Just a Reflector with Sal Cincotta
Lighting is a thing. As photographers, we get it. We know we need light to shape and create. Sure, you could use the ole light and airy and just blow everything out, but what fun would that be?
I believe in my heart and soul we should do everything in our power to be masters of our craft and with that, masters of light. That means knowing how to use and work with all types of light including natural light, continuous lights, strobes, and the focus of my article, just a reflector.
You would be shocked at how underutilized this simple lighting tool is by professional photographers. However, you would also be surprised at the shockingly powerful results that can be achieved by using a simple reflector on your next portrait session.
Reflectors come in all shapes and sizes, but be mindful, you absolutely get what you pay for. The biggest quality difference I notice in many reflectors comes in the coating they use to reflect. Cheap reflectors tend to see the coating wear off very quickly. You will notice the difference in the amount and quality of light it reflects.
For us, my go-to reflector is the Profoto 47-inch Silver/White Reflector. A little bit on the pricey side, but the quality is unparalleled in my opinion. I’ve spent a lot of money over the years on cheap 5-in-1 and similar reflectors and within the first season of use, they become almost unusable with the silver paint coming off and literally sticking to your hands.
Something else to keep in mind: Using a reflector allows you to move very quickly in the field with a WYSIWYG—what you see is what you get—approach to shooting. No guessing or adjustments like you might need with strobes.
OK, so how do I use it? How do we make great images with just a reflector?