Photography Cheat Sheet: Using the Right Reflector Color

New to using reflectors for portrait work? Use this photography cheat sheet as a guide to determine which reflector is right for your next shoot.

Reflectors are among the simplest but most useful tools for portrait photography. They’re also not too expensive, so it’s one of the tools that beginner photographers are advised to get. These light modifiers come in different colors to suit different lighting needs or adapt to different kinds of light. So, if you’re planning to experiment with reflectors, it pays to know which color is right for you. Today’s featured photography cheat sheet will give you an idea.

The photography cheat sheet below by Digital Camera World, we get a quick look at the three different colors reflectors come in and how they are best used. This simple guide is perfect for beginners who are planning to get their first reflector and those who are thinking of expanding their selection of reflectors.

A silver reflector reflects a lot of light, so it’s recommended to use this at a distance when in the studio, or the light can look too bright or overpowering. If you’re in a pinch and want to make a DIY option, silver foil works just as good. Reflectors may also come with several covers like silver, gold, and white, so if you happen to come across those, it’s a good idea to invest in them.

A gold reflector is not advisable to use with studio lights which are typically daylight balanced. The warm glow created by this reflector will most likely produce mixed lighting in the images, which means more work will be needed during post-processing. However, if you’re working outdoors, the gold reflector will come handy for creating beautiful warm skin tones.

Lastly, the white reflector is one of the light modifiers of choice in the studio for the soft, color-neutral fill light that it produces. However, you don’t necessarily need a specially-made reflector; you can simply use a large piece of white card and it will work just as great. Some studios would even use sizable sheets of white foam board. This may be great for a large studio, but if you have a small space or typically work outdoors, you can look for foldable reflectors that you can bring with you anywhere.

Looking for more useful tips and tricks like these for your next shoot? We have loads more for you to check out from our growing collection of photography cheat sheets!

Cover photo from a syndicated blog post by Digital Photo Pro magazine