Photography Lighting Equipment – DIY Reflectors

Ever take indoor photos and everything looks a shade of yellow because of the overhead lights? Using flash also generally leaves some. Natural light is great for getting truer colors when photographing just about anything.

One way to control and amplify that natural light is to use a reflector. You’ll sometimes see professional wedding photographers toting round pieces of silver fabric to outdoor shoots. What a reflector does is direct the light in the direction youneed. You can add a little light to a shadowy portion of someone’s face, or the back of an object. They generally come in two colors: silver and gold. Silver is used for cool light, and gold can be used to warm up a photograph. You can buy one at your local camera store or you can make one for less than 1$.

DIY Light Reflector


* 1 cardboard box with flaps on the top and bottom.
* White Glue or Tape
* Aluminum Foil
* Gold wrapping paper.

Cut out the front part of the box leaving both flaps attached. Glue gold wrapping paper to one side, and foil to the other. The foil should be crumpled slightly. This allows the light to be diffused nicely. That’s all you need to do. The flaps allow you to stand up your reflector on a tabletop and not have to hold it.

Got zero craftiness? Just use gold and silver poster board as reflectors. Zero cutting, glue, and work.

Here’s a comparison I did on an overcast day inside my apartment, near an open window, using just a simple Canon Powershot camera. Look at the shadows on the left side of the image (this is where I put the reflector).

I live in Vancouver which is typically overcast and rainy a good portion of the year – this will save me from having to wait for those rare sunny days to get decent light! No more excuses for getting my Etsy store stocked up now.

Here are some more Cheap and dirty tricks for pretty pictures.
And, when your the photos still don’t turn out great, Photoshop levels tutorial.