1 Model: Chloe Jasmine Whichello
1 Location: Maunsel House and grounds in Somerset
1 Hair and Makeup artist: Vicki Waghorn
1 Camera: Canon 5D Mk2
4 Lenses: Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS, 50mm f/1.2L, 35mm f/1.4L, Zeiss 21mm f/2.8
The Workshop: The ‘Heart of portraiture 2010’ from Lovegrove Consulting
60 pictures by Damien Lovegrove
16. One of 65 frames that make up the monochrome collection from this shoot. 100mm lens.
My trip into the realms of shooting art based editorial fashion portraiture is well under way. This latest set of pictures of Chloe Jasmine is the near culmination of a journey that has taken just four months. I first met and made pictures of Chloe on the 6th May 2010 and by the end of that shoot I knew that we had a chemistry to build upon. A shared passion for wonderful imagery. The river of creativity was flowing and I had no idea where it would take us. We have been to Bristol, and Manchester to shoot urban. We’ve been into woods, fields of corn, an old house, a quaint cottage, a beach, a vintage railway, bars and cafe’s. I have the photographic skills, vision and drive. Chloe has the looks, ideas and the staying power to see it through. On Wednesday we will have our last shoot together for a book project that we are jointly working on. After that, we will take each shoot as it comes. There will be many more I’m sure, unless we fall out that is. Our system of working is a bit intense to say the least. I’m a tough director to work for, a control freak at times. We both give 100% and are totally exhausted at the end of a shoot. There will be more info on our book project in future posts but for now, sit back and sample the fruits of our labours from the Heart of portraiture workshop.
1. My first shot of the three day workshop. 50mm lens
We ran the syllabus three times over three days for a group of 6 delegates each day. Chloe varied her wardrobe selection and Vicki attended to the hair and make up. As you will see I directed Chloe to mess up her hair at times, so if it looks untidy it’s my fault, not Vicki’s.
2. I use mystery to add another dimension to my pictures. 35mm lens
I take a very hands on approach to shooting portraits. I move furniture and set the scene. I direct Chloe’s expressions and eye line. I choose the camera angle, lighting design and use as much intervention as I can to ensure I get the look. Lighting direction in relation to Chloe’s face is critical with this style of shooting.
3. Shot with the camera held above my head. A bit of random framing adds to the shot. 35mm lens
When we are shooting in a workshop environment, Chloe has the freedom to develop her part, the role we have created. She delivers a sequence of wonderful flowing interlinked looks, gestures and poses that the delegates can capture. Some work extremely well and some less so. It’s this input from Chloe that delivers gold every few minutes or so. I encourage my delegates to explore various camera angle and lens combinations. To direct Chloe 1:1. Such is the nature of Chloe’s personal input, nothing is quite repeatable. That adds to the magic. It brings a sense of timing into the mix. When a moment is gone it’s gone.
4. Contra jour light and a low key exposure are perfect for this shot. 100mm lens
This post contains 65 shots I chose from my 204 keepers. They are all processed in colour using Adobe Lightroom and then converted to monochrome in Photoshop. I set my camera screen to mono for the majority of the shoot so that I could see what I was getting without colour messing up my exposure choices and framing decisions. What you see here is what I envisaged from each shot at the time of taking. There are no layers, textures, glows, diffusion, grain, tints or effects. Just straight, pure, monochrome images.
5. Lit using the light from one window. I don't use reflectors for my interior portraits. 50mm lens.
Lenses: Apart from one frame on the Zeiss 21mm all the rest were taken on the 50mm, 100mm and the 35mm. I must say I found it hard to compose with the 35mm lens although the 50mm felt natural to me. I was sort of expecting things the other way round. Everything was shot at f/2.8 on all my lenses. My shutter speed went down to 1/13th second at times. I used a new Gitzo monopod to steady my camera. (My Manfrotto monopod is finally worn out after ten years of wedding service).
6. Beautifully simple and simply beautiful light was fairly easy to create with the right know how. Exposed in manual mode with the camera indicating more than -2 stops of under exposure. 100mm lens
7. Lit with the light from one window. 100mm lens 1/13th second exposure at f/2.8
8. High key lighting created without intervention or reflectors. 100m lens
9. Mirrors can be a bit of a problem on workshops because it is hard to avoid each others reflection. 100mm lens.
10. The same mirror and light. 100mm lens
11. The light from one distant window and it's reflection make the perfect two point lighting set up. 50mm lens
12. Inspired by french art movies. The vintage mirror was just the ticket. 35mm lens
13. I switched lenses to create this tighter image. 100mm lens
14. In the same light as the shot above. 100mm f/2.8 @ 1/30th second
15. The light from one window with no reflectors. Exposed at two stops below the camera meters suggestion. 100mm lens
17. Here is a sequence of four images shot on the 50mm lens.
18. We all had fun throughout the relentless picture taking process. This shot mirrors my memory of the three days; Wonderful.
19. Chloe looking staggeringly gorgeous again.
20. A perfect light portrait. Created without intervention. Just a monopod, standard lens and camera.
21. Rock and roll with a 50mm lens
22. I love shooting from a low viewpoint and in close. 50mm lens
23. It was another hair mess up moment. 50mm lens
24. Luke processed this shot a little darker to match the look. Chloe's eyes are shielded by her eyelashes and this gives the shot gravity. 50mm lens
25. Lighting was created by a Lupo 800 through a Venetian blind rigged on a stand using a Magic Arm and Super Clamp. 50mm lens
26. A change of pose and angle was made to create a more upbeat shot. 50mm lens
27. A high viewpoint optimistic shot with the fabulous perspective of my 100mm lens
28. Simply lit frames like this rely on a lack of eye contact to create the intrigue. 100mm lens
29. Glamourous high class imagery with one light. Taken with a high viewpoint. 100mm lens
30. I was lying on the floor to capture this shot. Just a hint of Venetian blind is perfect here. 100m lens
31. Gothic overtones and my secret dappled light from an Arri 300 make this frame a winner. 50mm lens
32. Maunsel House is full of props and Chloe took a liking to this little bear. Lit with an Arri 150w light. 100m lens
33. A dappled keylight from a Lupo 800 and a kick light from a Lupo 1200 in the next room. 100mm lens
34. As above but without the kick light. 100mm lens
35. A change of viewpoint puts the keylight upstage and magic happens.100mm lens
36. I love shooting over the shoulder close ups like this one. A reflector would have killed the atmosphere. 100mm lens
37. Being led by classic film styles I decided to set up a flare shot. A Lupo 800 was rigged very high on a Lowel Grand Stand in the next room. 100mm lens
38. After lunch we took some air. Lit with one reflector held high at a distance of ten metres. 50mm lens
39. Lighting as above. 100mm lens
40. This was taken in our make shift northern France location with it's row of Poplar trees. Inspired by a recent Vogue editorial shoot that Chloe emailed to me the week before the shoot. 100mm lens
41. Location as above. 100mm lens
42. I went in tighter for this fun shot. Chloe was really into the French theme.
43. Hoops and the trees make a great geometric study. 100mm lens
44. I showed the group how to use selective light when working in wooded areas. 100mm lens
45. We were on a roll. Chloe was ready for her close up and I got in there with my 100mm lens.
46. Intensity, beauty, honesty and light. 100mm lens
47. This is the kind of shot that makes my knees go weak when I'm shooting. 100mm lens
48. This hay bale was used by Jo De-Banzie for her shooting children workshop in the morning and we purloined it one afternoon. 100mm lens
49. I held my camera above my head and shot with my manual focus 21mm lens wide open at f/2.8 for this outrageously indulgent shot.
50. Shot through some dapple. 100mm
51. Next we went to my cottage in the grounds. Simple light within a clutter free space was perfect for this high key shot. Martin Hill selected the shooting angle for this shot and I directed the pose. 35mm lens
52. A classic Lovegrove shooting style as seen on my Natural Light DVD. Perfect for beauty portraits. 100mm lens
53. A low viewpoint and a bit of attitude made this a dynamic shot. 50mm lens
54. Soft touch, soft tones, and beauty. The next few images are soft light beauty shots. 100mm lens
55. Contre Jour with my 100mm lens
56. The 100mm lens is a no compromise optic. I can get any close up I want at a wonderfully intimate distance.
57. Calm beauty shots like this often look better with closed eyes. It's great to be able to show off the makeup too. 100mm lens
58. I always shoot a moment when they happen. It's a throwback from my time shooting news for the BBC. Every now and then I get lucky. I love the energy in this picture. 100mm lens at f/2.8 and 1/40th second.
59. This set of shots was the result of a creative drift. I had no intention of shooting them, they just happened, we were in the zone. This shot has a raw feel to it. The next one taken the next day is more polished. 100mm lens
60. This shot looks fabulous in colour too. It exhibits a luminosity and radiance of outstanding beauty. My 100mm lens made this shot exciting with its sparkling clarity.
61. Chloe in the Boudoir. Fabulous afternoon light blessed us in this room. 35mm lens
62. These last four shots are intimate high key closeups. 100mm lens
63. Rapport and trust are the foundation that shots like these are built upon. 100mm lens
64. I love the diagonals in this shot. 100mm lens
I was going to post 100% crops of one shot from each lens for pixel peeping purposes but I’ve decided to do that with another shoot. I just want these pictures to stand complete.
65. A simple beauty shot of Chloe selectively using the light from two windows. 100mm lens
So there you have it. A selection of my shots from this extraordinary shoot. Please feel free to comment on the pictures using the comment box below. I’ve numbered the pictures to make it easier to convey your thoughts on them. What works, what doesn’t? Chloe, Vicky and I would love to hear your thoughts.