Victoria Will’s Three Minutes with Al Pacino

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto Victoria Will Al Pacino 1 600x800 Victoria Wills Three Minutes with Al Pacino

©Victoria Will

There are no second chances in celebrity photographer Victoria Will’s line of work. For instance, she had only three minutes to get the shot with Al Pacino. But she nailed it. Read the story and learn how.

“This kind of shoots are always a challenge,” says Victoria. “They don’t tell me what kind of room we’ll shoot in, what clothes the subject will wear or how much time we’ll have. Well, they say ten minutes. They always say ten minutes. But you never get it. It’s like a final exam every single time.”

Victoria’s shoot with actor Al Pacino was no exception. All she knew beforehand was that the shoot would take place in a certain hotel at a certain time.

“So, I did what I always try to do. I showed up a couple of hours early. As it turned out, the shoot would be done in the penthouse in a very ornate, luxurious hotel. It looked like Versailles. This was a bit of a problem, as I wasn’t shooting Louis XIV. I was shooting Al Pacino. You don’t put Al Pacino against a floral fabric.” Read More

Brent Lewin Brings his Flash Pack to the World’s Largest Camel Fair

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto AcuteB2 flash pack Brent Lewin 06 600x400 Brent Lewin Brings his Flash Pack to the World’s Largest Camel Fair

©Brent Lewin/Redux

Brent Lewin is a documentary photographer whose images can be seen in publications such as National Geographic, New York Times and Newsweek. Based in Hong Kong now as a staff photographer with Bloomberg, Brent’s driving spirit is his curiosity. He wants to explore and meet new people, learn their stories and share them with the world. Here is one such story, shot and written by Brent himself.

These portraits were shot in India’s Rajasthan state during the Pushkar camel mela. Each year at the time of the Kartik Purnima full moon, up to 20,000 camels descend on the sand dunes surrounding Pushkar to take part in the world’s largest camel fair.

The men in these photos are Rabari, a nomadic community found in Rajasthan and Gujarat whose identity, going back to the time of creation, is linked to the camel. The story goes that the goddess Parvati created a 5-legged animal out of clay that resembled a cow. She asked her husband Shiva to give life to the animal but he remarked that it looked odd and wasn’t practical. So he took the fifth leg and pushed it upwards through the body so there was a bump on the top of the torso. The hump on a camel is believed to be the top of the leg. If you look at the underside of the camel they have a small-calloused bump that looks like a foot, which is believed to be the foot of the leg poking out. After life was given to the camel Parvati asked who would care for this animal. So Shiva rubbed his chest and used his dried skin to make a small puppet. He mixed some milk from the banyan tree with the puppet and it was given life and this is how the Rabari were created. Read More

Photographer Klara G Tries the New Profoto Umbrella Deep

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto Umbrella Deep Klara G 2 600x750 Photographer Klara G Tries the New Profoto Umbrella Deep

©Klara G for Anna Ekre

Swedish photographer Klara G says her assistants have nicknamed her the umbrella lady. Why? Because she loves working with umbrellas!

“There are several reasons why I love working with umbrellas,” says Klara. “The most important is, of course, the light they create. I’m very inspired by classic portrait paintings, and if you take a closer look at these, there is usually just as single angled light source. An umbrella is the perfect tool for recreating that effect – that natural yet slightly mystical light.

“I also love the catch light you get with an umbrella. You don’t get that square reflection you get with most softboxes. Instead, you get a beautiful, round reflection. The umbrella’s large, round shape is also great for creating a natural vignette around the subject, which is something I tend to do quite often.”

Apart from the artistic reasons, there are also practical reasons to why Klara prefers working with umbrellas.

“Umbrellas are very easy to work with. They are meant to fold, so they are obviously very easy to bring along and mount and dismount. They are also uncomplicated in terms of light shaping, which means that I can focus on the interaction with the person in front of the camera – their eyes, their facial expression.” Read More

Irwin Wong, the RFi Speedlight Speedring and the Blogging Jogger

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Profoto RFi Speedlight Speedring Irwin Wong  IRZ4598 600x899 Irwin Wong, the RFi Speedlight Speedring and the Blogging Jogger

©Irwin Wong

Tokyo-based photographer Irwin Wong claims he shoots portraits like a kid collecting baseball cards. For him, it is all about meeting colorful characters and documenting the experience with a powerful portrait.

“I get a huge kick out of seeing what all sorts of different people are like,” says Irwin. “Through my job I get to meet people from all sorts of different walks of life. I’ve met homeless people, rock stars, the yakuza, etcetera, and 99% of the time they are happy to let me into their lives enough for a photo to be taken.”

So, tell us about this particular experience?

“These shots are part of my portrait series Gaijin, featuring foreigners with interesting, unconventional jobs living in Japan. The strangely dressed man is Joseph Tame. He wears that outfit and blogs live while running marathons or jogging around Tokyo. That is why he has all those iPhones and iPads with him.

“While having a coffee with him in order to prepare the shoot, Joseph mentioned that every single time he jogs in that outfit, without fail, he gets stopped by a police officer who wants to know what he is up to. So, besides the fact that I thought seeing a man dressed like a nut being questioned by the police would make for a humorous scene, I also felt that a lot of non-Japanese living in Tokyo would be able to relate to that scene, as there is this underlying perception here that the police keep a special eye out for foreigners.” Read More

Light Shaping Tool of the Month: RFi Speedlight Speedring

Written by Fredrik Franzén on . Posted in Portrait Photography

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Each month we highlight a certain item in Profoto’s rich assortment of Light Shaping Tools (previous articles can be found here). This month we talk to Turkish portrait photographer Maneki Neko about the new RFi Speedlight Speedring.

As you might know, Maneki Neko is the name of the Japanese figurine cat that is said to bring good luck to its owner. But luck had nothing to do with it when we decided to send our new RFi Speedlight Speedring to the Turkish portrait photographer with the same name. We simply loved Maneki’s work and were curious to see what he would create with this new tool.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to not only show something from myself but also from the beautiful city of Istanbul where I live,” says Maneki. “In addition, I wanted to show the portability of the product, so shooting outdoors on the streets of Istanbul seemed like the perfect thing to do!” Read More