Studio portraits of Katy and Natalia

Nov 24, 2010 | Studio | 33 comments

I’ve been so busy these last few weeks I’ve barely had time to blog. Here are a few of my studio pictures from a couple of recent workshops. I’m so excited to be working with Katy and Natalia, both beautiful girls and delightful with it. Make up is by my house expert, Vicky Waghorn. I hope you enjoy my snaps.

One light - A 40cm beauty dish with a honeycomb grid from Ebay.

1. One light – A Bowens 750Ws unit fitted with a 40cm beauty dish and honeycomb grid from Ebay.

2.

2.

3. A four light set up.

3. A four light set up.

Softened in-camera using my Roger Noons filter.

4. Softened in-camera using my Roger Noons filter.

5. As above

5. As above

6. I love to keep it all simple in the studio. One Lupo 1200, a Chimera softbox and a reflector.

6. I love to keep it all simple in the studio. One softbox and a reflector.

7. An upstage key sets me alight when I'm shooting. All the magic lurks in the shadows.

7. An upstage key sets me alight when I’m shooting. All the magic lurks in the shadows.

8.

8.

9.

9. One Lupo 1200 and my magic water reflector.

10.

10. As above

11. We splashed out and shot colour too. We chose 3000K to give our shots the cool treatment.

11. We splashed out and shot colour too. We chose 3000K to give our shots the cool treatment.

12. Katy is simply sensational.

12. Katy is simply sensational.

13. From above and below.

13. From above and below.

14. My Venetian blind mark 2 came out for a few shots with the Lupo.

14. My Venetian blind mark 2 came out for a few shots with the Lupo.

15. I am always experimenting with camera angles.

15. I am always experimenting with camera angles.

16.

16.

17.

17.

18.

18.

19.

19.

20.

20.

21. Here is some rhubarb and custard to finish the set. I have never had so many pictures that I like from my first shoot with a model as this set with Katy. Wonderful stuff.

21. Here is some rhubarb and custard to finish the set. I’m delighted with this first set of pictures of Katy. I think we can go far.

N1. Natalia continues to shine. Her skin is radiant and her eyes are bright. This was our fourth shoot together.

N1. Natalia continues to shine. Her skin is radiant and her eyes are bright. This was our fourth shoot together.

N2. My favourite shot of the day for so many reasons.

N2. My favourite shot of the day for so many reasons.

N3. Asymmetric shoulder lines are my new thing.

N3. Asymmetric shoulder lines are my new thing.

N5. A one light portrait.

N5. A one light portrait.

N6. Black and white excites me at the moment.

N6. Black and white excites me at the moment.

N7.

N7.

N8. The upstage key strikes again.

N8. The upstage key strikes again.

N9. The Lupo 1200 with a Chimera softbox and egg crate.

N9. The Lupo 1200 with a Chimera softbox and egg crate.

N10. The square is such a great compositional aspect ratio.

N10. The square is such a great compositional aspect ratio.

N11.

N11.

33. The start of a ballet project I have conjured up perhaps.

N12. The start of a ballet project I have conjured up perhaps.

Join me on my next studio lighting workshop with Katy McGee. Details are here. You can also browse our range of upcoming photography training courses here.

Please feel free to comment on these pictures and choose the ones you like the most. Ask questions, discuss composition and get involved.

33 Comments

  1. Kevin Wang

    May I ask you how your 4 light set up is done? the result is just simply stunning !!!!!

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for the compliments. I use A key light, a background light and two three quarter backlights :)

      Cheers, Damien

      Reply
  2. Chris Alford

    I will be buying studio lights next month and I’m not sure weather to go with Bowens 1000 pro or elinchrom quadro.
    as you use both now what are pros and cons of both I need to consider before buying?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Chris,

      Well the Bowens is a good unit but I have had a few issues with my Pocket Wizard cards not responding as they should. I had the Gemini Pro R 750s. I now have a pair of 500 BXRi, 600RX and a 2 head Quadra kit. The Quadra is more of a location tool that can be used in the studio but the RX series by Elinchrom are the ones that I’d reccomend. They come in 300ws, 600ws and 1200ws. More information is here. Please feel free to contact me on twitter (damienlovegrove) or contact Blaise my PA for more information.

      I hope this helps, Damien.

      Reply
  3. Chris Alford

    Hello Damien thanks for replying to all my comments.
    Greatly appreciated as I know you are busy.

    How many lights do you use most of the time?
    I don’t want to buy too many. I was thinking of buying four.
    Do you think that is overkill? I was thinking of buying 4 lights at 1000ws so I could for example control the light where I wanted it to fall with snoots.

    As I am on a budget I think both the Elinchrom Ranger and Broncolor Mobil will be out of my price range I may have to reconsider using Bowens.

    Are you happy with ‘build quality’ of your Bowens and Broncolor lights?

    Thanks again Chris.

    Reply
  4. Chris Alford

    Hello Damien thanks for you advice. After extensive research and speaking to other professional photographers I have found most using Elinchrom ranger rx and BXri 500 or Broncolor. I’m not going to make a rash decision but fair to say it will be a choice between Elinchrom or Broncolor.

    I was also wondering if you ever used parabolic reflectors like Broncolor produce? Thanks again Chris.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Chris,

      Bron Mobil is on a crazy offer at the moment (or has been at least) It is 1200 Ws and quite a big unit. The Elinchrom Ranger is similar in size and weight. The Quadra however is a lighter more compact unit but less powerful. For indoor portraits with soft boxes etc the Quadra is enough. To compete with the sun you need one of the big boys. I’ve not used a parabolic reflector because they are too big for my studio and I like to have more control with my lighting. They are used extensively in the fashion industry along with beauty dishes. (Often used together) I shoot portraits and I’m less interested in the fabrics etc. Expect something new from Broncolor very soon. Probably a competitor for the Quadra ;)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  5. chris alford

    Hello Damien as someone who needs the assurance of reliable equipment to earn a living I thought you would be the right person to ask. When you took these photographs with the Bowen 750 did you use travel packs? Also did you use wireless radio triggering? The reason I ask is that on a Bowens user forum numerous professional photographers have complained that the pulsar card and radio trigger do not work with travel packs. Have you had this problem? Thanks Chris.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Chris,

      I have found the ‘R’ bit of my Bowens Pro R flash heads to be useless. I’ve ended up buying cheap Ebay radio triggers out of desperation. My Bowens Geminis are constantly overcharging and dumping power and while this happens they cannot be triggered. It’s so frustrating. I’d suggest looking at Elinchrom, Hensel or Prophoto.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  6. David Cooke

    my fave image is the lips, stupendous quality, I hopoe in the future I can produce such stunning images.
    thanks Damien
    hope you Julie and your family have a wonderful xmas

    Reply
  7. Richie H

    Stunning images as always Damien, and it was a pleasure to see your work again in Pro Photo mag this month.
    Btw, What exactly is a magic water reflector?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Richie,

      My magic water reflector is a little trick we used to use at the BBC to simulate the effect of sunlight reflecting off gently moving water. I share it with my workshop delegates and keep it as a little something extra to take away in order to keep demand for my workshops ;)

      Best Regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  8. Ari

    I am glad that you have decided to take your own route. It is the only way to do it in a creative way. If you listen to others too much, including me, you won´t succeed. I looked through Vince Peters pictures on his site. There sure are some great and intuitive shots. They are polished, refined, fabulously lit, and beautiful just as you say, but most importantly there also are some gems that have that little extra ruggedness, soul and true life feel about them I appreciate so much. It wouldn´t surprise me one bit if you one day, as well, would have the opportunity to shoot magazine editorials, fashion and even celebrities. The “will to do it” is in my book the most important characteristic, since many have the talent but only a few have both the talent and a strong enough will to evolve as a photographer and thereby make dreams come true. You clearly have what it takes. I´ll continue following your posts with anticipation.

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Ari,

      Thanks for the reply. I’ll be posting some new personal work over the festive break plus my 2010 collection of portraits that I expect to far surpass my 2009 set. I’ll be interested to hear your positive responses to some of the pictures :))

      Best wishes,

      Damien.

      Reply
  9. Mike Adams

    Hi Damien, don’t normally write to forums, etc. but had to say how much I love your work and can totally empathise with what you are doing. The BWs of Katy are… exquisite. No gimmicks, no fancy props or backgrounds, I feel the same emotional response I have listening to Cher on the X Factor. Favourites are probably 2 and 17, but hard to choose. Am currently building a new studio and trying to persuade my business partner that a grey backdrop and set of gels is more valuable than an egg chair :-)

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Mike,

      Thank you very much for your kind words of support. I’ve felt attacked recently for following my own path and not just churning out the same old stuff. We all need to reinvent sometimes and support like I am getting from you and others here is just what I need right now so thank you again.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  10. damien

    Hi Ari,

    Thank you for your comments. I agree that N6 is a strong picture because of the depth of rapport and gaze. However I like other picture styles too. I’m really happy with the journey I’m on and the way that the style of my work has changed since 2009. I feel like a recording artist producing albums of work. Not everyone will like them all and there will be different periods of my career enjoyed by different people as my photography evolves.

    I’ve learned not to try to please all of the people all of the time but to follow my creative instinct. This is the first time I’ve let myself be influenced by the work of other photographers. I choose my influences carefully and I’m in the process of distilling my own new style. I love the work of Vincent Peters for instance. His pictures are more polished, refined, fabulously lit, and beautiful. I’ll do my best to instill more soul in my images. It’s not easy, if it was everyone would shoot it.

    I believe I’ve achieved pictures with soul, depth and art this year, the best pictures of my career perhaps, with Chloe – Jasmine Whichello. They will be published in our first coffee table book early next year. I’ll let others decide if it is worth the cover money.

    I’m flattered by your comment ‘pictures like the shots in a high class magazine’ because I’d love to shoot magazine editorials, fashion and celebrities at some point in my career.

    I may well end up shooting landscapes – who knows? But for now I’m enjoying the journey.

    Damien.

    Reply
  11. Ari

    Hi Damien. The N6 is most to my liking of these, but most of all I miss the style you had in your pictures before you ventured into your new style. Take for example your own favorite pictures from 2009 that you posted January 4th this year. If only you had gone further that way, as I think your real potential is still in that route! Your new style lacks a lot of that originality. Your pictures are superbly lit and technically almost flawless, but all the same I feel you are heading in the direction of a unsurprising fashion/glamour/boudoir magazine style. The pictures may be like the shots in a high class magazine, but all the same, they are without the character and imagination your old style had. It saddens me immensely to give this kind of feedback as I still look at your old style as something extraordinary promising. That´s the kind of art I long to see once more in your pictures. The N6 is a reflection of what you do best with it´s sincere stare, true sensuality and true life feel that many of your 2009 favorites also have.

    Reply
  12. Derek mc Auley

    Stunningly Beautiful
    Love them :-)

    Reply
  13. Madame Bink

    Katie is one of my absolute fave models. I love these photos of her. You captured her perfectly!

    Reply
  14. Stuart Atkins

    Stunning images – loving 18, 19, 20.

    Reply
  15. Vicki Waghorn

    Stunning! 18, 19 and N2 my faves.
    xx

    Reply
  16. Will Pateman Photography

    Damien, i wouldnt call them snaps..snaps are for amateurs..these are stunning images or works of art..Love 18, 19 and 20..excellent

    Reply
  17. Darren McKean

    Lovin those lips! Is it the canon 100mm f2.8 macro? Hope so because we are thinking of ordering one and that is the result…..wow!

    Reply
  18. Darren

    N4, the close-up of Natalia’s lips, is just stunning! High quality work all around, as usual!

    Reply

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