On To Light Shaping: Ben & Erin Chrisman’s Night Portraiture in Old San Juan City | Profoto

On To Light Shaping: Ben & Erin Chrisman’s Night Portraiture in Old San Juan City

18 May, 2017

Written by: Harley Anderson

On to Light Shaping is a new video series in which get to see 18 renowned portrait and wedding photographer create magic with Profoto Off-Camera Flash. In this video we join husband and wife wedding photography team Ben & Erin Chrisman for a shoot in Puerto Rico. When you are done watching, click here to see the rest of the series.

Ben & Erin Chrisman, a husband & wife wedding and portrait photography team in Charleston, SC, decided to test-drive their new Off-Camera Flash system on a trip to Old San Juan City in Puerto Rico.

After a bit of scouting around they ‘borrowed’ a couple of friends and headed off into the night. What they wanted go do was find a suitable location and try to pull together an interesting shot using found ‘props’, which in this case turned out to be Christmas lights that were strung across the front of a home.



Placing the Christmas lights close to the front of the lens, they used the out-of-focus, ever-changing bursts of color as a foreground element while placing the couple in the background.

“When you place tiny lights up close against the lens, the constant twinkling of the tiny bulbs effects the photo in all sorts of wonderful ways.”

To light the couple they set up a B2 Off-Camera Flash with an OCF Softbox 2×3′ in vertical position, which they like using for it’s window-box qualities. “The B2 Heads are so easy to handhold and walk around with and it casts a beautiful light on anything it’s aimed at… it’s really a terrific light source,” says Ben.

Shooting with a Nikon D750 with an Air Remote TTL-N and a Nikon AF-S 85mm/f1.8D, the final exposures was 1/200th-second at f/1.8, ISO 100. Once an exposure was agreed upon in TTL mode, they switched to manual mode in order to maintain a constant light on the couple from the handheld B2 Head while allowing the twinkling foreground lights to fill the rest of the image field

“Erin & I prefer shooting without assistants for a number of reasons, so small, lightweight battery-powered flash units are invaluable for us,” says Ben. “To be able to get 250ws out of lights not much larger than standard speedlights – and Light Shaping Tools to go along with them, is a really big deal for us or anyone who shoots on location”.


1 x Profoto B2 Off-Camera Flash

1 x Profoto OCF Softbox 2×3′

1 x Profoto OCF Speedring

1 x Air Remote TTL-N

Nikon D750

Nikon AF-S 85mm/f1.8D

Learn more about Charleston wedding photographers Chrisman Studios.

See more videos with Profoto Off-Camera Flash.

Learn more about the Profoto Off-Camera Flash system.



Written by: Harley Anderson

Products used in this story

OCF Softbox Rectangular

A popular, versatile softbox for off-camera flashes

OCF Speedring

Used to mount OCF Softboxes and OCF Beauty Dishes