Capturing Reflections: A Q&A With Julia Crim

March 15, 2018 1 Comments

Today we’re sharing a Q&A about shooting reflections from the extremely talented Julia Crim.  I am always so happy when talented photographers indulge me in my little Q&A’s!  If you’re not following Julia you most definitely need to.  She is such an inspiration in so many areas of photography!

Q: How did you start shooting for the reflections around you?  (When did you first notice it? Where do you like to shoot them the most?)

A: I’ve always been drawn to the water. I grew up on the coast and have lived near the water most of my life. Even in the short time my family and I lived inland, we travelled to the coast frequently and spent as much time as possible exploring the rivers and lakes around us. The natural reflections on the surface of water are my favorite kind of reflections to capture. I equally love the perfect mirror-like reflections produced in calm water and the more abstract reflections produced by agitated water or water over a textured surface.


Q: What is the first step you make sure to do when photographing your reflections?

A: When including a reflection in a photo I often move around to see how different angles effect the strength of the reflection and the general composition.

Q: Do you set your shots up in any way, shoot spontaneously or wait for an organic moment to press your shutter?

A: Typically when I’m out exploring with my family my photography goal is simply to capture the day’s adventures as they organically unfold. Most of the time I’m a responsive shooter waiting for a moment to inspire me before I pick up my camera. But, I do also enjoy the creative challenge of shooting for a specific theme. When I’m shooting for a theme I spend more time planning and directing than I do in my normal shooting.

Q: How do you capture the perspective that you do?

A: I move around a lot when I shoot and change my point-of-view frequently. I have found that shooting low often results in a stronger reflection.


Q: Do you find some compositions work better than others to include reflections?

A: Many different compositions work well when including reflections, but I do find I am more likely to consider center compositions and center horizons when including reflections due to the natural symmetry a reflection often brings to an image. I also use reflections of the environment (trees, clouds, mountains, etc) to frame or draw attention to my subject or give the viewer a little more context to the scene. Reflection images are also great candidates for vertically flipping to give an interesting, and often surreal feeling to an image.

Q: What do you look for in terms of lighting when making an image with reflections?

A: Light definitely has an impact on reflections. Backlight often produces a reflection that is more silhouetted where sidelight, front light and more diffuse or flat light on a subject creates a reflection with more detail.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

A: I find a lot of inspiration from exploring the outdoors with my family.

Q: Do you ever get bored and want to try something new?

A: Yes, all the time! I love learning and trying new things!

Q: How important is editing in your process?

A: Editing plays an important role, but it’s definitely not my favorite part of photography, so I do as much as I can in camera to make editing as fast and easy as possible. Reflections are often darker and softer than the rest of the photo, so I usually add clarity and increase the exposure and whites in the reflection area.

Q: What gear do you use for accomplishing this?

A: Reflections can be captured with any camera or lens. For many of my photos I like to include the environment and sky. I find myself reaching for my wide angle lenses in these instances. I also enjoy using my Lensbaby Twist60 to add another layer of interest to a reflection.

Q: What are your typical settings?

A: I don’t have typical settings, but when including a reflection I have found stopping down to f/4-f/8 is helpful to insure my subject and the reflection are in the depth of field. If the reflection I’m capturing involves a fast moving subject (my children, clouds on a windy day, etc) I will make sure to maintain a shutter speed of at least 1/640sec.


Julia is a photographer based in New Zealand. She is passionate about capturing her family’s moments and stories as they explore near their home and on their travels around the world. She is presenting a breakout for ClickinMoms scheduled to be released in July. Julia’s IG feed can be found here and a portfolio of her images available for licensing through Offset can be found here.

Emily Hamson

I'm a mom of 4 wild boys, who photographs mostly nature (partly because they don't run away or pull faces at me like my boys do). Being behind my camera is my therapy! In 2017 I decided to embark upon a personal photography project to find more creative ways to use my camera, and the CIC was born. I love to learn anything that goes along with photography, but I really love helping others learn new techniques even more!

1 Comment

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    March 15, 2018

    Julia, reading this Q&A and seeing your gorgeous images, I cannot wait to look for reflections in every available surface. I’ve always loved reflection shots, but this honestly just got me all kinds of excited about them! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!