Test shoot with Victoria Lindsay Coutts

Dec 8, 2011 | Continuous Lighting, News | 25 comments


I’ve been studying the work of a few major European portrait studios on my quest for learning new shooting styles and I’m drawn to a few of the looks that I’ve had a go at recreating here. I used just four continuous lights in my small home studio.

Kit: Lupo 1200, Lupo 800, Arri 300, Arri 150
Makeup: Vicki Waghorn
Model: Victoria Lindsay Coutts MM and Gingersnap

02. Within 10 frames and about five minutes of me faffing with the lights we were here. A background light, two back lights and a key light.

I’ve known Victoria for some time as we found each other on Model Mayhem a few years back and we live within 1km of each other. However this has been the first test shoot we have done together and I must say Victoria is a joy to work with.


My aim was to recreate a few of the looks that I have put together on one of my hundred or so mood boards. They were all mono pictures taken with lensed spotlights. I thought how hard can that be so I set about having a go.


These shots are easily repeatable with Fresnel lights and have a timeless feel to them. I asked Vicky Waghorn to keep Victoria’s hair contemporary and choppy as curls would have made these shots look too vintage.


06. I shot using both tungsten balanced and daylight balanced lights in the same rig but knowing my shots were going to end up in monochrome I didn’t mind. I had the back of my camera set to mono too so when I saw the shots in colour for the first time in Lightroom it was quite a shock. Luke has edited this shot with a more contemporary colour mix.

’07. This is the straight colour mix. Notice how the tungsten balanced Arris have enhanced Victoria’s hair colour.



10. I decided to shoot a few frames using just one Lupo light in my Chimera softbox for a personal project too.


12. We liked the idea of including a few lights in the frame too.

13. You can see my Lupo 800 in the foreground with the Arri 300 back left and the Arri 150 back right.




17. Victoria wanted some black and white head shots so we shot those too. It’s great to collaborate with like minded professionals to everyone’s benefit.





My new training video on lighting studio portraits is out now and covers using Lupo’s and Arri’s creatively.

Please feel free to comment below.


  1. yoko

    nice to meet to you
    I love photos you take

    What lens do you use at no5

    • damien

      Hi Yoko,

      I used a Canon 100mm f/2.8 L macro lens for shot 5.

      Thank you for the compliments, Damien.

  2. Robert


    Nice work! I’ve fallen in love with this style of lighting! Question: what did you use on the background light to get that shape?

  3. Jon Allen

    Hi Damien
    Thank you very much of your response regarding a lupo with full frost gel, Yes it really helps, thank you for sharing.
    They are just stunning images and I admire the lighting so much. :-)

    • damien

      Hi Jon,

      Frost gel can be sourced from companies like Stage Electrics and comes in 20″ x 24″ sheets.

      Kind regards, Damien.

  4. Jon Allen

    Hi Damien, well I have just received my Lupos, can’t wait to get started, may I ask, in what position is the key light in images 17,18,19,20,21, my guess is in front and above, then using your famous tri flector. Thank you.

    • damien

      Hi John,

      2 Lupos as 3/4 backlights on stands and a lupo with a full frost clipped to the wide open barn doors just above the camera, (the lens was alongside the lighting stand). I finished the look with the tri flector as you say. A Lupo with clipped frost gel is about the same size as my 42cm beauty dish and gives a similar light.

      I hope this helps. Damien.

  5. James de la cloche

    Great shots as usual:)
    Approximately what is the cost of this lighting setup?

  6. david cooke

    wonderful shoot love the mood of these shots, Victoria has stunning eyes, thanks for sharing Damien

    • damien

      Thank you David.

      Your compliments will be appreciated by Victoria and are by me.

      Kindest regards,


  7. ka-poon chan

    Love No.6! Great images love it

    • damien

      Thank you Ka-Poon Chan :)

  8. Paul Abrahams

    Lovely mix of daylight and halogen. I’ve seen I few examples on Lowel using daylight as edge or hair light. This is Art.

  9. martin

    Hi Jon

    The only way to dim a 300W Arri is to move it further away from your subject or clip a neutral density filter to the barn doors. The 150W Arri has an in-line dimmer which is surprisingly useful assuming you are using the 150W as a kicker or fill in conjunction with a 300W.


  10. studio tygrrr

    Another set of stunning images. I especially love the head shots.

    Re image 15 where was the lupo placed to create the shadows on the wall? It certainly seems to be in a different position that shown in image 13.

    With regards to the coloured images did you use a (orange?) gel on the Lupo to balance them out with the Arri’s?

    Or did you use the tungsten light of the Arri’s to give the models hair a warmer glow, therefore not worrying about balancing out the colour temperature from the two different light sources?

    If we were to shoot exclusively in monochrome or b/w would we need to consider the colour temperature difference between the Lupo’s and Arri’s at all?

    Great make-up especially highlighted on images 19 and 21… my congratulations to Vicky for this artistry?

    Last question which camera were you shooting with – the Fuji or the Canon? ISO 100, f11, 1/125th?

    • damien

      Thank you tygrrr,

      15 and 13 have a different lighting rig, different pose and facial direction.

      No orange gel was used because I was only going to use mono but the orange colour of the Arris brings out Victoria’s hair colour.

      Canon 5D mk2 and those settings only for the flash head shots 17-21. The settings you describe are about 6 stops above where a continuous rig sits. So I used ISO 400, f/2.8 and 1/125th second.

      I hope this helps.


  11. Jon Allen

    Hi Damien, Love the images which include the Arri’s stunning. May I ask, does the large keylight Arri have a dimming facility.

    Thank you

    • damien

      Hi Jon,

      Thanks for your compliments and question. Further to Martin’s comment the inline dimmer fitted as standard to the Arri 150 is rated at 500w and most togs replace the inline switch on the 300 with the same dimmer. The 300 is often used connected to DMX controlled dimmer packs hence Arri not fitting a dimmer as standard. The dimmer is available as a spare part.

      Without a dimmer you can use nd filter as Martin suggested or move the lamp. Arris come in different powers so you have a family and choose the power of light to suit the application. 150w, 300w, 650w, 1kw, 2kw, 5kw. :)

      I hope this helps.


  12. Richard Moore

    Beautiful lighting, proving what can be done with continuous light. Thanks for sharing.

    • damien

      Thanks Richard :)

  13. Karen McGowran

    Beautifully lit Damien, I adore the stripped back look of the last few. Karen x

  14. Dee

    Stunning images with quality lighting! Thanks for sharing the shots and the info! :)

    • damien

      Thanks Dee :)


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