STUDIO: OUR PROFOTO LIGHTS
When Elle and I got the keys to our studio back in January, it was only natural that our next big purchase was professional lighting. For an entire year, our “studio” existed in Elle’s living room and we would often rent lighting equipment. Having been previously intimidated by using studio lights, renting professional equipment from Borrow Lenses became the best way for Elle and I to get acquainted with various brands. Not having our own space also forced us to start booking other studios when we were working with larger clients. Each studio rental was a huge learning experience. By renting studios we were able to test out different equipment, practice our craft, and ask for guidance if the studio owner was available. All of this eventually led us to our decision of purchasing our first lights, the Profoto D1 Air 500 W/s Air Monolight Kit.
The first time I became familiar with the brand Profoto was when Elle and I met in a studio lighting class at San Jose State University. I was minoring in photography while she was taking additional electives for her graphic design major. Even though we had worked with hot lights almost all semester, it became apparent that Profoto was a household name when it came to professional strobe lights. I remember accidentally stumbling into one of the advance lighting classes one evening and noticing all of the Profoto lights being used. The following semester Elle took the advanced studio lighting course which focused exclusively on using Profoto. Having worked with the brand before during school was something we took into consideration and made our decision that much easier.
Even though Elle and I were almost 100% sure we were going to go with Profoto, we still researched other brands, pricing, types of kits, and additional accessories that we thought we might need. Most of our research, aka tons of google searches, started with some of the lighting brands we got to test out from Borrow Lenses and studio rentals. Some of these brands included Elinchrom, Paul C. Buff Alien Bees, Impact One, and of course, Profoto.
It was pretty daunting having to look at the numbers and being realistic about what we could afford. At the same time, we knew that we didn’t want to purchase anything that would seem like it would eventually fall apart or would slow down our ability to do our job. With that being said, it is SO important to invest in your business and equipment/tools.
We finally took the plunge and bought Profoto’s most affordable set of lights. We purchased the D1 Air Monolight Kit which came with two strobes, stands, and umbrellas. In addition to the kit, we also purchased an air remote, two speed rings, and two 2’ x 3’ softboxes. Yes, we may have spent up to 5k alone on all of this equipment but it was so worth the investment and we’ve never looked back.
The choice was honestly really clear for us. Aside from knowing that Profoto was a leading brand in the photography industry, getting to test these bad boys out using Borrow Lenses only proved them to be that much more credible. There was a huge difference whenever we worked with Profoto strobes. We rarely ever ran into complications and the material/quality of the equipment surpassed all of the other lighting brands we used before. We loved the high power, reliability, and consistency that the Profoto lights would bring to our shoots. When we finally made our big purchase, we knew we had chosen well.
Lastly, one of the main reasons that really drove our decision to choose Profoto over the other brands is their ease of use. The lights are designed and built in a way that doesn’t make it complicated to understand and set up. Those who are just barely dipping their toes into the strobe world will come to appreciate how easy these lights are to learn. Having never been much of a technical photographer, using Profoto has allowed us to quickly learn to shape light so we can focus on the creativity of our imagery. When we were initially researching all of the brands, it was always hard to figure out what exactly we needed. Being first time buyers, we didn’t realize how many extra accessories were important aside from the actual strobes and stands. Luckily, Profoto’s website was incredibly helpful in pointing us to the right tools for the kind of work we were going to be creating. Since choosing the Profoto system, it’s been a real breeze and has made our shooting days that much easier.
So where can you get your hands on some Profoto equipment? Borrow Lenses. If you haven’t had the chance to play around with strobes, we highly encourage you to rent from them. It’s one of the easiest ways to get familiar with different brands. It will also give you a better idea of what system you prefer if you are in the market for some new lighting tools. Click the button below to head over to Borrow Lenses and check out everything they have to offer.
However, if you happen to be in the South Bay area, our Little Sunday Studio in Campbell, CA is a great opportunity to play around with strobes. For an hourly rate, you can rent our studio and have access to all of our Profoto lighting equipment. You can rent Little Sunday Studio here.
If you have any other questions or comments on studio lights and strobes, we’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment below!
Is it the weekend yet?