Being a photographer doesn't always have to be about shooting. Sometimes it's good to step back and watch another photographer working, to see new techniques and fresh ideas. On this occasion I was helping my good friend Radek with lighting whilst he was shooting with Elle Beth who wanted some new fashion and fitness shots for her portfolio.
Radek had found a great corner in Battersea Park in London with a stone balustrade, with deep shade but also an open area. A choice of lighting and looks was possible. Elle Beth was wearing an electric blue dress which worked really well with the dark greens of the overhanging tree. She had a subtle, simple and beautiful makeup my Gemma
So, I held reflectors and a Profoto B1 portable strobe for Radek while he shot. With the reflector filling in some of the darker shadows and adding a catchlight to Elle Beths eyes. The Profoto B1 doing much the same thing but with much more control. A reflector just reflects exactly what hits it. It's possible to feather the light a bit and there's a white side and a silver side to give different intensities of bounced light. It can only reflect existing light so if it's dull day or you are in shade a reflector can only help so much. The Profoto had much more control over position and could add light from any direction. The amount of light could be controlled by setting the power level and the quality of light could be changed by the effective size. In this case the effective size was the large white unbrella the B1 was directed into. A big light fairly close to the subject and at a lowish power setting was all that was needed to fill shadows and help the subject stand out from the background.
Once Elle Beth and Radek had got the shots they wanted I was able to shoot a few frames of my own. I just used the reflector as I didn't want to take up time changing the Profoto to suit my camera setup.
And so here are a few photos Elle Beth was happy to pose for me. Funnily enough I posted the first one on Instagram partly because it's a great beauty image but also because I didn't think Elle Beth would want the one with her hair over her face being posted. A message from Elle Beth put me straight on that. The messy hair one was her favourite. And so here it is. Enjoy!