Kara Mercer is a travel, fashion, and lifestyle photographer based in Seattle, WA. She got her start shooting portraits and weddings over 13 years ago in the panhandle of West Texas. Today, she shoots campaigns all over the world and has the honor of working closely with companies including the hosting site Pic-Time, Flothemes, Pixellu, and Manfrotto. Did I also mention she’s a Fujifilm Ambassador?
As a photographer who lives in the northwest, Kara learned early on if you plan on taking pictures in the northwest you better plan on taking lights along because there’s never a guarantee the sun will be shining. This has always meant packing up her larger Profoto flash system for fashion and commercial shoots and smaller speed lights for weddings and on-the-fly assignments... At least that’s the way it used to be.
Kara’s dependency on speed lights came to a rapid halt after spending a few days in Alaska with a group of like-minded photographers who were gathered together for the introduction of the new Profoto B10 Off-Camera Flash system. The ease-of-use and portability of the B10s blew her away. The fact they were battery-powered was icing on the cake. After a few days of shooting with Profoto’s tiniest powerhouse she decided to sideline her speedlights.
“The B10 is not much bigger than a speed lights but it’s got lots more power”. It’s small, light, and packs a mean punch - the trifecta of prime attribute for location shooting, which is why Kara has since incorporated the B10 flash system into her workflow for a majority of her travel and location work.
Kara’s B10s came in handy for an assignment she recently completed for Fujifilm, featuring the new medium format GFXR and FUJILOVE ‘all things Fujifilm X and GFX’ online magazine. The topic was motherhood and careers and what better person to photograph the story than Kara, who was pregnant with her first child (a girl!) when she got the green light for this amazing round-the-world assignment.
The project involved photographing 10 working women who were balancing motherhood and careers. Kara was able to pack a Fujifilm GFX-R medium-format digital rangefinder, a couple of lenses, Profoto B10s, light stands, and related accessories into a case that was manageable for a petite, pregnant gal to fly around the country with.
So far her favorite light-shaping tools include the Profoto OCF Beauty Dish white, Profoto OCF Softbox 2’ Octa, and the Profoto OCF Magnum Reflector.
Kara’s next big assignment will be taking her to Austria and she’s already figured out her lighting system and wouldn’t you know it - it’s based around her new B10s.
When you find a lighting system that works in your favor you don’t mess around with the formula. For Kara Mercer and a growing number of likeminded photographers who prefer traveling ‘light-and-tight’, Profoto’s B10 off-camera flash system has proven to be a game changer.