Cottage Life Magazine is all about summer! It’s sunny days from morning ’til night, cicadas buzzing by mirror-like lakes, and bathing suits drying on the line– but the shoots happen rain or shine so it’s up to me to bring a little kiss of summer inside, even when it’s the dampest darkest day of the year.
Lucky me, I had two cottage shoots in a row where menacing clouds rolled across the skies. Every last ray of natural sunshine was reserved for the outdoor shots, and when indoors on the ground floor– out came trusty Mr. Sun.
Mr. Sun: the well-loved and often used reflector dish I first met while assisting the great interior photographer Ted Yarwood. It’s nothing really that special– mine is a beat up old sports reflector dish mounted to a regular strobe head, and in the case of cottage shoots, I hook it up to a Speedotron battery pack. If there’s a light rain outside I can put a garbage bag over it to protect it, or if I’m really lucky there’s a porch to keep it from the elements.
Here’s a few examples of my trusty friend in action.
During this kitchen shot, it was pouring buckets outside. I mean POURING, so Mr. Sun was tucked safely under the highest part of the porch. You can tell by the angle of the sunny bits on the wall going up that this sun isn’t real.
Below here, it was a dull day outside and the small narrow room prevented me from putting any lights in it. There was a window to the left of the sink and since it was on the first floor, a landing outside I could safely put Mr. Sun. A softbox over the camera provided a little extra fill in the foreground and subject.
The next three were all at the same cottage the same morning. A little drizzle outside was no problem at all. A hard-light look in the living room here and detail, and for the kitchen shot I simply skimmed a little sun to add direction to the shadows.