Sarah Jefferson on Transitioning from Night Vision to Light Vision

29 March, 2018

Written by: Harley Anderson

You want to know what ambitious is? Ambitious is a veteran Air Force videographer and mother of two who goes back to school to learn everything she needs to know about still cameras and studio lighting. Why? She aims to become a professional photographer. Meet Sarah Jefferson.
 
Sarah is currently a Senior at the Art Institute of Colorado in Denver, which is conveniently within commuting distance from the military base she and her Air Force husband and family are currently stationed. When she left the military her knowledge of studio lighting was next to nothing. She was an ace when it came to shooting video under bright, sunny skies and inky-dark Night Vision conditions, but shooting stills under controlled studio lighting was an alien experience to her. Her ‘alien status’ didn’t last long.
 
 
Once she started experimenting with the school’s extensive library of Profoto packs and heads and Profoto light shaping tools it wasn’t long before she began pushing herself to see how good she can get at accurately control the look, mood, and feel of a photograph through the use of light, and more often than not, a touch of humor
 
Sarah Jefferson’s photo-illustrations are wonderful. The family-oriented narratives of her photo-illustrations are often based on real-life incidents that have taken place in and around the Jefferson household. In addition to planting the seeds of Sarah's family-centric parodies, her husband and children often portray their 'Mom re-imagined' selves in the actual photographs.
 
 
"Martin Niemoller once said, "If you can laugh at yourself, you are going to be fine. If you allow others to laugh with you, you will be great." That's what I admire about the photographers that I follow" Sarah notes “- they let us laugh right along with them. I think to bring that type of joy to others is the ultimate goal in life, regardless of what profession we find ourselves in."
 
 
Hardly the only creative-type to use the humor and irony of everyday family life in his or her work, Sarah closely follows the photographic adventures of Dave Engledow, aka 'The World's Best Father'. ' "The World's Best Father" is the series that sparked the idea of using the experiences of parenting to tell a creative story. Everything (Dave) makes is so relatable in that "Dad-is-a-moron" kind of way - his work is original, but because it's built off the clichés that people easily recognize, it becomes charming and unassuming which only adds to the appeal."
 
 
Zack Seckler is another photographer of this genre Sarah enjoys following. " Zack Seckler is fun because he combines his jokes with phenomenal skills to pull off even the most unbelievable of images. His work is absurd, but in a self-depreciating way that we can all relate to."
 
Sarah Jefferson admits to being a 'Profoto baby'. She learned everything she knows about studio and location lighting using Profoto packs, heads, and light modifiers. She's had opportunities to check out lighting systems from other manufacturer, but none of them appeal to her sense of functionality and dependability compared to the Profoto D4 studio packs and Profoto B1X wireless battery-powered monolights she's grown to depend on.
 
 
Sarah preferred to keep her lighting simple and tries to keep the number of lights she uses to a minimum. If she can light her subject the way her mind's eye sees the shot with a single main light and maybe a small fill, so be it. Depending on the subject, the location, the background, and the desired mood of the photograph, Sarah typically starts with a Profoto Umbrella, Profoto Softbox, or perhaps a Profoto Beauty Dish or other Profoto Reflector and takes it from there.
 
 
Sarah Jefferson's goal is to complete her studies, and when her husband completes his current tour of duty, pack up the show and move to Atlanta, Georgia, where she intends on starting a career as a commercial photographer. In her mind she's still finding her photographic voice, but she's definitely on the right path.
 
To see more of Sarah Jefferson’s photography visit her website and Instagram pages.
 
 
 
 
 

Written by: Harley Anderson

Products used in this story

Profoto D4

The commercial studio pack

OCF Beauty Dish White

A portable beauty dish for off-camera flashes

Air Remote

Syncs and manually controls any Profoto Air light