I'm thinking of getting a reflector, what size would i need? also if i buy some material for a plain background what colour is most flattering for people
Reflectors depend on what you want to do with the photograph. Most round reflectors do the job for you. You could also just make some bounce card with cardboard. Get 2 A4 / A3 peices of card and cover them in Tinfoil. It should bounce light in enough to brighten the face. I use them to remove bags under eyes most of the time so position them under the face about chest height.
For a beginner you could get a 5 in 1 reflector, that allows you a diffuser to diffuse the light if it is bright, a black cover to allow it to stop light bouncing in, silver to cool it down, gold to warm it up, and then white. I think they cost about £20 - £30.
The trick with reflectors is positioning.
Backgrounds it depends again what you want to achieve. I use a plain wall, and also paper. The paper needs a support system, so that is added expense. Background colour again is your call. Most things work well with White, Black and Grey. Once again depends on your end goal inside your head. I shot at Christmas on red, but then I have never used it again.
No problems, if you need help, give me a yell.
I use a selection of reversable reflectors... often used ones include silver and especially gold to warm up portraits (I'm pretty naff at photoshop so prefer to get it right at point of shooting if I can). In fact amateur photographer include a free set every now and again, at least once a year the last few years I think! They're pretty neat because they're the ones that collapse up really tiny but then spring out to full size.
Backgrounds, I have a few lastolite ones including their blue one with different blues inside it. I dont bother with holders or anything, I often just drape it over a book shelf or from a curtain rail. The pattern on it doesn't mind having a few folds :)
I also have a special white one which takes a light behind it to help with high key
Just remember that reflectors are used mainly to bounce light into dark areas. :)
I dont think you'll have any problem with reflectors :) Just get or make a cheap one and when you see part of the portrait thats too heavily in shade or a shadow where you dont want one, just angle the reflecter to get rid of itOriginally Posted by britchick, post: 44143