Jimmy Johnston



I recently purchased some new equipment that I was pretty excited about, the Broncolor Octa 150. I did a lot of research between different brands and read all the reviews on all of them before making my decision. The Broncolor not only had better reviews than comparable Profoto and Elinchrom, it actually cost less than both of them, always a plus, also the Broncolor is a bit shallower than the others and I liked that too. 

After having to wait two weeks to buy one because both B&H and Adorama were closed observing a Jewish holiday, I finally made my purchase and was ready to start testing. Because testing out your new gear is always a good idea before running out into the world with it. Kate, a model that I know had recently asked me if we could shoot again, so I decided to see if she was free on a Sunday afternoon and she was! Kate also happens to be the younger sister of one of the models from the very first fashion editorial I ever shot, So I've got almost 5 years of history with their family.

I didn't really have a concept in mind since it was short notice and technically just a lighting test, but I still wanted it to be nice, hard to judge the light when you just phone everything else in. So I got a makeup artist and asked Hannah if I could pull a few wardrobe items from her stockpile and we put together a few simple looks, all black. So I told Kate our concept was all black and had her bring a few things to add to it. And for the backdrop, I've got so much paper in my studio that I don't even know what's there anymore. I found a nice blue that I liked in a 4' roll, but I really wanted a wider roll so I wouldn't be forces to shoot everything tightly cropped. I kept digging and found the same color blue in a 9' roll buried behind all the other 9' rolls. 

And as for the new octa, first impressions are that I love it! Nice and soft but also has a nice falloff, something that I've missed shooting with umbrellas where it leaves everything pretty evenly lit (especially my go-to 7' parabolic). After using parabolic umbrellas and smaller softlighter umbrellas pretty much exclusively for the last several years (with the occasional beauty dish in the mix), this octa is a nice and welcome change. My favorite thing about umbrellas was how easy they were to use, no assembly required, and my least favorite thing about octas (with the exception of the Elinchrom Octabank) was how not easy they were to assemble, I hate speed rings. Every review I read of the Broncolor Octa 150 said that, like all octas, it's not easy to put together. But I'm gonna have to disagree with that portion of the reviews, I found it incredibly easy to assemble and disassemble. And the fact that it uses a standard speed ring means you can use it on any strobe system without the need for mount adapters. Definitely my new go-to modifier. 

Model: Kate W from Factor

Hair and Makeup: Jessica Craig 

Wardrobe provided by Hannah johnson

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