DIY Photography Studio Reflector Holder and One Light Portrait Lighting Tutorial


are you tired of trying to clip reflectors to light stands or using tape to hold them in place have you bought your cheap reflector holders and found out that they’re flimsy and difficult to work with I have two solutions that you can build yourself out of PVC piping for less than 10 bucks for both stay tuned until the very end and I’ll show you a cool and inexpensive way to create a broad light modifier for your speed light or mono light for only a dollar hey gang before I get into the details for these two reflector holders just a quick programming note this coming Monday and every Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern Time in the United States I will be live here on YouTube with an hour-long program called Cod chat I’ll be sharing tips and tricks in real time and doing photo critiques of images posted in my Facebook group taken by photographers from all over the world I hope to see you during the live show but if you can’t make it don’t worry it will be recorded and you can watch it whenever you have the time okay back to the reflector holders I’ve been getting lots of requests for more DIY studio gear as a follow-up to the PVC background stand that I showed you in this video so I want to show you a real easy way to create a set of reflector holders that are even easier to use than the expensive ones let’s begin with my parts list I purchased two 10 foot by 1/2 inch PVC pipes and my local home depot a little tip if you’re like me I can’t get a ten-foot pipe in my car Home Depot will cut it for you I just asked them to cut the pipes in two to five foot sections I also purchased sixties 8 elbows to 1/2 inch female adapters two quarter inch by 20 by 1/2 inch thumb nail screws if you have a quarter 20 screw with a knob laying around from some old camera gear these are a lot easier to turn or you can buy them for about 3 bucks on Amazon but that does increase the cost of your build you’ll also need some PVC cement which I had leftover from the background stand so I haven’t added that to the overall cost of these because the cement goes a really long way a rubber mallet comes in real handy as does a hacksaw or a table saw or better yet a PVC pipe cutter you’ll also need a small I built my holders to hold a Walmart reflector that measures 30 inches long be sure to check the measurements of your brand of reflector before you cut your PVC I found that some of the dollar store foam boards are a little shorter I recommend assembling the unit without cement first to be sure that you’ve measured correctly and then reassemble it and glue it here’s the build diagram for the reflector holder I have two main pieces cut at sixteen and a quarter inches long five pieces at one and three-quarter inches for elbows three tees one female adapter and one thumb screw I took two of the keys and ran them through a table saw at the creative groove just thick enough to hold the foam board if you don’t own a table saw ask a neighbor or be really nice to the employees at Home Depot and you may get them to do it for you be sure to assemble the unit on a flat surface if it’s twisted the grooves for the foam board don’t line up after your cement has dried drill a hole slightly smaller than the quarter twenty thread in the female adapter and then twist the thumb screw or knob all the way in the first time you do it it’s going to require some extra effort because you’re creating the threads in the PVC as you turn it I used a pair of pliers to get leverage hey if you’re enjoying the video please take a second and hit that like button and subscribe so that you don’t miss a single episode and when the video is over if you really enjoyed it please share it with your photography friends I’m counting on your support to help grow this channel once the threads are in a little Vaseline petroleum jelly makes it easier to loosen and retighten the thumb screw when using the holder and there you have an easy to use very lightweight reflector holder that cost you just over three bucks if you want to be able to angle the reflector or use it on a diagonal a super clamp mounted on top of a light stand will give you an almost infinite number of possibilities for mounting the holder if you don’t already own a super clamp trust me you’re going to want several for your studio I’ve included links in the description below and of course if you want to look cool a little black spray-paint will get you there by the way unlike most expensive reflector holders this is so lightweight that you don’t need to counterbalance the holder because everything stays centered over your light stand technically it’s a gobo and flag holder okay I can hear it coming through YouTube some of you are asking what is a gobo and how is this thing going to hold a flag I have a video coming up where I’m going to show you some cool tips and tricks for gobos and flags so for now let me just explain that a gobo goes between your light source and your subjects and it’s used to alter or shape the light a flag also goes between your light and your subject to block the light from reaching a part of the scene or it’s used between your light and your camera to prevent the light from reaching the camera lens and creating unwanted flare because we’re going to want light to pass through the gobo I didn’t want the crossbar in the way so I’ve moved it to the bottom as you can see in this diagram for this build I have two main pieces cut at sixteen and a quarter inches long three pieces at one and three-quarter inches two pieces at ten inches for elbows three T’s one female adapter and one thumb screw the build process is the same as it was for the reflector holder except don’t glue these two tees to the unit rub a little Vaseline petroleum jelly on them and now you have an adjustable flag holder of course you can use this build for a reflector holder as well it’s just a little bigger so if you want one piece of gear that does both this is the one to build just like the reflector holder if you add a super clamp to the mix you can set this up in an almost infinite number of ways I promised you an inexpensive way to create a broad light source for a one light portrait using a simple speed light or even a mono light hopefully you’ve watched some of my lighting tutorials and if you haven’t what are you waiting for you know I’m a fan of broad soft light sources all those cool reflectors and soft boxes and octa boxes and umbrellas that stuff can get pretty darn expensive so if you don’t have a big budget or you just want to keep it simple stupid here is a soft one way portrait done with a luma Pro 180 or speed light and a Walmart reflector now would you believe me if I told you that the flash is next to the model and facing towards the camera uh-huh next in my subject not in front of her here you can see that I have the flash placed on camera left and aiming directly into a Walmart reflector that serves as a 20 inch by 30 inch diffused light source to reflect the light back to my subjects face and if you have a second speed lighter or strobe you could add a rim light on camera right set slightly behind the subject just to add a little depth to your image as always the possibilities are almost endless remember a good photographer is a good problem solver so now you have a project for this weekend make yourself some reflector holders and do some practice shots to find some cool and creative ways to use them to improve your portraits make sure you fill the frame and shoot heavy because your best shot it’s your next shot so keep learning keep thinking and keep shooting audio oh wait wait don’t forget to tune in every Monday at 10 a.m. Eastern Time that’s UTC minus 4 for the live tod chat show see you then

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