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I la la lava me a nice white photo reflector. Catch me out on shoot or at a wedding and chances are, 9 times out of an even 10, I’ll have my trusty ol’ reflector in tow. However it’s important to note that it’s also highly probable that I’ll have an assistant at my heels making certain I’m able to make good use of said reflector. What if an assistant isn’t a luxury you enjoy? Even if you can work the reflector and shoot at the same time (which I’ve definitely done many a time, albeit awkwardly) it’s not always practical. What happens if you’re shooting a rambunctious toddler? It’s not realistic to balance camera and reflector, while trying to set manual controls (with what your tongue??) and simultaneously chase a 3 year old through a field of wheat. Plus with all this economic uncertainty, let’s just be honest, it’s nice to be able to make use of something you likely already have lying around the house!
Here are 3 simple ways to use a white bed sheet as your DIY reflector (your pseudo assistant if you will) to enhance your natural light photography on a budget (though the uses are ENDLESS if you just get creative!!!).
If you have your subject sit, stand or lie directly on the sheet you’ll immediately eliminate the shadows under eyes and chin and soften deep wrinkles. The light bounces easily into all the right places. Plus the sheet is generally large enough to allow a kiddo plenty of wiggle room while keeping him or her well lit!
SIDE NOTE: It’s also just a great way to allow a baby to wiggle around at an outdoor session without ending up all itchy from the grass. I’ve had kids flat out refuse to be set down on the grass. At a session recently, a mom brought her own white blanket because she’s actually allergic to the grass.
If you’re shooting in direct sunlight, you don’t have to be an advanced photographer to know that open shade is a welcomed relief. However, occasionally that shade takes away some of the dynamic of the light on your subject’s faces. White sheet to the rescue!!! Place the white sheet in the sunlight right a the edge of where the shade begins. Have your subjects step up to the edge of the shadow they’re standing in and voila! You’ve got dynamic!
In bright midday sun, you can use the sheet as a way to soften the harsh light. Have mom and dad hold the sheet over the head of their toddler or even hang the sheet between two branches to create a nice, gentle, even light.
Got other ideas? Share them in the comments below!! Have questions? Shout those out in the comments too. I always do my best to answer. 🙂