One way to photograph potraits with a soft natural light while still maintaining lighting control is to use a reflector. I have used reflectors in my photography for some time but learned how to really put them to use when I attended the Wedding School with Kenneth Linge earlier this month.

On today’s image of Tazzy the Papillon I used this method of lighting. To set up the shot, I placed Tazzy with the early evening sunlight over her right shoulder. The sun at this angle provided a nice hair ear light. The main light for the shot was then provided by a reflector being held to the right of and slightly below the camera. This placement gave a natural light focused on the dog’s face and brightened up the eyes with large catchlights.

One difficulty in using reflectors is positioning them. My daughter (and sometimes assistant) Elisabeth helped me by holding the reflector. The constant movement of Tazzy provided a bit of a challenge in keeping the light on her face, but Elisabeth kept up nicely.

At a relatively inexpensive price, adding a reflector to your kit is a great way to increase your photographic lighting options.

Canon 5D, Canon 70-200 f/4L lens – 1/320 second, f/4, ISO 100