Reflecting Light for Better Photos {My New Trick!}


Hey guys!

I just had to share with you something I was excited about.  I learned a new trick when taking photos on my blog.

Well, it’s new to me.

Yesterday, I was trying to take pictures of our claw foot tub in front of our window in the master bath. 

I was soooooo frustrated because I kept getting pictures like this…

claw foot tub 004

The blaring light from the window made the front of my tub look so dark, almost gray.

I tried shooting in manual mode to let more light in, and it was a little better.

claw foot tub 006

But notice how the front of the tub still looks dark?  I kept trying to edit my photos to make the tub look brighter, but it still wasn’t working.

Then it hit me, “I need to reflect that light from the window onto my tub!”

I know “real” photographers do stuff like this, but I never have.  So I thought it would be worth a shot!

I just so happened to have two LARGE mirrors that we haven’t hung up in our home yet, so I carried them into the bathroom to see if they would help with my light problem.

Guess what?!!

They did!  I was so thrilled!

Check out this picture of the mirror reflecting light on the tub…

claw foot tub 004

See how one half of the tub is light and the other is still dark?

Well, I put up another mirror on the other side of the room…

claw foot tub 006

and it reflected light on the other side of the tub!

Using both of those mirrors helped me to get pictures like this…

claw foot tub 043

Now I know that reflecting light is not a new concept in photography, but it is something that I had never actually tried before.

Of course, I am not going to start dragging my two heavy mirrors around the house to take pictures for my blog.  But it has proven to me how helpful a light reflector would be.

Here is what I am wanting to purchase…

It’s a circular reflector disc, and it is only about $25.  And you can fold it up for easy storage!

(This is NOT a sponsored post, and I am not trying to sell these reflectors.  I am just excited about what I am learning about photography and wanted to share it with you!)  Smile


Have you ever used something to reflect light in your pictures?

Do you have any more photo tricks you want to share with me?


  1. When I need to reflect light at home, I use a piece of White foam core board. They don’t fold up, but they are super cheap at Micheal’s. I wish I could take credit for it, but I learned it from a photographer who shot at my house. They also used it to block unwanted light. I thought it was brilliant! I love your mirror idea!

  2. This is great. Thank you for the insight and news. Don’t you love blogging? It makes
    you learn and do things because you have to keep up. My kids are always amazed
    now at what I can do on the computer, and it is all because of blogging, taking
    pictures, editing, etc. Enjoy your blog!

  3. I love it. Thanks for the reminder. I have tried the poster board option mentioned above. I also bought a lightscoop ( because getting the right lighting in my home is a nightmare. I love it and take almost all my indoor pictures with it.

  4. I actually just hung up curtains in my room on Sunday and was trying to take pictures but kept having the same problem. Because I was shooting directly into the sun/window, it was causing the curtains and the rest of my room to be dark.

    I never thought to reflect the light off a mirror! Now I know what I’m going to be experimenting with when I get home :)

  5. I am a natural light photographer & I used polyboards or styrofoam boards when shooting into the light to reflect it back. They are much easier & cheaper!

    1. Hi there, yes you can but if you used anything other than white, say silver or gold it will create a colorcast of the reflector color onto your subject, in this instance the bath in the photo above. White works best for this photo….just my opinion!

  6. that’s an awesome trick! as a new blogger, i am trying to get all the photography help i can because i really do think the quality of pictures matter. thanks so much for sharing this info!

  7. My daughter just finished having her senior portraits taken by a professional. All of the photos were done outdoors. The photographer used a car shade for her reflector. It worked great! You can use it in the car and then outdoors for great photos! Definitely a cheaper alternative to consider!

  8. Well, it may not be new to some people, but it’s new to me! I’ve been wanting to figure out a way to get shadows off of some of my pictures. This is great. Thanks for sharing!

  9. We were visiting the Botanical Gardens last month and there were amateur and professional photographers in the rose garden using small hand held reflectors to take shots. Thanks for passing on the idea of using mirrors.

  10. Genius! I have the same problem in my kitchen and have been trying to get decent pics — this could be the ticket now that I’ve embraced the “M” (thanks, Kevin Palmer!). Great tip, Traci!
    xo Heidi

  11. This is going to sound dumb but I didn’t know those reflectors were that cheap! I’m totally putting that on my soon to get wishlist. I just always assumed they were super expensive because they were for photographers. Thanks for they eye opening post. :)


  12. Ooh. What a great idea. I need to get me one of those reflectors. We live in the woods and I have trouble lighting my shots even in the daytime. A photographer friend of mine also recommended purchasing a Chinese/Japanese lantern kit (he got his for $8 off of eBay). He takes his flash off his camera (you must have a removable flash and have the piece to keep it connected so it will work while removed). He puts the flash inside the lantern, covers the bottom of the lantern with a piece of white sheet and when the flash goes off, it lights the whole space with a really soft light. I am waiting to get mine in the mail and will let you know how it works.

  13. Tracy ~ not sure if you know this, but when I clicked on your page this morning the first image I saw was a world of warcraft ad with a horrible picture of a witch/warlock (not sure what the evil thing was). Stunned me to see that on your blog as I know you probably don’t want that to be the image displayed under your ‘Beneath My Heart’ banner. As one of your faithful readers, I thought you’d want to know.

  14. Tracy, next time you are at the home improvement store get a sheet of rigid foam insulating board. you can cut it down a bit for your needs. it’s super light weight and perfect for use as a reflector. i am a professional photographer with an all-natural light studio and these foam board reflectors are all i use. Foam core is also great but small. Sometimes you need a much bigger piece.

  15. Boy howdy, am I loving this!! What a super SMART idea. I always have trouble with lighting. When I try to take pictures in rooms with the light streaming in, I get the same problem you had with the tub. I will definitely have to try this.
    Thanks for sharing your brilliance!

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