Opposite page: Brandt’s Final Shot.
Above: A behind-the-scene look at Brandt’s lighting setup.
TURNING CHALLENGES INTO
AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE
BEHIND THE SCENES
IN AUGUST OF LAST
YEAR, I was hired
for a pregnancy and
which was captured
in my studio and on
the beach. My client
wanted to use gowns (that I designed) and
fabrics to augment the shoot. The only
challenge we faced during this shoot was
that the subject didn’t speak English very
well, so a translator was present. My client
was wonderful to photograph, however,
and we had a great time collaborating. To
achieve this shot, I used a single Profoto
B1 500 Air TTL To-Go kit and Profoto Extra
Large 65-inch Deep Translucent Umbrella to
the left of the subject.
I followed my general rule for lighting—
keep it simple and timeless. While I follow
current trends, I don’t consider myself too
trendy. My rules also vary for pregnancy
and newborn shoots. For lighting pregnancy
shoots, I like either soft but dramatic, or
bright and clean.
I love working with fabrics and textures;
they create unique, clean lines. With an
image like this, I love how it cannot be
duplicated. Even if I do this same technique
on every client, each image will be unique
because I am relying on the wind and
tossing of the fabric, which is slightly
I find my clients influence my work more
than anything. In every session I will ask
my client what images inspire them. I ask
them to tell me or show me images that
are pleasing to them—whether it’s from an
ad, a magazine or a Pinterest board. My
influence comes from talking to them and
understanding how they want to look in a
session. Then it’s all about light and fabrics.
I need to use fabrics that will work with their
body and then add the light to complement.
I had no idea exactly how this image
would come to life. We just tossed the fabric
over and over and over until I thought we
might have something she and I would both
like. Since this image, I have replicated this
technique many, many times. Each time, it
is so di;erent and unique to the individual
client. I want my work to reflect who my
clients are, but to also show a bit
of my style.
To learn more about the Profoto B1, visit
profoto.com/o;cameraflash. See more from
Ana Brandt at anabrandt.com.
Follow Profoto on Instagram @profotousa.
Brought to you by
LEARN TO SEE LIGHT. When using
studio light, turn on the modeling light
and use it to visually show you how
the light is shaping the subject. When
working in natural light, take a step
back and see how the light is entering
the room and falling on surrounding
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING
ABOUT LIGHTING, TAKE A
WORKSHOP. It is so important to
receive training from someone who
is experienced and can truly show
you light patterns and provide the
technical knowledge needed.
DON’T OVER;LIGHT. I use one light,
sometimes two. Most of the time my
lights are very low power (unless I am
LEARN TO FEATHER YOUR LIGHT.
Feathering your light is so important
with pregnancy and newborns.
LEARN BACKLIGHTING in the studio
and on location—it can change your
life. I am a huge fan of backlighting,
indoors and out.