If you asked me 10 years ago what single piece of gear I wanted if money was no option, I would have said a monster professional camera. Back then, as a novice, I though by simply getting a "better" camera I would take better pictures.
For many budding photographers this feeling lasts for years. That is until you take that "killer" photo and realize it isn't the camera, it's the skill. Of course good quality equipment is important, but it isn't everything. In fact, if you paid me money to take a high quality family portrait and told me that besides my camera and lenses, I could only take ONE piece of gear....I'd take your cash! It wouldn't take me more than a second to chose one of my reflectors. If you don't know what a reflector is, please google it and come back to this post. They come in all shapes and colors and are great to use indoor and out! This article shows how I used it outdoors with nothing else. No strobes. BUT you can also use it inside WITH strobes as shown below. Below is the setup shot for the portrait above. Shoftbox on right, gelled purple flash clamped to the bookshelf (look for it) and a white reflector on left.
softbox with a bright window and set it up the same way. Reflectors can be found for less than $100 and I own several because I love their effect. Below is one last shot (without a setup shot unfortunately) but a gold reflector is used under their faces. You can go uber cheap and use a piece of white foam board from the craft store. I've done that too!
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