DIY Photography Tips

The Best DIY Photography Reflector for Less Than $2.00

You can get them at a Walmart or Dollar Store

Bet you didn’t know that Walmart sold professional lighting accessories. Here’s an inexpensive and effective DIY photography reflector that you can find at any Walmart or Dollar Store.

If you’ve read many of my articles or attended my workshops, you have heard me talk about my famous DIY photography reflector, the Walmart Reflector. It is simply a 30” x 20” piece of white foam board that you can buy at Walmart for $1.47.

This is my favorite reflector to use when shooting models or products in the studio and sometimes even on location.

I own the collapsible reflectors in a bunch of different sizes and colors and even a ridiculously expensive California Sunbounce. The problem is, not everyone can afford the cool expensive gadgets. Or, if you’re like me, I put my reflector down and then manages to step on it and leave a footprint.

What I like about a DIY photography reflector made out of foam board is that they are cheap, very light, easy to cut or shape if needed… and did I mention they are CHEAP?

Where and What to Buy

The boards that I get at Walmart are made by Elmer’s, the glue people. They are 3/16th of an inch thick and you can find them in the Arts and Crafts aisle along with poster board.

I have even seen 30” x 20” foam board at Dollar stores lately. It is usually a thinner 1/16th of an inch and also cheaper. You just can’t beat the price.

You can also find suppliers that will let you buy foam board in sizes up to 48” by 96” so that you can DIY photography reflectors the size of walls or make flats to use in your studio. Foamboard reflectors are very lightweight and take up very little storage space.

Mounting your DIY Photography reflector

I have several ways that I mount my DIY photography reflectors on a stand and I have even developed a voice-activated version that is patent pending, which I’ll tell you more about in a bit.

In my studio I generally use a Photoflex Telescopic Litedisc Holder to hold my DIY photography reflectors. This holder lets me use the reflector vertically alongside a subject or horizontally in front of and under a subject.

holder with DIY photography reflector

If you check the major camera retailers as well as Amazon and Ebay you can find tons of options that will fit your budget.

If you are working on a really low budget you can get a little creative. If you are using the reflector vertically next to your subject, use large spring clips to attach it to a stand.

Clipping DIY photography reflector to stand

If you need a horizontal set-up below your subject’s face, simply have your subject hold the reflector.

Or, you could check out my DIY photography reflector holder, featured in this video.

Patent Pending Voice-Activated DIY Photography Reflector Holder

Okay, you start out with the 20” x 30” white foam board. Then you need an assistant, or friend (spouses work great for this). You carefully place the reflector in their hands – then when you back up to take the shot you activate the reflector with simple commands such as “Closer!”; “Higher!”; “Tilt a little!” etc.

I hope you found this information useful. Now go pick up that camera and shoot something! Because – Your BEST shot is your NEXT shot!” — Joe Edelman

Watch the VIDEO

Curious about the gear I use?

Joe Edelman

Joe Edelman is an award winning Photographer, Author, and Photo Educator.  Follow this link to learn more about Joe or view his portfolio. Please be sure to connect on the social media platforms below.
Back to top button