Interior portraits with just Speedlights or natural light ~ X-Pro1

May 12, 2012 | Flash, Location | 6 comments

01. Chloe F lit with magical daylight. Shot using a Fuji X-Pro1 with the standard 35mm f/1.4 lens. Click the picture to see the original unaltered camera jpeg file with full exif. (I shot monochrome in camera). When RAW support comes from Adobe life with the Fuji X-Pro1 will be transformed. I set the camera to -2 noise reduction, -1 sharpness and -1 highlight tone with B&Wg (simulated green filter) as my picture style.

The event was my last ever Illuminating Portraits workshop held at the fabulous and opulent Maunsel House in Somerset. I will be taking this workshop on the road as the demand for simple, stylish interior portrait lighting using just Speedlights is as big as ever. Make up and hair was by the super talented Vicki Waghorn. Our model was Chloe F from Alpha agency. Here are a few of my shots, enjoy

02. I used three Speedlights in a classic Lovegrove formation for this opening portrait. I also showed the delegates how to light big wedding groups inside using the Lovegrove Gemini flash bracket and a couple of Speedlights.


03. A one Speedlight portrait with a punchy yet soft look. Perfect for editorials.

04. A three Speedlight portrait. The key is to decide on how hard each light source needs to be and at what distance. Then an exposure is set for the ambient before adjusting the power of the Speedlights to taste.

05. As above.

06. Once we had shot some high key, bright images it was time for some lighting drama. I used a Lastolite Ezybox with a single SB 900 Speedlight for this shot of Chloe.

07. Then onto another sofa for some more lighting magic. Being able to vary your lighting style to suit the mood of the moment is a craft skill. Having the vision to conceptualise the portrait is the art bit.


08. Having the courage to let the highlights go when shooting jpeg is something I've not experienced for a few years.


10. A favourite shot of mine. It reminds me of a look that I used to shoot with Chloe Jasmine. Chloe F and Chloe Jasmine are very good friends so maybe there is a Chloe and Chloe shoot to be done at some point.


12. I like to shoot several images with each lighting set up.

13. After lunch we were moving on to more complicated set ups. This shot involved three Speedlights. Two of them were in the next room. My £12/ set Ebay triggers worked a treat.

14. I lit this intimate portrait of Chloe with a single Speedlight in a beauty dish. In order to cut all the ambient light I decided to expose to f/11, 1/125th using ISO 200. But because I wanted to shoot my 60mm macro portrait lens with an f/2.8 aperture I shot through a 4 stop ND filter. Click the picture for the original un-retouched camera file.

15. I used just one Speedlight and my magic water reflector for this shot taken with the 18mm wide angle lens. Click the picture to see the original camera file.

16. The workshop maximum of four Speedlights were used to illuminate this table top portrait of Chloe.






  1. Gordon Lindsay

    Damien, thanks for a great course. I learnt loads as usual.


    • damien

      Thank you Gordon.

      Kindest regards,



    Hi Damien

    Your reviews of the Fuji cameras are very informative and useful

    Have you considered running a Fuji x- Pro 1 / x100 workshop ? Must be quite a large number of users by now

    • damien

      Hi Stuart,

      It’s been a long time. Thank you for your compliments. The thing about the Fuji cameras is there are so many ways to use them depending on if you need the 6 frames a second or manual zone focussing etc. I’ve found a way that suits me but I’m certainly no expert on the little blighters.I must say the Fuji cameras are frustrating and yet massively rewarding to use. Like many things in life I suppose.

      I’m glad you are finding my posts informative. My latest blogs from my recent road trip are up now too. It’s Fuji X-Pro1 all the way now.

      Best regards,


  3. Simon D

    A beautiful set of images Damien. My favourite are number 02 and more so number 15. I need to get my hands on the magical water reflector ;-)

    • damien

      Hi Simon. Thank you for your compliments. We have some magic water reflector in stock here. We were having issues finding the right carboard tubes to package it in. I hope to have the tubes by first thing next week. Kindest regards, Damien.



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