Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Anton Falk

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Behind the Scenes at Profoto

Bookmark and Share
Profoto Andrea Belluso Anton Falk 600x899 Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Anton Falk

©Andrea Belluso

Profoto is more than a brand and a line of products. It is also the place where some us work and spend our weekdays. Have you ever wondered who we are or what the thinking was behind the design of this or that piece of equipment? Then join us behind the scenes at Profoto!

Who invents Profoto’s products? Where do the ideas come from? Who decides what ideas to develop? And what do you actually do when you develop a product? Anton Falk, Project Manager at Profoto, has the answers to all these questions.

Anton, who invents Profoto’s products?

“That’s not an easy question to answer. We get ideas from all kinds of places: from photographers, from rental studios, from distributors, from our colleagues, from our own experience, and so on. The best ideas are written down in a list. From this list, we choose what ideas to turn into actual projects.” Read More

Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Tommy Sundström

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Behind the Scenes at Profoto

Bookmark and Share
Profoto Tommy Sundström 600x770 Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Tommy Sundström

©Andrea Belluso

Profoto is more than a brand and a line of products. It is also the place where some us work and spend our weekdays. Have you ever wondered who we are or what the thinking was behind the design of this or that piece of equipment? Then join us behind the scenes at Profoto!

Even though Profoto’s products have had a similar look and feel since the late 1960s, a lot of changes have been behind the scenes. One of the most important changes is the transition from mechanical hardware to digital software. But what does that really mean? Tommy Sundström, Software Engineer at Profoto, knows the answer.

“When you turn the dials on a mechanical generator, you physically reposition the components and conductors inside to redistribute the power. In a digital generator, on the other hand, there is a processor or a microcontroller that reads the position of the dials and tells the semiconductors how to distribute the power. In other words, you don’t actually move anything. You just tell the computer what to do.”

Released in 2002, the D4 was Profoto’s first digital generator. Since then, all flash packs, monolights and continuous light units have been digital: the Pro-8, the D1, the Pro-B4, ProDaylight, ProTungsten, etc.

“You have to go digital if you want the level of flexibility that these units offer,” says Tommy. “It’s also necessary if you want to have wireless control. In addition, a digital unit allows you to work with more user-friendly displays and continuously updated firmware. There are also a bunch of exciting new ideas that we’re working on right now that we couldn’t have dreamed of when we had mechanical units. But those are still classified.” Read More

Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Göran Marén

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Behind the Scenes at Profoto

Bookmark and Share
 Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Göran Marén

©Andrea Belluso

Profoto is more than a brand and a line of products. It is also the place where some of us work and spend our weekdays. Have you ever wondered who we are or what the thinking was behind the design of this or that piece of equipment? Then join us behind the scenes at Profoto!

With only about 50 employees at the headquarters in Stockholm, Profoto is not a large company. Still, there are plenty of opportunities to grow. Just ask Göran Marén, whose role has changed quite dramatically over the years.

“I’ve been here for ten years now,” says Göran. “I started out in the warehouse, picking carts. After a while, they asked me if I wanted to start working at R&D as an administrator. After a while I became Project Manager, and for about a year I’ve been one of the two Product Managers at Profoto.”

What does a Product Manager do?

“We have sort of a secret wish list of all the products that we want to invent. My responsible is, first of all, to advise which of these products we will start to develop. Secondly, I write a basic specification for the products and act as a key reference person during the actual development process. Thirdly, once the product has been completed, I’m responsible for introducing it to the market. Who would want it? What is it good for? That kind of stuff. Finally, I have to follow up on the release and try to understand how the product was actually received.”

That’s quite a lot…

“Luckily we are two Product Managers at Profoto, and we share projects between us.”

And what products have you managed so far?

“So far, the Pro-B4, the Pro Plus heads and the latest ProDaylight versions.” Read More

Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Jan Dufgran

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Behind the Scenes at Profoto

Bookmark and Share
JanDufgran 99260396 600x599 Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Jan Dufgran

©Andrea Belluso

Profoto is more than a brand and a line of products. It is also the place where some us work and spend our weekdays. Have you ever wondered who we are or what the thinking was behind the design of this or that piece of equipment? Then join us behind the scenes at Profoto!

The name Jan Dufgran might sound familiar. Jan is namely the son of Conny Dufgran, one of the two founders of Profoto. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Jan has worked at Profoto for quite some time. In fact, Jan started working at Profoto as a child in the early 1970s, helping his father curl metal springs for the very first ProHeads!

“The photography business exploded in the 1960s,” says Jan. “One of the main reasons for this was that the ad agencies now wanted to use photographs rather than illustrations. At the same time, color film was introduced. This growing interest in commercial photography in combination with the new color film, which required a huge amount of light to expose properly, gave rise to the demand for high-quality studio strobes. Needless to say, Profoto, which at the time was a small yet highly inventive company, benefited from this.”

Jan has fond memories of this eventful time. The industry thrived, and the rising status of the professional photographer attracted a lot of “colorful characters” as he eloquently puts it. Many of these found their way to Profoto. And many stayed over the years to come.

“I remember one time, I think it was in the late 1980s, when a photographer came to me with an old Pro-1 generator that he had been using for decades. I examined it and explained to him that it was a very old generator and that he should consider replacing it. And he just broke down! I gently asked him if he wasn’t used to replacing his equipment, to which he replied: ‘Of course! I’ve changed camera several times. I’ve changed car. I’ve changed apartment. I’ve even changed wife! But I’ve always had the same flash generator…’”

Read More

Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Pär Blixt

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Behind the Scenes at Profoto

Bookmark and Share
Pär Blixt 18587 600x799 Behind the Scenes at Profoto: Pär Blixt

©Andrea Belluso

Profoto is more than a brand and a line of products. It is also the place where some us work and spend our weekdays. Have you ever wondered who we are or what the thinking was behind the design of this or that piece of equipment? Then join us behind the scenes at Profoto! Today, we talk to Chief Designer Pär Blixt.

Pär Blixt translates to Pär Flash. He is, in other words, Mr. Flash. For real.

“I remember when I was interviewed for this position,” says Pär. “It was about 15 years ago. Our CEO Anders Hedebark called me and asked me a bunch of questions and I replied honestly. Pleased with the answers, Anders hung up and went over to the R&D Department to tell the Manager there that he wanted to hire me. But the Manager wasn’t as impressed. ‘Mr. Flash? Seriously? Anders, are you sure this guy isn’t just pulling your leg?’ So, Anders called me back and asked me: ‘You’re not pulling my leg, are you!?’”

But Mr. Flash was dead serious, and so he got the job. Ever since, Pär has been Profoto’s Chief Designer. As such, he is the one who decides how the products should look on the inside and on the outside. His first contribution was to create a battery cassette for the Pro-7b, which made it possible for photographers to replace the actual battery themselves. Since then, he has designed the D4, the Pro-8, the AcuteB, the Pro-B2, the Pro-B3 and the Pro-B4, to name just a few examples. In other words, if you appreciate the form and function of any of the above-mentioned products, you have Pär to thank. Read More