Why in the world would we want to make our own photo reflectors when there are already some cheap ones out there? Because we can, that’s why!

The reason you can find affordable reflectors is that there is nothing to them. They reflect or absorb light. Period. However, the impact they have on your images can astound you. In his video, Tyson Waggener shows us how to make a four-sided photo reflector (i.e., gold, black, silver, and white) for less than twenty bucks.

One word of caution, Tyson Waggener doesn’t quite have an ear out for the birds incessantly chirping in the video. If you have any video experience, you will hear them, and it will get close to maddening. But, if you’re strictly still photography, you’ll still hear them, because I just told you to listen out for them. Misery loves company, my fellow tricksters. All right, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you can watch the DIY photo reflector video on mute and still understand it, which is the sign of a great DIY video.

Once you see how Tyson Waggener makes his four-sided photo reflector, feel free to make your own series of these bad boys. His method of taping two foam boards together means that you can make one long side all silver, for example, and actually be able to wrap light around your subject, just like those fancy bendable circular reflectors but with less strain. The advantage to Tyson Waggener’s photo reflectors over those bendable circular reflectors is that your photography crew won’t be tempted to use these reflectors as Frisbees.