As I mentioned in my last post, one piece of gear that I use in almost every photo set up is a piece of white foam board. I just like it’s non-specular, soft, even bounce. So, last time I talked about making your own white foam board holder. but I have a couple other little tricks to hold my white boards in place.
One day I was shopping in a thrift store, looking at discarded things people donated to resell. As odd as it sounds, there are always a handful of medical related items.. old walkers, crutches, IV stands, etc.. I was looking at the IV stand and It had a “T” shaped top to hold the IV bags, a telescoping arm that raised up to over six feet high, and casters on the legs to roll it around. Then it dawned on me.. I could clamp a white board to the top of that IV stand and have a rolling reflector! It costs about 1/4 of an actual light stand that I’d probably use to hold a board, and it has a smaller footprint (meaning it takes up less space on the floor than a traditional stand). I got very excited!
So the IV stand at the thrift store cost me $16 (USD) and I took it home.. it was everything I’d hoped it would be. A rolling, light-weight, telescoping vertical white board holder.. for cheap! That is now what I use to bring my white boards in close to a subject.. If I raise the arm up high, I can actually clamp one white board to the bottom and another one up top, creating a head to toe, rolling reflector.
I’ve found additional ones on Ebay for about $36 (USD).. that’s cheaper than a decent photo stand. When I put them away, I just bring the poles in close and stack the legs on top of each other.
Okay next is for when I want to get a white board close to the ground, I use wire office file organizers to hold the white boards in place. I just pop a board into one of the file holders and I’m good to go! They’re cheap and do the trick. Again, to store them, I just stack them on top of each other. These can be found a most office supply stores and they’re pretty inexpensive.
I hope you can use these ideas yourself.. they’ve been good lighting tools for me! Happy light bouncing!!
About The Author
Patrick Shipstad is an LA photographer with a background in music, sound design and video production. In addition to a passion for creative composition and detailed lighting, his philosophy for shooting is simple. Don’t just shoot a pose, capture a moment. And just shoot a face, capture the emotion, Oh, and bend your darn knees to find the more creative angle! You can see more of his work on his site or follow his Facebook.