Being a photographer that is always working in and out of the studio, I'm constantly looking for ways to make the system of packing my gear more efficient. One day, I'll be in the studio doing headshots, then the next day I could be out working a wedding, and having to pack up strobes, their power cords and external batteries can become quite the choir. It gets bulky, it gets heavy, and it becomes time consuming in an industry where time is money! My goal for the past couple years was to transition from my Profoto D1 Airs to their wireless system with the B2's and now their B1x's. I've owned the B2's for about a year and they have been life savers, especially at weddings, where light and nimble strobes are what I need (see what I did there?). But sometimes I just need an extra stop of power, enter the new Profoto B1x, an upgrade from their B1's. Knowing these new bad boys had the ability to do High Speed Sync (also known as HSS, where you can shoot at shutter speeds greater than 1/200th sec) across the whole power range, I was intrigued to take them out for a trial run to see exactly what they can do. After getting my set from B&H, I reached out to my extremely talented friend, Krisitna Kubrick, who had been teasing a custom parachute dress. I seen her trial runs for this design on social media which in turn inspired not only a creative vision but a technical challenge for myself as well. Knowing the signature style of her line is working with vibrant and flowy fabrics that posses lots of movement, I knew I would want to use the B1x's in the harsh afternoon sunlight while we purposely introduced movement to the design's train. Enabling the HSS feature allowed me to increase my shutter speed to 1/2500th sec. which performed with two desired results. The first was being able stop down the ambient light (the sun) while still having enough power to illuminate the talent, creating a straight out of camera dramatic aesthetic. The second was ridding any blurred effects on the fabric from the movement we introduced from flipping it around and catching it in the wind. Beyond technical game plan which I would tackle, was our creative team. Mallory Mims, the talent who had actually did the test fitting with Kristina, was the only rightful choice to be asked on board for the collaboration as she already familiar with the motion capabilities this piece had to offer. Rounding out the team, we brought on The Beauty Patrol's Michelle Villareal for hair and Lyndsey Elliot for Make-up, a dual threat from one of the best make-up teams Louisville has to offer. Within the first few shots, we were seeing the fruits of our work come together, with natural flairs of drama straight out of camera. The teams styling was perfect, the lighting was perfect, our day... was perfect. On behalf of our team, I am excited to share the finished work from our collection "A Flare of Drama"!!
On a small final note, aside from creating a beautiful entry into our portfolio's, I've also realized through this trial that the days of hoping for an overcast to cut the harsh light down was no longer an issue.
Original Designs - Kristina Kubrick of Kilika Couture
Make-Up Artist - Lyndsey Elliot / The Beauty Patrol
Hair Stylist - Michelle Villareal / The Beauty Patrol
Talent - Mallory Rose Mims
Canon 5D Mark IV w/16-35mm f/2.8L II
Images 1 & 4 - Profoto B1x w/White Umbrella XL and Diffuser Cover.
Images 2 & 3 - Profoto B1x w/OCF White Beauty Dish and Diffuser Panel.
f/2.8 - 1/2500 sec - ISO 200
f/2.8 - 1/2500 sec - ISO 125
Photoshoot and Retouch Timelapse
Although the price tag for the B1xs are high end, I definitely feel they are worth the investment. I tend to be loyal to brands that are dependable and perform when I need them too, this is why I invested in the Profoto system (I am not ambassador nor am I getting paid to write this). I just want to share my experiences with industry standard equipment, that has proven it's reliability time and time again.
My Top 5 Benefits for Profoto B1x's
1. HSS, if you need to control the ambient light (overpowering the sun), the B1x will perform.
2. Quality of light, as with all of Profoto's strobes I've owned, they are consistent, period.
3. Brighter modeling lamp, this is what I need for headshots and getting the pupils to dial down.
4. Modifiers, Profoto's speed ring design, allows me to use my OCF and RFI modifiers I currently own.
5. Wireless, this is liberating both in the studio and on location. Cords can be tedious and sometimes a tripping hazard.
What exactly constitutes a headshot? By definition, approximately 30% of a headshot’s frame should be taken up by your face with the remaining frame's real estate split up between your shoulders and negative space… nothing more, nothing less. But now days, I’m starting to see this happen quite often, a headshot advertisement with an image that has the person’s arms or hands and in some cases 3/4th of a person’s body, this may leave you puzzled because you’ve just read the word “headshot”. That’s not fair to you, in fact it’s misleading, and once you understand what technically defines a headshot, you will better appreciate the photographers who specialize in providing this service. I've opened this education piece with the technical side of creating a headshot, but let's not forget the art that goes into creating it as well. As your photographer, it's my job to capture your best true to life appearance that allows for your confidence and personality to radiate. With those two elements combined (technical and art) we define the true form of a headshot. Now the work that goes into harnessing that confidence and personality is a bit far more complex but we’ll save that for when we begin our consultation. But for now, let’s just think of your headshot as the most up close and organic portrait of you. No arms or hands that can lead the viewer from your expression. No heavy or beauty make-up to mask your true self, no posing on a chair or table to completely switch up the aesthetics or the goal of what a headshot is designed to do. By sharing this you my friends, I hope to shed light on the value of what goes into creating a genuine image of who you truly are. Cheers!
Below are examples of what is considered a professional headshot by industry standards.
Examples of styles that are sometimes mistaken as headshots.
Do you think it's time to add value to your online presence with a visual impact?
A personal journal about any given day in my photography career where I will write about anything from portraits and headshots to sharing my educational experiences. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, it's my pleasure to share my stories with you!