Articles

Rising Light: Nancy Gabriala ramps up for the real world

28 December, 2017

Written by: Harley Anderson

Nancy Gabriela has always had a creative mind but it wasn't until she began taking courses at the Atlanta campus of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) that she discovered the magic of taking pictures. Along with this discovery came the reckoning that if she was serious about earning a living taking pictures she'd better start mastering the tools that will make her goal a reality. After all - isn't that what school is all about?
 
 
SCAD wasn't her first choice of schools. She originally enrolled at the Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Georgia, which she quickly realized that despite it being an excellent school wasn't targeted to her creative needs. Luckily she had an instructor who recognized the problem and encouraged her to check out SCAD. 
 
The advice turned out to be good advice. SCAD's Atlanta campus has a well-organized photography department backed by an amazing selection of photo gear along with a faculty and staff only too willing to share their expertise on all things photographic.
 
 
Another advantage of living and attending school in Atlanta is that Atlanta is the home of a number of working professionals who are able to earn a living servicing the many corporations - big and small that also call Atlanta home.
 
Nancy's sense of design is readily apparent when viewing her imagery. The lines are clean and her compositions are tight. She connects well with her subjects, and they seem equally comfortable before her lens.
 
 
Having experimented with most all of the Profoto reflectors, Profoto umbrellas, and other light-shaping tools she's became particularly enamored with the Profoto RFi  Softbox 5’ Octa, and Profoto Softlight Reflector White, which for portraiture she finds to be as close to her ideal of "perfect, natural-looking light" as it comes. "I like the feathered look of the light and the way the Profoto RFi Softbox 5’ Octa gently delineates the gradations between highlights and shadows."
 
For pumping light into her reflectors Nancy relies on Profoto Acute2 2400 power generators, which she appreciates for their reliability, consistency, predictability, and color balance.
 
 
Gabriela is a big fan of both Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, both of whom she considers the best commercial / fine art photographers that ever lived. She's particularly fond of Penn's fashion work - both color and black and white. She finds his sense of form, lines, and connection with his subjects to be as close to perfection as one can get with a camera.
 
Having grown up in central Los Angeles, TV and film productions were part of everyday life and she made a habit of hanging around the periphery of the many location sets she passed along the way in order to watch and maybe learn a thing or two about film production and the collaboration between the actors, directors, and crew. The lessons she learned back then she now puts to good use when collaborating with fellow classmates -  photography majors and otherwise, when working on some of her larger projects.
 
 
Nancy's efforts are already paying off. She been applying herself "24/7" in getting her act together before graduating in May 2018. She assists local professionals whenever the opportunity arises, collaborates frequently with other creative types in the area, and is starting to establish her own career as a freelancer shooting small assignments she's been picking up along the way. One beauty product campaign she recently worked on evolved into a display in Bloomingdales, which she deservedly wears as a bright feather in her cap. 
 
Upon graduating Nancy Gabriela plans on growing her business as a fashion and beauty photographer with borders well beyond Atlanta. When asked to define these borders Nancy readily places them worldwide. After all, if you're going to do it, why restrict ones self. Right?
 
 
 
More of Nancy Gabriela's work can be found on Instagram and her website.
 
 

Written by: Harley Anderson

Products used in this story

Acute/D4 Head

A compact and reliable head for the D4 packs

Air Remote

Syncs and manually controls any Profoto Air light