Creating Dynamic Portraits With A Reflector

Creating dynamic portraits using a reflector is not as simple as you might think at first. Understanding the lighting from the scene will help you determine the best place to position your reflector.

In this scenario, Sal uses the sun as a kicker light, while using the reflector to create a nice even fill. Using this two-light set up, Sal is able to move quickly to create very dynamic portraits for his clients.

Sal’s Lens Choices

In this shoot, Sal uses a Canon 85mm 1.2 to get a shallow depth of field and create separation from the background. Later, he switches to a 70-200mm 2.8 to really compress the background and create a different look.

Posing Clients

Directing and posing clients is no easy task. Most need help along the way. Sal works with his subject to showcase them in the best light. Listen as Sal directs his client and gives them feedback along the way.

Pro Tip: Communicate

There is no such thing as over-communication. Communicating with your client is key to success on any type of shoot.

Sal uses a lot of chit chat back and forth with everyone from clients, to makeup artists, to vendors to ensure everyone is in sync during the entire shoot.

portraits with a reflector

Lighting Methods

In this shoot, Sal uses a silver reflector to illuminate his subject. However, this requires that you work with your assistant to ensure you are getting the consistency in your lighting that you are looking for. If not, you run the risk of creating an unflattering lighting pattern on your subject’s face. These are not easy to remove in Photoshop and can really ruin an otherwise beautiful shot.

Gear Used

Canon 5DM4
Canon 85mm 1.2 lens
Canon 70-200mm 2.8 lens
Profoto Silver Reflector

Leave a Reply

Want more content like this?

Check out our recent posts

yt thumbnail how to mix flash and ambient light

How to Mix Flash and Ambient Light

Attention all you “natural light” photographers, now is the time to expand your photographic skill set by adding flash photography to your tool kit.

It’s not difficult. With a few rounds of experimentation your photography will elevate itself to new levels and your work will stand out. These photography lighting tips will work for all genres of photography – wedding photography, portrait photography, senior photography, fashion photography, boudoir photography and more.

In this step-by-step flash lighting tutorial I will explain techniques like dragging the shutter and how you can use that technique to allow more ambient light into your portraits and add more depth to any shot.

Read More »