Yes, you too can rock your indoor dog photography shots…

…even if you live in a dark cavernous house, like we have here. Easy peasy – 1 simple addition to your kit bag – a reflector! So, in our kit bag is one of these bad boys:

Yep, we have a 75cm Lastolite Tri-Grip Reflector, the one with 1 white side and 1 silver side. For comparison, without a reflector, a shot inside looks like this:

See how dark the right side of the image is? You can’t make out any of his features except for that little amber eye. Kind of boring. Kind of dull. In fact, just totally not my style!

So what do we do?! Pop a bit of light back at that beaut face! But if you’re on your own, how do you hold a TriGrip as well as attention items & a heavy DSLR? Well… the only answer is, you don’t. You bring in the help of a light stand. I’ve specifically gone with the cheapest light stand I could find in my kit cupboard – £10 and 5 years old. 

You’ll also need to diffuse any bright light. This is essential if its a super sunny day. Grab yourself a few metres of white chiffon and tie it/pin it/clamp it over your main window. 

Then, you grab a clamp. You can buy multipacks of these from any homeware/hardware store like The Range, B&Q, Homebase etc. Put the reflector, the light stand and the clamp together and you get:

NOTE: Dogs can be very worried by reflectors as they are unusual, big, shiny things. You must ensure that you gently introduce the reflector. Food & praise and baby steps works well. 

He doesn’t look too impressed with his paw print mud styled reflector, does he… I will have to clean it.

Next you’ll want to give the reflector a spin around the stand to see how the light reacts on the subject (use a stuffed animal for this part, no point boring the dog). Once you’ve nailed your distance & your angle, add in your subject! Test your settings, test your light then get down to shooting!

Ooh! Look how that beautiful eye pops now! Lets look at a few more…

But what if you don’t have £60 to pop on a reflector? I sure as hell didn’t when I first started out. Want to see what I did? I made my own, out of 1 side of a cardboard box & some tin foil. Did the job!

Still not convinced? Let’s look at the shots of with & without the reflector side by side…

Without
With
Without
With

Pretty subtle-yet-awesome results for what could cost as little as 10p. So go forth & get your tin foil out. Get shooting! 

Have you tried this indoor dog photography set-up yet?

Send over one of your reflector shots to [email protected] or drop us a message about how it went in the comments!