Happy 2016! I’m excited to share some new reviews with you for a few different companies I have been working with over the past few months. I wanted to put my SunBounce Mini 3×4′ through a couple of shoots before I launched my official review, and I’m excited to share with you how much I love this for my fashion and lifestyle photography!
In partnership with Hasselblad Bron I received a few pieces of equipment from the Sunbounce line last fall, and was excited to play around with them on a number of recent photoshoots. Being a natural-light photographer, I need to be able to shape and move light on location by using reflectors and scrims. While I would not bring a 3×4′ reflector on a senior portrait shoot – I do need to cover more area when shooting fashion and lifestyle projects, and this is the perfect fit!
Here is the set-up from our Horseshoe Winter 2015 lookbook. The space was super small, and it was very dark inside, so I needed quite a bit of natural fill on the model’s face. I was able to prop the reflector up on it’s own, since we had no extra space to fit an assistant.
In the final shot, you can see how I was able to create a dreamy soft glow with the white side of the reflector – giving beautiful even lighting on a grey (rainy) day. No additional post work was needed to bring light to her face.
Using the Sunbounce on set is super easy – it’s extremely lightweight and one person can hold it comfortably in a number of positions without their arms getting tired. I have found that with the sturdiness of the frame I can also lean it against things, or clip it to a light-stand quickly and easily. The biggest problem I have with circular reflectors is that they do not cover enough area when reflecting light – or are awkward to hold on to. The only downside to these awesome frames, is that they are not super easy (and by easy, I mean quick) to take apart and re-assemble. I have found it easier to keep them put together – which can be harder to transport if you are limited on space, or want to switch the fabric out for a different color. Luckily they are double-sided, so I can switch between White and Zebra (a mix of gold/white).
I loved being able to bring some additional soft light to the model’s face in this shot – as it was raining the entire time for this set-up, and we needed to add a little more “glow” to get the look I wanted. An assistant was able to hold this easily near the model, while I shot a few feet away.
Even though I am working with natural light 99% of the time, I do find myself in the studio more and more, and when working with a one-light set-up (much like working with the sun) – you do need a bit of fill on your models, especially when the back-ground and/or clothing are dark. I used the Zebra side on this particular shoot to bring some extra warmth to the fill light, as we were photographing jewelry, and I wanted the product to “pop” on the model.
I find that even in studio with Sterling Forever I needed to add some fill to camera-left. Since I did not have a v-flat on set for this particular shoot, I quickly improvised and clipped the Sunbounce to a light-stand (Zebra side out). Voila! Perfect amount of fill.
All around, this is a great reflector and I have been using it on most of my commercial & lifestyle shoots. On one hand the size is great because it is easy to hold, move around and transport, but on the other hand I do need to sometimes move a larger amount of light – so I am looking into getting the larger size for bigger shoots. This product is super durable (which is great because I am very hard on my equipment) and I’ve lugged it around on lots of shoots outdoors in the wind, sun and rain – making its durability well worth the price. I definitely recommend this for commercial, fashion and lifestyle shoots – whether you are working outdoors or in the studio. It may be a bit large for portrait shoots, because I need something I can fold up and carry around, so for those shoots I would use a smaller reflector like the Sunmover.
Product, Sunbounce 3×4′ White/Zebra reflector
• Extremely light-weight
• Very durable
• Easy to hold on-to
• Works well to reflect light
• Easy to lean / prop-up
• Can clip to a light-stand while in-studio
• Fabric is double-sided
• Comes with a handy tote-bag to carry all the parts
• Hard to take apart and put together
• Large to transport (unless you take it apart) – it does however fit in my Prius!
• Isn’t quick to assemble
• May need multiple if you want more than two colors and aren’t taking the frames apart on set
Michelle is partnered with Hasselblad Bron and received these items as part of the affiliate program in exchange for an honest testimonial. Images and text are original and solely the opinion of Michelle Moore. Check out more of our original reviews!
Have more questions about our experience with this product? Email us and we’ll add your question & answer to this review.