A Floral Fairytale with Profoto A1s!

Earlier this summer I had the incredible opportunity to work with Profoto for the launch of their new product the A1s

Promoted as the world’s smallest studio light my curiousity was piqued as to what surprises this little light in a familiar speedlight body had in store. 

As a predominantly natural light shooter, lately I’ve been looking for ways to elevate my images to another level. I often work alone, for most shoots it’s just the model and I. With this in mind, it’s important to me that any addition to my camera kit be small and lightweight. I was looking for something I can take with me on location, set up with minimal fuss, and still be able to get the quality of images I want. After my first test shoot with the A1s I could suddenly see why Profoto was so excited to share them with the world. 

I want to stress that this is my personal opinion based on my experience after using them all summer. 

The concept for this photoshoot was born from the location. The gardens at a garden center just outside of Oxford were bursting with summer flowers. The florals weaved their magic around me when I went to visit, inspiring, (and almost demanding me!) to create something enchanting within the blooms. Fortunately the manager was kind enough to let us roam free. The perks of a tiny team and lightweight equipment!

I contacted Jodi Lakin, a model and makeup artist I’ve worked with several times before, and reached out to designer Joanne Fleming to send us this beautiful frothy dress which complimented the vision I had in mind. Styling a shoot is always a fun process for me, it’s when I start building up the character and what they represent in the image I want to capture.

A queen emerged, otherworldly pink hair complimenting the dress, flowers circling her crown, and Jodi’s piercing eyes holding it all together. I’m drawn to capturing this inner strength that we all carry as females whether we recognise it within us or not. Women and nature, we are entwined and connected. Both the creators of life, resilient in our strength, wild, nurturing, constantly growing, evolving, connected as the earth to the moon.

My boyfriend, and partner in post processing magic, Pratik Naik from Solstice Retouch, volunteered as my extra set of hands and he captured all the behind the scenes images you see here. Gary, from Gorgeous Films, filmed the behind the scenes process and you can check out the video we created for Profoto below!

Check out the BTS video of our shoot!

After the gardens we changed location to a woodland I love. It was when I captured this shot long after the sun set when we were surrounded by twilight’s blue hue that I realised how powerful the A1 lights were. They created opportunities for me to capture moments that would otherwise not be possible if I relied solely on natural light (at that point there was hardly any natural light left!)

I favored the light achieved by both the diffuser and soft bounce modifiers as I was able to create the soft natural looking light that I’m always drawn to.

I can honestly say that the addition of the A1s in my camera kit this summer allowed me to literally turn the world into my studio and the possibilities moving forward are very exciting! 

Bella Kotak

Bella Kotak is a fine art and fashion photographer currently based in Oxford & London, England. An art lover from a young age she always knew that she would work within the creative industry. Photography changed her life when she picked up a camera and began a 365 project. From that moment she was hooked by this medium that translates thoughts and imagination into tangible form and has since been featured in several magazines around the world.