Vanessa Joy creates natural light with the Profoto A1 at a barn wedding | Profoto (SE)

Vanessa Joy creates natural light with the Profoto A1 at a barn wedding

02 October, 2017

Written by: Seth Chandler

Wedding photographer Vanessa Joy’s signature style is a light and airy look that conveys life and vibrancy. She recently discovered that with the Profoto A1, she can bring that natural, airy look wherever she goes and even create golden hour at mid-day, making the world her studio.

“My style is to give my clients that natural look, and for that I need off-camera flash or on-camera flash bouncing off something,” she says. 

When we approached Vanessa and asked if she wanted to try out a new product under the theme “The world is my studio” with the Profoto A1 - the world’s smallest studio light - she was enthusiastic because she’d already been using a Profoto B1 and a Profoto B2 as well as other companies’ on-camera flash, and she was curious about how Profoto’s new concept would work.

She took two Profoto A1s along to a wedding in a barn that she knew offered some immediate challenges. “Normally, in this barn there is a very strange red tint because of the brick floor, but using the A1 allowed me to balance the skin tones and this entire shoot looked like it was shot with natural light,” she says.

The wedding was also in the middle of the day, so she needed to supply her own golden hour light to capture an image of the bride and groom framed by an archway. “I simply snapped on a magnetic gel to the top of the Profoto A1 to create that beautiful glowing light,” she says.

Then she positioned her assistant, who was holding the A1, directly behind the couple. “To capture the image, I just turned on my camera, set the exposure and set the A1 to TTL. I’ve got an image that looks like the sun was pouring in on the wedding day. It took no time at all, which was good, because I had no time at all!”

Magical light with two A1s in a system

When the sun went down on the reception, Vanessa decided to test how well the A1 would work with a more complicated lighting set up, with the newlyweds standing on a bridge. “I asked myself how I could creatively use all the fun tools that I have,” she explains. “I wanted the shot to look magical, so I lit the couple with an orange gel on the B2 so that when I color corrected, it would make everything more blue.”

After setting up her Profoto B1 and Profoto B2 with an OCF Beauty Dish White with diffuser, she also wanted to light various areas of the photo that two larger lights didn’t reach. So, after clicking the gels on the A1s, Vanessa hid them in a hedge and on a tree trunk to create the image she envisioned. She then used a Profoto Air Remote to control all of the lights. “The ability to have the Profoto A1 speak to my other Profoto off-camera lights is really powerful, and it was easy to set up.”

Never miss a shot

For Vanessa, the advantage of lithium batteries is huge. “I can use it all day! No more having to charge a ton of AA batteries.”

Vanessa says that besides the practicality, the power of the battery pack and its fast recycling time cuts stress and workload. That helps her deliver a better experience to her clients because she knows she’ll never miss a shot from a flash failure. “Not having to worry about my equipment means I can focus on creativity and interacting with the guests in an easy, flowing way,” she says. “If I’m frustrated and struggling, it detracts from that.”

The fact that the Profoto A1 is portable and light also lets her carry it around with ease at the reception. “If grandma is in the other room and the client wants a shot of her, I can just go there and take it.”

Overall, Vanessa says, “The Profoto A1 is a game-changer for natural light photographers who want to create a light and airy look no matter where they go. That’s why it makes the world my studio.”


Written by: Seth Chandler