Reflectors are extremely useful for studio photography. There are many companies that have built wonderful reflectors in many shapes and sizes. You may find it fun to build your own reflectors in order to experiment before you take the leap into professional gear.
The simplest form of homemade reflector can be built with foam core, aluminum foil and tape. To mimic the effects of professional studio reflectors, simply:
- Use a razor to cut the foam core to the proper size (smaller reflectors for tight light control or larger reflectors for full-length portraits or large subjects).
- Roll out enough aluminum foil to cover the length of foam core and overhang the edges by several inches. Multiple passes of foil may be required to cover the entire sheet of foam core. If this occurs, be sure to overlap the strips of foil at least an inch.
- Crinkle the foil lightly to give it random texture. Flat foil will be too directional and cause harsh light to shine on your subject.
- Use tape to connect the foil to adjacent strips and to the foam core backing.
These reflectors are light and inexpensive making them easy to bring on location shoots or simply lay them around the studio for use in a pinch. Foam core reflectors can be mounted to light stands or nearby walls with clamps or tape. Possibilities are only limited by your imagination!
For variations, try spray painting the foil surface with gold or white spray paint to affect the feel of your photo.