Alexis Cuarezma shoots into the light with the Profoto B1.
I've photographed young professional boxer Juan Funez many times, so he was a natural subject selection for a recent personal shoot. I shoot as much as possible and strive to make images that I feel proud to put in my portfolio.
I wanted to get images of Juan training, both inside and outside his gym, Ten Goose Boxing Gym, located in Van Nuys, California. The gym wasn’t available until 9 p.m., so that’s when the shoot began.
I’ve done many boxing shoots at this exact gym, and this was about the fifth photo shoot I’ve done with Juan. The biggest challenge is coming up with new ways to photograph the same location and the same person, yet produce different results. My goal for this shoot was to produce an image that has visual impact by photographing him in a way that I hadn’t before.
The lighting setup for this image is what I like to call “dangerous” lighting: It’s a gamble because it involves shooting directly into the light, hoping to get a unique lens flare, not knowing if the image will work until it’s viewed in post.
This was a three-light setup. I placed a Profoto B1 overhead, in front of Juan, with a 10-degree grid as a texture light. It gave the image extra weight and helped bring out subtle detail. A second B1 with a Profoto 2x3 OCF Softbox was placed on the floor, upward facing in front of the subject. The 10-degree grid provided shadow under his hood, and on his neck. I placed a third B1 with a narrow reflector overhead on a boom, framed to be at the edge of the image, and just visible enough to get the proper amount of light to strike the lens and provide beautiful flare.
I strongly believe that when you come up with a concept for an image, it’s something very special and sacred. I let that vision dictate how many lights I need. When I want to give my image visual impact, my main pillar is light. It’s something that’s very important to me — it’s a crucial element that gives your image mood and feeling.