How To Light With The Fascinating Profoto Spot Small
What happens when photographers hang out together? You somehow get some drinks and end up in a studio. No, I am totally sober here, and Zach Sutton took this shot of me that I was really happy with!
Just last month in LA, I ended up meeting up with Zach Sutton and a few other friends. As the evening ended, Bella and I ended up checking out Zach's studio before we said goodbye. he showed us some really sweet gear he had and we wanted to play around with lighting.
Somehow, they convinced me to be a subject and we ended up with this shot. I completely loved how it turned out and posted it online. Naturally, people were curious about it and I asked Zach to talk about what he used in this shot.
Zach is a photographer as well as an educator. Naturally, he's really good with explaining how lighting works and also tweaking it to get to his vision. Quite frankly, it was really fun to watch and I learned a lot.
With lighting, I've always said it's important to break the rules and experiment occasionally, so these last couple months, I've been actively working to do just that. A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of having Pratik and Bella over at my place in Los Angeles. Eventually, it turned into all three of us in the photography studio experimenting with lighting tools, when I finally brought out my favorite new piece of gear, the Profoto Spot Small.
Through the use of a gobo system, along with a magnifying piece of glass on the front, the Profoto Spot Small allows you to completely control hard light with incredible precision, while also enabling you to shape it to infinite possibilities. In the studio, we were experimenting with various gobos I had collected from the pack offered by Profoto when we came across one that was a series of thin lines of light. It's what we ended up using for the final shot.
For the lighting breakdown, we have a Profoto B1 strobe with the Profoto Spot Small camera left as the key light. We also have a Profoto B1 camera right with a 24"x36" gridded softbox, and then a Profoto B2 on the background to add separation to the subject and BG. Additionally, I had a Westcott 4'x4' black scrim on the camera right side of Pratik, to prevent any light bounce.
Westcott Black Block Fabric