Beauty and fashion photographer, Andrea Belluso, is known for using light in unconventional ways in his images. We talked to him about his latest discovery when it comes to light shaping tools: the Profoto C1 Plus – the portable light he never leaves home without.
Clarification: This entire shoot was done before the Covid-19 pandemic. Profoto and Andrea Belluso of course encourages all people to follow the health and safety regulations in their respective countries.
Being a photographer is not a job you can turn on or off according to Andrea Belluso, it is something you are. He finds inspiration in many things, it could come at any time, any place – sometimes when he least expects it. Knowing he has a camera and a good light at hand at all times, there is nothing to prevent him from exploring and creating something great.
“Being in the moment, catching something you see right then and there is what photography is all about. I’m like a kid, something just pulls me in, I get a feeling and go with it to see where it takes me – even with prestige clients. That’s why the Profoto C1 Plus is brilliant because of the portability and the quality of light. Professional or not, with this small light you can create something brilliant in a few seconds. It gives you the freedom to be creative and to have fun,” Andrea says.
"Professional or not, with the C1 Plus you can create something brilliant in a few seconds."
Having a light with you at all times sounds a little exhausting, can you ever take a Sunday “off”?
“No! Not until the day that I die! I’m constantly on the go but it’s not exhausting, it’s just who I am. I pick assignments because they are fun and based on what I think I can create. Regardless of how much I get paid. If I think I can create something better and have fun while doing it - that’s when I choose an assignment. The two often come together.”
Three things Andrea Belluso never leaves home without:
- Phone (i.e. camera) “The one I use the most.”
- Sunglasses “Even when in Sweden I never lose hope!”
- The Profoto C1 Plus “It’s light, it’s small and it allows me to be in the moment.”
The perfect light for social events
Over lunch with his wife Amanda and his brother-in-law Viktor, Andrea pulls out the C1 Plus and starts experimenting with it. The light itself has a release button which gives the user the flexibility to either use the button on the phone or on the light.
“We had such a good time at lunch, the whole environment was very inspiring: the restaurant Glashuset in Stockholm, the food they served, the drinks – it was a great moment – and I wanted to capture it. I knew there was a release button on the C1 Plus but I hadn’t seen the benefit of it before. Once I started to play around and tried it, I found that by leaning my phone against a vase on the table I could be in the picture myself, pushing the button from the light – so easy! And so much fun!”
Table-top photos with a cinematic touch
When the food and drinks came in, Andrea wanted to try the Profoto Clic accessories. Different Profoto Clic Gels and Profoto Clic Grids that are compatible with the C1 Plus, to see the effect they would have on the pictures.
“One of the most common photos on social media is a table-top photo of a dish and I was curious to see what effect the different gels would have on such photos. A blue tone gives a colder and evening type of feeling, while a yellow gives a warmer tone, etc. Gels create more drama, more of a cinematic effect which is cool and to me it adds something a bit more interesting to the photo than the usual table-top dish.”
Gels for the fun of it
After eating lunch, Andrea pulled out a few more lights and he, Amanda and Viktor started playing around with the different gels, taking portraits and selfies.
“We had so much fun, playing around to see what effect the different colors had. It was pretty cool to mix different lights in one photo. And if you’re not happy with one shot, just take a new one – take several – with a light this small and light-weight. Just experiment and try."
Why use the Profoto C1 Plus privately:
- No more ugly selfies! Finally there’s a chance to put decent light on you and your friends!
- Crisp food pictures. Chance to give food pictures more drama, freshness & edge.
- Total freedom to be creative and have fun. Since it’s small, easy to handle and use, you have the chance to play, explore and have fun – again and again.
A device so small you can hide it
To hide a light in a picture can be very efficient when you want to really focus on something in particular, or if you want to create a striking visual effect. It could be a photo where you want to highlight someone’s face, or to really get the bubbles in a glass of champagne to sparkle, or having the roe on a dish shine brightly.
“One benefit of the C1 Plus is that you can easily hide it in the picture! This is a huge advantage if you want to enhance something and make it look spectacular. In the shoot from the restaurant I hid the light behind a vase or a candle and because it’s so small it’s unnoticeable to the viewer. There truly are some pretty unique functions to the C1 Plus!”
The portable light for photos enables artistic freedom
As a professional photographer with the world as his playground, Andrea needs to have multiple lights in his tool kit. The C1 Plus being one of them.
“From the shoot today I can see so many different occasions for using the C1 Plus. When I got back home from the lunch I couldn’t stop experimenting. One thing I tried was shooting jewelry, and the quality of the shoot was brilliant! I will definitely use the C1 Plus to supplement other lights. The more tools I have, the more freedom to have fun and explore” Andrea says.
Why use the Profoto C1 Plus professionally:
- Creativity 24/7. I never have to compromise on doing what I love.
- Painting with light. Start out from the black canvas and use the C1 Plus to highlight where you want to throw light.
- Social Media. For images and BTS-clips.
Never compromise who you are
“Like always with photography, the main thing is to let go of any expectations, to have fun and follow your feeling. And the C1 Plus encourages just that, the playfulness and freedom to try – for both professionals and others – to be free with your creativity. I’m really happy to have found yet another brush for my light shaping kit that makes me never compromise with what I am. A photographer, always.”