Margaux Louise Bacher at EPFL Lausanne

Jun 30, 2016 | Flash, Fujifilm X, Location | 3 comments

Location: EPFL university campus Lausanne, Switzerland
Model: Margaux Louise Bacher
Makeup and styling: Margaux Louise Bacher
Photography: Damien Lovegrove using Fuji X-Pro2, 16mm, 23mm, 35mm and 50-140mm lenses
Lighting: One Cactus RF60 Speedlight, no softeners, no reflectors

The shoot: A couple of 2½ hour street photography sessions for 5 attendees each. One in the morning and then repeated in the afternoon.


01. Just as we shot our first frame the heavens opened. The dramatic skies made a perfect background on this bridge link between platforms at the train station. I lit Margaux with a Cactus RF60 triggered by a Cactus V6 transmitter. It worked on all our cameras, Fuji, Nikon, Canon and Sony.


02. We took shelter under a concrete canopy. Behind us the rain was cascading down the stairs. I used the same Speedlight as I did in shot 1 but tipped down a bit steeper.


03. While the workshop participants shot with flash I stole a couple of natural light shots. It took a switch from f/11 to f/2.8.


04. The underpass stairs gave me a striking repeating pattern to work with. Again I used a single Speedlight connected to the stand with this special flash bracket.


05. If I was a casting director Margaux would be in a lot of movies. She has the ability to turn on the gravity and takes direction well.


06. This simple natural light set was taken below ground out of the rain.


07. I switched the X-Pro2 to Across film simulation to give me the feel of the final images in camera.


08. I love the random feel of fashion sessions. Nothing is left to chance though. I’m a bit of a control freak perhaps. I love the reflections in Margaux’s sunglasses, her looks down and to the side are directed.


09. I love bokeh and window reflections. I think I’m making an appearance in the shot on the left.


10. My underpass sessions deliver a different kind of imagery. Classic two point lighting and fabulous backgrounds make this the perfect fashion studio. It was raining hard when we were shooting here. We were dry but it was quite dark so I used a monopod to keep the camera steady.


11. Low angle, high angle, changing the posing angles. I like to keep the shoot flowing with creativity and when faced with a strong personality like Margaux’s it adds to the buzz.


12. This shot of Margaux involved a spin to flare her skirt. The asymmetric hem line gives the shot a lovely feel.


13. Here’s a tip: When you are looking for lighting clues in my pictures look for shadows. I nearly always use hard light so if you look at Margaux’s neck in this shot you will see I used an upstage Speedlight to give a 1⅔ stop exposure boost.


14. I keep my eyes peeled for visual delights like this. Margaux was in the dark here so I needed to add a splash of zoomed in flash. That gave me the chance to hold the cloud detail too.


15. I tucked the Cactus RF60 Speedlight out of shot behind the pillar. The radio signal on these Cactus units goes through reinforced concrete walls with ease. There was no one around here. Maybe they were all soaking up the information.


16. The same speedlight and location as in shot 15 above.


17. “Step, step, flick” Striding out into the sunlight is such a great look. Only here, I made the sunlight with a Cactus Speedlight and gave the rest of the world a blue tone with my in camera settings.


18. “Never be scared of white again” I said to my attendees. “Push, push, push the shot until it screams and then knock it back a click”. With a ‘vision’ and a bit of bravery a shot using even the simplest of backgrounds can be successful using a creative exposure. Just remember connection, rapport, buzz. Change the look regularly and generate a creative flow. Live the moments you are creating.

If you want to join me for a street shoot in a city near you get connected by joining our Lovegrove Creative Facebook Group. Check out my travel and adventure website Passion Photography Experience .com and stay in touch via social media and our monthly newsletter.


  1. Gwyn Cole

    I love the movement and energy in the dress in many of these shots Damien!

  2. Rob Brook

    I need to learn to use concrete more especially with off camera flash. I also need to invest in some cactus triggers.

    • Damien

      Hi Rob,

      Concrete is wonderful. I’m a fan of brutalism and London was at the heart the movement :) Shot number 17: Use concrete often and you will realise that civil engineers have design in their hearts too. The pillar supporting the road above could quite easily have been constructed with straight sides. It would have made it far easier to build the timber shuttering but instead it has curves and angles and I like that.

      Cheers, Damien.


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