About Damien Lovegrove

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.

 

Damien Lovegrove

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…

  1. Youth – Vibrant, beautiful, effervescent, alive and broad-minded people excite me.
  2. Music – Rhythmic, mood enhancing and well structured music provides the sound track to my life.
  3. Sunlight – Sunlight uplifts me, it creates visual contrast and generates fabulous patterns of light.
  4. Food – Slow roasted lamb shanks with Dauphinoise potatoes and I suppose chocolate are my favourite foods.
  5. Drinks – Fine old world wines, beer and cappuccino are three of my life excesses.
  6. Connectivity – smart phones, and devices keep me connected via Twitter, my blog Prophotonut and Facebook.

Lovegrove Consulting

Lovegrove Consulting 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

23 thoughts on “About Damien Lovegrove

  1. Hi Damien,
    I’m writing you cause I have just looked at the video about Craco. I like too much it. I’m living near there, just a few kilometres far. I’m from Pisticci, about 10 kilometres from craco. I would be very grateful if you have a look to my music composition to the following link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TagEUWwDMaw
    My music has the intent to throw the listener into a size three-dimensional air, inviting him to ride the air of notes made​​.
    In my mind I think that like in your video about Craco a kite is flying above your calanchi landsscape, above Craco, abve my land. The air is my element and I feel it too much
    The guitar creates the setting for air while the flute is the flight of a kite loses control in some parts (color scale) and then find the balance. I think that it is perfect for your video because it’s just the same view, your in image form and mine in music form.
    If you have same ideas for other works please it will be great to collaborate with you musically.
    Thanks Damien
    Hugs from south Italy

    Music by Giuseppe D’AVENIA
    flute: Raffaele Bifulco
    acoustic guitar: Giuseppe D’AVENIA
    concert on August 12, 2011
    Lucania Film Festival – Pisticci – MT – ITALY

  2. Hi Barry,

    It’s not a replacement for the Lowel iD light. You can’t replace tungsten in dimly lit interiors.

    Cheers, Damien.

  3. Thanks Giuseppe,

    You are so blessed with a wonderful place to live. I’ll be back and yes we can collaborate.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  4. Thanks Damien
    you’re welcome. Update me please
    Keep in touch
    Giuseppe

  5. Damien, please may I reproduce two of your typewriter-related photos – the ones with the Walther PPK – on my blog? I am sure other typewriter bloggers would love to see them – of course I’d give full credit to you and include a link to the original source in each case. I’m trying to hunt down a Walther AE 33 typewriter to justify a Walther-related blog post. The historical link between gun and typewriter manufacture is well known in the case of Remington, Smith & Wesson, Walther, etc. It would be great if I could use these images to illustrate that link. Best regards either way. Cheers, Steve

  6. Hello Damien,

    This is Annabel from Business Development of ArcSoft, a world leading imaging software provider. We found your excellent photography site http://www.prophotonut.com/ through Google Searching. We’re writing to check if there’s any opportunity that we can expect a review on our flagship product Portrait+ from you.

    Portrait+ is a portrait retouching application for commercial portrait/wedding photographers, photo labs, and photo studios etc. Its batch processing feature and advanced multi-face detection technology helps greatly improve the efficiency of post processing and save much time for professional photographers during busy seasons. Please find the main features below,

     Brand New and User-friendly! Retouch portraits smartly with the most real face remained. Spares you much time.
     Face Recognition – Smart and Speedy! Auto detect every face in all imported photos. Get rid of fussy manual selection.
     Processing Workflow – Flexible yet Simple! Smooth skin, eliminate deep scars, pimples, scratches, add makeups, super easily.
     Output Result – Natural and Stunning! Try out organic natural-looking, fancy party-looking or exquisite covergirl. Always look best.

    If you’re interested and would like us to send you a free copy to test.

    It would be our greatest pleasure to hear your interest in reviewing Portrait+ and introducing it to more photographers in public. Thank you for your most favorable attention. We look forward to your feedback.

    Have a nice day!

    Best regards,
    ————————-
    Annabel | BD Officer
    [email protected]
    ArcSoft, Inc.

  7. Hi Annabel,

    We have a real problem in our industry that needs addressing right now. The retouching of images to imply perfect skin or bodies is causing massive social issues among young people.

    Retouched images are bland. The best portraits taken are real, not faked. An Individual’s blemishes, marks and asymmetry are what makes them unique and beautiful. I don’t use Photoshop on my images. Instead, I just whizz them through Lightroom doing the minimum of dodging and burning to adjust the tonality as required.

    I’d love to see a ban on retouched images starting with women’s magazines. We’d be shocked at first but then we’d grow to love lines, character and real body shapes. There is beauty in all of us and it’s about time the photographic industry did away with fakery.

    So perhaps I’m not the best candidate for your product test.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  8. Wow Damien,

    Your reply to the Arcsoft enquiry was one of the most life affirming statements I have ever read. I am not exaggerating! I was a film photographer back in the day who changed careers partly due to being jaded by the fashion “industry”. After a long hiatus I am venturing into digital photography. I had seen your website a year ago but I have now discovered that you are enjoying the Fuji system. I just purchased the XT-1 as well and I am very excited to see someone of your caliber making stunning images with this mirrorless gear! Anyway, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate and support your position about retouching. I hope to meet you one day and perhaps take a class with you! All the best!
    Marshall

  9. Hi Damien,
    Your help would be appreciated with the following scenario.
    I have a US 4 square flash bracket which is currently holding 4 Nikon SB600 flash guns.
    Each gun is mounted on a flash hot shoe and the four pc connecters are connected by a four way cable terminating in a single pc connector. Thus they can all be fired by a single Pocket Wizard unit resulting in a high flash output or a fast recycling unit.
    I would like to purchase the Cactus V6 triggers you have in your shop with the intention of being able to fire all the flashes together to provide a fast recycling unit and to be able to adjust the power of all four guns with one control on the cameras Cactus unit.
    Can I connect my cable to the pc socket on a single Cactus and fire all 4 flashes, or do I need to purchase a Cactus trigger for each flash gun and dispense with the hot shoe adaptors and my 4 to 1 connecting cable

    Hope this makes sense and is not confusing.

    Regards
    Michael
    .

  10. Wow, thank you Marshall,

    Your kind words and support really matter to me. I do hope we get to shoot together one day soon. Thank you for taking the time to write your response.

    Kindest regards,

    Damien.

  11. Hi Damien,

    You are most welcomed! You really did hit it on the head in your reply. You were respectful but firm in your convictions (which I support). After many years in the fashion photography world, I just didn’t “get it” anymore and so I stopped. I am not passing judgement on anyone. I just did not want to participate.

    I am now a Chinese Medicine practitioner (acupuncturist) and I am very tuned into health (both physical and mental) and so I see the effects and pressure that our culture inflicts, especially on women. As I return to my photography for joy, I will keep your words in the back of my mind and in my vision, knowing that there is someone like yourself who feels the same way. Deep down, I believe there are many photographers who feel trapped in the world of perfection and perhaps we can all band together and start a quiet movement! Once again I pass no judgement on those who love the retouching process but the world is big enough for all of us!

    Thank you!

    Marshall

  12. Hi Marshall,

    I hope it’s a matter of time until the world wakes up and sees just how ridiculous the vast majority of fashion and beauty images from 1998 – 2015 really are. There is no longevity in these over retouched images because they have no integrity. Maybe you and I can start a quiet revolution :)

    Respect,

    Damien.

  13. Hi Michael,

    The Cactus will not give you the control unless you buy 5 units and I don’t recommend that as your rig will have 24 AA batteries to manage and be a complete faff to rig etc. Stick with PW if you keep the Speedlight rig or better still get a one head Elinchrom Quadra kit. Twice the power of all 4 Speedlights together and with full control from the small Skyport trigger on camera. Comes with a brolly attachment built in and is very portable. Gives 250+ flashes at full power and has fast recyling etc. Just one battery to manage too. http://www.lovegroveconsulting.com/shop_by_brand/elinchrom/elinchrom_ranger_quadra_kits.aspx

    I hope this helps.

    Damien.

  14. Hi Damien,

    I am hoping you have a few moments to offer some valued advice re the Fuji XT-1.
    I want to shoot some lifestyle model shots with the fuji and its 56mm lens. They will be mostly head and shoulders with the model moving her head side to side, back to front and laughing. I usually use a Nikon D4S with its new group area focus and shoot and spray at the maximum frames per second in order to get some images really sharp around the eyes.
    How would you tackle this scenario to get sharp images with the Fuji XT or is it simply not the camera to use for this job?

    Many thanks for a very informative website and blog,

    Michael
    Sevilla
    Espana.

  15. Hi Michael, I would ask your model to fix her feet on the floor, you do the same. You will both naturally find your centre of gravity. Switch the camera to manual focus and pre focus the camera using the afl button with her looking at you and don’t touch the focus ring. Then with the camera on CH just shoot the action. It should be spot on :)

  16. Hi Damien,
    Thanks for taking the time to respond, I do appreciate your advice.
    I must confess to being a little confused, using a 56mm at wide apertures the dof is very limited.
    As the model moves her head back or forwards from the prefocussed point, surely the eyes will be out of sharp focus?

    I do wish Fuji would implement Nikons AF-On feature accurately allowing me to focus continuously by holding in the AFL button and depress the shutter without it locking/effecting the focus.

    Regards
    Michael

  17. Hi Michael, The DOF is limited but side to side movement will be fine. No AF system can track an eye in such a situation. Hair will be flying around and the best you can do is park the focus in the right place then trigger the action. If you want a shot of the model with her head back laughing you ask her to put her head where it will end up, focus and then shoot the action. The focus point might well be her mouth especially if her eyes are closed. Here is a video of me doing just this kind of thing. The action bit is at the end: https://vimeo.com/114138189 Kind regards, Damien.

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