DIY €35 Beauty Dish

Since I started model photography, I always wanted to create something better and better. First it was outside with a very open aperture when I got my 50mm 1.8. After my 105mm 2.8 came, I started using that as it was razor sharp, and then .. it started with strobes. Luckily, I got a very old working strobe from my mom, and a more modern one from dad. I got myself a reflector screen, some sessions with a photographer, and my video lighting experience.

Now is that next step. After seeing some DIY Beauty Dishes, I had to have one, or at least, make one, and the quest for a perfect bowl began. I found a great bowl from IKEA in the closet, but I don’t think my dad would approve of my hacking in one of his pasta bowls.

So to the stores I went! I was planning on hitting Blokker first to get some plastic bowls, but in a stroke of luck, I passed by the CASA, and dived in, looking for anything round and/or/ Shiney! Didn’t finding anytihng, I headed to the exit, when I saw this. A huge INOX Champage bowl, including a foot! Right size, right color (shiney silver!), and a possible way to hacksaw the bottom off.


I used a hammer and a chisel to dis-assemble the already welded foot. With my talent for destruction, this was no problem!


When trying to drilling the holes, I found that INOX is a damn strong material, so of to my favorite metal workshop it was! (Vleminckx NV in Hasselt!) After a quick bit of magic computer fixing, they made me happy too!


After all the required holes, a trip to the store it was for some threaded wire and nuts. (M6)

The bowl got attached to the strobe and a tripod (an old one that I once got with a halogen spotlight)


So quite harsh light. All pictures now in the kitchen are all at the same settings. Now came the part where we finetuned the dish. Because it’s not a usual bowl shape, we get a lot of light loss, but that’s what we want, right?


It seemed the strobe flashed too wide, so the we moved the smaller dish closer to the source, until there was no more light leaking.


Great! It’s not 100 uniform, but I really dig the texture.

Time for a self Portrait!


Not bad for 35 euro eh!

Here are some pics of the finished result.


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