Hey! My name is Raph Nogal (yes, Raph, like the Ninja Turtle). I’m a wedding photographer based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
My goal is to create art that is impactful, meaningful, and unique to each couple I work with. Part of what helps me accomplish this is off-camera flash – it’s sort of my obsession!
I also like to incorporate various styles of photography to tell stories, like photojournalism, editorial and commercial, and I’m heavily influenced by fine art and graphic design which I try to incorporate into my photography.
As much as I love the creative process, my goal is also to deliver something raw and personal for my clients. I have to stay on my toes, predict the next moment, and be in the right place at the right time.
This comes with experience, and after 10 years I can confidently say that I know exactly how to bring a shoot to the next level. I accomplish this with some of the amazing gear I use.
My workhorse cameras are the Sony A7IIIs. For weddings, I bring two bodies but use one for the majority of the day. Often, my assistant, when not holding lights, will grab the other camera and shoot with it as well.
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 – Workhorse telezoom with a great reach, tack sharp rendering and awesome bokeh at 200mm. Shots of my subjects moving/walking are all shot with this lens.
Sony 12-24mm f/4 – Specialty super-wide zoom lens. Used sparingly for portraits due to crazy distortion, but amazing on the dance floor when you get up close and personal as well as for environmental portraits that incorporate a lot of architecture.
Sigma 35mm f/ 1.4 – My favourite prime lens. Versatile and works well with my composition style when it comes to unconventional angles and perspectives.
Sony 55mm f/1.8 – Awesome prime lens. When 35mm just isn’t enough reach, I reach for this lens!
Sigma 135mm f/1.8 – Speciality portrait telephoto lens. I use this one sparingly due to the large focal length but love this lens at 1.8 – creamy!
Profoto B10 – Amazing little unit. 250ws of power in a small, light, and portable solution. I often use this as a secondary light or kicker light at wedding receptions to help me separate subjects from the background.
Profoto B10 Plus – My go-to light! 500ws, smaller and lighter than my previous go-to (B1x). My favourite Profoto light to date!
Profoto A1X – My on-off-camera flash solution. Part of the Profoto lighting ecosystem, so all my lights work and talk to each other – including the A1X when it’s sitting on my camera.
Profoto C1Plus – Newest addition to my camera bag. So small and handy in tight spaces and in dark scenes. I place this little thing just about anywhere.
Grids – My favourite modifier of all time! I love having the ability to restrict light. By using both Profoto OCF Grids and MagMod stackable magnetic grids, I’m able to focus that light beam just how I want it no matter what strobe/flash I’m using.
Profoto OCF Magnum – When I need hard light, this is the modifier of choice! Not only does it have the ability to zoom on top of a B10/Plus, it also amplifies the power of my flash!
MagMod 24” Octa MagBox – Love this modifier and use it at every wedding. I especially enjoy the focus diffuser! It’s like a grid for an octabox, but doesn’t eat away at the power of the flash!
Umbrellas – I use these only during formal family photos. The Profoto Umbrella Shallow White M is one of my favourites as it gives me very even coverage for groups of people.
Profoto Air TTL – Most reliable trigger on the planet. It does what it’s supposed to time and time again. Triggers all my lights (A1X, B10/Plus, C1 Plus).
Spider Camera Holster – No more straps for me. After 16-hour days, my back is so much happier that I have the Spider Holster! The weight is on the hips and no restriction of lifting the camera up in the middle of the dance floor (unlike with some strap systems).
I am always working to improve and grow as the industry is ever-changing! Even after 10 years, I am always seeking out conferences, learning groups, and mentorship opportunities to expand my knowledge and to share my own experiences with other photographers. We never stop learning!
As an educator and proud ambassador for various photo industry companies, I love empowering others and sharing my experiences. I run an off-camera flash workshop called “Afraid of the Light Workshop” which challenges “natural light” photographers to step out of their comfort zone and embrace off-camera lighting.
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