Being a photographer is probably one of the best jobs in the world. Not gonna lie, I am, of course, a little biased. But being a professional photographer is not without its challenges.
As I have grown as an artist I have come to realize more and more than the best shots come from a sprinkle of chaos. Not everything needs to be perfectly planned. We have to be able to embrace the moment. A little improvisation never hurt anyone.
While in Prague on a recent trip, we were driving about an hour outside of the city to get away from the flood of tourists. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Prague, especially the dumplings… I digress… but damn, the amount of tourists everywhere made it a very challenging city to photograph and enjoy. To the countryside we headed.
En route, with no real idea of where we were, BOOM! the hidden forest appeared. The leading lines, the light, the grass, the time of day, everything… JUST FREAKING PERFECT!
One major problem…. We were not prepared for a shoot. No model. No hair and makeup. Just what we had with us. Alissa was on deck for any random shoots and it was time for her to suit up. We had a vintage wedding dress that we picked up in London for $75 at a second hand store.
We jumped out of the car and just started wandering around looking for the light and leading lines, etc. Then we found this perfect spot where there was a tree that had fallen or been cut… I thought to myself, “Perfect!”
Alissa started applying makeup while the rest of the team prepared for the shoot, testing lighting, etc.
Here was the challenge, while the lighting was perfect to the eye, it was not perfect for the camera. We needed an alternate light source. Enter the Profoto B1. 500 Watts of portable power wherever and whenever I need it!!
I wanted something soft, natural, and even surreal. That would not happen with a hard light, which is my normal choice when lighting portraits. No light modifiers, just a hard edged light. Time to improvise. We took a white reflector and bounced the light into that to create a larger and softer light source to ensure she was properly lit, but not overpowering the shot.
End of day, don’t be afraid to add a little spontaneity and improvisation to your shoots. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Camera | PhaseOne IQ250
Lighting | Profoto B1
Glass | Schneider 55mm
CLICK TO VIEW LARGER