Lovegrove Art Portraits 2010 ~ Pictures (Part 1)

Sep 13, 2010 | Location | 49 comments

Ingredients
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

1.

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.

2.

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.

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.

Shot with the camera held above my head. A bit of random framing adds to the shot.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

10. The same mirror and light. 100mm lens

11. The light from one distant window and it's reflection make the perfect 2 point lighting set up.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

19. Chloe looking staggeringly gorgeous again.

20. A perfect light portrait. Created without intervention. Just a monopod, standard lens and camera.

20. A perfect light portrait. Created without intervention. Just a monopod, standard lens and camera.

21. Rock and roll with a 50mm lens

21. Rock and roll with a 50mm lens

22. I love shooting from a low viewpoint and in close. 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

23. It was another hair mess up moment. 50mm lens

24. Luke processed this shot a little darker to match the look. 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.

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

A change of pose and angle was made to create a more upbeat shot. 50mm lens

26. A change of pose and angle was made to create a more upbeat shot. 50mm lens

27. A down the line optimistic shot with the fabulous perspective of my 100mm 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.

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

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.

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 make this frame a winner.

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.

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

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

34. As above but without the kick light. 100mm lens

35. A change of viewpoint puts the keylight upstage and magic happens.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

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

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.

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

39. Lighting as above. 100mm lens

40. 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

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

41. Location as above. 100mm lens

42. I went in tighter for this fun shot. Chloe was really into the French theme.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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 allways 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.

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.

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.

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

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

62. These last four shots are intimate high key closeups. 100mm lens

63. Rapport, trust, and

63. Rapport and trust are the foundation that shots like these are built upon. 100mm lens

64.

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 selectively using the light from two windows.

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.

49 Comments

  1. David Cooke

    There are few words in the english language that could adequately describe these photos, the best I can come up with is Divine, thank you so much for sharing.
    Question – where do you find these beautiful models to work with and in the early days did you work with amaruer or pro models to get a portfolio
    cheers David

    Reply
  2. Johnny B.

    wow wow wow. Nothing to say totally speechless, my friend you have done a fabulous job wid conture jour. Amazing photography; you are amazingly creative n some of da pics are perfect example of film noir. God bless you.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you Johnny, your comment made me smile. Thanks again. D.

      Reply
  3. Colin Bate

    Damien i would just like to say how much i enjoyed the Fine Art Portraits course.I’ve just been admiring your pictures of Chloe,they are beautiful,i love them all,though if you asked me to choose one it would probably be the last one number 65 it’s sublime…i think monochrome gives that romantic, timeless look… just stunning
    Regards
    Colin

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you Colin. You are so kind with your compliments. It was an amazing event, one that will get repeated next year I hope.

      Best regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  4. Colin Bate

    Hi Damien, with your help and guidence i came away from the Fine Art Portrait day with pictures i am very pleased about. I would like to thank Chloe too for her sense of fun as well being a great model.

    Kindest regards

    Colin

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you Colin.

      Reply
  5. steve

    Hi Damien,

    I attended the course Shooting Art Portraits with Continuous Light – during the course you used a reflective sheet to create a “water like” reflection. I was hoping you could tell me where to source it?

    Thanks

    Steve

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Steve,

      It is Lee 271 and comes from any branch of Stage Electrics or Ebay.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  6. Kevin Cull

    Your words helped me take on my first wedding, my first portraits, my first website and total continued inspiration!

    I hope my work will reflect this in the coming months!

    These are truly gorgeous images!

    Thanks again

    Kevin

    Reply
    • damien

      Wow thanks Kevin,

      It’s all very well for me to bang on about getting started in business but it takes effort on your part. Lots of it. I know just how much drive and determination is needed to get momentum and you have achieved this. Give yourself a pat on the back and keep pushing. Remember you can DM me on Twitter if you have any pressing questions.

      Kindest regards and respect,

      Damien.

      Reply
  7. Shirley

    Beautiful shots, Damien.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion. I left the course thinking it was fun and fantastic but wondering what exactly had I gained from it… after doing a few shoots this week, I’ve realised I’d learnt a lot!

    Thank-you! Good wishes,

    Shirley

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Shirley,
      Those skills and the knowledge gained will be with you for life. You were like a breath of fresh air and I enjoyed our time together in the evening too.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  8. David

    Hi Damien

    A superb set of pictures Damien, dont have a favourite as they all ooze style and quality.
    Love monochrome portraiture when shot like this, gorgeous lighting, composition, and clearly great direction and communication between C.J. and yourself.

    Must not forget Hair and Make-up, a brilliant job Vicki!

    C.J. You are a star and it was a privilege to have worked with you earlier in the year alongside Damien and Chris
    in Bury.

    Thanks again

    David

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks David for your compliments to the whole team. This period in my career will not be forgotten that’s for sure.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  9. Paul M

    WOW! This is SO inspiring and beautiful and perfect and and …
    Question. You planned these shots in monochrome, the outfits looked either black or white, what about the MU?
    What do you choose for mono MU?
    Any advice?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Paul,

      The shots work well in Colour too. I just switched the camera screen to monochrome so I could see the tones. When you convert to mono in Lightroom you get sliders to play with. The reds and yellows have the most dramatic effect on how the lipstick and skin is rendered. A good tip is to go one shade of lipstick darker than needed then add more red in the mix at mono conversion. This gives the rest of the skin a smooth complexion.

      I hope this helps.

      Damien.

      Reply
  10. Claire Plumridge

    Hi Damien

    Great images – love them all!!
    I would also just like to say thank you for all your support and help on the ‘Heart’ workshop, the images I got and I’m sure everyone else is in agreement, are fabulous. All the models including the children were great to work with and very professional. It is so inspiring to see ‘masters’ at work – now down to some editing!!!
    Claire

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you Claire,
      Your kind words mean a lot to me.

      Regards, Damien

      Reply
  11. Terrence Bibb

    Damien, thank you for the gift of inspiration. Going monotone and using only natural and constant light correct? Simple and clean. My absolute favorites are 25, 26, 49, 60, and 64. Can’t wait till you make it back to the states.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks again Terrence,

      Yes only natural or constant light. I love it. Do you remember the shots with key and kick natural light under the high line by the Standard hotel. It was just as magical here.

      Happy days!

      Regards, Damien.

      Reply
  12. jean Dawkins

    just great every shot .. 1st class .iam going out with just a 50mm next time thanks for the idea .. all the best . jean

    Reply
    • damien

      Thank you Jean. Get inspired and enjoy the close proximity of shooting portraits with a standard lens. Your shots will exhibit an intimacy previously lost with a telephoto zoom.

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  13. Will Pateman Photography

    Wow! I cant choose a favourite as there are so many fantastic shots to choose..Excellent monochrome

    Reply
  14. Nikki Baxendale

    Damien,these are simply beautiful and it’s been an unbelievable treat to spend 3 days indulging in photographic creativity. I learnt so much and it’s wonderful to see these images amazing job, thanks for sharing
    Nikki

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Nikki,

      It was great to see you again. We had some fun together and that is really important in the creative process. Last time we met, you were my model :) I’d love to bring this circus to upstate New York. A big farmhouse with barns, chickens, a lake, woodlands, brown bears etc etc.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  15. Chloe Jasmine Whichello

    RE: Paul Williams

    Its’ rather handy having a model that doubles up as a stylist-
    Rachel Zoe eat your heart out :)

    Reply
  16. Keith McAvoy

    Fantastic images Damien. Chloe looks amazing !!

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Keith,

      Thanks :) Damien.

      Reply
  17. Phil

    Great work !

    There really is something special about monochrome images.

    Reply
    • damien

      Cheers Phil, Simplicity, that’s what it is. Less is more and all that. Damien.

      Reply
  18. Steve Ashton

    Damien, can I be so bold as to say this is your best work to date. Loved your images and style for many years now but this set is a quantum leap. Please take this as a massive thumbs up for your latest work not a reflection on you past stuff

    These images are soft, alive and above all natural and full of feeling. A winning formula.

    Steve

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you, thank you! You can be as bold as you like sir. I really value your opinion, and what’s more you are right. On Tuesday I tweeted that I’d just done the shoot of my life and I really meant it. I’m feeling liberated at the moment. I need to shoot, shoot, shoot before the magic is gone.

      I’m still tingling inside. cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  19. Paul Williams

    Just when you gave me confidence to shoot a wedding, I’m overawed once again by your skill. Guess I’ll be ordering the book!

    I notice you credit the model and MUA, but what about the styling – where did the outfits and accessories come from – model’s own?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your kind words. Chloe has answered your question re stylist. I must say I’ve never known a model so focussed on getting things right. Chloe is a joy to work with :))

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  20. Radmila Kerl

    MARVELOUS! Congrats on this outstanding set, great job both of you! (I only wish I would have been there :)

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Radmilla,

      Thank you for your continued support and your fabulous comments. My question to you Radmilla is, are we going to bring this workshop to Munich or Venice? What do you think?

      Best wishes, Damien.

      Reply
  21. Ian Marsh

    There are too many fantastic ones to list here but I’ll pick on 43 and 54 as my faves. Wonderful stuff. Your’s is the only ‘must read’ blog I’ve found, Damien.

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Ian and Nitin, Damien.

      Reply
  22. Madame Bink

    I’m so in love with #2 and #17! Great work everyone :) x

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Binky :) xx

      Reply
  23. C-J Whichello

    Rock n Roll- Fabulisciously divine x

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Chloe,

      We did it! All those emails, the discussions, the screams of help, the plethora of pants and the sheer gritty determination to create excellence all payed off. You are a true shining star.

      Damien xx

      Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Benny, Just two words but they really mean a lot. Thanks for your constant support. Damien.

      Reply
  24. Vicki Waghorn

    Oh my gosh!! They are so beautiful!!

    I love them all but 17, 18, 19 & 20 are just fab and 56 & 65 are divine.

    Amazing 3 days, so blessed to be a part of it

    Vicki xx

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Vicki,

      It was our pleasure to have you. The girls really felt like you were their best friend. The trust and respect you earn through your excellent hair and make up is well deserved. It’s great to have you on our team.

      Damien xx

      Reply
  25. Gwyn Cole

    Speechless… These images are wonderfully brilliant Damien! I love them all… If I had to choose a few that I liked more, they would probably be 7, 8, 9, 15, 23 & 59. Chloe, you just look so fabulous in these photographs!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Gwyn,

      I’m still in shock too! I looked at the back of my camera and asked myself “Where did that come from?” I have another shoot with Chloe tomorrow but the shots from that shoot won’t be blogged. They will be in the book.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply

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