Swedish photographers Mira & Thilda had a bad first experience with flash and put their dreams of being able to control the light on hold. Instead they relied completely on the natural light, with all its limitations. Years later they tried the Profoto A1 series, and everything changed. This is their story of why.
When we started with photography 10 years ago, we also bought our first flashes. But they were complicated, and we never really got the result we were looking for, so we put the flashes away. When we started working with Profoto’s flashes, a new world of possibilities opened up and we want to share with you some of the things we have learned that helped us in the journey of working professionally with flash.
We have learned that flash is more useful than we first thought
Previously, we didn't think we needed flash if we were shooting outdoors. But quite quickly we learned that adding a flash can make your portrait pop out a lot more from the background, adding more depth to the image.
We learned that flash isn’t ugly if you know how to use it
Maybe you all have one of those pictures of yourself, shot with flash, where your face is completely white and blown out, and you can hardly tell who’s in the photo? In the beginning when we started using flash – that was the result we got. It was either too bright, too dark or never with the feeling we were looking for. But just like with cooking or other creative work, it’s important to have the right tools. Nobody becomes a Master Chef overnight. It's the same thing with lighting - it's about having the right tools, practice and dare to fail.
We chose flashes that weren’t complicated
For us, camera and flash are just tools in the full creative process. We just want everything to work, so that we can focus on the fun stuff – being creative. Since Profoto A10 and other Profoto flashes are very easy to use, we have the opportunity to do just that. Basically, we just turn on the flash, place it where we want it in relation to the model and start experiment. If we don’t like the look, we tweak, we move the light and fine-tune until we find exactly the look we are going for.
We learned how light really works
Taking a picture is quite technical. You need the camera to work with you, the light and your model - all in symbiosis. When all this works, there is no limit to what you can create. It opens up a world of possibilities. For us, light is what matters the most in an image. And the more you learn about how light really works, the closer you will get to creating the images you want. For us, taking the Fundamentals of Lighting course with lighting expert David Bicho helped us a lot in that matter.
We learned how to work both on location and in the studio
The A10 flash is always in our camera bag, no matter what we are shooting. Whether it’s a full day in the studio or on location, we are able to handle it. We can plan for sunshine, but still be prepared for rain. This is what makes photography fun!
We developed a consistent style
No matter what business you’re in, we dare to say that you always tend to develop a style that you like. Some chefs make Italian food, some Japanese. It’s the same with photographers. For us, when we learned how to combine the natural light with flash, we could all of the sudden photograph in places where we previously couldn’t because of the lack or light or wrong lighting conditions. This made it a lot easier for us to keep our consistent style, no matter the location or weather.
We learned that flash gave us the freedom to create
When you learn the technique behind controlling the light, and you get exactly the result you’re looking for, it’s so rewarding. It opens up completely new opportunities and all of the sudden you can photograph in new ways without limitations. On the darkest and rainiest day, you can still create an image that looks like a beautiful sunset on a tropical island. If that’s not freedom, we don’t know what is.