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Outdoor light can be very uneven. And if you don't want your subject squinting into the sun, chances are good you'll wind up with a lot of shadow on their face. Here's a little secret pros use to solve this problem.
It's called a reflector.
Reflectors are exactly what they sound like: surfaces that reflect light. And basic two-sided folding models start at about $10.00.
If there's too much shadow on your subject, simply angle the reflector to bounce light onto them. You can use a stand or a friend to hold the reflector, and then shoot away. Your subject comes out well-lit, and you look like a genius.
Reflectors come in several sizes and configurations. A good choice for a portable reflector is a two-sided 12" model. They typically fold to about 1/3 their oringal size, so you only need a 4" spot in your pack or camera bag. Good choices are silver/white or silver/gold. Gold will warm the reflected light, which can be especially pleasing when shooting portraits.
Reflectors are effective for any fairly close work where shadow is a problem and flash might make your shot too bright or unnatural. And at just $10.00, it's one of the cheapest accessories you'll ever love.