Get to know Profoto's new intern: Molly Baber - Shapers Of Light

Get to know Profoto’s new intern: Molly Baber

Get to know Profoto’s new intern: Molly Baber

 

classic portrait of blonde woman with red lips studio portrait of black man gold backdropred head model in yellow dress grunge stylingfashion studio lighting portrait of black female model wearing ethnic jewellery clothing

My name is Molly Baber and I am a British fashion and portrait photographer currently based in Stockholm, Sweden. 

 

photo of molly baber photography by rebecca need-menear blonde girl in forest
Photo by Rebecca Need-Menear

I was born and raised in Brighton, UK, where I developed a love of the arts. In 2015, at 20 years old, I moved to Berlin and found a community of artists, photographers and models. I began to assist them on shoots, and became inspired by the dark, underground scene of the city. A year later, I began studying BA Fashion Photography at Falmouth University which I graduated from last year. Since then I have worked in a photography studio, and been a freelance social media manager and blogger for Infinite Color Panel and The Color Lab. Three months ago, I finally made the move to Stockholm and I am so excited to now be interning at Profoto.

My work focuses on emotive and conceptual portraiture, storytelling, and archetypes. I take inspiration from classic paintings, mythology and occultism. I love capturing people, creating dark and evocative imagery with a defined style and aesthetic, whilst exploring concepts and narratives that inspire my vision.

As well as photography, recently I have become more involved in filmmaking. With artistic collaborators I have created short conceptual pieces based on identity, relationships and esoteric practices. I have taken on roles such as director, editor, cinematographer, set designer… I love trying out new things and exploring new ways to create exciting work.

When I’m not shooting you can usually find me hiking in the forest, hanging out with animals or strolling around museums. Soaking in art, getting lost in nature, and staring at strange curiosities are favourite activities of mine.

 

model ema mckie moody studio lighting portraitmolly baber photography black and white photo studio portraitdark image of ghostly figure under sheer fabricstudio portrait of model with moon headdress

What inspires me?

I have a fascination with most things macabre. When I started studying photography at age 16, my work consisted of 35mm black and white film shots. I frequented my local natural history museum and photographed taxidermy and skeletons. I would set up Vanitas style still-lifes at home with a desk lamp to create dramatic lighting. This was my first attempt at ‘artificial’ lighting. Dark visuals have always been the most appealing to me, and it’s interesting to see where my early fascinations have led me artistically.

35mm black and white film photograph of snake in jar35mm black and white film photograph of specimens in jars 35mm black and white film photograph of snowy barn owl35mm black and white film photograph of sheep skull and candle vanities still life

Almost 10 years later, my university thesis explored mysticism in the late 19th century. The particular focus was on Victorian spiritualism, mourning and post-mortem photographs. I was also heavily inspired by underworld mythology and my final series ‘UNEARTH‘ stemmed from writings about consciousness, souls and the afterlife.

molly baber photography unearth series moody dark figure standing on windy beach

Classic paintings play a huge part in my photographic style. I take inspiration from the muted colour palettes and dramatic lighting seen in classic regal portraits. Themes derived from gothic literature, such as depictions of mythical characters and witches, are some of my favourite works. Artists such as Luis Falero, Fransisco Goya, and Albert Joseph Pénot have created some of my favourite works. My favourite contemporary photographers include Evelyn Bencicova, Nona Limmen, Tim Walker, and Juno Calypso.

Favourite photographic techniques

I get super excited when I’m experimenting with in-camera techniques such as shooting through fragmented glass or sheer fabric. Creating unique in-camera effects, that could almost look Photoshopped, is so rewarding as each shot comes out so differently. Composited elements are rare in my images; my post-production work is mostly focused on skin retouching, light clean ups and colour grading. However, exploring digital elements and new technologies is something I would love to dive deeper into in the future.

studio portrait of blonde model with prism effectshort hair shaved head model studio portrait with prismstudio lighting distorted fashion shoot studio portrait distorted with prism effect

I’m really looking forward to my time here at Profoto and getting to know the light shaping community. If you’d like to see more of my work you can visit my website or find me on Instagram for daily cats and dog stories!

Check out Molly’s new shoot for the Profoto Camera app for Android!

 

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