Professional reflectors are available from a variety of manufacturers such as Photoflex and Lastolite. These come in various shades of colour, although typically have one shiny side for reflecting a large amount of sunlight and a white side that provides a softer reflected light.
There are also gold surfaces for producing a warm, soft hue. These reflectors typically comes with one shiny side and one dull side. The two sides can be used to reflect more or less light.
Reflectors come in a variety of sizes.
Please find below tips for using a reflector as a photographic/video aid.
- Where shadows or bright light is present, use a reflective surface to cast additional light and fill in shadows on your subject.
- The key to a great picture is great light so a crucial tool for outdoor portraiture is a reflector board. Professionals use these in almost every exterior shoot.
- Reflectors come in varying sizes and are double-sided. In most cases, they come in white, silver and gold. White is more subtle and mostly used in direct sunlight and silver can be more helpful in really shaded areas. When you would really want to cast a glow on someone, use a gold reflector, these are often used in close shots such as headshots.
- Most of the time, you want the reflector as close as possible to the subject without it actually appearing in the shot.
- With portrait shots, the reflector often needs to be tipped back at a 45-degree angle to fill-in the shadows under the chin, nose and eyes.
- Ideally, an assistant can help by positioning the reflector for optimum lighting or a lighting stand with a grip such as supplied by lighting manufacturers such as Arri, Ianiro, Photonbeard, Dedo and many more.