 boxes work well, she says.

Once every image is placed and she has cropped out any remaining background canvas, she starts any editing of the final image, like colour correction.

Here are the finished images:

Nail this fun box-stacked portrait idea with these tips
Nail this fun box-stacked portrait idea with these tips

Final tips

The final advice Evelyn has is to have fun with it and have a giggle over silly poses you could do. Take approximately 4 images of each person in different poses so you can choose your favourite one to match up with others so it looks like people are looking at each other or reacting to each other.

You can follow Evelyn on Instagram, or follow her photography group here for more inspiration.

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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