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100 Photos

Backlit array of personal photos

About the project

This is just a standard 10x10 illuminated shadowbox. We hoped it would become a treasured heirloom for our sons and our family. But there was a strategy behind the photos: we aimed to avoid including any images of people. The pictures we captured all mean something different to us. Photographs of my wife's Pez collection or fireworks from New Year's Eve in Washington, DC, or the Vegas sign from a family vacation are just a few examples.

The blueprints for the primary plate that would hold the photographs were drawn up by me in Fusion 360. This is the basic idea: The LED is housed in a simple plastic box, and the light deflector layer (made from a sanded matt acrylic sheet) is sandwiched between the LED and the panel with 100 holes.

For the back lighting I found the perfect inexpensive LED strip set $25: it comes with short cables to connect the strips all in one kit and it had the exact length of strips to cover 10 rows of photos:

About the frame

Although I didn't document making the frame, the design is simple: it consists of miter corners and dado grooves on both sides. The depth of the dado is enough to fit both the Acrylic sheet and the top sheet (with the 100 photos) flush to the surface. On the backside I like it to be 1/8" or more past the thickness of the back panel. This allows the entire frame to sit flush to the wall with a keyhole metal holder which attaches to the body of the frame behind the frame:

The gallery has more photos documenting the build...

Media Gallery

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