This portrait was shot on a cloudy, overcast day
minutes before the rain started. See the image
below for how the reflector was used.
The highlights on the meat are created by the key light behind the plate.
Notice the shadow in the front below the chicken. However, the detail in the
foreground shadow is lit by the small reflector I put in front of
the plate. See www.DennisDavisPhotography.com for more examples.
However, with the strongest light coming from behind the food, dark shadows are created at the front of the plate, where the eye will go first. I place small, silver mylar-covered cardboard reflectors in front of the plate, to pick up the key light and bounce it into the front of the plate where the shadows are. A reflector works better than adding another light, as it can be positioned and controlled better than a light on a stand could be.
The wood behind the desk reflected my softboxes until
I bounced the light off of the wall.
The plastic film on the outside of these bottles reflected
every light I put on them, until I put them in a cocoon.