Life is like a box of chocolate

Posted on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

As Forrest was explaining to whoever wanted to listen to him while waiting for the bus, opportunities present themselves to you; you decide what you do with those.

A few years ago, a guy gave me a business card while attending a camera show for studio rentals. I took the card thinking to myself that I it was a neat idea but shooting what I shoot, I would never need to rent one. I took a look at the website none the less. A few weeks after, I saw the same guy who handed me the card posting a photo event in his studio on the Montreal Strobist group on Flickr. It got people excited, including a few people that I knew. Unfortunately, this type of photography was not of my type. Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at fashion photography but I could never get excited enough to get out an do it myself. It is hard to incorporate a hot model in a photo that has for purpose to make you feel unsafe and uncomfortable like my Alice shot.

As VP of my camera club, I was discussing with other execs the need for the club to organize the next Strobist event. Being limited in time, I go in touch with Hai Au Bui, funder of Studio4fun, the card guy. Since many of our club members are getting into studio photography, I thought they might like to have a session there. After visiting the St-Hubert studio and talking with Hai Au about the reason behind his Grandes Séances (mass photographers and models photo sessions), I became more curious. I read about it, still unsure about my interest to participate in such event.

Then it hit me. When I organize a 10X10, I keep telling people that if they don’t try it, they won’t know if they are missing big or nothing at all. When they tell me they are not comfortable and fell they won’t be able to perform next to others they see as masters, I respond “And your point being?”.

I am registering…

Oh gosh, I registered…

Bah, it was only 25 bucks…

I showed up there with Victoria DeMartigny. We were the 3r and 4th in line to get in. We were also an hour too early. An hour later, we could not see the other end of the line. “Holly shit” kept coming back in my head. I could see all these photographers fighting over models and being still in the mindset that this is not my type of photography, I was not going to put up a fight for that (note to the reader, I was totally wrong about the fighting part). We eventually met with our buddy Vincent Lamoureux, a veteran of these events. We walked in the studio where everyone was briefed about the schedule of the day and then set loose. While scouting the place for interesting locations to shoot (the event was not limited to the actual studio), we met our 3 first models for the day and what a day it was.

I came back with a bit less than 700 images. After scanning through them quickly, I discarded the blurred, the over and under exposed, the boring and the ones I could not put my finger on what was wrong with them. I finished with about 100 images, not all original but satisfying. Then the post processing started.

Hai Au explained to us while on site that these photo sessions are like photographer’s speed dating. Was he right or what!? My Facebook friends list doubled in 24 hours. Ok, it was not big to start with but in 24 hours, I got in touch with more photographers, models and makeup artists I could ever imagine; even some I have not even worked with during the day! The icing on top of the cake was when I got an email from a model who came across my pictures asking me if I could an outdoor session with her sometime. Who am I to get these requests!?

I kept telling everyone that it was my very 1st time doing such photography which it was in a way. I later realized it was a lie. My background in shooting urban landscapes, decayed environments and gritted textures showed through these images. I don’t think I was in such unknown parameters anymore.

Opportunities show up, what are you going to do about them? Life is like a box of chocolate. What a thrill to realize that box has a 2nd tray…

Alexandra Duchainy - 01
Alexandra Duchainy

Emilie Boucher - 06
Emilie Boucher

Gabrielle Malbeuf and Sandi Fares - 01
Sandi Fares and Gabrielle Malbeuf

Danaé Chabot - 03
Danaé Chabot

Responses (4)

  1. Steph, I have always admired your photography and was admitedly surprised that you would be interested in participating in an event that focused on shooting attractive models vs. the cast-off rubbish or decaying buildings that seem to be your trademark… What did NOT surprise me, however, was the fantastic quality of your final shots. Your lighting set-ups were incredible and well thought-out… You created instant rapport with the models… and your eye for detail and precision in your compositions really came through. Really, really well done!Glad I was there to share the experience with you & Vincent… and I admit that I like seeing some color from you too 😉

  2. Steph says:

    Thanks Victoria. Being in very good company helped like you could not imagine!

  3. […] weeks.  It’s been almost 365 days since I embarked into this.  April of last year was the 1st time I got out of the house with all my gears with the unique […]

  4. […] Séance organized by Studio4Fun.  I think I explained enough what that is about in previous posts (Life is like a box of chocolate, Behind the scenes, models and toilets and Thanks you for Doing this).  You would thing after 15 […]

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