Jessica Kobeissi adds dimension to portraiture with the Profoto B10
I met Ameila almost six years ago when I had just started pursuing photography. she was the first real model I worked with and we’ve been best friends ever since! Recently, I wanted to create a photo shoot that mixed natural light with flash. Amelia was not only game to model, but she styled it herself and let me use her bedroom as the location.
We set up next to a big window in her room. since the space was dark and backlit, I needed to bring some life into the photo, which would have otherwise been flat to add that extra pop, I aimed the Profoto B10 toward the wall next to me and used a reflector to bounce all the light back on to Amelia. I’m typically a natural light shooter, so I found that bouncing the flash made it look a lot more authentic and gave me the extra light I needed. It still encases my style and it doesn’t look too processed or overdone.
As a portrait shooter, I like incorporating things the models personally like or want to shoot in. I brought this white top that I knew Amelia loved, and she styled the rest, including doing her own makeup and getting her hair done. When it came time to shoot, I gave her very specific direction for how to execute the poses I had in my head for this one, I was tweaking the use off her elbows and how high up they were she moved around a bit until we had a pose that looked the most natural.
All the while Amelia was posing, I was trying to find a way to hold the reflector with one hand while also taking photos with the other. since I didn’t have an assistant, I had the reflector propped on a chair with some boxes to help it stay up at the right angle. this was a pretty difficult challenge for me, but I made it work on the other hand, the Profoto B10 itself was extremely easy to set up. I had asked Amelia to go grab something before we started the shoot, and in the three minutes it took her to get it, I had everything set up and ready to go that says a lot!
What I love about this frame is that, even though I’m usually a natural light shooter, it still looks like my style. I also like that I was able to capture that little bit of catchlight from the sun in the window. I had to experiment with how I took the shot to make sure I was able to get it in the frame, even while using flash.
Tips & Tricks
TURNING CHALLENGES INTO AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE BEAUTIFUL IMAGES.
- To get the most out of the catchlights, place your subject near a window or a part of your home/studio that the sun shines on.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with the flash power. Test out the strength of the light by taking test shots at different powers to see what you like best.
- The distance of the light source from your subject is important. Move your flash closer and further from your wall to test how strong the light will be before starting to shoot.
- Use the right lens. For this shoot, a wide-angles lens was best for capturing details and the surrounding environment.
- Use a white reflector to bounce back the light onto your model’s face. It brings back details and also a pop of light to give the photo extra dimension.