Properly exposing skin tones can be one of the toughest parts of a session or even a wedding day! Conditions often times aren’t ideal and can lead to dark shadows, flat skin tones, or even color casting from nearby objects. Not only is it difficult to get it right in camera, but it can be even harder to fix after the fact! One thing I always strive to get right in camera is my couple’s skin tone because I can easily spend hours after a session correcting each image by hand when I mess it up – and let be honest, no one wants to do that!
The easiest way to keep your subject’s skin tones in check is to keep them near a reflector! My favorite type of reflector to use are natural reflectors that can be found almost anywhere!
What is a natural reflector?
A Natural Reflector is any surface that reflects bright and clean light off of it! For example, when you are on the beach the sun reflects off of the white sand. When the sun reflects, it causes the light to reflect back up onto your subject and fill in any ” dark ” areas on your subject. The most common areas it helps fill in are under and around your subject’s eyes and neck allowing them to have clean and consistent skin tones!
So how does it work?
When you need that extra fill light, find your natural reflector and make sure your subject is facing towards the reflector! It will not work properly if you subject is turned away or just half way turned towards it! They need those darker areas to be facing right at your natural reflector to get the best results! – Your subject does not have to be looking at the reflector, just facing it!
The natural reflectors that I use most often are side walks, streets, white or cream colored buildings, sand, gravel roads, and I have even used white cars before! Anything that is close to white in color and reflects light off of it is considered a natural reflector that will enhance your skin tones!
Want to cut down on your editing time? Check out the AWP Bright and Airy Presets to help give you the perfect bright and airy look! From 13 color presets and 2 black and white, it has all you need to edit your sessions!