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Review: The LA Shop

Recently I was contacted by The LA Shop asking if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their products.  I actually get quite a few of these requests a month, but usually turn them down because their products don’t interest me, or I think you guys would be turned off by the product.

I looked through their website and saw some pretty cool things, and others that I could take or leave.  Then…then, I saw the Photo Cube Studio Light Tent Box:


Like many food bloggers, I like to take close up photos of dishes (close up means you can’t see how messy my kitchen is!), and I like to use natural light.  However, I have the opposite problem that most natural light photographers have – I have TOO much natural light for half of the year.

My house is primarily windows, so it is lit up like a Christmas tree until 9 pm in summer.  The winter?  Well, it’s dark before I get home from work.  In addition to crazy lighting, I also suck using my camera.  I’ve had it for three years, and just don’t understand it.  I’m not artistic in the least; both Jack and Troy can take better photos without trying, than I can if I stage the shot and try to do a top-notch job.

To recap: I have light challenges, and I’m a photography moron.

Then the light cube came in to my home and helped this idiot out.

It all folds up for easy storage.  I can slide it right under my bed!

Here is where I take most of my photos:

Jack’s plant from preschool

Here is what it would look like if I took a normal photo of this bowl of gleaned blackberries:

Yikes, too much white.  Everything in our (rental) house is white or beige which makes a lot of darker items super washed out.

So, normally I’d put a pretty napkin under the same bowl to try to temper down the wash out:


The light cube comes with cool little stand up lights (and extra bulbs!), two kinds of camera tripods, and three different colors of backdrops.

Here is the same bowl of blackberries with the red backdrop.

Hmmm…still too bright.

Here it is with the blue backdrop.  Getting better…

Then I propped up the bowl with the blue napkin to get a different angle. 

Bingo, I think this is the best I can do!  I’m sure someone who knows how to properly use a camera and stuff could do a bang up job with this shot, but this is my best work.

The good people at The LA Shop are offering you, dear readers a 10% discount of any of their products.  Enter “BLOGGER” in at checkout for the discount!

Yo yo, head’s up, this post might contain affiliate links which help to support my site. And my canning, seed buying, and aggressive saving habits.

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3 comments on “Review: The LA Shop”

  1. I got one of these off of for $24.99 AND LOVE IT… I was super excited at the price because everywhere else they were selling for much higher. I must also say because I am a VIP I get “special” deals on items that say a new purchaser might get. But I have never heard of The LA Shop. I am going to check it out.. Thanks for sharing. I love these types of “stores.” You might consider doing more reviews for these types of sites.

  2. Those light boxes are so neat. I’ve seen them used a lot at weddings, and the photographers tamper with it for what seems like hours. But I am sure it’s worth it to get the “money” shot of the rings, bouquet or whatever they’re photographing! Thank goodness we don’t allow them to photograph food.

  3. The bowl is your problem, not the light. The light in the first image is lovely and you don’t need any modifiers. But the patter and colors in the bowl are fighting with the fruit. No one can see the fruit really because it becomes just a dark blot against the wildly patterned bowl.

    I’m not sure what Tanners comment about wedding photographers is about, but I’ll say for the record that as a wedding photographer I don’t have “hours to tamper” at a wedding and I am “allowed” to photograph food at all my weddings – as well as at my house. Obviously Tanner hasn’t seen a real food shoot where they take all day to get one plate of food right.

    I’d suggest watching CreativeLive – they just had Andrew Scrivani do a 3 day course on photography for food bloggers. Also the Penny de los Santos course on editorial food photography is awesome. It’s not about the fancy equipment or the backgrounds. It’s about knowing your light and making the food the star of the show.