One of the most basic tools every portrait photographer should have in their arsenal is a reflector. It can be used with natural light, in a studio, pretty much anywhere, really.
While it’s easy to go out and buy one for $20–40, it’s also possible to make a much more affordable DIY reflector by using little more than an emergency blanket and poster board.
Shared on Instructables by user TheCoffeeDude, this DIY reflector should cost only a few dollars and take only a couple minutes to make. Better yet, just buy the products, keep them in your car, and build the thing when you need it.
All you’ll need to make this DIY reflector is an emergency blanket (otherwise known as a sheet of Mylar), a few pieces of poster board, spray adhesive and good ole Gaffer’s tape.
To build the reflector, simply tape the pieces of poster board together at the seams using Gaffer’s tape. These seams will act as hinges, allowing you to fold up the poster board for more compact storage. Once the poster board is taped together, simply crinkle together an emergency blanket, spray some adhesive on the board and stretch the silver blanket across the surface of the boards.
Theoretically you could make this reflector as large as possible, but we suggest basing the size off of the dimensions of the emergency blanket.
The total cost shouldn’t come in at more than $5–10 pending what supplies you have laying around at home. To see the full tutorial, head on over to the Instructables page.