Puddle Reflection Photography Tips

Tips for better puddle reflection photography!

I have always loved reflection shots! When I announced that I was pregnant with Betty, I shared one of my favorite reflections ever! And then one of my favorite family photos is a reflection of my whole family at the beach! They are magical shots. But then again, the beach can make anything magical. 

The midwest is a little different. I think reflections here get totally overlooked. In the midwest, reflections mean puddles, puddles mean rain, and rain means a gross day. But then you capture something like a natural puddle reflection shot, and it turns even the yuckiest day into a picture perfect scene!

So today I wanted to share with you Tawnya! She is a photographer who sees the beauty in the simple, everyday moments and she takes the best puddle reflection photography of her daughter! Plus, she always give the most useful advice in the Mama-tographer Facebook Group! (If you haven’t joined, and you like taking photos of your kids, you should!) I have her here today to share her tips on how to capture the best reflection shots!

Tips for better puddle reflection shots!

Picture: Tawnya

Capturing a reflection is actually a lot easier than you think, I’ve even been able to produce some pretty great reflection shots on my iPhone 6. There are three steps I want to point out when trying to achieve this look!

How to capture the perfect puddle reflection photography!

1. Think about the time of day.

When the sun is low in the sky the lighting is perfect for reflections. You can achieve a good shot midday too but the reflective surfaces tend to look more glass-like when the sun isn’t as harsh.

2. Close your aperture a bit.

I usually start around f/5 and go from there, that way you can get the subject and the reflection in focus, if you want to blur one of them out then by all means close your aperture.

3. Experiment with different angles.

Before you even bring out the camera just look at the reflection with your naked eye. Get down really low and slowly move up, you will be able to see where the “sweet spot” where the reflection looks very clear. This is the angle you will want to shoot at and it will differ depending on the time of day. Sometimes I even have to get down and lay on the wet pavement to get the right shot, anything for the perfect photo, right?! 

Bonus: Finally if you’re trying to get your kids’ reflections make it fun or there’s no way they’re going to cooperate.

I always tell my daughter to look for worms in the puddle. Sometimes they’re there, sometimes they’re not, but it always works.

Tips for better puddle reflection shots!

Picture: Tawnya

Aren’t her shots just perfection! Make sure to check out more of her tips on her blog!

So I’ve been trying for weeks to get out and practice my own puddle reflection photography using her tips. Finally, it rained last week and we had puddles galore! Here’s what I found!

My findings with puddle reflection photography:

1. Rain takes away from the glass-like look.

We got caught in the rain and the rain drops took away from that glassy look Tawnya achieves so well.

2. Angles mean more than just how high or low you are in relation to the puddle.

If you can, walk in circle around the puddle too. We went for a walk. On the way out, I captured great reflections. On the way back, my reflections looked more like shadows.

3. Don’t overexpose.

I usually like to over-expose my photos just a bit, but I was careful not to with reflection shots or the reflection gets washed away with the overexposed light!

Bonus: My daughter could care less about worms lol… but she loved jumping in puddles and had the best time!

Tips for better puddle reflection photography!

Tips for better puddle reflection shots!

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  • These are so good!

    • Morgan Leigh

      Thank you! Hope you can get out and try them!