Lovegrove Ballet test shoot ~ Studio pictures

After a period of 5 years of not doing an annual ballet photo promotion in the run up to Christmas I decided this year that I’d make a fresh start and redesign the promotion from scratch. I refitted my studio and did a test shoot with my daughter Francesca. The promo artwork was designed by Luke using these test pictures and 500 fliers were printed last week while I was in Tuscany.

This picture of Francesca was taken with in camera diffusion and a simple studio lighting set up.

This picture of Francesca was taken with in camera diffusion and a simple studio lighting set up.

With a promotion like this you need to ensure absolute accuracy and attention to detail. The position of the feet and hands, body posture and pose are all important as most ballet mums used to do ballet themselves and they can spot a sickle-foot instantly.

A selection of poses will ensure good a good range of pictures for multi frames and canvas clusters.

A selection of poses will ensure good a good range of pictures for multi frames and canvas clusters.

There are simple lighting tweeks between sat and kneeling positions. I shot this frame without back light to asses my options.

There are simple lighting tweeks between sat and kneeling positions. I shot this frame without back light to asses my options.

We have ammassed a collection of tutus and skirts of different sizes and colours for the girls to wear.

We have ammassed a collection of tutus and skirts of different sizes and colours for the girls to wear.

I swapped the key and kick sides for the stood poses so that I could leave the studio flashes pre rigged and just select the heads to use at the power distribution board.

I swapped the key and kick sides for the stood poses so that I could leave the studio flashes pre rigged and just select the heads to use at the power distribution board.

There's nothing quite like throwing a bit of random into the mix. The cube was lit with a Speedlight on half power triggered by a Pocket Wizard.

There's nothing quite like throwing a bit of random into the mix. The acrylic cube was lit with a Speedlight on half power triggered by a Pocket Wizard.

I used a Pocket Wizard Minni TT1 on the camera and I have the Pocket Wizard radio cards in my Bowens Gemini Pro flashes. The flashes are on a Hi-Glide rig and are cabled back to one point for easy switching on and off. The Canon 5D mk2 is ideal for this shoot because of it’s fabulous resolution and clean files at ISO100, f/16.

The colour and tone of the finished prints for my clients will be identical. The ones here show some variation as it was a test shoot and edit.

I will run my promotion in November and then make all the details

available to my Evolve and 1:1 consultation clients. This test and measure process is vital to give them a really good proven business opportunity. My previous experience has shown that beautifully lit and printed ballet pictures sell really well and are treasured for a long time.

Facebook Comments

comments

About Damien

Damien Lovegrove learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. A published writer and regular columnist, Damien has travelled the globe sharing his knowledge and expertise. “Photography fascinates me” declares Damien. "Much of my photography is inspired by a burning enthusiasm within me” explains Damien. “Picking up a camera gives me such a rush that I’m instantly driven to create pictures.”

23 thoughts on “Lovegrove Ballet test shoot ~ Studio pictures

  1. Beautiful lighting, love the posing too :-). Did you use your famous soft focus filter in the first shot?
    See you soon.

  2. Hi guys,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Joseph, it is indeed my ‘Roger Noons’ filter. I’ll be using it for all the shots in my studio ballet sessions. My next posts will feature the Tuscany set that use the filter too ;-) Cheers, Damien.

  3. Damien,

    These are fantastic – I love ballet pictures. What process did you use for colouring and toning the images? Was it all lightroom, or photoshop as well? The acrylic cube in the last shot works a treat as well.

    Cheers, Iain

  4. Fantastic!

    I really like these Damien, great posing from Fran and final touches.

    Oh and as Chianti was pretty darn special I look forward to the Tuscany blog.

  5. Hi Joseph, Roger Noons is a famous UK based photographer who shot on Scotch Chrome 1000 film and used on lens diffusion. I did a workshop with him in 1992 and I bought a square of very thin pink fabric from him and I made my own filter by attaching it to an old 77mm skylight filter. I still have it to this day and it is perfect for shoots like the ballet one above.

    Damien.

  6. Hi Allison, Thanks for the compliments. I know the paintings you mean. Classic subjects like this never go out of date. If I could paint, I would :) Damien.

  7. Thanks Tara, Richard, Will and Iain. The shots were tweaked in Lightroom using split toning etc. The Perspex cube was once a coffee table light fitting;-)

    Damien.

  8. I used and talked about a range of ‘home made’ filters. One was a UV filter coated in hair spray and others consisted of chiffon scarves held tightly over the front of the lens, sometimes with a hole in the centre. They were used with wide apertures, often fully open but gave mucher more diffused results than we see in these beautiful pictures here. The coloured scarves were used mainly with colour film and had an effect that often was not appreciated until viewing the transparencies.

  9. Whoever said I was dead is ill informed. I am very much alive and intend to be so for many years to come. My mother is 93 and still going strong so I expect to be around for a while yet. I did ‘retire’ from photography in 2000, mainly due to the demands of my parents who needed a lot of support. Because I need to be actively creative, I took up drawing but due to the great demands of my mother (not her fault) i had to give that up. I now write and have recently won my first short story competition and had poems published. I AM ALIVE.

  10. Hi Roger, Wow that is the best news I’ve heard in a long time. I asked about you when I gave a talk for the RPS in Bath and that is where I heard this nonesence. The fabric I used for this shoot I bought from you at Backwell Camera Club and was first used at a photoshoot we did together in the garden of a private home in Somerset. It is a pale pink ultrafine fabric. Anyway I’m glad you are fine and well. Best wishes, Damien.

  11. How did the promotion go Damien? As a past (and probably future) consultation client, I’d love to see the details mentioned in the last paragraph.
    See you at Focus.
    Steve

  12. Hi Steve,

    Sorry for the delay in replying. The promotion is ongoing. Unfortunately our timing wasn’t perfect this season as our launch coincided with our ballet teachers holiday. We managed a leaflet hand out but not the personal recommendation. This resulted in about 1/3rd of our ideal customer numbers. but we have run this promotion at least five times in the past so it is tried and tested. The best sale so far this season has been £1400 and all have been over £300. As I have a permanent shooting space I can fit the odd shoot in when ever, so when time next allows I’ll be marketing it once again. Probably in association with the forthcoming Eisteddfods. (I find that the parents of dance competitors are by far the best customers). It’s a promotion that is ongoing and one that is not date stamped. The pictures create the desire and they are timeless.

    I hope this helps,

    Damien.
    PS: See you at Focus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>