One of the most important aspects of photography and videography (and oftentimes one of the most expensive) is lighting. Lighting defines your shot, for good or for bad, and the more control you have over your lighting, the better.

In a studio setting, you have ample control over which lights are on, at what intensity, where they’re pointed, and if there is any natural light or not. In the field, however, this level of control is hard to find. To help adjust to different lighting situations, videographers and photographers often use reflectors. Reflectors often are used as the “fill light” in a three-point lighting system (which you can read more about HERE) and come in a few different options. The typical reflector colors are white, silver, or gold, which each have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation. The goal is to use these reflectors to bounce light (natural or artificial) to essentially add an additional light source to your image or footage. does a great job explaining the different colors and what purpose they serve (including black which takes away light and a diffuser which softens light).

Reflectors can easily be purchased, but coming from a non-profit budget standpoint, we always look for ways to save some money and come up with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) techniques! My personal favorite is using white poster board as a reflector because it is cheap and flexible. Another great option is adhering aluminum foil to the poster board or cardboard to utilize its powerful silver goodness. points out the need for a sturdier reflector and utilizes particleboard and reflective material to get the job done. I say use whatever you have at your disposal!

Have you ever created your own DIY reflectors? Tell us in the comments!




AuthorKaty Woodhams