Nadia Saraphenia Achha test shoot

Jan 27, 2018 | Continuous Lighting, Flash, GFX, Studio | 8 comments

These 17 photographs of natural beauty Nadia are not retouched. Blaise my PA and model scout has had her eye on Nadia for several months and the time had come to do a mini shoot, just for a couple of hours to see if she is right for our 1:1 clients learning boudoir and portraiture. I love this kind of stripped back shoot with the emphasis on real. I suggested to Nadia to wear some mascara and loose, shaggy clothing. Here are our results…

Shoot: Test shoot/ casting ahead of 2018 season
Instructions: No foundation, no lipstick, natural messy hair and no Photoshop retouching
Model: Nadia Saraphenia Achha
Photography: Damien Lovegrove
Styling: Nadia and Damien

 Nadia in the Lovegrove studio captured in black and white by Damien Lovegrove

01. The first set were lit with a simple 42cm beauty dish and a 7″ reflector with grid on the kick light.

Camera: Fujifilm GFX50s with GF 32-64mm lens or the GF 110mm lens


The natural beauty of Nadia Saraphenia Achha captured in colour by Damien Lovegrove

02. Natural beauty. I used a Lupo 1000 spotlight from behind to light Nadia and I let the reflected spill fill in the shadows. I also left the room lights on too to give a softer contrast.


Nadia in monochrome

03. Just one beauty dish without a grid was used here as a key light and the subtle kick light in the left shot came from a 7″ reflector and grid. I’ve tried super expensive beauty dishes and the cheap ones on Ebay and I like the £40 ones on Ebay. The 42cm Ebay beauty dishes typically come with a grid and shower cap and produce just as beautiful light as those over hyped modifiers you see from time to time.


Nadia, no bra, no make up, no hair brush. Raw beauty.

04. I lit this simple shot of Nadia with an old Bowens light in a Wafer 140 softbox. I bought both in 1996 and they are due for replacement when the latest Godox Pro studio heads are launched.


Nadia in a smock top

05. Nadia wears a smock top that I bought at Bristol airport some years ago. It has aged well and has a simple rugged look now. I directed Nadia in the shot on the left to match a Kate Moss pose that I remember from a Belstaff campaign only this is softer and calmer. I got the light balance/ exposure right for the shot on the right. The left shot is just a bit dull and grey. Notice how much cleaner Nadia’s skin looks and good the white top looks in the shot on the right. I made this change by lowering the key light, raising the Triflector and increasing the exposure by ⅔ of a stop. Incidentally Nadia looks taller and with a better proportion in the shot on the left.


Nadia in a checker dress

06. Nadia in the checkerboard dress I bought in Zara six years ago. It’s hard to pull this look off as the dress is a tube and not cut on the bias. I clipped the waist band at the back to give it some shape and Nadia used her arms to good scrunching effect.


Nadia in a tutu

07. Nadia in a leotard and skirt lit with the Lupo 1000 spotlight through my palm tree.

I am now taking bookings for 1:1 and small group training in 2018. We have a range of venues to shoot in including manor houses, boutique hotels, country cottages, the great outdoors and of course the Lovegrove studio. We have a range of models available for all kinds of shoots so please do connect with Blaise to discuss your ideas. You can also see our information page with options and prices here.

Feel free to comment on these pictures below.


  1. Pete

    It’s a test shoot for heavens sake Damien, absolutely cracking again!

    • Damien

      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your kind comments :) Cheers, Damien

  2. Jörgen

    You really can’t improve natural beauty, except maybe with good light – lovely shots Damien!

    • Damien

      Thank you Jörgen :)

    • Damien

      Thank you Ioannis my friend :)

  3. Alex

    As usual very inspiring and informative Damien. Thank you. Love the light on photo number 4. By the way I’m new to the prophotonut blog and keep waiting for new posts while I go back to the goldmine of information on the older ones.

    • Damien

      Thank you Alex,

      Welcome to Prophotonut. Pour a drink and dive into the archives :)

      Kindest regards,



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