DIY Photography Reflector from Walmart

You can get them at a Dollar Store too!

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.

You heard me right… I said a Walmart Reflector.

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, which, side note, is an awesome reflector for location shooting. It’s very lightweight, has a light gold surface and folds up in a tiny little bag. 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.

Watch the VIDEO…

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.

Now, it’s your turn! Go create and-

Oh wait… I promised I would give you a sneak peek at my patent pending voice-activated DIY photography reflector holder… Okay, so 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 -exact hand placement is very important and a technique that does require some practice- then when you back up to take the shot you activate the reflector with simple commands such as “Closer!”; “Higher!”; “Tilt a little!” etc.

Now it’s your turn! Go create and show me what you come up with. Because your BEST shot, is your next shot!

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