Smartphone Product Photography with Foldio Portable Studio

Folded Foldio Studio

We take a lot of pictures with our smartphones. But product photography? Yes you can, and I'll prove it.

This quest started when I learned about Foldio through a Kickstarter initiative. I ponied up $45 (Kickstarter early adopter price) and received a foldable, portable studio, two LED light strips, and four sweep backdrops. I can fold up the studio, lights, two batteries and one backdrop and fit it in an 11" x 11" carry bag. And with this little studio, I can take some pretty good shots.

Foldio Studio in Action The Foldio studio in action. One LED light strip on top, and another at the base.

Foldio will fit in any messenger bag that can accommodate a laptop. I can set it up in minutes thanks to the magnets that click everything into place. I have one LED light strip adhered to the inside top of the studio, and the other is free floating so I can position it as needed.

For the images captured with my iPhone, I use Camera+ ($1.99) because it has an effective exposure compensation slider that makes it easy to compensate for the bright white background. Without exposure compensation, your phone will underexpose both the subject and white backdrop. (My kit also included a black, gray, and green backdrop. Exposure will change with each of them.)

Because the LED lights are color balanced, you can use auto white balance on your phone or camera, and the rendering should be pretty accurate.

I photographed two different products with the Foldio. One item was shot with the iPhone 5S and Camera+. The other item was photographed with a Pentax K-5 and 50mm f/1.8 lens. Can you tell which is which below?

product-shot-in-foldio.jpg Product shot #1 captured in the Foldio using the two LED light strips.

product-shot-2-in-foldio-studio Product shot #2 captured in the Foldio using the two LED light strips.

If you really want to know right now, you can download one of the images and look at the EXIF data. Otherwise, I'll post the answer tomorrow on the TDS Facebook page.

The point is, you can create some lovely product shots with very simple tools. The folks at Foldio will open their store soon. You can get on their mailing list and be notified once they're selling kits. It's a nifty setup that's fun, easy to use, and produces good results.

Nimble Photographer Logo

The Foldio has a high Nimbleosity Rating. What does that mean? You can learn about Nimbleosity and more by visiting

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.