I often hear photographers say they "Just want to be natural lit, ambient light photographers", I say "more power to you!!" I know a photographer, she is one my favorite photographers in Spokane, who happened to shoot our Wedding, her name is Danielle Dupey and she shoots all natch!! And she kills it, I don't know how she sees light the way she does, and everything she does is just richeous!! All to say, I don't see what she sees, I can't because its her, not me...which makes photography very awesome!! She is the only photographer I have ever met that I've seen her use any sort of fill light maybe hmm never!! So what I'm about to say doesn't apply to you because your that awesome! So for the rest of you folks.....
Ever get discouraged when entering the photography world because you don't have the big lights you see people use in magazines? Or you don't have the external flashes.... Well I got something for you guys, a little tip to live by in the photography world, it's called "Photography is the way you see light", be mesmerized by light all of the time, and your photography will improve. With that being said, you don't need external lighting to make magic happen, if you love shooting natural, ambient light, get something called a five in one reflector. This is the best tool a natural light photographer can use, and it's only about $30!! WHAT?! This tool is a collapsible circle that has a silver, gold, black, and white cover, with a diffuser in the middle.
Just because you are a natural light photographer, doesn't mean you can't use the natural light that is surrounding you to add to your photography. What I mean is, the five in one reflectors are used to bounce surrounding light onto your subject, this is with the covers being white(my favorite), silver, black, and gold. These all give a different look to your subject depending on what you are going for. Now, I only use the white and silver see because those are my preferences, you do what you would like please! I use the white side with anyone because it works with any skin tone, it's great! I use the silver side to give more of a glamour fill. Now the silver side is highly reflective, and sometimes blinding to your subject so be careful when using this guy. The same applies for the gold side, this is used to warm your subject, a black side is used to darken shadows and give a darker fill. With all of these cover sides, they give a nice catch light into your models eyes, this gives a sense of external lighting, but it's just glorious five in one lovin!
Lastly but not least, you do know that the sun is the brightest light source around you right? Well the diffuser is used to block light sources such as the sun from your subject, simply use that diffuser to block the sun and you will get such a nice light quality onto your subject, with no hard shadows, just nice even light wrapping your subject.
So much of photography is the way you see light. Plain and simple, be siked about the way you see light, at all times of the day! Yes, there is a golden hour, we all love it. But by taking the additional steps to understand how to shoot in all times of the day is one step better then someone else. By using a five in one reflector you can shoot at all times of the day, just as long as there is light. Go forth and do big things!