How to Use a Reflector for Shaping Light for Portraits

A reflector is one of the cheapest and most effective tools for shaping lighting for portraiture, and it can easily replace the need for another light in a lot of scenarios. If you have not been taking full advantage of your reflector or you are new to working with lighting, check out this helpful video tutorial that will show you how to use one for portraiture work. 

Coming to you from Daniel Norton Photographer, this awesome video tutorial will show you how to use a reflector for portrait photography. While a 5-in-1 reflector is quite affordable and something just about every portrait photographer should carry, you do not even need one of those. As you will see, just a piece of white foam board will do the trick. Just remember that the reflector follows the same rules as a normal light source, so you can vary its distance from your subject to adjust its relative intensity to get just the right amount of fill. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Norton.

If you would like to continue learning how to light for portraits, be sure to check out "Illuminating The Face: Lighting for Headshots and Portraits With Peter Hurley," which is currently on sale along with the rest of our Fstoppers tutorials. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I heard this rumor a while back that Daniel Norton once did a photoshoot with a male model.

Interesting how the reflector gives light and life to the skin. Still a large soft umbrella pretty close will do the same thing, it’s about the size of the light source relative to the face. A large light source does something wonderful with the skin tone.