I love the studio. I really do. I also know how to work my strobes and speedlight very well. Lately, though, I’ve been shooting outside in natural light since I’m going for more of a lifestyle/commercial vibe. Since my style resonates of a summer vibe, I tend to get a deep sunflare or backlit subjects on most of my shoots when possible. As most know, when you backlight a subject, they usually need to be lit in some way in the front. Most people would say to use a fill flash, but honestly, I’ve never liked using flash outside during the day. Not because I don’t know how, but because I don’t like the aesthetic it creates.
There’s something about flash where you can just tell it’s flash. I’m not saying it doesn’t create a good image, but for my style it just doesn’t fit. However, I still need to light my subjects in some way. *Enter reflector*
If you asked me to take the least amount of equipment on a shoot (not including my camera of course), I’d pick my reflector before anything else. (BAE, ya feel me?) Right now I’m using a 22″ Fotodiox 5-in-1 (pictured below). That size will usually run you about $30-$40, but I was blessed enough to find it on amazon on Black Friday for $10!
It’s so portable and versatile. I started using the silver side but have most recently switched it to gold since most of my shoots have a warmer tone to them. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made in my photography career. This size is also small enough that if I can’t find an assistant, I can maneuver it myself without too much hassle. I’m sure I’ll get a bigger size in the future, but for right now, it’s working just great.