Meet Legend of Light : Catherine Hall
Tell us a little about yourself… Who you are, where you’re from, what you shoot/specialize in.
I founded Catherine Hall Studios in New York, and now reside in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and daughter. I specialize in photographing people in all genres. I relish in empowering my subjects and creating imagery that exposes their inner beauty and character.
How did you get started in photography?
I took a photography class in high school and at age 16 and fell in love. I excelled in the class, which resulted in my own private display during my school’s open house. I overheard the teacher talking to another parent and he said “she is really talented but she would never make it in the field.” I learned one my greatest skills from him: Don’t let other people make you small.
What/who are some of your main influences?
Steve McCurry had a profound influence on my development as a photographer. When I was in college I took summer school every year so that I could take a quarter off and travel in 2.5-month stints. I explored the world with my camera and carried McCurry’s Portraits book in tote. I would look at it every night for inspiration. After college I sold all my belongings and moved across the country to New York to work for Steve.
Now my greatest influences are my muses. This could range from my daughter, to clients, to famous artists that inspire me as subjects. To name a few… The Novogratz and Asiel Design.
When did you start shooting with Profoto?
What Profoto gear are you currently using?
I take my Profoto B1s with me everywhere. The monolight portability and power is unparalleled and I am grateful for Profoto’s innovation every single shoot. I use appropriate Profoto modifiers such as softboxes, grids, snoots, etc. I will also be investing in two A1s, which will be the perfect for event receptions where I need ultimate portability and minimal footprint.
Do you have a favorite lighting setup?
No. I like to play too much.
What is one thing you’re able to do with Profoto lights that you weren’t able to do before?
The ability to experience 500w/s of power without needing a power outlet! High Speed Sync and TTL are a game changer with my event photography where everything is moving and changing so fast. I don’t leave my studio without my portable strobes. EVER.
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received pertaining to photography?
I hid behind the guise of being a “natural light” shooter for many years until my lighting designer Ryan Marsh woke me up. He encouraged me to explore the vast and sensational world of artificial light. My photography excelled in unimaginable ways and I became so INSPIRED. It has been 8 years since I started playing with Profoto gear and it continues to push my photography to the next level. It also keeps me excited about what photography is all about:
"Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman
What is your biggest challenge being an engagement and wedding photographer? How do you overcome it?
The guerrilla style approach required to capture images in the ever-changing, unpredictable environments of events. To overcome this, I have a variety of gear accessible to accommodate any situation, quickly.
What is your dream assignment?
I feel as if I am already doing it. I love my clients, my life, and being a photographer. I wouldn’t change a thing.
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