Papercraft flash reflector

We never use the flash on our point-and-shoot. It has a way of washing out every image we take. But [Joey] has a different solution to the problem. He shows us how to make a papercraft flash reflector that will still light up your subject without washing out everything in the foreground.

[Joey] is perfectly aware that at first glance it would seem you need to have a reflective forehead for this to work. But the reflector is actually set up to aim the flash toward the ceiling. Since most ceilings are white this will reflect the light back into the room, dispersing it at the same time. His write-up includes a link to a PDF of the pattern. After cutting it out, one side is coated in black electrical tape, the other is left white to reflect the light. The design includes a tab that slides into the hot shoe of his Nikon DSLR to position it in front of the pop-up flash.


  1. just me says:

    Nice. I, however have used over an year piece of Stratocell® (didn’t know the name until today).

    Get the white one (about 1-2 cm thick), otherwise the image colors change…

    It is really good for flash reflector use.

  2. Bogdan says:

    This is a very common trick in photography, i have learned about this 12 years ago when i got my first digital camera.
    The application is quite limited though, since the on board flash is not so powerful. Although the article presents some pattern to be cut, i usually go for receipts for the reflector. They are about 5-6cm wide and I can fix them between the flash legs while being rigid enough to be shaped how i want to. Plus, i tend to always have some on hand in my wallet…

    • Bogdan says:

      Also, i find thinner paper to be better, because it will allow some light to pass directly through while being diffused. This is good for portraits

    • Ed M says:

      Yes, and I learned that trick about 40 years ago when I got my first film camera.

    • metai says:

      Using a makeshift reflector is indeed a very old trick. Even if you find yourself completely unprepared for flash photography, put a business card in front of the flash at an angle so it bounces to and then off the ceiling. Of course an internal flash is not powerful enough deliver results in a church or a concert hall, but in regular rooms it does quite alright.

  3. Ren says:

    “[Joey] is perfectly aware that at first glance it would seem you need to have a reflective forehead for this to work.”

    Darn! Preemptive strike!

  4. photo lol says:

    A cheap paper plate works great too. Bend the edges together around your flash and hold in place. Orient the cylinder of light to best light your subject either vertical or horizontal. Too much light, add plates, too little, remove plates. 3 plates for macro closeups, 1 plate for 10-12 feet works for me.

  5. Jay says:

    Oh, good. I thought I’d need to grow a bald head to get this to work.

    Useful tip, considering the amount of pictures I snap.

  6. Erik Johnson says:

    I’ve always taken a single-ply of toilet paper taped over the flash with (frosted) cello tape. No more harsh flash!

  7. Cyberteque says:

    I use a “Tally Ho” paper, but “Rizzla” would do!

    Just put one or two across the flash, that way it works when there is no ceiling…

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