Using Reflectors in Low Light

I just love how dark and contrasty this image turned out.

Today’s feature is from Chelsee Teleha.

Chelsee says:

“This was my first ever styled session, featuring my good friend and coworker Paige! I took lots of time planning the poses I wanted to use, and Paige took direction really well as I posed her.

My wonderful friend and makeup artist provided incredible makeup, and the flower crown was custom made and the necklace was specially chosen. For the location I contacted my old middle school teacher to ask if we could use his yard because it is just lovely.

I am so happy with how it turned out! I’ve always wanted to do a styled session and I’m so glad I got to do it. They’re a lot of work, but the end result is so satisfying!”

Chelsee’s Photography Tip:

Lots of different aspects went into this session. I shot about 45 minutes before sunset, and it was relatively overcast. For some of the images I used a reflector to bounce some extra light back into her face. In the shade, I held the reflector sort of flat like a pancake to illuminate her face.

And when the sun was behind her, we held the reflector more straight on in order to bounce some extra light back into her face. I also needed to bump up my ISO up into the thousands, since I was shooting in pretty low light conditions most of the time.

I like to shoot wide open (for a nice bokeh affect) and at fast shutter speeds (to avoid motion blur since it was low light and I was using the camera hand-held) so my ISO had to be raised to compensate.

Obviously not all settings and lighting tips will translate into every session, but generally I find that shooting with a fast shutter speed and wide open aperture creates gorgeous images with a dark, contrasted background. When I raise my ISO pretty high, I find that the noise reduction function in ACR helps a ton to reduce noise artifacts.

I shot this in the shade and used a reflector held underneath her to bounce extra light into her face.
I love the natural feel of this pose! Plus the direct light was perfect, it was just the right amount of overcast.
I love backlighting! The background looks bright and vivid, and I used a reflector to bounce light back onto her.
I love haze and sun flare. The lighting was tough, so I had to use manual focus.
I had to get a closeup of the amazing makeup by my makeup artist. The sun was to Paige's left, so I held a reflector to her right to reduce the shadow on her face.

chelsee used a Canon 6D with a Canon 85mm 1.8 lens and a Canon 50mm 1.4 lens to capture these images.

Chelsee Teleha is a Northeast Ohio Senior portraits photographer.

Click here to see more tips on Lighting.


Looking at specializing in senior portraits? Seniors are great fun, and a lot of photographers are picking up on this.

If you’re looking to get into senior photography though, make sure you have all your bases covered with things like model releases and contracts.

 

 

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