Friday, November 12, 2010

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it... Reflect

There has been a lot of positive feedback about the bridal portraits I took a few weeks ago so I would like to share one of the tools that made them happen.  Lighting is one of the most important things to consider when taking a picture.  You could take pictures of a supermodel in crummy lighting and even they would look crummy.  Photographers that take pictures for magazine covers and Hollywood movies may spend hours setting up lights and backgrounds to get the perfect picture.  But I don't want to have my subject wait while I spend time setting up lights.  We need to be flexible and move from location to location in a hurry.

One of the most useful tools to instantly make more interesting pictures by controlling light is a simple reflector.  Reflectors are light, small, ultra portable, inexpensive, and dramatically affects your images.  I personally use the Flashpoint 5 in 1 reflectors from Adorama.  They come in all sizes and offer you multiple colors to reflect light with.  They are even on sale right now!  Flashpoint is Adorama's brand so they are less expensive but this does not mean they are of cheap quality.  I own two of these in different sizes and love them.

Here are some quick pictures I took last weekend with the help of two great models, our friend Lindsay and my wife Suzanne.  The setup is simple, you just use natural sun light to bounce light back onto your subject.  Here, Suzanne is holding the reflector to the left of Lindsay's face because the sun is to the right side of the picture.


Here is what you get.  We used the gold reflector to bounce warm light on Lindsay that matches the sun's light.  The sun acts as a hair light while the reflector removes all of the unwanted harsh shadows on the left side.   

If you have an assistant it's quick and easy to adjust the reflector to get the perfect light.  If not you can purchase a light stand and optional reflector arm to hold it for you.


Here are some other shots from the morning.