Skip to content

Presenting Stella Mešić

Stella Mešić is a creative photographer from Slavonia who opened her production studio for visual media named “Sun Room Studio” with the Vinkovci Entrepreneurial Incubator last year. Stella has a strong affinity for portrait, fashion, beauty, and self-portrait photography because, as she says, these are the fields where she can express herself most creatively. Although both her artistic name (Parts of the Sun) and the name of the studio emphasize her love for natural light, Profoto has become an indispensable part of her studio work.

Stella Mešić Profoto

How was the process of opening the studio?

I’ve always dreamed of having my own creative studio. A place that encompasses all my needs for creation; from set design, props, lighting, to accessories. Since I knew how I wanted the space to look, everything went pretty smoothly once I found out that I had won the city’s grant competition. First came the couch because both I and the models sometimes need to rest, and the final step was my new Profoto B1X kit and all the accessories. As soon as the lighting arrived, I organized an opening celebration. From then until today, almost a year has passed, and I can say that every day feels like the realization of all my wildest dreams because every day I have the opportunity to create what I truly want.

When did you first come into contact with flash lighting and decide to use it in your work?

I think I first picked up a flash just before photographing the „We Love Sound festival“ in Zagreb in 2016. And it was some flash brand whose name I don’t even know. Nothing was clear to me, but I had to get the job done, and the photos turned out great in the end. Because I didn’t know how to use flash, I didn’t want to use it, but jobs like weddings, café gigs, and club parties forced me to learn more and more about flash photograhy. It wasn’t until 2020 that I ordered some cheap continuous lighting for home photography, because we were all in quarantine. That’s when I learned what a softbox is and what it’s used for. That same year, I started working for a company from Zagreb through which I learned to use Profoto lighting, and I instantly fell in love with its capabilities. I knew that it was something I couldn’t open a studio without.

Stella Mešić Profoto Interview

Do you have any advice for people who are just starting to use flash lighting? How was it for you at the beginning?

Personally, I bothered a colleague who knew how to work with Profoto lighting, and every time we set up the studio, I went with her, helped her carry bags, posed for light setup, and in return, she explained to me how everything works. I complemented this with tutorials on YouTube, Skillshare, and other channels that offer this kind of content. So, I would advise everyone to be like a little tag-along with someone who knows how to work, or if you don’t have the opportunity for that, explore the internet. Besides, flash is powerful light, and the school rules of lighting setup must be learned before diving into the creative part of flash photography, otherwise your photos will turn out poorly, and you won’t be satisfied. But who knows, maybe in a year, I’ll even host a workshop on this topic 😉

Stella Mešić Profoto Interview

Can you share with us what a “behind the scenes” of a shooting at Sun Room Studio looks like?

As usual in Slavonia, it’s always cheerful and relaxed here, especially because before the shoot itself, we all prepare well. If the session idea is mine, it’s up to me to create clear and coherent mood boards that go to the whole team, so that everyone is “on the same page.” On the day of the shoot, we always need to have food, water, and coffee above all, and enough time to prepare the model so that everyone can successfully do their part. While the model is getting hair and makeup done, I set up the backgrounds and lights, depending on what we want to achieve.

Stella Mešić Profoto Interview

For this shoot, the theme was the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha”, which both I and the colleague who was the model love very much. The idea for everything had been brewing in our heads for months. For the makeup, I wanted to evoke the feeling of a Geisha, but not too traditional, rather modernized and airy with strong red details. I immediately knew that I wanted one light that would give drama and shape the face in a painterly way. I am a big fan of Caravaggio, and I think his use of light permeates through all my works, including these. My favorite part of the whole shoot is the moment when I take the first photograph and see how the light looks on the model. In the beginning of working with flash lighting, I had to move the light several times to get what I envisioned, but now it’s much easier, and mostly I just have to change the intensity. I show the first photo I’m satisfied with to the team, everyone approves, and I shoot until I have at least 10 photos of one outfit that I’m happy with. Then comes the outfit change, makeup and hair touch-ups, a sip of coffee, and so on until the last set of outfits is shot.

Stella Mešić Profoto Interview

What equipment did you use, and what was the setup?

As I mentioned before, I used only one light, the Profoto B1X 500 AirTTL to which I attached the OCF Softbox 3’Octa. I love working with a softbox for portraits because it provides beautifully diffused light that doesn’t fall too much on the background but creates perfect depth. I imagined the photos to look like paintings, so one light was ideal for me because set up that way it gives the impression as if the light is filtering through a window or half-opened door. For most of the photos, the model was on the floor, so I positioned the light at a 45° angle from her right side, pulled out the entire middle rod, and tilted the head of the lighting body downwards to avoid shadows under the eyes while still getting strong shadows that emphasize the cheekbones and jawline. In some photos, I was positioned directly opposite the model, but the ones I like the most, I shot from a gentle backlight. I achieved this by moving 45° away from the model towards her left side, so the lighting body and I were almost diagonal. As outfits change, so does the intensity of the light because each color reflects light differently. The whole process was immensely facilitated by the Profoto Connect Pro because I could adjust small differences in lighting right on the device attached to the camera’s hot shoe.

Stella Mešić Profoto Interview

Model: Mia Panić
MUA: Terezija Markovinović
Hair: Ines Barić
Photography & editing: Stella Mešić

Profoto Newsletter

Subscribe to the newsletter and recieve inspiring Profoto Stories, news about interesting new products and notifications about product updates.