REDEFINE | REFLECTIONS featuring Jenny Gildea Photography

“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “
Why are you passionate about this topic?
I am OBSESSED with light! This quote is golden. Once I started really seeing light, my photo heart exploded with joy! I try to use whatever light I have to capture the moment – a moment I want to remember forever or that my clients will want to hold on to when years have passed by and they long for yesterday. I love watching how each individual artist sees the light and what they do with it. It is an extension of my personality and what I feel in my heart. In essence, my photos are a little insight into how I see the world. Reflection photos are some of my very favorite. It’s not uncommon for me to be heard saying, “Ooooo, look! There’s a puddle! Go stand next to it!” I love that I can play and be creative with puddles.
When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic?
I started my first 365 project in January of 2015. While I already took a lot of photos of my family, it wasn’t every day. I also gave myself a challenge to take my daily photos with my iPhone, something I hadn’t been doing at all. All of these things forced me to think out of the box and to get creative with my photos. Last Spring, I found a puddle and used it for one of my daily photos. The instant I flipped the photo upside down in post processing I knew I was hooked! Sometimes I use the puddles to create more of a silhouette and sometimes the whole scene is reflected back in the light. I love them either way!
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique or subject/topic? 
  1. Look for elements that are surrounding your subject, such as trees or clouds, that can help frame them in the photo. Unless you want a clean photo and prefer white space. Changing your angle can get you whatever effect you want.
  2. In post processing flip the photo to be right-side-up! It makes the photo go from cool to WOWZA! It changes the whole look and feel.
  3. Decide if you want the end result to be a silhouette or full reflection as you’re composing your shot. Sometimes underexposing can create a look and feel you hadn’t thought of before.
  4. I like to shoot almost all reflection so the “real” subject is cut off. I like the feeling it gives of everything in the frame being real even through it really isn’t.
  5. Still water and rippled water create different looks. Be aware of what’s happening with the wind or debris hitting the water…or your husband enjoying some rock throwing onto your still lake, I’m just saying.
  6. Walk around the puddle you’re using and see how the light changes your subject. On one side it might be dark and mysterious while the other side might be bright and cheerful.
  7. Have your subject stretch out their limbs and move. It lets the reflection show more of a story and is easier for the eye to figure out what is going on in the photo.
  8. I’m all about getting things perfect SOOC. But, sometimes a bit of a contrast boost can define reflection photos and give them the added ‘wow’ factor.
  9. When you are using a puddle on the road, leave some space above the subjects head. When you flip it around, the rocks in the pavement often end up looking like snow!
  10. Practice, practice, practice.
***All Photos are from iPhone 6, which happens to be what I have used for my reflection photos! For those that are curious, I am a Canon girl and have the 5D Mark iii.***

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About the photographer:

Jenny lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her three littles, husband, and cat. She is the photographer behind Jenny Gildea Photography. She loves lifestyle photography, soft fuzzy blankets, laughing so hard she drools, her family, gooey chocolate chip cookies, exercise, four seasons, lists with check mark boxes, and the beach. Follow along with her 365 project on her instagram!

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