Paul Howard Photography | Boxing It In

Boxing It In

May 18, 2017  •  2 Comments

But they're just old wooden boxes.

That's what I thought. I've often read or watched that a great many pro photographers (and cinematographers) have all of these "apple boxes" lying around. I just couldn't figure it out. It's a box, for heaven's sake. But they are darn handy for things like elevating a client by a few inches (think about a couple that have a substantial height difference), a quick seating stool, something to rest a prop on, all kinds of stuff! Because of course, you can also place them in New York, Texas/Chicago, or LA positions! Just Google it, it's easier than me explaining. 

Anyway, these things also cost about $150US for a set. For wooden boxes. And if you're not too handy, this is a great option. I happen to have used a hammer and nails on more than one occasion, usually successfully (though there was that one time.......but I digress) and I happen to have "stuff" lying around. Let's not get into the hoarding discussion either. 

These here boards, for instance. 
Apple Boxes-1Apple Boxes-1 These were, at one time, the support layer for a long since gone futon. All screwed together with a couple lengths of nylon or polyester (or some other nubby fabric), straps. Why throw 'em out? So, a bunch of roughly 1" x 4" boards. 

Apple boxes are a standard size, by the way. I have NO idea why. Yeah, Google that too. A 'full' apple box is 12" x 20" x 8". A '1/2' is 4" high, a '1/4' is 2" high. Now, my boards were 39" long (did I mention that they're free?), and totally disregarding that the photographic / cinemagraphic / film industry cops might take me in, I figured I could get the best box for my (free) buck by making them 19" long. 

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Ok, 19 and 1/16 long, to be precise. My sister graciously brought her mitre saw into the shop (mine is heavy and I'm old and tired), so it was pretty much of a breeze to chop them to length. The end pieces had to be 10 1/2" long to get the full 12" depth. Again, no biggie with the mitre saw. A few handfuls of screws, pre-drill the boards (because they're pine, and pine splits like.......... like pine splits!!) and slap 'em together. One section then would end up being 12" x 19" x about 4 1/4" high. Which is about the height of a half apple box! Annnnnnnnnd, if you put two halves together, oh yeah baby, a FULL apple box! 

Oh, quick side note, the screws are Robertson head screws. Which are, I believe, known by our American neighbours to the south as "square head drive" screws. (Come ON, it's easier to call them Robertson!) Which is one of the greatest Canadian inventions EVER! Created by P.L. Robertson in 1908, patented in Canada in 1909, and in the US in 1911. Um, again, I digress. 

Apple Boxes-3Apple Boxes-3  

I didn't measure out the total amount of wood that I had to start with, I figured I'd be happy with whatever I could get out of these boards. Free, remember? So I ended up with one full and two halves!! And yes, I did sand the edges so that nobody will get splinters. Much. 


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All ready for someone's backside to grace them in the studio, to elevate a portrait subject, or to hold their cup of coffee!! I can see where these are going to be of some use! 


And I have my eye on some old shipping palettes sitting out in the back parking lot................... 


Enjoyed this post, nice work!

I could use a box for my vinyl records, what do you say, Paul?
See? Never throw out things, that can be re-used. Like for example: old sheets. Also: a man that is able to create with his hands, is awesome.
Now I am going to look up "mitre saw"... (yeah, I'm a girl)..
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