Pictured: To isolate the couple from the bustling New York City background, Cincotta used a
tight crop and two Profoto B1s behind the couple paired with a Profoto A1 on camera.
TURNING CHALLENGES INTO
AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE
CREATE EDGE LIGHT. Use edge light
to separate your subject from the
DON’T OVERPOWER THE MAIN LIGHT.
The edge light should be an accent—it
shouldn’t overpower the shot.
USE HIGH-SPEED SYNC. High-Speed
Sync can be your friend when shooting at
a shallow depth of field.
UTILIZE ON-CAMERA LIGHT. To create
soft, beautiful light, try using the Profoto
ADD WARMTH. To add extra warmth to
your subjects, try using a 1/4 CTO gel.
BEHIND THE SCENES
To learn more about the Profoto A1 and B1 lights,
please visit profoto.com, and follow @profotousa
on Instagram. See more from Sal Cincotta at
THIS IMAGE WAS
York City, in the
afternoon. I shot it in
a way that’s a little
different than my
normal setup. To start, I wanted a tighter crop
to show the connection between the couple.
Then there’s the lighting: I normally like dramatic
setups, but for this particular shot, I felt like the
story and lighting had to change a little to adjust
for the tighter shot.
Normally I don’t like on-camera flash. It’s usually
harsh, and not in a good way. It tends to look very
fake and “flashy.” But that wasn’t my experience
with the Profoto A1. I wanted big, soft light on the
couple, and that’s what I got. I used high-speed
sync to ensure I could shoot wide open and, to
separate the couple from the background and
give them that beautiful edge light, I had two
Profoto B1s flanking them on either side. The light
is just so gorgeous and so soft; it’s hard to believe
it’s on camera.
Shooting in New York City poses a couple of
challenges. We were in a tight alley and we had
to move very quickly—there’s no time to spend
tinkering with your lighting recipe; things just have
to work. Technology should never get in the way
of the shot and the Profoto A1 made this simple.
Better yet, it works seamlessly with the rest of the
Profoto family. With the A1 on camera and the B1s
behind the couple, I didn’t have to worry about
settings—all the equipment works with each other
allowing me to create great images quickly.
Another big help on this shot was having my
assistant, Alissa. I always work with an assistant,
but because I was using the A1 on camera for this
shoot, I didn’t need my assistant to hold a light.
Instead, she could focus all of her attention on
the details—things like finessing the hair, making
sure the dress was laying right and ensuring that
the jewelry was falling and pointing the right way.
When you look through the lens, you can miss
those shots, but having an assistant free to care
for those details goes a long way.
In the end, what I love about this final frame is
that I was able to really capture the moment, the
energy and the drama of the scene, and to isolate
the couple from the bustling city background. This
would not have been possible without the right
tools. The Profoto A1 and B1s working together
gave me the power and performance I needed to
get the shot.
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