Prophotonut was started by Damien Lovegrove and Martin Plant at the end of August 2008. Martin sowed the seed of the idea in an email to Damien more than a year earlier, but it took an ‘inspiration trip’ to a bookshop in Singapore for Damien to really grasp the concept of blog publishing. With his blogging book in hand and a 16 hour flight back to the UK the plan was hatched. Two weeks later after much creative work the blog was launched on it’s own domain and opened up to readers.
I grew up with my parents among the orchard and hop farms of rural Kent. My mother is an art teacher and my father was an architect. I’ve always been a visual person having been taught about composition, texture and form in art from an early age. I was 12 when I first experienced the magic of making photographs with a Patterson enlarger in the bathroom. I’ll never forget the pungent aroma of the stop bath chemicals. Two magical moments I am glad to have experienced at an early age are peering at the processed film for the first time as it is removed from the processing tank and watching the image form on the photographic paper in the developer tray.
I’m inspired by beauty and as I have matured as a photographer I’ve learned to see beauty in just about everyone and everywhere. It’s not what I look at that matters to me it is what I see. I am always converting the three dimensional scene in front of me into a two dimensional image in my mind. The exhilarating visual experience I have every moment of the day drives my passion for photography. I love studying the work of other photographers to relive the excitement of their captured moment.
I’m a self motivated guy with quite an entrepreneurial streak in me. It’s been quite a journey from my days at the BBC where I trained and worked as a cameraman and lighting director. 14 years of BBC life taught me nothing about making money but everything about image making that I could ever have dreamed of. The entrepreneurial skills came later in life when I embarked on a lucrative career and teamed up with my wife Julie as wedding photographers. Having a distinct style kept our work at a premium level and we charged high fees accordingly. After 10 years and 400 weddings it was time to move on.
Cutting loose from weddings allowed me to follow my heart and become a portrait and beauty photographer. I suppose I’m quite similar in mind to Helmut Newton, obsessed with detail and excited by beautiful people and places. I love to direct my subjects and take control. To part fund the transition into portraiture I published my first book on wedding photography in 2007 and it went on to sell some 35,000 copies making it an instant best seller in it’s field. Next came my first art book called Chloe Jasmine Whichello. This has gone on to receive wonderful critical acclaim. More information about the book and signed copies at ‘cheaper than Amazon prices’ can be purchased here. It took me until my early 30s to develop a maturity that enabled me to direct my clients and models. Effective communication and the ability to forge instant rapport are skills I learned quite late in life. Helping other photographers achieve their goals has been a big highlight in my recent years. My role in life has become to inspire and educate other photographers through a sharing of knowledge, wisdom and passion.
A few other random facts about me…
I love people and I suppose women in particular. I love their mannerisms, fashion, style and beauty. I love photographing women. I also get a buzz from teaching. My favourite colour is green. It is the signal colour for the start of spring and it reminds me of lying on the ground in apple orchards as a child. I’m an evening person. I come alive as the sun goes down, It’s when I like to party. I feel I have some Latin spirit in me that just wants to party until dawn. I have my roots firmly in the UK yet the climate is not how I like it. I’d like to live 1500km south of here in the Mediterranean region. Travel, photography and adventure are my main motivators right now. I like to have at least three international trips in the diary ahead of me.
Six things that I like…
Youth – Vibrant, beautiful, effervescent, alive and broad-minded people excite me.
Music – Rhythmic, mood enhancing and well structured music provides the sound track to my life.
Sunlight – Sunlight uplifts me, it creates visual contrast and generates fabulous patterns of light.
Food – Slow roasted lamb shanks with Dauphinoise potatoes and I suppose chocolate are my favourite foods.
Drinks – Fine old world wines, beer and cappuccino are three of my life excesses.
Connectivity – smart phones, and devices keep me connected via Twitter, my blog Prophotonut and Facebook.
Lovegrove Shop is a small company with a big profile. A player on the world stage working from a contemporary studio in a converted farm in Somerset UK. Our enthusiastic verve is creatively driven. We love image making and always strive to exceed our own and our customers expectations. The foundation for our team success comes from a continuing education in photography and business. We have never stopped learning and we have this wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on.
“It is no surprise that both fame and success at the very top of their industry have come so quickly to the Lovegroves. They are a winning combination with a recipe for success.”
Professional Photographer magazine
All Prophotonut content is written and produced by Damien Lovegrove