Is there a benefit to using a reflector with still life photography? The short answer is YES!
The benefits of using a reflector in still life photography are varied. I often use a reflector — in the case above I was using natural light and it was weak winter light. Even exposing for the right-hand side of the image, the items in the crate are too deeply shadowed, losing some of the details. Sure, the deep shadows in a dark and moody image are wonderful, but bouncing some light back into your image helps to bring the details out.
I used the silver side of a Neewer 5-in-1 reflector (camera right), diffused window light camera left. Both images were shot on a Sony a7 II with 50mm Macro f/2.8 lens at 1/80s and ISO 100. Just a small sampling of my vintage kitchen collection.
So next time your shadows are a little too moody and you have lost the details, think about using a reflector, it really can be a game-changer.