Smartphone portrait photography with Shun and Profoto C1 Plus | Profoto (UK)

Smartphone portrait photography with Shun and Profoto C1 Plus

16 January, 2020

Written by: Mariko Hirai and Sofia Sigfridsson

When Shun, a professional wedding and portrait photographer from Japan, tried using Profoto C1 Plus for a day, he was skeptical. “To create the perfect image, light is essential, so relying on a smartphone camera and a small pocket-sized light was hard.” But by the end of the day, his uncertainty was gone. “The result was amazing! The flexibility and possibilities this product present are huge. So for my next shoot, bring it on Profoto C1 Plus, enlighten me, please.”

Portraying a natural glow

The first shoot of the day was a portrait in Shun’s home studio in Tokyo with model Ichi. The idea was to create a light, natural and home-like atmosphere. With Ichi standing against a white wall, Shun wanted the light to bounce off the adjoining wall and highlight Ichi’s face. This way it would look like the light was coming from a window on the left. In order to create the desired effect, he attached the C1 Plus to a stand. The light from the C1 Plus gave Ichi’s face and skin a beautiful, glowing tone. Shun was very enthusiastic about the results: “I could control the light with C1 Plus in almost the same way as with the Profoto A1 I usually use.”

Click here to learn more about the products Shun are using.

Without C1 Plus:

With C1 Plus:

A small light brings a great shadow

Next it was time for the full-body shot. To create a sense of sunlight, Shun wanted Ichi’s shadow to be visible on the wall behind her and used the C1 Plus as a top light to get the desired effect. In the picture it looks like the sunlight is coming down from the right, onto Ichi’s body. With the natural light circulating throughout the studio during the shoot, the small pocked-sized C1 Plus light was very easy to work with and created exactly the effect Shun was after.

Click here to learn more about the products Shun are using.

The selfie will never be the same

Since we live in the selfie era, we naturally wanted to see the effect the C1 Plus would bring! First we asked model Ichi to take a selfie without any extra light. Then we placed the C1 Plus on the table in front of her. To diffuse the light and reduce shadows, we used a white paper between the light and Ichi's face. The effect was immediate. When comparing the two photos, the light from the C1 Plus brought a warm tone to Ichi’s face and skin and a catchlight in her eyes, completely different from the shot taken without the light.

Click here to learn more about the products Shun is using.

Without C1 Plus:

With C1 Plus:

Drama made easy with just a click (or switch, play and create)

For the next shot, Shun wanted to create a dramatic, high fashion look, something that would add an extra dimension to the shot. He decided to try the Clic Grid 20°, a shaping tool that is easily attached to the C1 Plus. With almost no ambient light, he used the C1 Plus like a spotlight on the model’s face, the light coming from above. A branch was held in front of the light, casting a shadow partly over the model’s face. This also added to the dramatic feeling. “The C1 Plus magnetic mount makes it super easy to quickly change between the different light shaping tools, like Clic Dome, Clic Grid and Clic Gels. This really made it easy to explore and play with different effects.”

Click here to learn more about the products Shun are using.

Without C1 Plus:

With C1 Plus:

Matching colors

For the final shoot of the day, Shun wanted to do an artistic portrait with different autumn-like flowers. With the C1 Plus light coming from above and a black-paper that was cut into slit-shape in front of the light source, Shun created a belt of light cast on the model’s face and part of the flower. To achieve even more clarity and transparency in the photo, Shun adjusted the color temperature of the C1 Plus to a more blueish tone. “The fact that I can easily change the color temperature to match the surrounding light or create different effects, in both flash and continuous light mode, is a big plus.”

Click here to learn more about the products Shun is using.

Without C1 Plus: 

With C1 Plus:

The essence of light

“To be honest, I wasn’t sure a smartphone camera and a small pocket-sized light had the capacity to get me the result I wanted. But after experiencing the C1 Plus for a day, I was amazed by the quality and the possibilities a smartphone together with the C1 Plus present. The light is essential to me – to any professional photographer – and in this case I could control the light in almost the same way as other flashes I normally use. I will definitely use the C1 Plus again, for sure.”    

Click here to learn more about the products Shun are using.

Written by: Mariko Hirai and Sofia Sigfridsson

Products used in this story

Campaign

Profoto C1 Plus

The light that changes everything
£469.00
New

Profoto Clic Creative Gel Kit

Play with colors
£109.00
New

Profoto Clic Gel

Play with colors
From £39.00
New

Profoto Clic Dome

Diffuses the light for a soft and crisp light
£39.00
New

Profoto Clic Grid & Gel Kit

Creates a more direct and circular shape of light and color correction on the go
£109.00
New

Profoto Clic Grid

Reduces light spread and controls straylight
From £39.00