When I began exploring photography almost 4 years ago, I shot in natural light and I only knew the basics of my Canon Rebel T3 camera. I knew nothing about light shaping and my images suffered severely.

Throughout the years of learning various techniques, there are a few tools that I always bring with me when shooting in natural light.

1) 5 in 1 reflector disc

The disc itself is a white diffuser which softens light when you put it between the sun and the subject you are shooting. The other surfaces are a sliver/gold reflective side, a black side for blocking light and a white side for absorbing and reflecting light.

2) Speedlite/flash

Just in case you need to fill some light onto your subject while allowing the sun to provide the main light.You can attach the flash to the camera or use it as an off camera flash. Using off-camera flash, you can bounce light onto a reflector to create different types of light.

3) Tripod

The tripod helps you to minimize camera shake, but in this case, we can use it to free our hands while taking shots. In case you needed to hold the reflector towards the subject, and you don’t have an assistant, set the timer on the camera and position the reflector yourself.

Bonus tip: If you are shooting in a darker scene and the subject has the correct exposure but the background is too dark, try slowing the shutter speed down a few stops. A tripod is highly recommended.

4) ND filters

Have you ever shot a subject against a cloudy sky and noticed the sky became completely blown out? ND Filters are able to tone down the light intensity entering the camera by full-stops, 1/3 and 2/3 of a stop for smaller adjustments. It’s like sunglasses for your lens in a simpler term.