This is What a Cheap Reflector Can Do For Your Portraits

Images and GIF by

While the world is obsessing over newer, higher Megapixel count and more powerful cameras, the most important factor when it comes to photography is light. Therefore having the ability to modify and improve lighting quality can significantly enhance the image output. When shooting with available light, professional photographers often employ creative use of light reflectors to improve lighting for portraits. We have come across this GIF made by Photojojo showing the effects of taking portraits with and without the use of a light reflector, as shown below.

Click the GIF to see it animated!

Basically, a light reflector works by bouncing off available light source onto the subject. This is done to either balance the unwanted shadow area or simply to create a more evenly lit subject in the photograph. Effective use of reflector can make a world of difference as you are redirecting the light, resulting in light source coming in multiple directions. As seen in the before and after images in the GIF, even a small reflector can improve the lighting dramatically for simple outdoor portrait shots, either taken by a camera or even smartphones.

One good tip we can share when using reflectors, is to always redirect and bounce the light to the side of the subject, not to the front directly. The most natural looking images with good depth have side directional lighting.

Light reflectors are available in various sizes, shapes, and reflective surfaces to create different kinds of lighting effects. Most reflectors can be folded into a small and compact form which can be easily carried around, hence it makes sense to have one just in case you need that extra boost of light to help in difficult, harsh lighting conditions. A reflector is a simple, easy to use, fuss free hack that can be used by anyone, smartphone users included, to improve photography.