bride2.jpg

Photo by Scott Bourne

Homemade reflectors can be just as effective as the expensive ones you buy at the camera store. Instead of paying $50 at CAMERA JOES, spend $5.00 on a piece of cardboard, styrofoam or plywood that is at least 30 x 30″. Styrofoam works best because it is already white and very light. If you want a more reflective surface, use aluminum foil to cover the styrofoam. If you want a gold reflector, just add some gold spray paint on top of the aluminum foil.

This post sponsored by Lensbabies.

Join the conversation! 20 Comments

  1. Couldn’t you use a cheap auto shade? One of the ones that is fabric, they are silver, flexible, and you get two at a time.

  2. Couldn’t you use a cheap auto shade? One of the ones that is fabric, they are silver, flexible, and you get two at a time.

  3. Although I’ve considered foam-core, the prices that I’ve seen for sizes that large have been intimidating. Where does one obtain a sheet of Styrofoam that large that isn’t pink or blue (i.e. not Home Depot)?

  4. Although I’ve considered foam-core, the prices that I’ve seen for sizes that large have been intimidating. Where does one obtain a sheet of Styrofoam that large that isn’t pink or blue (i.e. not Home Depot)?

  5. I believe you can get styrofoam at craft stores

  6. I believe you can get styrofoam at craft stores

  7. I love these homemade solutions. I would love to see more of this!

  8. I love these homemade solutions. I would love to see more of this!

  9. Yes! DIY is so helpful for those of us who are more hobbyist and poorer than we’d like! ;) Thanks for the tip!

  10. Yes! DIY is so helpful for those of us who are more hobbyist and poorer than we’d like! ;) Thanks for the tip!

  11. You can also find the collapsible windowshades for cars at discount stores for next to nothing. They work very well; many are silver or gold on the ‘sunward side’. A cheap lightstand and a couple of clamps later…

    The only problems I’ve ever had with foamcore is wind; it can be tough to pin down really large reflectors.

    You can also make collapsible reflectors out of pvc pipe and fitted sheet-like things; total cost for 4×8 unit can be as low as $20.00, and it breaks down and stowes in a tripod bag.

  12. You can also find the collapsible windowshades for cars at discount stores for next to nothing. They work very well; many are silver or gold on the ‘sunward side’. A cheap lightstand and a couple of clamps later…

    The only problems I’ve ever had with foamcore is wind; it can be tough to pin down really large reflectors.

    You can also make collapsible reflectors out of pvc pipe and fitted sheet-like things; total cost for 4×8 unit can be as low as $20.00, and it breaks down and stowes in a tripod bag.

  13. Scott – love the photo – absolutely captures someone having a really great day.

  14. Just recycled a round piece of styrofoam from a new bistro table my wife bought. That would have worked great. Too bad, I was just thinking about reflectors too and boom, here’s another great tip. Just like the time I was thinking about studio lighting, the next day your video tip was there. Great job with everything Scott. It’s like you’re working just for me. Keep up the great work.

  15. Just recycled a round piece of styrofoam from a new bistro table my wife bought. That would have worked great. Too bad, I was just thinking about reflectors too and boom, here’s another great tip. Just like the time I was thinking about studio lighting, the next day your video tip was there. Great job with everything Scott. It’s like you’re working just for me. Keep up the great work.

  16. with ebay u can find these reflectors for cheap… Now granted not styrofoam and aluminum foil cheap but cheap… Picked up a three foot round and a three by 5 oval reflector for like 20 bucks…. They come with silver white black and gold covers and if u take all the covers off it is a diffusion panel/skrim… Plus they are collapsible… What a value.. I mean in a hobby where 500 dollar lens is an alright lens 20 bucks isn’t too much of a stretch..

  17. with ebay u can find these reflectors for cheap… Now granted not styrofoam and aluminum foil cheap but cheap… Picked up a three foot round and a three by 5 oval reflector for like 20 bucks…. They come with silver white black and gold covers and if u take all the covers off it is a diffusion panel/skrim… Plus they are collapsible… What a value.. I mean in a hobby where 500 dollar lens is an alright lens 20 bucks isn’t too much of a stretch..

  18. Yes Steve! AUTOSHADE!!! usually silver or gold on one side, collapsable, and (conveniently) you probably already own one (or know someone that does)

  19. 20 years ago I attended a talk by National Geographic photographer James L. Stansfield. He showed a portrait that was made by bouncing his flash off the white dress shirt of someone who happened to be there and available for his use.

  20. 20 years ago I attended a talk by National Geographic photographer James L. Stansfield. He showed a portrait that was made by bouncing his flash off the white dress shirt of someone who happened to be there and available for his use.

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