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On Monday, we went through Part 1 of this post, so if you missed it and need to get caught up, check it out HERE.

Method 3. Using Natural Reflectors

One of our favorite reflectors to use are natural ones. As we walk into a shoot or are scouting locations, we try to find places where light is reflecting back to give us a great look on our shots. 0053 It is great to find open shade, but when that open shade has light bouncing into it (like the above graphic) then we know we are going to get some more dynamic lighting. 0281 This image above was in the shade of the sun (good start), but then it also had soft light bouncing back into it. Directly behind the camera position and about 30 degrees right (about 80 feet away from us) was a large, white 3 story building that was reflecting the sun back into this area. That gave us not JUST soft light, but directional soft light that gives nice contrast to the image. TIP: Try and find natural reflectors that are at least 2 or 3 stories high (if they are 50 or 100 feet away) so that the center of those light sources is above the eyes of our subjects. That helps the light come down at a flattering angle and makes the images look much better.

Method 4. Diffusing Direct Sunlight

diffusing sun (1) The last way we control light in this way is to use our diffuser. Sometimes you are shooting and you have NO where to hide from the sun and you are getting tired of just backlighting every client and adding some light to the front with your reflector. That is why having a large diffuser is critical to wedding and portrait work. If we have a large reflector with us, then we can shoot in direct sun and get great images of our clients. Some of you shooters out there have nothing but tons of sun and no shade for lots of your shoots, so learning to use a diffuser really well is key! diffusing sun (2)

Here is the shot of the behind the scenes image from above in direct sun. It is not flattering and tough to shoot in.

diffusing sun (3)

Once we add the diffusion, we now have this beautiful soft light with manageable contrast that looks great!

Nothing But Sun

If you find yourself shooting in direct sun almost ALL the time, then we would recommend that you invest in a diffusion panel like the California Sun Bounce.

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(image from California Sun Bounce Italy)

This piece of gear takes the diffuser and puts it in a frame, then allows you to get an accessory mono-pod so your assistant can carry it around and create soft light anywhere. It comes in tons of sizes and we recommend a large one for two or more people. Shooting on the beach, in the desert or anywhere in between, you can create soft light and get great images!

  With these 4 Methods for shooting with reflectors, you will see your images have that extra pop and will feel confident walking into most any natural lighting situation!

 

PS. If you dig this series on reflectors, then tweet it out for us!

You can also copy and paste the below into Facebook!

“I just finished reading @zachandjody series on reflectors and you should check it out at http://bit.ly/1mwgUy2!”

When out shooting a wedding or a portrait session, you don’t have control on what type of lighting you have to deal with that day. It might be sunny, cloudy or even rainy. Regardless, our clients still expect great images and the best way to set the stage for a great image to happen is with great lighting. Because lighting is not always predictable, we need to be able to manipulate that lighting to do what we need it to do to capture those moments as best we can for our clients. golden hour   Over the 7 years we shot weddings and the now 8 years and counting that we have been taking pictures on a professional level, we have realized that one of the most important tools for controlling light is not all of our fancy off-camera lighting, soft-boxes and speedlights. The most important and used piece of gear for us is a simple reflector and diffuser. This tool is a must-have for our gear bag and allows us to add just the right amount of light to many of our portraits that make them sing. In this 2 part series, we will cover how to get the most out of this key piece of equipment. Today we are going to break down the first 2 of our 4  main ways that we use reflectors to our advantage.

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Last week we showed you how we decorated our home with canvases from our family shoot taken by Amy and Jordan Photography.  This week, we want to show you what else we did with images from the family session.

(Specific product information is listed at the bottom of this post)

When we were building our home, we had a light fixture installed in the ceiling of one of our hallways because we knew we wanted to light a photo display.

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Let’s get one thing straight… Brides KNOW other brides, and many times they are standing right next to her on the wedding day. You need your current client referring you to ALL of her friends that are potential clients. But how in the world do you get her to do that? The answer is extremely simple.

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Jul
15
2014

How to create a Painterly Effect on your Images

by Zach on July 15, 2014, posted in Photo Tips & Tricks

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I (Zach) have been asked a few times why some of my images or backgrounds have a painted look and how I create that effect. Today, I am going to show you how to do it.

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