Sometimes on a photoshoot the light is perfect. Everything just looks amazing and you couldn’t be happier. Other times the light isn’t so great and if you can’t use a flash, what do you do? This is the time when using reflectors comes in handy. The only downside to a reflector is that you need someone to hold them for you or you need to invest in a reflector stand for those moments when you have no one to do that.
Reflectors bounce the light where you need it and help brighten up your subject without the harshness that a flash will create sometimes. I actually like the 5-in-1 reflectors so that I always have the color I need. Knowing what color to use in what situation is key to using them. So what color do you need at what time?
Here you go….and I use reflectors wherever I need them …in the front or from the side. I keep two so I can use one in the front and one from the side or even both from the side if needed! I use reflectors indoors and outside..wherever I am shooting I always take 2 reflectors with me!
White is used when yo need to fill in with a soft light. Use it at a closer distance for more light and further away for less light. (I also use this for indoor head shots.). Don’t be afraid to put the reflector in your subject’s lap…they won’t mind!
Silver gives a brighter reflection and will add more contrast to the image. It essentially is just reflecting the natural light right back onto your subject.
Gold brings out warm tones. On overcast days I might use to gold side to make the light look better and more “yummy”.
Black is used when I want to add more shadow or drama to an image. I also use it to block “mottled” light from trees on my subject’s face.
When using the reflectors make sure your subject has the sun at his or her back and then place the reflector so that it is reflecting light back at their face. You will need to move the reflector around depending on where the sun is to make sure it is highlighting their face in the right place. You can use the reflector on overcast days although they won’t be as effective as on the days where the sun is out.
Sizes and prices of reflectors vary depending on the brand. You can find ones that start as cheap as as about $6 and go up from there. I always suggest getting at least a 43 inch one and you can get one of those for about $15 HERE.
A reflector is something I think every photographer needs to have with them because you never know when you will need to bounce the light or add light to a portion of the image. You can use reflectors with studio lights, off camera flash and natural light. If you are new to reflectors, I suggest getting them out and experimenting in different situations to use them. Don’t wait until you have a shoot to learn to use them or you might be unhappy with the results.
Reflectors are one of the most inexpensive and useful items you can have in your photography grab bag. They are easily to transport and can make the world of difference in the final result of your image. And once you get it perfect straight out of camera, you save yourself lots of time in post processing time.
5-in-1 Reflector from Amazon.com
Reflector stand from Amazon.com