Don’t Leave Home Without a Reflector, Diffuser or Flash – if you plan to photograph people

August 13, 2010

Photo Tips

Travel photographs © Rick Sammon. Fashion photograph © Vered Koshlano

This post started out as just an observation: people all around the world paint their faces. In Brazil (bottom left), the Tarino Indians paint their faces so that when they go into the rain forest, the spirits recognize them and protect them, and help them with their hunt.

My point of that post was going to be that people are basically the same all over the planet – and that experiencing different cultures is a fascinating, rewarding and wonderful learning experience.

In looking at the photographs, however, I remembered that they all had something else in common: catch light in the eyes.

Catch light helps to draw our interest to the eyes. It makes the eyes “sparkle.”

We can add catch light with a reflector or a flash – or by carefully positioning the subject so that sunlight catches the eyes.

Now you know why I never leave home without a reflector or flash.

Explore the light,


This post was written by:

- who has written 171 posts on The Digital Photo Experience.

Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon has published 36 books, including Exploring the Light and Digital Photography Secrets.

When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, “My specialty is not specializing.”

You can follow Rick on twitter at and visit his website at

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One Response to “Don’t Leave Home Without a Reflector, Diffuser or Flash – if you plan to photograph people”

  1. Matthew Says:

    Rick is, as always, correct. I’ve been shooting with a reflector and since 08 when I started doing portraits.


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