How to make a beauty dish

This time I will show you how to build a Beauty Dishan accessory of lighting for portrait photography whose main function is to illuminate a subject with a compact flash (off-camera, via triggers or other system) with a very soft light, rather than with the direct external flash or a diffuser. All this for less than 20€.

Beauty finished

These are the materials we will need:

- Very large stainless steel bowl, 46 cm in diameter or more. You can find them in large superficies or bazaars.

- Circular convex mirror (like a motorbike rear-view mirror) about 10cm in diameter. Available in large mechanic shops or large superficies. We will use it to bounce the light from the flash onto the beauty dish, which will gently distribute it to the subject.

- Circular electric panel cover or similar, 11cm diameter, to support the mirror - Two 4mm diameter threaded rods (or similar) and 8cm long, together with their nuts, washers and wing nuts. Available in any hardware store or department store.

- Two smooth-headed screws with nuts and washers - Wood angle about 8, 10 or 12 cm in diameter, depending on the size of your flash. We will use it to attach it to the beauty dish.

- Matt white paint, to paint the inside of the fountain. It is important that it is matt and not glossy so that it bounces the light better. Also fix the type of paint so that it is suitable for the material of the fountain. It is also optional to paint the outside of the fountain black to give it a better appearance.

- Drill, saw and some other tools such as a file, marker pen, etc.

Materials needed

Step one.

We must bookmark with the help of an indelible marker pen the measurements of the flash headboard, juso in the centre The beauty's backside, and then cut it out and place it there.

Marked centre

Once marked, we cut and file the edges.


Step two:

We make two holes Now we mount the two threaded rods together with the nuts and washers (at one end of the rods). We superimpose it on the pair that we have just cut in the beauty to make some marks with the marker pen, and then drill it. This will hold the mirror and the cover to the steel source. You should have something like this:

Cut off fountain

And a detail of the electrical box cover (below) with the mirror on top.

Mirror detail

Step 3: Connect the flash and the steel source by means of the angle.

To do this, we must mount the flash with the trigger and angle on our flash foot, in order to bookmark where it will be necessary to drill y screw Once done, it will look something like this:

Side view

Fourth step: Painting.

Withdraw the flash, the mirror and the tripod and paint the inside of the fountain in the colour of the flash. matt whitewith a suitable paint. We apply two coats and let it dry for the time indicated by the manufacturer.

Fifth and final step: placing the mirror

Once we have everything assembled, all we need to do is place the mirror that will reflect the light of the flash through the holes we made at the beginning. For this we will use the threaded rods with the knobs and nuts. This will help us to be able to adjust the distance from the mirror to the flash to measure. It depends on the shape of the source, the size of the flash, etc. and therefore we have to move it closer or further away (by tightening or loosening the knobs) until we achieve the desired light bounce.

This is how it would look from the front once the mirror distance has been adjusted:

Detail of the mirror

As always, you can ask at our forum any questions or suggestions you may have.

Source: Juan de Otto and his blog.

2 thoughts on “Cómo hacer un beauty dish”


    Thanks for the help, I would like to know where I can buy the beauty dish holder. Hopefully in Colombia

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