Victoria Lindsay Coutts ~ Creative test shoot

Sep 15, 2012 | Continuous Lighting, News | 26 comments

01. A simple reveal frame of Victoria lit with a pair of DayLED continuous spotlights by Lupolux. I powered the lights with lithium battery inverters that will run the lights on full power for well over three hours between charges.

The creative process needs feeding with opportunity, effort and reward. I have occasionally experienced my soul being sucked out of me by a repetition of work and a lack of discovery. That’s the nature of teaching I suppose. It can become a process of giving that soon becomes stale if it is not refreshed. That’s one reason my workshop titles and genres are always evolving. I need a constant feeling of journey, regular discovery and creative saw sharpening.

Every now and then I take part in test shoots with my previous Evolve delegates. These sessions have become legendary for the banter and friendship as well as the creative refueling process. We all need to step outside our comfort zone and embrace the scary ‘different’. I am so lucky to have trained and become friends with my Evolvers. Several of them have now developed their photographic style and businesses beyond the boundaries of my initial aspirations. These are exciting times for me and a sence of pride is an inevitable and welcome emotion.

Here are a selection of my pictures from the day…

02. Continuous Fresnel lensed spotlights used by the motion picture industry give a very filmic look.

Location: A mansion in Gloucestershire

Model: Victoria C from Gingersnap

Make up and styling: Victoria C

Catering: The local pub

Lighting: Lupolux DayLed 1000 and Lupolux Dayled 650 spotlights powered by Lovegrove lithium powered pure sine wave inverters

Camera kit: Fujifilm X-Pro1, with 18mm f/2, 35mm f/1.4 and 60mm f/2.4 lenses

Post production: Adobe Lightroom, and a splash of Photoshop on the odd image

03. The subtlety of tones produced by the Fujifilm X-Pro1 are wonderful to work with. Handling contrast in images is very important for me so I concentrated my efforts on fine setting the lighting balance.

04. I further explored the characteristics of my Fuji prime lenses. It doesn't take me long to get to know the field of view of a prime lens but the perspective is all about the camera position. Here I used the floor boards as lead in lines and set the camera position at table top height.

05. A bit of smoke injects fun into the shoot.


07. How low can you go? I explored exposure options with a backlit Victoria.

08. This is my normal style

09. This image is a harmony of beautiful light, a beautiful subject and a collective passion for excellence. I love it when portraiture is abstracted like this.

10. Sumptuous in every way. I love the lines of Victoria's shoulder and neck, the wave of her hair, the softness of her lips and the clarity of her eyes. Taken with the Fujifilm 60mm lens. This is one of the best optics I've ever owned.

11. Lit with a Lupolux DayLED 650 powered from an inverter.

13. The old kitchen at the mansion.

14. Lit with the DayLED 1000.

15. The ceilings that are plastered are fabulous.


17. Victoria being simply stylish. We were blessed with such a wonderful coming together of light, vision and talent.





22. Our location has the wow factor.




26. The staircases are quite a feature.

27. The Lupolux spotlights are bright enough to select a shutter speed to freeze action.

28. A bit of magic water reflector in the bathroom. The bath is carved from one block of solid stone.


30. Lit with a bounced Lupolux spotlight.


32. Victoria is sitting in the bath and the animal heads are the bath fillers. Simply gorgeous carving.

33. The last shot of the day. Lit with a Lupolux DayLED 1000 spotlight inverter powered with smoke to add some drama.

Many thanks must go to Victoria for being fabulous and not for complaining about the chilly interior of our mansion. Thank you to my partners on this journey of discovery, Brett Symes and Marc Godfree. Many of their ideas and influences are present in this set of pictures.

I am available to photograph bridal and fashion collections. I can easily shoot ten outfits in a day as I work fast and with finesse. I am driven by a passion for beautiful imagery and supported by a dedicated team. My commercial photography site is here. Please feel free to comment on these shots.


  1. Adam

    Once again I love the use of clean lines gorgeous lighting and composition, very inspirational!

    • damien

      Thanks Adam :)

  2. charlie Bellamy

    Gorgeous images, love the info on the lighting and your ideas on how and why for each image. I think i know your location!!! Pretty lucky to be able to photograph it though, its a long way back up the hill eh! Your DVDs are on my xmas wish list!

    • damien

      Thanks Charlie,

      You are probably right about the wonderful location but not about the luck needed to shoot there. It just takes a few phone calls and a fee to book a venue like this. I invest in my testing like I invest in my training. If I research, invest and practice enough I develop new skills and ideas to pass on to my deligates or clients. I drove down to the house with all the kit so the hill was not an issue ;)

      Kind regards,


  3. Phill Adams

    Simply divine imagery Damien, you are an inspiration!

    Having recently watched your ‘winter weddings’ & ‘The Big Day’ DVDs I was interested to note that you use monopods during weddings. I was wondering whether you also use them to capture these kinds of images to allow slower shutter speeds? To capture such sublime ambient light did you find you needed hi iso or are slow SS and wide aperture the trick to these kinds of exposures?

    Thanks once again for sharing, your enthusiasm as a teacher is inspiring, it makes me wish I lived in the UK to sample some of your courses. A visit is due in 2013 I think!

    • damien

      Hi Phill,

      Thank you for your kind words and compliments. Most of the shots were lit but yes I did use my monopod. The 60mm lens on the Fujifilm X-1Pro is not image stabalised and so it needs a hight shutter speed to use hand held. The old rule of 1/ focal length does not work these days because of the tiny circles of confusion needed for acceptably sharp images. I now use 1/2x the 35mm equivelent f. The 60mm lens is an effective 90mm lens on full frame so 1/180th is the minimum a steady person can get away with hand held. So rather than use 1/250th at 800 ISO I use a monopod and 1/60th at 200 ISO.

      I hope this helps,


  4. Philip Lord

    How do you find such fantastic locations ? Just love these pics.

    • damien

      Hi Phillip,

      Thanks for your compliments. I use an OS map then I use Google earth to highlight posabilities. I get in the car and drive. Once in the woods, meadows and fields I start to think pictures. Owning a dog helps as I get out to places that I wouldn’t visit otherwise.

      Kind regards,


  5. Simon Shakespeare

    Hey Damien, beautiful set of Images, inspiring.

    • damien

      Hi Simon,

      Thanks for your comments. I often think of you, your positive energy and I wonder just where your energy and talent took you. I’d love to meet up again someday soon. Take care and stay inspired.


  6. Radmila Kerl

    Epic. The oscar goes to no. 7, 9, 13, 27, 33. I need to shoot in this location Damien!!!!!!!

    • damien

      Hi Radmila,

      I so missed you in Spain. My heart was crying for you. Come over, stay with us and lets shoot. You choose the model, I’ll supply the lights and the ideas. We’ll jointly style the shoot and let’s make it happen at these wonderful locations 10 minutes from my home!

      Kindest regards,


  7. Sean Shimmel

    That luminous, painterly light… like oils from Vermeer.

    • damien

      Hi Sean,

      It’s always a pleasure to read your articulate comments. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.

      Best, Damien.

  8. Chris


    This is absolutely stunning imagery and I am now really intrigued with use of continuous light on location.
    I have just started to photograph dancers on location and would be interested to know if these lights would be suitable for freezing this type of action?

    Best regards,


    • damien

      Hi Chris,

      Consider these lights as a suppliment to the light you see. They do not freeze action so aim for the peaks in a dance move like an oversway. Or go with the flow and burn a flurry of movement to set your images apart. If you want to freeze movement there is only one option and that is flash. It’s not pretty but it gets the job done.

      Thank you for your kind words and best of luck finding your style/ kit. Damien.

  9. stefaan

    Dear Damien,

    Beautifull fotoshoot especially nr 13 in the kitchen you can feel the emotion.
    Because of your reference on the Xpro I i also bought one :-). It was a very good choose! THe sharpness is the same as my nikon D700.

    Gr Stefaan

    • damien

      Hi Stefaan,

      Thanks for your compliments. The X-Pro1 is the perfect continuous light camera for me. Detailed images, small and light to use.

      Thanks again, Damien.

    • damien

      Wow thanks David.

  10. Sona

    Not really my style, but still amazingly beautiful and inspiring!!!

    • damien

      Haha, Thanks Sona. I know what you mean. Allowing myself the freedom to shoot new styles excites me. This was the perfect result for me. It is always easy to play safe and miss the opportunity to do something amazing. I’m not saying these are amazing but I was out of my comfort zone and that is like an adrenalin rush.

      Respect as always, Damien.

  11. Gordon

    Love these Damien. I love the slighter darker mood of the first three but they are all knockout. Great location and wonderful texture.

    • damien

      Thanks Gordon :)

    • damien

      Thanks Nicky, I hope you are well :)



Ask a question or leave a comment. All comments get a reply.