This past week was my 3rd time guest teaching at the SoCal Photog Shootout. It is a bi-monthly photographer gathering where several guest teachers will take their turn instructing photographers from around Southern California. Typically there are around 40+ photographers which are divided into 5-6 groups that spend 45-60 minutes with each guest instructor before moving to the next.

Event admission is very inexpensive and thus it is a extremely popular event that sells out within minutes of each one being announced. If you guys are interested in attending, be sure to join the SoCal Photog Shootout Facebook Page, as well as follow Hanssie Trainor as she is the lead organizer (and also a pro photographer herself).

Now, because time is limited with each group. I typically will focus on how to get big results from simple tools and techniques. For those of you that know me, you will know that this means we are using reflectors since there is really no time to teach strobing techniques.

Now, the techniques used here are all shown in our reflector video which I have also linked at the bottom of the article. What I want to do here is simply show you how easy it is to change the entire looks of a scene by using simple light modifiers. In this case, a reflector that can be purchased for $40 on Amazon

Image 1 (Canon 5D Mark II w/ 50mm F/1.4 @ F/2.0) – This image was naturally lit with the sun as the back light creating a nice hair light and rim light around her body. It is a nice shot and has a great natural feel to it. However, with a simple modifier we can change the entire look of the scene as shown in Image 2.


Image 2 (Canon 5D Mark II w/ 50mm F/1.4 @ F/2.0) – The only difference between this image and the last is that we added a silver reflector as a main light 45 degrees off to camera right. We then exposed for our subjects brighter skin pulling down the brightness of the background. You can see how this image has a much more dramatic feel and the subject really pops off the background. With the reflector added, we now have a two light scene and a completely different look.


The point here is that a scene is all about the light and how we choose to shape that light. While there may be a wrong way to light a scene, there are also many right ways that each will lend a different look and effect to your image.

This technique, along with a other reflector techniques were taught in a previous video we did on SLR Lounge called Creating Professional Photography w/ $30 Reflectors. For those of you that haven’t seen this video, you can watch it below.

Hope you all enjoyed!

Post Production Pye
SLR Lounge Senior Editor
Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography