Charleton Churchill is an explorer, adventure and a destination wedding photographer. In 2015 he did a series unique weddings shoots on Mt. Everest, just above Basecamp. Here are his own words about the Mount Everest project.
I love to travel to adventurous locations with my couples, from engagement sessions in northern California where I live, to weddings on Mt. Everest. What’s important to me is carrying light and powerful gear, enough to carry on a hike. That is why I use both the B1 and B2 Off-Camera Flashes for my adventures. If I’m hiking or I need less weight, I pack my B2 Off Camera Flash, like I did on this year’s Everest Base Camp wedding. It fits in my bag just fine. For the image above, which was an adventure engagement session, I used the B1 Off-Camera Flash for extra power, just in case my vision morphed into something even darker and more dramatic. I had scoped this location earlier, so I didn’t need to hike but 30 yards down from my vehicle.
On most engagement shoots, I do not bring an assistant. Here I brought my light-stand with weights. It’s important to use strong weights for your light in the mountains (and not just your battery pack) because wind can be strong enough to knock over simple sandbag weights. There was no wind here, but I still used flat slabs of rocks to secure my setup.
The vision behind this image
I wanted to start out with something big. So, while my couple was preparing for the shoot near the vehicle, I hiked down to this selected spot and placed my light down there with rock slabs. I then ran up to the top and assisted my couple down to the same area, made sure everyone was clean, safe, and ready. I communicated with them what was going to happen, tested my light on them, and then I ran back up to where I was going to shoot. The great thing about shooting with the B1 and B2 is that I can change my lighting power all from within the Profoto Remote on my camera, so I don’t have to run back and forth to change the lighting power. For this image, I didn’t want to over-power my couple, but rather I wanted them to blend in a little with the surroundings. However, I still wanted to them to pop out. They were actually brighter, but I toned them down.
Before i took the photograph
Above is the image of the B1 Off Camera Flash on the left side before it fired with a light stand and a few rock slabs as weights. I used the bare bulb without any light modifications. Here I was doing a test shoot with the power turned off, visualizing what kind of ambient lighting I wanted. Below is a closer crop of my light setup. Pretty lame, but my light was secure.
Below is a few other images from the shoot closer up of my couple with two (2) Profoto B1 Off-Camera flashes, bare flash head with no mods, one on the left and one on the right. I back-lit my couple with the sun. It was still a pretty bright day. If I would have used my camera only to expose for the shadows, my blue lake background would have been washed out. I used the B1 flashes for fill light here, and thus bring contrast and richness to the blue lake.
The second image here below is not perfect, but as an example, even with the B1’s bare head flashes, the light quality is still stunning for portraits.
View more of Charleton Churchill‘s adventure work on his website.