Thank you for doing this

Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 8:08 am

Yep, it is that time once again.  Another Grande Séance has been delivered with success by Hai Au, Marie-Claude and JF.  A few years back, Hai Au opened the 1st Studio4fun to give affordable studio space to the Montreal photography community.  He could have stopped it there but why not take it a step further.  Last weekend was the 15th Grande Séance (ok, I think it was really the 14th because he skipped the 13th edition; either he missed that Sesame’s Street episode or it is a cultural thing…).  Once again, I registered as a volunteer as I believe I have something to give back the project.  I will not blog about how rough the weekend was; I did that before and I would just sound like a broken record. I will say this, the worse day of that weekend was Monday.

The Grande Séance is a social networking event, bringing 50 photographers, 50 models and about a dozen of makeup artists under one roof for roughly 6 hours of shooting.  Everyone finds something in it.  The photographers will see different styles of makeup, different models, and different lighting styles.  The models will meet different styles of photographers make contacts with makeup artists.  The makeup artist will have the opportunity to elaborate stunning makeups to be noticed for future collaborations.  This gives the perfect exposure for everyone to assess their affinity and capability to work with others on future photo shoot.  It was great to see not only familiar faces again but new photographers, models and makeup artists.  Such representation indicates the need for such event.  There was a 50% ratio of new people in the debriefing room; 50% of people looking to meet new people, make new contact, learn new techniques and show theirs.  That is what the Grandes Séances are about.  For those who think it is just an amateur “lets have fun and pretend” gathering, you are all fools.  There are many big caliber photographers, models and makeup artists; people you want to work with later.

Months after months, my photography contact list grows.  Someone notice your work, you shoot with them, their friends notice it and you become facebook friends.  I got to meet a few facebook friends on Sunday such as Patricia Lapointe, Andreane Bérard, Meggie Germain, Melissa Gervais and more.  For me, these events are the perfect time to have that more personal connection with people I follow (or following me) on social networks.

My role on Sunday was to ensure, along with Geneviève Chouinard, smooth running of studio B-435.  We had to look around and make sure people were actively shooting, posing, talking, not touching each other’s and pulling the most out of the opportunity, even the opportunities available light or a “OMG it’s a… purple… wall…” have to offer.  Sometimes, we had to encourage people a bit, especially when they felt like they had shot everything in the studio.  There is always an angle left unexplored.  On occasions, I would initiate a quick shoot with a standing alone model and get another noticing standing alone photographer to jump in.

After dinner, when every participant left the building, we had the pleasure to tear the studios down and debrief around a beer.  Overall, success.  You would think after this many editions, everything would fit in the no brainer category.  Every edition presents its challenges for Hai Au and his gang.  When you are hosting an event with over 160 people, much can happen and every time they have to expect the unexpected.   I am sure it is getting easier as editions go by but you can still see this small group of photography enthusiasts running around all weekend long and this is the only part we get to see.  I am sure there is more than meets the eye.  Hai Au, Marie-Claude and JF are making a hell of a job.

Next time, no need to ask me if I can volunteer some time; just put my name on the list.

 

Some behind the scenes

Hai Au is explaining the day’s logistics.

Marie-Claude Hamel (Studio4Fun) and Jean-François Okane (TheStudioCoach).

 

Photographer Vincent Lamoureux returning after a hiatus.

Stephanie Vincent and Estel Chen, participating for the 1st time as model.

Last minute touch-ups by Geneviève Dargis (foreground) and Natacha Larue (background).

Sulaiman Tatar working with Charles Heroux.

Andréane Berard focusing on Monique Routhier

Some shoots grab more attention than others.

 

Some models shot with available light.

Stéphanie Bédard

Stéphanie Bédard

Stéphanie Bédard

Stéphanie Vincent

Stéphanie Vincent

Marie-Noée Lapointe

Meggie Germain

Meggie Germain

Mélissa Gervais

Mélissa Gervais

Mélissa Gervais

Mélissa Gervais

Andréane Bénard

Andréane Bénard

Andréane Bénard

Andréane Bénard

Estel Chen

Léonie Pelletier

Léonie Pelletier


Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon

Catherine Frigon


 

And in order to stay true to my photographic roots

I present you, once again, the toilet.

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