Mira & Thilda create dreamy portraits in Marrakech with the Profoto Connect and A1 | Profoto (SE)

Mira & Thilda create dreamy portraits in Marrakech with the Profoto Connect and A1

03 May, 2019

Written by: Steven Hanratty

Swedish sisters Mira & Thilda return to Marrakech to create the dreamy portraits they always envisioned but couldn’t create before, when only using natural sunlight. But now, being equipped with the Profoto Connect and A1, they return to complete their mission.

There's a romantic, dream-like quality to the images sisters Mira and Thilda Berglind capture. Whether it's the vivid colors and shapes of nature across the seasons, souks filled with textures and fabrics, or epic, sweeping vistas burned to shades of gold, umber, and rust by the unrelenting rays of the sun. Wherever their travels take them, there's always a suggestion of mystery, adventure and the enchantment of a place less ordinary.

Marrakech is such a place, a city sparkling with color and life that's as intoxicating as it is fascinating. It was here in the town, and the desert beyond it framed by the grandeur of the Atlas Mountains that Mira and Thilda would embark on their next adventure with the button-free Profoto Connect flash trigger, and the Profoto A1 light.

No more frustration with flash

A few years ago, they had experimented with flash but found the whole process frustrating and disappointing. "We could never figure out how to make them work the way we wanted to, and we didn't get the result we were aiming for, so we lost patience and gave up."

Fortunately, their first impressions of the Profoto Connect and the A1 were a lot more positive. "Compared with what we'd previously experienced, the Profoto Connect is user-friendly and easy to understand - suddenly everything seems so logical."

This time, it will be different

Mira and Thilda wanted to shoot in Marrakech because they felt in their previous visits to the city; they had never truly captured the magic of the place.

"The Medina, for example, where light streaks shine from the sparsely thatched roof is beautiful but a hard place to shoot in when you're relying on just natural light. That’s because if you expose for the sun streaks and the surroundings – the model ends up underexposed. Expose for the model - the background becomes overexposed, and those beautiful sun streaks vanish. So, we were happy to return equipped with the Profoto Connect and the A1 - and our objective was to take revenge for past failed photo sessions."

In the Medina, Thilda would be the subject of the shoot as she walked among the colorful vendors and the crowds of people. Mira chose to hold the A1 in her hand and placed a Dome Diffuser on the head to make sure the light was soft and smooth. With the camera in her right hand and the A1 in her left, she followed Thilda through the corridors and passageways until the right shooting opportunity came up.

Beauty and detail beneath canvas

Mira captured the next image inside a tent in the desert. "I wanted to capture the smoke from the incense rising, so I placed one A1 quite high behind Thilda, firing into an umbrella." The next A1 was placed on the ground in front of her and slightly to the right to bring light and shape to her face. Again, Mira snapped a Dome Diffuser on to the magnetic head to keep the light as soft as possible.

"Because we were using two flashes, and the tent was quite crowded, the Profoto app proved to be very useful. It meant I could control both flashes without having to move from my shooting position."

Bringing a kiss of light into the darkness

Both Mira and Thilda were curious to find out what they could create with just one flash as a light source in a place where there was no natural light. So, they headed for the bathroom.

Inside the dark room, they placed the A1 on a stand shooting into an umbrella. To give the impression of a natural light source, they positioned the A1 high, and as close to the roof as possible and slightly to Thilda's left (right of the camera position); this brought light and shape to her face, illuminated the rim of her hat and her shirt.

Drawing the eye to Mira

In the desert, they wanted to create a majestic landscape bringing to life the rugged beauty of the location with the grandeur of the Atlas Mountains in the distance. This time it was Thilda’s turn behind the lens, and she would capture her sister Mira standing beneath a distant canopy.

On the floor in front of Mira, Thilda placed an A1 with a Dome Diffuser snapped to the head - this soft light would help to pick Mira out in the vast expanse of the image. On top of her camera, Thilda positioned the Profoto Connect.

And because Thilda couldn't shout to Mira to adjust the power on the A1 from this distance, the Profoto app again proved its worth, allowing Thilda to experiment with the power setting with just a swipe of her finger.

Bringing light to the Riad

The final image was taken back at the hotel where Mira and Thilda were staying. It was a traditional Riad, and the light from the Riad courtyard was shining into the room where Mira was sitting reading a book. However, the light was poor, so it would have been impossible to capture this moment without flash.

Thilda wanted to create a big soft light, so she positioned the Profoto A1 on a stand in front of Mira firing into an umbrella. Placing the flash in this position allowed her not just to illuminate Mira, but to push light into the front of the chair and the floor too.

Mira and Thilda were delighted with their return to Marrakech, and how the Profoto Connect, in tandem with the A1, meant they could create images that would be impossible with just natural light.

Free from the shackles of sunlight

"By diving into the world of flash, your only limitation is you and your own creativity. Free from the shackles of sunlight, the possibilities are now endless. Once you try it you immediately understand how flash works and how easily the Profoto Connect and A1 sync with each other to help you get to the result you want.

And Profoto Connect is the perfect tool because it’s easy to understand for newbies like us. All you have to do is put it on your camera and go. We no longer feel limited by natural light and that is exactly what it is all about - to be free to create— wherever and whenever.”


Written by: Steven Hanratty

Products used in this story

Umbrella Deep White

A versatile and zoomable umbrella for a softer light
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