Meet Legend of Light : Lindsay Adler
Tell us a little about yourself… Who you are, where you’re from, what you shoot/specialize in.
I’m Lindsay Adler, and I’m a portrait and fashion photographer based in New York City. I specialize in a bold and graphic style, often in high contrast black and white or with rich, poppy colors. When I photograph women I enjoy conveying a mix of elegance and strength.
My work has been published in Elle, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and dozens of other publications. My clients are as wide ranging as NBC, Kiss Cosmetics, Haagen Daz. I am an author of 5 books and Canon Explorer of Light.
How did you get started in photography?
Photography has been my passion for as long as I can remember. It has been my life’s love and pursuit for just as long! I’ve been shooting professionally for more than half of my life, and officially opened my first portrait photography business at the age of 15. I began photography as a way to spend time with my mother and grandmother who were both hobbyist photographers. Together we would capture photographs of nature around our family farm, and my earliest work consisted of nature and landscape photography. Through the years I tried my hand at photojournalism, product photography, weddings and more. Eventually I found my calling; I fell in love with the creativity, elegance and expression of fashion and beauty photography. I’ve in New York City for the last 8 years, and now have my own studio in Chelsea where I create my art with my talented creative team.
What/who are some of your main influences?
I think it's always best to have a broad range of influences to allow yourself and your ideas to be a confluence of many flowing source of inspiration. I’m inspired by movies, television shows, other fashion photographers, paintings, and more. I certainly have some photographers that have most shaped my vision of the world including masters like Lillian Bassman and Albert Watson, as well as today’s photographers like Kristian Schuller and Solve Sundsbo.
When did you start shooting with Profoto?
I started shooting Profoto exclusively about 5 years ago. For years I had pieced together pieces of equipment from a variety of different brands as I tried to build my lighting kit. Once I had really gotten my footing and established myself in New York, I was finally able to make the investment into the gear I had always wanted.
What Profoto gear are you currently using?
I am currently using Profoto D1s and D2s, along with TONS of modifiers. I’ve got umbrellas, beauty dishes, strips, barn doors, snoots, octaboxes, various reflections, spot small-- you name it! I must admit that I’m a bit of a gear nerd because I’ve always appreciated having the right tool for the job.
Do you have a favorite lighting setup?
I find that somewhat of a trick question! My lighting setup varies for each shoot based upon the concept, goals and purpose of the shot. You should never be too rigid and only stick to formulas. Of course you can have some go-to setups and tools, but must always be able to adapt. I do have some favorite modifiers, but even that is hard to commit to. For portraiture I tend to learn toward the XL Deep White Umbrella with diffusion. For beauty photography I frequently grab my white beauty dish and grid. For my creative fashion and beauty shots, I constantly reach for my Profoto Spot Small. I don’t believe that someone needs to own endless gear to master studio lighting. That being said, I love having a variety of tools at my disposal so I can quickly adapt to the lighting needs required by a specific client or project.
What is one thing you’re able to do with Profoto lights that you weren’t able to do before?
I often think of choosing a brand/model of strobes like choosing a car. Any car can get you from point A to point B. A junker car will do that job, though it may be slow, unreliable, and a bumpy ride. Some drivers prefer a comfortable ride, reliability and some certain special capabilities based upon their special driving needs (like off-roading). Strobes are the same. Profoto is my dependable and even perhaps luxury car-- they are reliable, fast, durable, well-made, and have capabilities that suit my photographic needs.
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received pertaining to photography?
Rejection isn’t failure. You will face rejection no matter how skilled or successful you are. Your work and style isn’t going to be a good fit for every client or brand. Instead, develop a clear voice and way of seeing the world, then market to brands/clients that appreciate (and need!) your vision.
What is your dream assignment?
My dream assignment would be to create a personal project that is paid, which ends up as a book, gallery exhibition, series of photo editorials, and video project. It would be an in-depth exploration that allows me to share my vision through several mediums.
Interested in learning fashion lighting from Lindsay? Don't miss out on the opportunity through our Profoto Academy!
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