I JUST ADORE THE LITTLE
DIMPLES on my son’s hands,
so when I envisioned this photo
shoot, I knew I wanted to capture
this minute but meaningful
detail in an intimate way. In fact, the entire shoot
was very personal: I used my dining room as the
studio and all of the props—the baking tray, carved
wooden spoon and red-handled rolling pin—are
pieces I’ve collected over the years. Many of them
TURNING CHALLENGES INTO
AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE
ADVERTISEMENT P H
BOUNCING LIGHT OFF SOMETHING, In this
instance a wall, helps to soften the light and
make it look more like natural light.
PLACING A DOME DIFFUSER on the magnetic
head of the A1 flash helps to soften the light.
USING THE A1 OFF-CAMERA HELPS to provide
more directional light, like in this example
where the light is to the right of the frame on
PLACING A WHITE REFLECTOR on the
opposite side of the light helps create some fill
light. The deep shadows soften by bouncing
some of the light onto the frame from the
IN LOW-LIGHT SITUATIONS, the auto-assistant
helps to grab focus on your subject quickly
are vintage finds from antique festivals and stores.
I also styled the shoot myself, making sure
to have a balance with a few pops of color and
various textures from the linen cloth and wood
table, as well as a little bit of imperfection with the
sprinkled sugar and blueberries falling onto the
table. As for directing my son, I simply had him sit
next to the table and reach in like he was about to
enjoy one of the pies, which of course he did after
we finished taking the photos.
The pies were also homemade, which wasn’t
an easy feat. By the time we had finished
prepping, baking and letting the pies cool, it
was already dark outside of our Michigan home
(thanks, winter). Fortunately, I was able to use my
Profoto A1 lights to compensate for the darkness
in the dining room and to mimic the look of
natural window light. My preferred lighting style
is dramatic yet soft, so I placed one A1 on my
camera and on a tripod facing a nearby window.
My intention was to have the light bounce off the
window to produce a nice directional light. To
keep the shot consistent with my style, I used a
dome diffuser on the A1 and also placed a large
white umbrella in the upper-left corner of the
room to soften the shadows. With this setup, I was
able to control the strength of the A1 on the tripod
with the A1 on my camera.
The biggest challenge with this shoot was
also the biggest advantage: Because it was so
dark in the room, I was able to use the Profoto
A1 to control the light; however, working in the
dark also makes it difficult to focus. To overcome
this difficulty, I turned on the auto-focus feature,
which honed in perfectly on my son’s dimpled
little hands. The directional light not only cast
his hands in a nice light, it also brought out the
beautiful details in the textured linen and laced
pies, which I love.
While I enjoy shooting with natural light, the
Profoto A1 enables me to get the deep shadows
and soft highlights I’m drawn to no matter where
or when I’m shooting. It’s become a staple for
me; I’m able to soften the light with attachments
like the dome diffuser, or I can quickly set up a
dramatic, directional light using it off-camera or
with a bounce card on-camera. Since my main
subjects in my work are often my young boys, its
ease-of-use is just what I need to move quickly
and keep up with them.
To learn more about the Profoto A1 light, please visit
profoto.com, and follow @profotousa on Instagram.
See more from Meg Loeks at megloeks.com.
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