If you know anything about photography, you know that lighting can make or break a picture. It doesn't matter how advanced your camera is, lighting is key to a good shot. Sometimes nature just doesn't work in your favor and you end up with harsh shadows or not enough light. Some professional photographers use lights, but sometimes it's not convenient to take bulky lights with you. The solution? Reflectors and diffusers. Buying them can cost around $20! If you're just getting into photography, making your own for cheap can help you improve your photography and learn more about lighting and placement.
In this super simple tutorial, I'll show you how to make your own reflector out of things you probably already have.
Ribbon or string (optional)
We had an old cardboard box laying around, so I cut off one of the ends, flaps included. You determine how big/small you want it to be! Rip off a sheet of aluminum foil to match the length of your cardboard and set it aside while you glue.
Once you have all your materials laid out, put some glue on one side of the cardboard. I used a hot glue gun, but I'm sure regular Elmer's would work fine also! If you're using hot glue, remember to work fast before the glue cools off.
Once you've placed the sheet of aluminum foil on the cardboard, go back around the edges and corners and put some more glue down to make sure it's secure.
For extra portability, I glued a strip of ribbon onto the back. Do you like the Hello Kitty?
And here's the end result! Not perfect, but it's definitely useful for those learning about lighting and composure.
Learning how to hold it while taking a picture is a whole different feat. In order for the reflector to work, it has to be pretty close to the subject. If you're going to hold it, you probably need a tripod for your camera to sit on for less shakiness. Or, you could get a stand with a clamp on it to hold the reflector. I'm sure there are plenty of creative ways to make your own stand! Some people use easels and music stands!
If you make a reflector, let me know how it turned out!