The power of small with Profoto B10

12 September, 2018

Written by: Steve Hanratty

Two Mann Studios and Photographer Joseph Radhik have history, but it's the best kind of history. Erika and Lanny from Two Mann shot Joseph and Devika's wedding back in 2016, so when Profoto offered to bring them together again in the beautiful Indian city of Jodhpur - they jumped at the chance.

Wedding photographers are probably the ultimate location shooters. Every location is different, and the truth is, on one assignment you're going to be shooting in multiple locations. 

So there's a lot to consider, and principal among those considerations is how much gear to bring. How much can you carry? What kind of space will you have to work in? Do you have what you need to cope with any lighting challenge that might come your way? 

It's no surprise then that for many wedding shooters, the go-to solution is usually to have a few speedlights in the camera bag. The trouble is, despite their portable nature, there are many drawbacks to shooting with speedlights; lack of power, slow recycle times and poor quality of light among them. 

And as for those who are in a position to use more powerful off-camera lights on their wedding assignments, most of them still crave something smaller and more lightweight. 

It's with these guys in mind we created the Profoto B10. Our smallest ever cordless off-camera flash. Five times more powerful than a speedlight and compatible with pretty much every light shaping tool we make, it's lightweight and easy to slip into any camera bag being not much bigger than a small lens. 

We asked Two Mann studios to put it to the test. But there were two issues. First, the Manns would be reluctant to try it out at a real wedding, delivering for their clients is their most important consideration, and they had never used anything bigger than speedlights and the Profoto A1. So, if they were going to use our new light, they wanted to try it out first. And the second? They were traveling the globe combining vacation time with their children and workshops around when we needed them to shoot. 

But then they had an idea. The Manns were due to be in India around the dates we ideally wanted them to shoot, catching up with their close friends Joseph and Devika Radhik. Joseph is also a leading wedding photographer, so the thinking was maybe they could all team up and put the B10 to the test in India. 

The shoot was on. Location: the beautiful blue city of Jodhpur in western Rajasthan and a Profoto backpack was dispatched containing two B10's. 

It was the perfect place to put the B10 to the test, and three locations in and around the city were selected. First, the tight chaotic blue tinted city streets filled with people, where the Manns would shoot Joseph and Devika. Second the desert about an hour and a half from Jodhpur where, in baking 40-degree heat, Joseph would photograph the Manns. And finally, back in the city, both teams would shoot models we’d hired at the architecturally striking Tooji's Stepwell, where a pool of water sits beneath a series of steps built into the wall. 

The claustrophobic streets meant the Manns had to work quickly and be light on their feet, hang around too long and you’re likely to attract a crowd. The arid desert was a place where Joseph didn't want to be carrying lots of heavy and cumbersome equipment in the searing heat, and the lights needed to pack a punch to overpower the midday sun for the frame he had in mind. 

Finally, the Stepwell presented another set of challenges. Shooting on narrow steps across a body of water below meant that any lighting setup needed a small footprint, and the light was deteriorating rapidly. 

In fact, the locations pretty much replicated everything they would have to deal with in their professional lives. So, if the B10 performed here, then they could be one hundred percent confident it would more than deliver at any wedding. 

It was a packed few days, but Lanny, Erika and Joseph made every second count trying new things, creating some fabulous images and most importantly kicking the tires of the B10. 

Read the stories of the three different shoots here.

Photographer: Two Mann Studios & Joseph Radhik
BTS photographer: Shivali Chopra, Samantha Grönblad

Written by: Steve Hanratty

Products used in this story

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Core BackPack S

A sleek backpack for the fast-moving photographer

Air Remote TTL

Wirelessly connects your AirTTL light with your camera

OCF Color Gel Starter Kit

A kit with a Grid and Gel Holder and 10 popular gels

OCF Grid Kit

A kit of three portable grids for our off-camera flashes