Saturday, November 27, 2010

DIY Light Reflector

Featured Ingredient: DIY Light Reflector

This post is for my fellow food blogging crew out there. To capture photos that make your readers want to lick the screen, there is one fundamental must that trumps all others – good lighting! Lighting is key to a photo that’ll get you up on the pages of Tastespotting or the Foodgawk.

One way to better take advantage of the light that comes through your window is with a light reflector. This is any device you use to reflect light back onto the shadow side of your grub. This helps fill out the dark shadow areas so you end up with a picture that is brighter and needs less work in Photoshop.

Mango muffins without a reflector.

Mango muffins with a reflector.

But reflectors at photography stores can be pricey. A better option for the frugal foodie is to pull a MacGyver and make your own free standing one. And it only cost pennies!

Here’s how to make your own super duper inexpensive light reflector.

Are you ready for it?

This is going to be tough.

You may want to chug back a sports drink to power you through it.

Ok, grab a binder or folder and wrap it in aluminum foil.

Man, that was brutal. Feel free to call the boss and tell him or her you need a day off to recover from this laborious task.

Well, you may want to tape it in place but that should only take a few extra seconds. I just used a thin folder sent to me by the PR for Scharffen Berger chocolate. A seriously great chocolate company I may add. You can also use a three ring binder.

You can adjust the intensity by changing the distance and angle of the reflector compared to what you are photographing. The closer it is to the food, the more powerful the light will be. Remember, it only works if the foil side of the folder is facing the light.

Give it a try and let me know how the results work out for you.


  1. I totally just had an "ah-ha" moment! Thanks so much! :)

  2. that is genius ! thanks you for sharing this trick with the world!

  3. Thank you for sharing this! I will definitely keep this in mind for next time. Very smart!

    Marie from



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