Jun 10, 2015

Foldio Foldable Studio

If you like taking photos, you've probably heard of Photojojo, and if not, you're welcome! They have all kinds of neat-o gadgets for your camera and cell phone to help with your image capturing. They also have a fun blog/newsletter with plenty of tips to help get your creativity going in new directions.

In a recent newsletter, they talked about the product of a successful Kickstarter from last year called Foldio. Foldio is basically a portable light box. It seemed like it would be worth the $50 to check it out, especially if it means not having to setup my "photo area" in the basement.

As an added bonus, Photojojo sent a free dinosaur!

Now that the prehistoric fun is out of the way, let's take a look at Foldio!
Foldio ships in a box almost the size of a record.

Foldio & bag

It comes with a snazzy mesh slip case (left) for traveling. And that's it on the right in its folded-down compact mode.

Foldio assembled

It's a pretty genius design. Each flap has a magnet in it. You unfold the flaps and connect the magnets to make the 10.2" cube, like so. The instructions that came with it warn against folding it back and forth, as this is an "incorrect and abusive use" which is not covered by the exchange policy. I can only presume they mean excessive folding because folding it
 back and forth is kinda how it works!

There's also an LED strip under the top flap. All the copy I read about Foldio called it "built-in" or "internally-embedded." I don't know if it normally comes attached but mine was not attached. Luckily, the back of it is sticky so I was able to attach it without having to use tape or anything. Also I'm presuming it's supposed to be attached because they don't mention where to attach it in the instructions.

I emailed Orange Monkie thorough their site and they sent me a couple of 15 second videos showing how to use a lighter to partially melt the sticky stuff to make it stick and where to place it. The latter one was not very helpful, but it ain't rocket science.

They were smart enough to ship it with the needed 9 volt battery (hurray!) but mine did not work (boo!). After plugging in the battery, you can slap it on to the magnet (below).

Foldio with insert

Here it is with one of the backdrop inserts. If you look at the top of the black, you can see the little tabs that will hold the backdrop in. You get three different colors: black, white, and gray. They're made of some type of soft foam board and smell very strongly like a new pair of shoes when you get them out of their plastic bag. They even tell you in the instructions, this is a normal smell and will fade over time. Because who wants to be feel like they're taking photos inside someone's shoe forever?

And that's it! It's very easy to setup, which means you can pretty much use it anywhere without having to worry about what's in the background of your shot. What's that? Sample pics, you say? I'm glad you asked!

Haunted Mansion Key

Here is where you can kind of see the down side of the foam backdrop, at least the darker ones. You have to run your hand over it to make sure the color is even of you get results like this. Maybe you won't notice it much, but I do. The good news is, dollar stores sell poster size sheets of construction paper in a multitude of colors. Those are actually what I've been using for most of the photos that show up on here. It will be no problem to cut them down to size.


One other weird thing is the lighting. Because it's a strip of LEDs, they can cast multiple shadows, like Finn's sword here. I will admit, this could just be me needing to learn how to use it. I've taken less than 10 photos with it. Even if it hadn't come with the LEDs, and were cheaper, it would still be a handy lightbox I could use with the lamps I have.

Beauty & the Beast

The early verdict on Foldio is thumbs up! If you're someone that shoots a lot of smaller things or just get annoyed with your lighting making your subject shiny, it may be worth your time. I'm looking forward to using it more and being able to pop it up without needing to clear a spot, get the lamps out and fuss with their angles.

If you follow this link to the Photojojo store, you can save $5 on anything you order!


  1. Neat! I might have to get one of these.

  2. I definitely need to look into getting one of these, or at least making my own.

    You don't happen to have the dimensions handy on this do you?

    1. I do, exactly! When open it's a 10.2" cube.