Reflectors are generally used to lighten up the shadow side of a face or an object. They are also used to bring light into a model or your subject’s eyes. This not only brightens the eyes but adds a catch light to the eyes. This is very popular when photographing models and can be seen in almost any fashion magazine cover.
You can position the reflector so light can be added wherever you want, usually in the eyes, unless the model is wearing glasses than you create another problem with glass glare.
You can also position a reflector(s) to add a little kicker light or rim light on the model. In that case the reflector can be on the side or a little behind the model. This gives your photo or video more dimension.
When using natural, outdoor or continuous lighting, it is easy to position your reflector since you can see the effects as you move the reflector around.
See Before & After Results When Using a Silver Reflector
A quick look at the difference a reflector can make in an outdoor portrait of a woman. We start by placing our model in an area where we have beautiful backlighting coming in and adding nice highlights to her hair.
Without the reflector we can see the face is underexposed and lacks detail and dimension. Once the silver reflector is added we can see how it adds life to the eyes and a glow to her face.
Then we complete the portrait with a little cropping and retouching enhancement.
Reflectors come in all different colors with white, silver or gold colors being the most popular. Black can also be used to absorb light. White is less reflective than a metallic silver or gold will be. A Gold reflector will give you a warmer light and may or may not be suitable for your lighting situation.
Using a reflector can definitely enhance your photo or video if used properly.
See how to use a reflector outdoors in the video below