Cherish The Dress in Somerset ~ Part 1

Jun 25, 2010 | Location | 14 comments

Wow, what a workshop! Chris and I teamed up in the sunshine to take 10 delegates on a creative journey at Maunsel House in Somerset. Here is a selection of my pictures together with details of the techniques I’ve used to make them. Enjoy!

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1. A simple natural light shot of Chloe-Jasmine taken at f/2.8 on my 100mm lens. There is a French feel to this scene that I love. There are more shots from this field later in the set including a couple of flashed frames.

2. The first shot of the day was a shocker. I had Chloe up on a dining table being very careful of course. I lit Chloe with a pair of Arris. A 300w key and a 150w backlight.

2. The first shot of the day was a shocker. I soon had Chloe-Jasmine up on a dining table being very careful of course. I lit her with a pair of Arris. A 300w key and a 150w backlight.

3. I love

3. I love this alternative angle for the set up above. The green, blue and gold in the shot is sublime. All the shots in this room were taken at ISO 800 1/60th at f/4

4. I just couldn't stop shooting. We split the delegates into two groups

4. Radiant beauty.

I just couldn’t stop shooting. We split the delegates into two groups. Chris was shooting Franchesco and Sarah with group 1 while I shot Chloe-Jasmine with group 2 and we then swapped over to ensure each delegate got to shoot each set up.

5. This tighter composition still shows the

5. This tighter composition still shows the fact that Chloe-Jasmine is on the table in the mirror reflection.

Back down to earth and a Lovegrove slash of light from my Arri 300 sets off Chloe

6. Back down to earth and a Lovegrove slash of light from an Arri 300 and a touch of my 150 sets off Chloe-Jasmine.

Chloe-Jasmine is never short of ideas for poses. Chloe and I are teaming up for several more workshops this summer.

7. Chloe-Jasmine is never short of ideas for poses. We are teaming up again for several more workshops this summer.

If you want to know more about the Arri 300 and 150 lights I’ve made a short video here showing what they are and how they work.

I used my vintage action to accentuate the greens and blues in this shot.

8. I used my vintage action to accentuate the greens and blues in this shot.

9. The depth of rapport and partnership is evident in Chloe-Jasmines eyes.

9. The depth of rapport and partnership we have developed is evident in Chloe-Jasmines eyes.

The painting behind Chloe depicts poverty and simple life far removed from the sumptuous surroundings.

10. The painting behind Chloe depicts poverty and a simple life in stark contrast to it's opulent and sumptuous surroundings.

A pair of Arris make wonderful light when used with precision.

11. A pair of Arris make wonderful light when used with care.

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12. 'True colours' with a white balance setting of 3400k

I rarely use out of focus foregrounds because I don't find them attractive but I made an exception for these flowers.

13. I rarely use out of focus foregrounds because I don't find them attractive but I happen to like these flowers.

14. A warm vivid close up of a cool Chloe-Jasmine

14. A warm vivid post production treatment was used for this close up of a cool Chloe-Jasmine. I always encourage my delegates to seek out alternative shooting angles. It's really easy to get a lot of wonderful shots when using continuous light.

Session two and I was up in the attic with Sarah and Fran.

15. Session two, and I was up in the attic with Sarah and Fran. I lit this frame with a splash of Speedlight off camera.

16. I used a Lastolite Scrim Jim over the window out of shot to the right to soften the light on Sarah

16. I used a Lastolite Scrim Jim over the window out of shot to the right to soften the light on Sarah while the background was lit with a Speedlight.

Fran looks fantastic in this tiny room. It's a perfect room to shoot an Alice in Wonderland scene.

17. Fran looks fantastic in this tiny room. It's a perfect room to shoot an Alice in Wonderland scene.

18. Five stops over and Sarah is looking hot.

18. Five stops over and Sarah is looking hot.

Exposed so far the shot screams and then pulled back just a bit gives me this delicate look.

19. Exposed so far the shot screams, I then pulled back just a bit to give me this delicate look.

20. This angelic wide shot used the same exposure as the close ups above.

20. This angelic wide shot used the same exposure as the close ups above. The background is my Scrim Jim.

21. After lunch I was teaching in the link between the dining room and the ballroom.

21. After lunch I was teaching in the link between the dining room and the ballroom. I once again used a pair of Arri lights. This time, the kick light was the 300w and the key was the baby 150w unit.

Sarah has this elegant beauty that is so wonderful to capture in the close up.

22. Sarah has an elegant beauty that is so wonderful to capture in a close up. A hint of Fran in the shot motivates the lack of eye contact in Sarah.

25. This is one of my favourite kinds of look. Away and down in a calm nature.

25. This is one of my favourite kinds of look. Away and down in a calm manner.

I ran my vintage action over a few mono images and I kind of like the result.

26. I ran my vintage action over a few mono images and I kind of like the result.

The narrative plays out so well in this shot. Every nuance is directed.

27. The narrative plays out so well in this shot. Every nuance is directed.

I taught how to shoot a double page spread in an album from one spot with one lighting set up. Why shoot one frame when you can shoot six.

28. I taught how to shoot two double page spreads in an album from one spot with one lighting set up. Why shoot one frame when you can shoot twelve?

27. Vikki Waghorn created the looks with wonderful makeup and Sarah's eyes just

27. Vikki Waghorn created the looks with wonderful makeup and Sarah's eyes just filled my frame.

I was sitting on the floor to capture this frame.

28. I was kneeling on the floor to capture this frame.

The classic vintage look that only a Fresnel lensed light can produce.

29. The classic vintage look that only a Fresnel lensed light can produce.

31. Straight out of a Hollywood Epic.

31. Straight out of a Hollywood Epic.

Pure black and white has a timeless feel.

32. Pure black and white has a timeless feel.

Next we shot a couple of frames in the porch. I directed some distance between Sarah and Fran and used a glased door to provide a reflection.

33. Next we shot a couple of frames in the porch. I directed some distance between Sarah and Fran and used a glased door to provide a reflection.

Passion has a place in a Cherish The Dress shoot too. I love to intersperse wide shots with a flurry of close ups when creating album layouts.

34. Passion has a place in a Cherish The Dress shoot too. I love to intersperse wide shots with a flurry of close ups. This mix produces better album layouts.

The last session of the day was shoot outside. Normally a Cherish is shot inside but we decided to exploit the burning sun as it lured us out into the open.

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35. Heavy post production gives this shot a distinctive look that would suit a large canvas.

Chloe-Jasmine went skipping through the grass under careful direction.

36. Chloe-Jasmine went skipping through the grass under careful direction.

A splash of Speedlight transformed this shot. We triggered the Speedlight with the infra red systems from Canon and Nikon.

37. A splash of Speedlight transformed this shot. We triggered the Speedlights with the infra red systems from Canon and Nikon with equal success.

There's nothing quite like introducing a prop to a scene.

38. Tip: A vertical frame is easier to sell big if you are a portrait shooter. There are more places in houses to fit vertical pictures.

One of my favourite shots of the day was this frame taken by a dog rose in the grounds of Maunsel House. Chloe was scattering confetti in gay abandon.

39. One of my favourite shots of the day is this frame taken adjacent to a dog rose in the grounds of Maunsel House. Chloe-Jasmine was scattering confetti in gay abandon.

I went in close once again and was not left disappointed.

40. I went in close once again and was not left disappointed.

Another classic Lovegrove shot is in the tree canopy. Shot from below to add impact to the frame.

41. Another classic Lovegrove shot is in a tree canopy. I shot from below to add interest to the frame.

Here's a fun shot to end my set with.

42. Here's a fun shot to end my set with. I'll blog Chris's set next.

I will be running another workshop with the fabulous Chloe-Jasmine at Maunsel House in  just 3 weeks time. That workshop title is Fashion Fusion and will cover shooting interior fashion shots using continuous light from tungsten spotlights and mixing it with window light. The clothes are being supplied by Fairygothmother and makeup by the wonderful Vicki Waghorn. Places are strictly limited so book early to avoid disappointment. More information is here.

Chris and I will be shooting our next Vintage Cherish The Dress workshop at a steam railway centre in Bury with Chloe-Jasmine again on August 17th. Details are here.

Please feel free to comment on the pictures or the techniques I’ve used.

14 Comments

  1. Murray Clarke

    Excellent work as always, the quality of your portraiture work is some of the best I’ve seen. I’ve just ordered your book on wedding photography – cheers!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you Murray,

      My wedding photography book is some years old now but the information is mostly still valid. You must understand that the style of Lovegrove wedding images is clean and uncomplicated. They are not aimed at impressing other photographers or winning awards but are more at home in a classic Jorgensen album on a Steinway or an occasional table in a London waterfront penthouse apartment. Understated elegance rather than flashy and dramatic is what we shot for 10 years. My portraiture marks a dramatic departure from a fixed simple style.

      Enjoy,

      Damien Lovegrove

      Reply
  2. Rik Pennington

    Beautiful set of portraits, shot in bright sunlight. Great work as ever!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Rik.

      Reply
  3. damien

    I’ll be shooting Chloe at Maunsel in a couple of weeks on a very special workshop for just 5 photographers and myself. We’ll be using continuous light to create fine art beauty portraits. The emphasis will be on three dimensional light, in a two dimensional photograph. We will work with Chloe to create looks that go deeper than I’ve achieved so far in my work. These are exciting times and I feel as though I’m on a roll, guided by a rare intuition.

    I’d love you to join me. I’ll be sharing all the secrets of my lighting strategies without the ‘noise’ of flash technology clouding the image.

    The workshop title is fashion fusion Sorry Just Sold Out. Keep an eye on the Lovegrove website for a 3 day event at Maunsel with guest photographers Jo De-Banzie, Tamara Peel and myself. It will feature Chloe once more and a lot more besides.

    Damien.

    Reply
  4. damien

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments. Cheers, Damien.

    Reply
  5. Gwyn Cole

    This was an amazing workshop to be on! It was fun, discovered Arri lights, gained new ideas on so many levels and learn’t loads. And it was also a pleasure to meet the other delegates on the workshop too!

    Reply
  6. Ian Hamilton

    Excellent, and it was a great day – many thanks!

    Reply
  7. Darren Bell

    Utterly stunning. Inspirational as ever.

    Reply
  8. Graeme W

    A brilliant set… not one I don’t like!

    Reply
  9. Jonathon Watkins

    @Michaelbs I like the occasional styled shot. It can be icing on the cake and add interest. Damian’s shots *ARE* very good by themselves anyway it’s true, but variety is the spice of life. ;-)

    @Phil Personally I just love the Canon 16-35 f/2.8 II. It exactly suits the way I see the world and lets me create some really great images: http://www.gallery.photoglow.co.uk/wedding_portfolio/

    In the end it’s about how *you* see the world. The 100mm macro is a great lens. Personally, I see (and want to show) a much wider view. :-)

    @Damian. Thanks for sharing your vision and passion for images again. The course was really fun & informative and I’ve come away with a lot of great ideas of how to really add the polish to images that you taught. :-)

    Reply
  10. Phil Cunliffe

    Hello Damien,
    A brilliant day ! Packed with diverse inspiration… (and a crazy model). The follow up day with Marko was well worth doing, getting great results from the shoot. Your post here also provides a very useful reference with ideas on composition & processing.

    Developing my Wedding photography, I’m a little at odds as to whether my Canon 16-35mm lens was a wise spend earlier this week, considering I could have the 100mm macro (good reports) plus some continuous Arri lighting for the same price! For general weddings, do you think that my 24-105 is sufficiently wide? or would the 16mm capability be ultimately adding value. Being the Mk II has the motivation for selling yours been addressed ? My other lens, the 70-200 is fabulous. (it’s not too late to send this lens back…)

    Many Thanks,
    Phil

    Reply
  11. damien

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for your compliments. I hear you. I agree with you on the ‘look’ front. I’m sort of experimenting at the moment. I had all the pictures edited without any ‘looks’ or actions and then ran the set through a series of actions to see what resulted. I then chose one look for each shortlisted shot to blog.

    The un affected images would certainly look best in print, that’s for sure.

    Kindest regards, Damien.

    Reply
  12. Michaelbs

    You are such a briliant photographer you don’t need the action heavy look. To me it’s the wrong path for a classic master like you. Sorry.

    Reply

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