Two budget Lighting Tips that Look Professional
A good lighting kit is essential if you want to get professional looking pictures. Here are just 2 awesome tips to up your lighting for photography game without breaking the bank or your back.
Get yourself a popup reflector such as the ones you can find on Lazada. These reflectors can be found for a few hundred baht
and fold up as small as 6 inches. The idea of these reflectors is to use the sun and bounce it into the face of your subject for a much softer light. If I was using a small or medium sized reflector in this fashion, I would likely put the sun to the top or 45 degrees behind the subject. Then I would bounce the light onto the subjects face from the side so you create some shadow depth. If the sun is a bit high and creating shadows on their face, place them under some shade and then bounce the sunshine onto them. A popup reflector is also great for reflecting portable flashes/strobes or leds. The cheap popup reflector is truly the best photography accessory I believe you can buy!
Purchase a portable strobe or Speedlite. I am personally a fan of the Canon Speedlites for their reliability but if I need more power, I opt for the Godox strobes but they have been known to break. When shooting indoors typically a Speedlite has more than enough power to illuminate a subject or a small group but never shine them directly onto the subject without some kind of light modifier. This is where your handy popup reflector can come in handy or what I would usually do is bounce the flash off a white wall or ceiling preferably. Here is a test for you, take one photo with the flash pointing at someones face then take another where you bounce the light off the ceiling for natural soft light and you can thank me later! This technique also works great for brightening up a room for real estate photography. If you need to brighten a room to match a bright blue sky outdoors you best be looking at more powerful 400w/h-600wh strobes minimum.
Be mindful of the suns position even when using lighting because if you’re reading this I can guarantee you the sun will be the most powerful light available unless its evening. Try to position your subject in shade if you’re struggling with facial shadows, if a building looks dark and you want a photo, time it so the sun is shining on it, etc etc. The sun largely dictates everything from a shooting schedule to the angles we choose in professional photography and filmmaking and it’s an easy way to improve your lighting for photography even as an amateur.