Carla Monaco in Hollywood

Aug 5, 2019 | GFX, Location | 12 comments

Model: Carla Monaco
Assignment: A classic Lovegrove Adventures 1 to 1 photography training day in Bristol
Photographer and tutor: Damien Lovegrove
1:1 training website: Lovegrove Adventures
Location: A boutique hotel in Bristol

01. Carla wears a Bardot skater dress by BooHoo. She is lit with a Lupo 1000 fresnel spotlight. Notice the crisp hard shadow under her chin. Beautiful hard light is the currency of cinematic imagery.

Lighting kit: Lupo 1000 dual colour with Scattergels and Lupo Superpanel dual colour
Camera kit: Fujifilm GFX50s with GF32-64mm and GF 110mm lenses on a tripod
Post-production: Basic enhancement in Capture One Pro – Fujifilm edition
Styling: Damien Lovegrove
Makeup and hair: Carla Monaco

02. I mixed daylight, spotlight and room lights taking control of all of them.

I do all my Boudoir, Hollywood Glamour and Lovegrove Nudes teaching on a 1 to 1 basis now. That way my clients can fine-tune the genre they want to shoot, select their model from our list,  and choose the location from our venue shortlist. My client for this job flew in from Kuwait and he shot with a Nikon D850 with the 24-70mm zoom and the 85mm f/1.4 prime lenses. He owns a pair of Lupo fresnel lights so I chose to use the Lupos too. The fine setting of the lighting was the key element we concentrated on. I helped my client set up his Nikon with custom picture style settings and once we were calibrated we got underway with the shoot. We got all the looks that we wanted in-camera.

03. Within a few minutes we had switched the mood to night time even though it was 10:30 am.

I’ve been learning how to use Capture One Pro for Fujifilm. I’m just a beginner and this is my first set of pictures that I’ve edited using it. I’ve not sussed out cloning or healing yet as I didn’t need them for these pictures. As soon as skin softening happens the film-like look is lost. I just dodged and burned the same way as I used to in the darkroom. I’m still getting to grips with the histogram and exposure monitoring tools hence the variance in this set.

04. I used a mixture of one point and two-point lighting showing my client exactly how to balance all aspects of the shot and set the contrast precisely in-camera.

My first impression of Capture One is one of shock. It was 2010 when I last used it when I was a Phase One shooter and since then Capture One has taken on a new complexity. The variety and depth of adjustments that are available is astounding. The good news is I don’t need to use all of them. I just set the Fujifilm Acros G profile then straightened the odd shot. I went through my selections tweaking the exposure and contrast and then I added a few layers for selective dodge and burn. I didn’t look at sharpening stuff, colour tools, spot correction etc. I will learn how to do some of those in my next edit session.

I loved the dynamic of the exposure and contrast sliders in Capture One. They work really well together and seem a bit more refined than the Lightroom sliders. I’m just starting on my journey of discovery with Capture One and I’ll report back on my progress frequently.

05. I bought these sunglasses a while back and had yet to find a shoot for them. They are a bit crazy but direct copies of a pair owned by Barbie®


06. I used one Lupo 1000 light and Scattergel with Carla against the wall then one step in front of it.


07. The room lighting provided the motivation for the lights that I added.


08. Just one light in a quick set up is all that is needed to create a classic look. I bought the dress at Jane Norman in 2010 and it has done a few shoots. Pearls by Primark.


09. Skirt suit by Nasty Girl.


10. We shot some classic boudoir too. The day was overcast so we created our own sunlight.


11. Vintage close-ups need minimal editing for that film-like look.


12. I love these vintage-style baths that have had a resurgence and are now popular in boutique hotels. The trick is to keep the shot clutter-free and simple. Lighting by a Lupo Superpanel.

1:1 training days with me can happen at any time of year. Weekdays or weekends. We have some fabulous models, both men and women available to shoot. These training days are super fun and you’ll be surprised at how simple I make the process. At the end of a 1:1 session you’ll have the skills you need to recreate the looks and style of the shots we shoot together.

More information on 1:1 training options including prices is here.

If you like this post please share a link to it on your social media of choice.

Thank you,


  1. rivka alice


    • Damien

      Thanks :)

  2. Aneil Sharma

    Great images Damien. I’ve worked with Carla many times and she is a brilliant model and equally fabulous individual. Love all the images but especially the 2nd bath image. Great work.

    • Damien

      Thank you Aneil for those kind words :)

      Cheers, Damien.

  3. Tracy

    Just beautiful as always. Interesting to hear your views on Capture One, currently deciding whether to move on to this myself.

    • Damien

      Thank you Tracy, I’m still on the steep bit of the learning curve with Capture One but what I’ve seen looks great so far. I’kk be updating my journey here for sure.

      Kind regards, Damien.

    • Damien

      Thank you Darrell :)

  4. Paul Harrison

    Amazing set of images Damien, I’ve been lucky enough to shoot Carla on two occasions, and she is simply stunning, such a warm lovely person. You two working together must be faultless.

    • Damien

      Thank you Paul for the compliments. Carla is a fabulous woman. One of the best models I’ve worked with. We’ve travelled far and wide together for shoots :)


  5. Gwyn Cole

    Totally love the images of Carla Monaco Damien!! I particularly enjoy the ones in the white dress and the white outfits later on in the post.

    • Damien

      Thank you, Gwyn.

      Carla has such a great natural beauty look. Your compliments are very welcome.

      Warm regards,



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