Mia Barnes on Social Change and Shooting Stars

24 May, 2018

Written by: Harley Anderson

Photography has long been part of Mia Barnes narrative. Her father earned extra income as a photographer and she has fond memories of him developing film and making black and white prints in his darkroom. Growing up she attended alternative schools where she was fortunate enough to interact with an assortment of creative types.
 
When Mia was about 6 or 7 she was given a Polaroid camera, which opened up another world for her. She started by photographing friends but by the time she entered middle school she began transitioning to more creative, fine art imagery. 
 
 
 
Mia Barnes is currently completing her junior year at Ohio University in Athens Ohio, which is just south of where she grew up in Columbus. She chose Ohio University because the school has a Visual Communications Program that includes intensive classes in photojournalism, fashion, and portraiture. She especially appreciates the creative energy that seemingly envelops the school. She finds a true sense of community among her fellow students and best of all, everybody always seems to have a camera with them.
 
 
Mia's father maintained a small studio at their home where he used a few softboxes to light his subjects, and though Mia would assist him on occasion, it wasn't until she started experimenting with the school's lighting equipment that she began to appreciate the creative possibilities of studio lighting.
 
Depending on where and what she is photographing, Mia makes good use of the schools Profoto D4 power packs and Profoto Acute/D4 heads when shooting in the studio and Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flashes when shooting on location. Mia has experimented extensively with just about every modifier in the house and she readily admits using these tools has changed her perception of controlled lighting, which is something she finds creatively liberating. In no particular order she likes using Profoto Softboxes, the Profoto RFi Softbox 5’ Octa, and Profoto Softlight Reflector beauty dishes, both Silver and White depending on the particulars of the photographs she is taking at the time.
 
 
Lately Mia's taken a particular liking to Profoto Grids, which she's been using along with Profoto Color Gels for interesting lighting effects. She's also become bullish on Profoto's battery-powered B1 flash system - "B1s are awesome. They give me and amazing degree of control." She also loves the ability to be able to light her subjects regardless of where she is shooting.
  
For inspiration Mia Barnes looks to the work of well-established photographers including Annie Leibovitz, Sally Mann, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and lest we forget - her Dad. Younger influencers include Petra Collins ("She's young and big on social issues") and Tyler Mitchell ("He's super inspirational"). She also gets all of the magazines and is particularly fond of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Fader, and Paper.
 
 
Looking forward Mia would like to shoot a mix of editorial and advertising photography in either New York or Los Angeles. Regardless of where she ends up her goal is to be able to use her talents to further the cause of social issues she has strong feelings about.
 
 
 
Though she has another year to go before graduating she's already taking notes for her dream assignment - photographing Rhianna. "I already have a long shot list I want to do with her."
 
Rhianna.... you listening?
 
To see more of Mia Barnes photography visit her website  and Instagram  pages. 
 

Written by: Harley Anderson

Products used in this story

OCF Softbox Rectangular

A popular, versatile softbox for off-camera flashes

OCF Beauty Dish White

A portable beauty dish for off-camera flashes

OCF Grid Kit

A kit of three portable grids for our off-camera flashes

Air Remote TTL

Wirelessly connects your AirTTL light with your camera