3 tips for capturing reflections

Stephanie Bryan Photography - 3 tips for capturing reflections

I love capturing reflections in just about anything - water, glass, windows....you name it! Reflections are super fun and can add a ton of interest to any photo. I am always on the lookout for reflective surfaces and hopefully these 3 tips will help you achieve a fun reflection!


1. Think about the surface

There are many different surfaces where you can find reflections. Water is probably my favorite surface in which to capture reflections because it really makes the viewer stop and look at the photo. Water reflections allow you to see both the subject + their reflection, which adds extra interest to the image. To really nail a water reflection, you need water that is pretty still (like puddles, completely calm ponds, etc..) and you have to pay attention to how and where the light is in the sky. Harsh, direct sunlight makes it much harder to see + capture reflections. I've found that reflections are easier to see when the sun is either lower in the sky or the day is overcast + cloudy. 

Other reflective surfaces, such as mirrors, windows and doors are also perfect for capturing reflections. The key to these type of reflections (or at least for me) is to try keep myself and my camera out of the photo. It takes a good bit of moving around and ducking/weaving, but I promise it's possible!

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2. Change your angle

When you're shooting in attempt to capture a reflection, you really have to move up, down and all around to find the perfect angle for that reflection. For water shots, I've found that squatting down low and really changing my viewpoint can help me see and capture the reflection I'm hoping for. A still subject is always easier to photograph, so luckily, my kids like to play with water or look for fish and turtles so I'm able to take advantage of their stillness and move around a little to find the best angle.

For other reflective surfaces like windows and doors, I also find that moving my camera angle slightly can make a BIG difference when it comes to capturing a reflection.  Begin by looking with your naked eye before you even try to capture it with your camera. If you can see a reflection with your eye, then you can find it in camera. It just might take a little movement to figure out the best angle.

3. Keep your eyes open + experiment

Maybe it's the creative part of my brain, but I am always on the lookout for ways I can document our everyday life in new and exciting ways. Using reflective surfaces to capture more details of our story is definitely one of my favorites. I recommend keeping your eyes open and snapping away if the moment strikes. Pull your camera out as you're walking past windows and capture your kiddos running this way and that. Use glasses or doors to show your surroundings and what the day looked like from your vantage point. The key is to experiment and have fun along the way! 


looking for more inspiration + tips?


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