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How best to use reflectors

To create indirect light you can use gold, silver, and white reflectors like a bounce card.


If, for example you’re shooting swimwear when it’s super-cold outside, the natural light can look frigid. But when you use a gold reflector to bounce sunlight onto your subject, this will warm up their skin tone. It’s like instant summer. A gold reflector brings warmth and glow to your images.

On the other hand, a silver reflector will keep colours the same, but brightened. Use it when you want to preserve the colours but need to brighten up your subject. If you want to create a more moody effect, start rotating your subject around. The more you move your reflector to the side, the more moody it gets.

A white reflector is a nice tool to highlight your subject in a softer, more diffused way than with a silver reflector. The effect you get from a silver reflector tends to be more punchy, while the white reflector looks softer and reflects less light.


There are many ways to use reflectors

  1. Put your model in the shade and then bounce light into her or his face.
  2. Backlight your model with the sun and place the reflector in front to light up their face. If you have a hard time getting your reflector to cover a large subject, sometimes you can bend it like a taco and the light will spread out a little bit. This is also good for full-body shots. You just have to play with it until it looks right.
  3. Use a reflector as a nice rim light. If you place your subject in direct light, facing the sun, you can make your image look even more dynamic by adding a reflector at the back to bounce the light and give your subject an edge light or hair light.
  4. Use a small reflector. When photographing beauty headshots in a studio, use a small white reflector just under the chin to bounce the light into the subject’s eyes to make them stand out. Reflectors are beneficial in the studio as well as in sunlight. The same technique can be used in both scenarios.

Fashion and Lifestyle Photography is Dixie Dixon’s guide to becoming a stand-out fashion and lifestyle photographer, and succeeding in the commercial world. Dixie is a Nikon brand ambassador and highly successful photographer who loves to share her knowledge and experiences to help you find your vision and realise your potential.

Fashion and Lifestyle Photography, Dixie DixonFashion and Lifestyle Photography
Dixie Dixon

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