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…’”