JESS & GENIE VOGELSANG COMPLEMENT ARIZONA’S GOLDEN LIGHT WITH THE PROFOTO B1X
FOR THIS COUPLE’S WEDDING, we were inspired by bride Lauren’s dress. She wore the same gown that her mother wore on her wedding day 30 years prior, and we set out to create images that conveyed a mood, feeling and style from that time; something warm in tone and timeless, just like the dress.
To get that warm tone, we knew we wanted to stage the portraits at the same time as the sunset. To do so, we worked closely with the couple to make sure their ceremony started 30 minutes prior to golden hour. (Their ceremony took place in the exact same spot as this portrait just moments prior.) Since we frequently shoot in this location, Merry Go Round Rock in Sedona, Arizona, we knew the sun would set directly behind them and that we would have just enough time for their romantic portraits.
We got particularly lucky with the timing and atmosphere for Lauren and Dakota’s portraits. You need a tough vehicle to climb the extremely rugged terrain to get to the top of Merry Go Round Rock. (The ledge the couple is standing beside is about 800-feet up from the rocks at the base of the canyon.) As we were taking portraits, the sun backlit all the dust in the air from the passerby driving on the dirt road around us and, as a result, the light was even warmer and softer than usual, creating a beautiful golden backdrop for their portraits while maintaining that lovely golden rim light on the couple.
For most of our formal portraits, we like to blend available light with off camera flash, so for Lauren and Dakota, we created a lighting setup that highlights them in a way that’s organic to the space. To do so, Jess stood just off-camera right and manned a c-stand mounted with a Profoto B1X with a Profoto OCF Beauty Dish White and full CTO gel to match the warm light and color temperature from the setting sun. Genie stood behind the camera and synced the light with the Profoto Air Remote TTL-C transmitter, which was spot on. We then promptly locked in those settings by switching the B1X to manual mode.
We decided to fit the beauty dish with a Profoto OCF Softgrid 2’ Octa. This enabled us to direct light onto Lauren’s face without spilling into the foreground. We were also racing the clock since the sun was setting quickly, so it was very helpful that the Profoto OCF is fast to set up.
Overall, this setup worked perfectly with our creative vision because it produced soft, warm light that matched the environment without losing that bit of “punch” that isolates the couple from the background. We really like the way the quantity, quality, color and direction of both the ambient light and OCF lighting are so well integrated. Being able to create photographs with intention and purpose by shaping and controlling light is not only the foundation of our lighting style, it also feeds our creative spirits.
See more from Birdsong Wedding Photography at birdsongweddingphotography.com.
Tips & Tricks
TURNING CHALLENGES INTO AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE
- KEEP THE BEAUTY DISH CLOSE. Moving the beauty dish as close to your subjects without intruding into the frame will achieve that soft yet edgy look.
- IF YOU’RE IN A TIME CRUNCH, USE TTL. Starting with the Profoto B1X in TTL mode allows you to quickly and properly expose for your subjects. Plus, making adjustments to the TTL setting is simple and, once you’ve achieved that perfect look, you can switch to manual mode to lock in the settings.
- DON’T FORGET ABOUT COLOR GELS. Whether you’re trying to match the ambient color temperature or create a color shift for a visual effect, Profoto OCF gels are simple to use, quick to setup and work in conjunction with other Profoto OCF light modifiers.
- USE AVAILABLE LIGHT AS YOUR RIM LIGHT. For this portrait, we placed the couple between the camera and the sun, allowing the beautiful golden rays to create separation between our subjects and the background.