When you talk to people who’ve walked away from successful careers in a bid to pursue true love of photography, there always seems to be a happy chirp in their voice. Elizabeth Blank is such a person. Almost a decade ago, she left a secure position as a counselor at a highly competitive magnet STEM high school to do what she loves to do on a daily basis.
Photography had become a favored pastime for her and she made a point of going out and taking pictures whenever she had a chance. With more spunk than experience (essentially a 4-hour Photo 101 mini-course and countless hours of independent study), she began taking on small jobs and slowly built up a business photographing children and family portraits.
In the beginning Elizabeth worked mostly with a Nikon DSLR and shot predominantly by available light. She had a speed light, but at that point in time she found it intimidating. Weaning herself from shooting exclusively in ‘Auto’ and Program mode and learning to shoot in Aperture or Manual mode was easy compared to shooting with a light source she couldn’t ‘see’ until after the fact. Needless to say, her Nikon Speedlight seldom saw the light of day.
Things had been going along smoothly when she began to feel her creative juices going dry. It was during the summer of 2016 needed to find a new angle or perspective if she expected to continue to not only grow as a photographer, but also enjoy what she was doing. The answer initially came in the form of an Olympus TG4 - waterproof point-and-shoot she had acquired and quickly upgraded - within weeks - to the Nikon D700 and a SPL Waterhousing unit (today Elizabeth shoots her underwater work with the Nikon z6 and SPL unit). What started as a personal project quickly morphed into client work. She figured if many of her clients had swimming pools, kids love swimming, and her camera is waterproof, why not give it a try. She did, and a whole new marketing angle began to take shape.
‘The interplay between the constantly changing patterns and textures of light combined with water and the kids in a pool was a revelation. As for her pictures - they are as playful as it gets. She began putting her ‘everyone-into-the-pool’ pictures out there and people loved it.
When Elizabeth was invited to go to Alaska to spend time on location with Profoto’s new B10 she was apprehensive - she didn’t feel confident about her flash experiences but decided to go regardless. Turned out she was astonished at how easy and intuitive the B10 was to use. The learning curve was an easy climb - no surprises - and the interface was as user friendly as it gets.
The continuous light mode on the B10 was another game-changer for Elizabeth. Not knowing if the light was right until after the fact was initially unnerving to Elizabeth and a key reason she avoided flash when on assignment. With the B10, she quickly learned to ‘preview’ the image using continuous light and then switch over to TTL flash for the actual picture sessions.
Elizabeth has comfortably incorporated her Profoto B10 into her workflow. Ease of use aside, when photographing kids on the go you can’t be burdened by cumbersome gear. The B10’s are light, they have a small form factors, and they pack enough power to stop the action in or out of the water.
“I find myself concentrating on taking pictures and doing the job I was hired to do rather than wasting precious time searching for light. My B10s have been lifesavers on occasions when supposedly bright living rooms and homes have turned out be dungeon like.” Elizabeth Blank considers her B10s to be trusted co-workers that enable her to turn over a professional final product to her clients.