Holly Smith ~ test shoot

01. Silky tones harmonise with wonderful curves in this shot of Holly Smith wearing a bespoke corset made by Lisa Keating. Taken with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens on my Canon 5D mk2 camera.

I am in the process of fine tuning my studio lighting for shooting lingerie, boudoir and fashion collections. It’s all about the greys in this shoot. 50 shades of grey is just not enough for me ;) The way I get fine control with light is to practice, study and practice some more. I crave consistency and this needs to be worked at.

02. I shot a high key option for this semi sheer white corset and Lisa added a neck corset to complete Holly's look. It is worth noting that the fit of corsets by Lisa Keating is spot on with no unsightly gaps at the hem or around the top.

Holly Smith responded to my tweet for willing volunteers to model for me. Holly teaches my daughter to dance and works in my local pub too so it’s no surprise that we collaborated. I’ve photographed Holly before a couple of times and she is a fabulous girl to work with.

03. I wanted to shoot a mid tone set too. This fabulous bra could almost be outer wear. Holly's skin has a healthy sheen with this technique of post processing in Lightroom. However Lightroom is not the ideal tool to remove the corset marks you can just see on Holly's tum. Before I release an image to a commercial client a full retouch in Photoshop is undertaken.

Lisa Keating is a wonderful fashion designer and seamstress who makes bespoke corsets, bridal wear and evening dresses. We have collaborated on a few occasions now and our creative teamwork is rewarding us with some fine imagery. Our journey so far has been fun filled and life enriching.

04. Lurking in the low key zones is easy in a grey studio with careful subtlety in the lighting balance.

This shoot had technical element too as I needed to further test my Fujifilm X series zoom lens wide open and to test a Sigma 50mm f/1.4 at f/16 on my Canon 5D2. I’m not entirely happy with my Canon version of this lens at f/16 so I wanted to check out the Sigma. Shots 1-5 were taken at ISO 100 on my Canon 5D mk2 with the Sigma 50mm at f/16 and the rest were taken on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 at ISO 800 using the 18mm-55mm zoom lens wide open.

05. I gave Vicky the go ahead for smokey eyes and a strong look and Holly responded really well. Vicki got it just right as always as Holly looks fabulous in this set of pictures.

06. This shot and the ones below were taken on the Fujifil X-Pro1 at ISO 800 using the zoom lens wide open. The lighting is different too. I lit Holly in this frame with a Lupolux Quadlight 1500 as a key light and a Lupolux DayLED 650 spotlight as a back light. Take a look at the skin sheen and contrast in this shot (please bear in mind these are unretouched) with the flatter look from the softbox and f/16 combination in shot 05 above.

07. Corset number 2 custom made by Lisa to Holly's measurements is just as striking as the first one in this set.

08. Holly is really coming into her own as a model and her background in dance and performance is ever present in the studio. I tweaked the lighting a nats to provide a strong rim from the right to add to the hair light on the left.

09. Another black veil shot of mine. I'm working on the veil theme at the moment so we snuck in a few shots between corset moments. Detail shots like this accessorise collections and enrich websites.

10. An impromptu hat was created by Lisa and Vicki to dress up this stunning waspie corset. The background was lit with a Lupolux 800 spotlight and home made gobo. It is my favourite spotlight in the Lupolux range.

Makeup and hair was by the ever wonderful Vicki Waghorn. Vicki is with me throughout the shoots to tend to my customer or models needs. This is especially important in boudoir or nude shoots. My thanks also go to Jo from joandco.co for assisting us throughout the shoot. These pictures were taken in a very relaxed, fun, four hour session with a break for lunch. Lisa is available for corset or evening wear commisions and she can be contacted by email or phone at her studio on 01934 830042

Now I am ready to offer a complete commercial studio fashion and beauty photography service in 2013. I am already shooting studio boudoir and art nude private commissions, however these are never blogged. Please contact Laura to enquire about prices, our service and to see more examples of my work on any particular genre. I have a strong team supporting me at the studio and together we can source just about anything to make your shoot amazing.

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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.”

8 thoughts on “Holly Smith ~ test shoot

  1. Really nice series! I love the dramatic light and shadows which provides more depth to the images. Nice to see the first result of the Sigma F1.4. Hope the some more of this lens, like photo’s with the aperture wide open and in full color ;-) Thanks for sharing!

    Maarten

  2. Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the compliments. I use the lighting balance to set the contrast and I shoot with my camera set to B&W so it’s easier for me to see the tones. I then use the button labelled ‘black and white’ in Lightroom to make the colour raw files black and white. I don’t use any plug ins or presets, I just a few of the sliders and Lightroom tools. I hope this helps.

    Damien.

  3. Hi Tim,

    Thanks, I used the Lupolux LED 1000 as my key light for shot 10. Lensed lights give a crisper, more refined look than those that use reflectors.

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

  4. Hi Marten, I’ve got colour images from the Sigma 35mm used at f/1.4 cued up to blog. They will go online this week. The lens is a winner and super sharp from wide open. The colour in my pictures is fairly irrelevant because it is from artificial light. The colour captured by the lens will be fine as we all tweak WB anyway. The deal breaker for me at 35mm is sharpness and corner control. I’m less interested in bokeh with wide lenses. Although I shot for 12 hours wide open at f/1.4 with the 35mm this week I tend to shoot portraits at f/2.8. I prefer the look of f/2.8 it just seems more natural. I’ll blog soon, I promise.

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

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