Light Your Food Photos Like A Pro – Use A Reflector

Using a reflector is one of the easiest yet most significant things you can do to improve the lighting of your food photographs. A strong light source can cause harsh shadows to fall on your food which usually translates into poor images. A reflector can fix that situation by bouncing light onto the shadow side and adding an overall brightness to the image.

How to use a reflector in second part of post…

What Is A Reflector?

A reflector is any rigid form used to bounce light onto the shadow side of the subject. I use a small, store bought reflector that folds up into a small compact shape. It’s made out of fabric over a rigid frame with one side white and the other side a metallic silver. The white gives me a softer brightness while the silver gives me bright, punchy light.

You can make your own by taking a piece of white foamboard and covering one side with aluminum foil.

Placement Is Key

The placement of the reflector is the most important consideration. The reflector should be placed OPPOSITE of the main light source. In the photo above, the window is the light source, so the reflector is placed to the right of the bowl of lemons, FACING the window. This will cause the light to bounce from the reflector back onto the lemons. As you can see in the photo, I use two jars of jam to hold the reflector up. No fancy equipment needed!

Here is a before and after