ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

D.I.Y Reflective Photo Umbrella

Updated on July 18, 2016
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.


(CC BY-SA 3.0
(CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

DIY photo

I like to take photos of almost everything, but I also like D.I.Y photo equipment projects whenever possible.

An easy project which should take no more than an hour is making your own reflective photographic umbrella; a DIY reflective photo umbrella which will work just as well as the professionally made ones.

Learning how to make your own photography equipment, can be fulfilling, and save you some hard earned cash in the process.

  • You need: an umbrella, spray paint, cutting pliers, light source, electrical type clamps(looks like a "?" and it's used to attach electrical tubing to walls). They are also known as Adel-style or "P" clamps, anyway see photo, and a tripod or stand.

Cloth spray paint works well but with care any spray paint will do. Chrome for a stronger reflection, white for a softer reflection and gold for a warming effect. The outside color is up to you but black is the most common color.

  • Prepare the working surface using newspapers or tarp, open your umbrella and spray paint the inside first (several thin coats). Hold the spray can several inches away from the umbrella's surface to avoid drips and puddling of the paint. Although this does not really matter in the end, it just makes the finished product look that more professional. Let it dry. Now paint the outside and again, let it dry.
  • Next cut the handle of the umbrella with cutting pliers at the point where the handle meets the metal/rod.This will make it easier to attach to your tripod.
  • Attaching the umbrella to your tripod:Use the "?" clamp by inserting a screw through the pre-made hole and through the upper base of the tripod. Ensure that the screw is long enough. Make sure that the "?" clamp bend is about the same diameter as that of the metal tube/rod of the umbrella to eliminate movement.

If you need to, you can insert the metal umbrella's handle into rubber tubing which is a bit larger that the handle. This will make the "?" clamp hold better. Insert the metal portion of your umbrella through the bend of the clamp. You're done.

The umbrella works well by itself by reflecting available light back to your subject or you can attach a light source to it. There are several grill clamp lights at many hardware stores and they range from about $8 to $12 each.

  • Use daylight bulbs with a rating of about 5000k lumen output or adjust your camera's color balance to accept other tungsten type bulbs. You can use work lights but they get really hot and carry a large energy consumption.

You should also consider attaching any weighted material to the base of your tripod for windy conditions. Sandbags are good for this.


(CC BY-SA 2.0
(CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source
(CC BY-SA 2.0
(CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

DIY Photo Reflectors

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      8 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Stacie: Thanks, I took a look and left you a comment. Very nice idea.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I made a camera strap from a scarf that you might find interesting! :)

    • LuisEGonzalez profile imageAUTHOR

      Luis E Gonzalez 

      8 years ago from Miami, Florida

      mr grafxguy: No it does not, but it should be concave and an umbrella has the right shape already so it is easier.

    • profile image

      mr grafxguy 

      8 years ago

      does it have to be umbrella shaped?

    • s.wilson profile image


      9 years ago

      I had never thought of making my own umbrellas. Thanks for the guide!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)