Reflector Use in Harsh Light

Perhaps the most common mistake I see during location shoots is photographing the model in harsh light. On a bright, cloudless day, it is always a good idea find a shady spot where the light is soft and diffuse. The light on the model can be greatly enhanced by reflecting some of that light back onto the model using a handheld circular reflector, which also softens the reflected light.

Such was the case in the old part of Bisbee, Arizona, during a shoot with Tiffany Felisha. She posed in a shady area along some store fronts. My great friend Benjamin James stood in the sunlight and reflected light back into Tiffany using a circular reflector. Not only does this fill in the shadows a bit, but it produces nice catchlights in the eyes:

Tiffany Felisha in Bisbee, Arizona. Lighting by Benjamin James.

Tiffany Felisha in Bisbee, Arizona. Lighting by Benjamin James.

Reflectors are inexpensive, collapsible, and are available in different colors. The most useful colors are gold (for a warm light), silver (for a lot of light) and white (for a softer, more muted light).