More Clever Ways To Mount Foam Board Reflectors and Flags

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.

More Clever Ways To Mount Foam Board Reflectors and Flags

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!

More Clever Ways To Mount Foam Board Reflectors and Flags

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.

More Clever Ways To Mount Foam Board Reflectors and Flags

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.

More Clever Ways To Mount Foam Board Reflectors and Flags

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.

  • JD
    • JD

      Great tips!

    • patrick shipstad

      Now that’s a great tip! thanks.. :-)

  • Ghayathri

    Using office file organizers is a pretty cool idea! :-)

  • Wil Fry

    Nice. I’m often looking for a way to prop up the flexible cutting mats that I use as reflectors (and sometimes backgrounds). The office file thingy is a great idea.

    (Often, I stack books so that things can be propped against them — I’m talking about macro or product photography though, not portraits.)

  • DSLR Video Studio

    Some really handy hints using foamcore

  • AtlantaTerry

    Another way to use white foam cards is to drill a hole in the center then insert an aluminum tube. Run a bolt through the hole into the tube. Place LARGE washers on both sides of the board to spread out the load. Clamp the aluminum tube onto the light stand.

    This way you can extend the reflector into the set or near a person at almost any angle.

    Terry Thomas Photos
    Atlanta, Georgia USA

  • Tomás

    YES. Why pay $60 to keep your foam core in place?