How to choose and use a reflector to get rid of shadows in portrait photography

How to choose and use a reflector
(Image credit: N-Photo Magazine)

A photo reflector will often give you all the control you need to achieve perfectly lit portraits, still lifes, macro shots and any other kind of image where the subject isn’t too big and you can get up close to it. 

Reflectors are perfect for those situations where you’ve got a single, strong light source, such as a window or solitary lamp, and need to balance it by adding light from the other side so that the shadows don’t appear too dense. All you have to do is hold the reflector on the other side of your subject so it ‘bounces’ light back into the darker areas of shadow. 

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at