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Hello Chic Fans!

We have a fun challenge for you!  We all know this it the craziest time of year for us so we thought we would let you show off your hard work!  Our Facebook Challenge is FALL!

All you have to do is share a Fall picture (one per person, please!) on our Facebook wall with the label #FALL and you could win a three month membership to the Forum!  Already a member, we have other goodies too!

Check out the lovely work from these fans:

Shrader Photography



Jamie Smith Photography


Contest ends on October 31st so get those photos in!

We can't wait to see your pictures!





Our Celebrity Photographer and Mentor this month, Alba Soler of Alba Soler Photography, was asked to test the new Profoto B1and she had an amazing experience doing it!  She is sharing it with you today!  You can also hang out with her in the Forum all month long!


Some weeks ago I told you on facebook that I was one of the fortunate people on testing the demo of the new Profoto B1, and I have to say that is a crazy thing!

In appearance, they seem like the D1, but with the huge different of not having cables. Reading this it may seem not so important to you, but you must try it, it is a world apart. You just feel free.

And it is not only a matter of freedom. Not using batteries changes completely your mind when planning a photo shoot. You don’t need to worry about having an electricity outlet or bringing generators any more.

Maybe others who work with higher power won’t enjoy this advantage and they have to buy extra batteries, but in my case, the batteries withstand the whole shoot.


About the theme, at the beginning I was going to do a simple test to try the gear, but I thought it twice and realized it would be better to see its potential in a real life situation. So I make it coincide with a shoot we were already planning, with beautiful gowns, jewelry and the glamour of the 20’s.

As you may know, after years working with natural light, a must to keep faithful to my style is to maintain the quality of the light, soft and warm as if it was natural light. I thought the D1 were already ideal for that, but being able to take down even more the diaphragm is mind blowing!

We can see that in this situation:



At the moment of this set, the light coming in from the window was really weak, however, I wanted to have some soft light invading the scene from outside. Thanks of the possibility of taking down the power to two points, I was able to have a soft filling light and at the same time use the natural source from the window.


An other of the key points of the B1 is the TTL function.

In other of the scenes we had to work in a narrow space. I began by taking shoots with close frames, but when I wanted to add more space to the scene I had to move the flash back and high to avoid having it inside of the frame. At this time I was testing the TTL function, so the light was adapting itself automatically each time I moved it. It would be distracting and tedious trying to mach the light quality each time manually. I felt really blessed at this moment!





However, we can alway come back to the manual mode to have the control back, as in the previous scene.


In relation to the modifiers I used, for the window scene I chose the umbrella XL because its enveloping effect, and a 90cm octa for the rest. It is my new favourite, you can see here why:




Finally, in my opinion, the strong point of the B1 is outside of the studio, with the newness of working without cables and without the extra weight of generators. Besides, it helps you control the light in location in an easy and comfortable way. And thanks to the TTL function, you win power and control, therefore, you also win freedom to focus into the creative side, and this is what all this is about, don’t you think?

I hope you enjoy my experience!

I’ll leave you with some more, without me distracting!





And my favourite:


Photos: Alba Soler
Stylism: Silvia Soler (She is not my sister)
MUA & Hair: Nacho Sanz
Models: Vanesa Esclapez & Irene Beitia (Carmen Durán Management)
Behind the scenes pictures: Silvia Soler

P.S. As always, please excuse any errors in my english! Feel free to correct anything you want through the comments.


Alba Soler Photography albabio1






Don't forget to join Alba in the Forum all month long!  Not a forum member?  You are missing all the fun!  Join HERE!




Chic Critique is beyond thrilled to have Alba Soler of Alba Soler Photography  as our Monthly Mentor this month!  She will answer any questions you may have regarding her video & business ALL MONTH LONG exclusively in the forum!

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Alba has run her own business for 6 years, and writes a popular blog about photography and lifestyle, both in english and spanish.

She specializes in fashion and fine art with touching conceptual stories with clients in China, Germany, Spain and the UK. She also offers a similar approach shoots to her smaller clients which have become very popular.

Alba has a degree in media which has help her create her brand and her communication strategy, however, all she know about photography and business has been self taught.

She knows perfectly how hard it is to learn both, and she is excited to share her knowledge with you all!





Do you edit mostly in Photoshop or Lightroom?

50% and 50% each


Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?

Sometimes, we know something is wrong but is hard to tell by ourselves what is it.  I think an honest critique from an experienced professional could save us a lot of frustration.


What camera do you use? Favorite lens?

Canon 5D Mark II


What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?

"I don't know what you are doing, but your work is starting to look unreal"


What 3 words would you use to describe your style?

sensitive, delicate, dreamy



Where do you pull your inspiration from?

I love to see other people's work, but not when searching from inspiration. I hate when everybody's portfolios look the same. I rather write and look for inspiration in my own feelings. After that, comes the search for props, clothes, places, and is during that search when I know whether the idea is going to work or not.


What is one specific way that you balance work and family?

I think for me is to have an specific schedule. Knowing what to have to do in each moment of the day, other way you get distracted about anything. Family should understand, even if you are at home, that you are working, you have deadlines and a responsibility, if not, hang your schedule in some place they can see it and be strict following it anyway, at some point they will respect it.


Best biz/photo advice?

Be yourself. It is hard because you barely know who you are yet, but figuring it out is how you find your style to.



What have you learned the hard way?

I think I've learnt all the things the hard way. I mean, when you don't know something you learn it by doing mistakes.
One of the most important things I've leant so far is to separate your personal work from your business. Business is business and you should earn money by that always. If you want to experiment that's fine, and you should, but try to don't mix things. Don't charge less because it's going to be interesting, because as long as you are not "the client" it won't be really yours. Experiment when only you are in control.


How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?

My business started at the same time as the rise, so I didn't experience a before and after. I try to no compare my work with others in terms of price, services offered, but in terms of quality in order to work only on being the best in quality.


Where have most of your 2014 clients come from (besides WOM)?

I know this for sure. They have came from my online marketing strategies. I don't advertise by any other way, and don't even have a visible shop in the street.



What has been the best workshop or convention you've attended so far?

Off Barcelona, the most similar to travel around the world creatively speaking.

I had the opportunity to see the best creatives from every discipline in a short period of time. Not just photography. And that is for me an other point in favor. We use to look for the answers on people alike to us, that do the same, but we forget about the wealth that can be hold on unexpected places.

This kind of experiences are fundamental to keep your mind fresh and active. Doing the same every day and being always in contact with the same people, makes your mind get stuck and at some point it isn’t able to see further. For that reason it is important to look for ways that remember you that there is a lot outside your comfort zone.


What is your most popular product?

Creative shooting




Go meet Alba and ask her any question you have HERE in the forum all month long!