Open House Photoshoot

This weekend I had an open house for a photo shoot. It was a great idea that my wife gave me.

I used Facebook to create an event and invite by friends over on Saturday.

This was the fourth photo shoot that I had at home. All previous occasions I was challenged with the depth of my background. This time I setup my backgroundin a different location of my living room. Wait more depth and I could detach the subject from the background thus removing the shadows.

In preparation I had to some pose guides  that I downloaded from

The pose pose guides helped my subjects better position themselves. These guides are something like a”For dummies” book. Very easy to understand, very easy to use. Don’t get me wrong, I also fall into the the “for dummies” category :-).

I also read “The Definitive Reference to Lighting Setups“, a great lighting book by Peter Hince from the folks at

The open house participants very much appreciated the fact that they had instant review of their pictures on my iPad thanks to my Eye-Fi SD card. This setup is like instant replay for photographers and models. Great to check the lighting great for the subjects too.

The flow of the day turned out to be good. Between 10 AM and 4 PM I had five different photo sessions. All were evenly spread. It just happened that way.

The fact that I shoot at home makes it user-friendly for those who have never been in a photo session before. It gets them comfortable right from the get-go. Although not a true studio, it allows me to set-up for cheap.

There are still a number of things that I need to correct but one of the things that I was better at this time was directing the models. Directing but also “listening” or looking at what is natural for them and asking them to replicate the natural positions that they would take in between shots. After all what all I am shooting is picture of them, of their story, not pictures of me telling them what to do.

For example this picture of Louise with her hands always up in the air.

As I was mentioning I played a lot with the lighting. One setup that I liked that add slots of drama was to have the light 90° off the subject. This creates this dramatic picture of Pierre-Luc.

It was also the first time that I had an opportunity to photograph a black person. I was not as much challenged as I thought about her skin tone. It turned out to be that I was more challenged by the dark colors of her clothes. I’m not sure that I got enough light on it as with this picture of Edith.

Of the many pleasures of taking portraits is getting through to your subject in order for them to open up to the lens as in this picture of Laura.

And sometimes you get those subjects as with Raymonde who are so comfortable in front of the lens that taking their portraits is almost too easy.

But in the end, what really drives me is the ability to capture emotions. These last two shots ready summarizes it.

The pride and joy of these two sisters is just so great.

And this family moment with the mother game enough to play with the positions I had suggested her. A great moment a marvellous story to tell.

I think that I will have another open house photo shoot soon :-).

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4 Responses to Open House Photoshoot

  1. Rémi says:

    Missed it ! But the girlfriend love the pictures … Just a question of time & I’ll be sitting in front of Max with the Nikon between us ;-). He’s really a great photograph, … And Max, maybe cheap but so far from being “amateur” !

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