FAQ : Finding Pocketed Natural Reflectors


I often feel badly for being unable to respond to every email I receive…no, really, it keeps me up at night and I craft responses IN MY HEAD, but never have the time to write back. I could probably be a professional emailer if I didn’t restrict how much time I’m tethered to my laptop. I often use blog posts to address questions I’m repeatedly asked, one of the most popular being: How do you shoot in hard or tricky lighting?

I’ve referenced my use of Natural Reflectors (here, here, and here), and I go into depth about finding Natural Reflectors in harsh afternoon light during my photography workshop. I’m actually hosting a workshop here in Orange County in November, so if you’d like to attend, be sure to register!

At a shoot last week, JD and I were photographing the bride indoors, but it wasn’t the best lighting conditions. Whenever I’m faced with this difficulty, I immediately look for natural light…and reflectors. What I found was a outset window with white paneling. The natural light streamed in and created a pocket of reflected light…and then I died.

Here’s an UNretouched snapshot JD captured of my working condition and to show what I’m describing…yes, that’s my camera on the left side….

Using the 35mm lens, I was able to crop to the photo in-camera in a way as to not reveal where the white paneling behind the bride ended. I asked her to tilt her face slightly toward the light source and the white panel behind me (the natural reflector) bounced light back in her face so one side wasn’t too dark.
f/2.0 1/200 200 ISO

I refer to this type of light as a pocketed natural reflector (light that’s bounced from two or more light sources). I hope this helps and if you’d like to learn more about my approach and how to use difficult light in small areas, I’d love to meet you personally at the Jasmine Star photography workshop….ugh…I just referred to myself in third person. I’m ending this post now before it happens again.