Two weeks ago I had a photography workshop in Oulu. Studio Kuutio organized a workshop where we concentrated in shooting groups in a studio. One of our participants had organized almost all the models, just because “these kind of groups I usually shoot and I want to learn more”. Great way to work. Thanks to Riikka Holappa 🙂

Our first group was Cityguides from Raahe, who dress in an old fashion way during citytours. Before workshop I visited their website and learned more about Raahe. It’s an old historic town in the westcoast of Finland. Lot of nautical history. For me it used to be just an icehall and games against local womens’ team at the eighties 🙂 Now I’m hoping to visit Raahe next summer and make a citytour. The guides promised me a tour free of charge 🙂 Cool.

Because of guides’ old fashion costumes I decided to create classical, timeless image of them. I used classical lighting, composing and posing in this demonstration. I thought it was appropriate for this image and it was also a good way to begin the workshop: little reminder of basics of lighting.

To show everyone that this group is guides from Raahe I added some particular probs in the picture. Satu is holding a book of Raahe and Päivi is holding two dogs. These dogs have specific meaning in Raahe. There are always two dogs. You positioned them f.e. on a window sill. The direction they are pointing signifies is the householder at home or at the sea.

Explaining details of posing, composing ang lighting. (Pictures: Markku Rintala)

After cityguides left the studio, it was occupied by 13 year-old street dancers – dance group: CST Xnation and their coach Annamari Kess. Atmosphere changed suddenly and the studio was full of life.

This time lighting theme was to figure out how to create soft light in a rather large area so the models can move quite freely. Another theme was also create white backround.

Rest of the time went rather wild and unorganized, but I think it worked for this group.  CST Xnation has danced together five years. Next day they participated in Arctic Steps -dance competition and they are practicing for the Finnish Championships later this spring. Modeling in our workshop strengthened their team spirit and fellowship. They had fun together and that reminded me of my own hockey teams a long time ago 🙂


On Sunday morning our first group was family Lampinen. This time I created a simple lighting. Most of the participants don’t have some many lighting equipment and that’s why I used only two light sources. You can easily create this kind of lighting by using f.e. window light. My inspiration for this lighting demonstration was wold famous photographer Irving Penn.

For cityguides I demonstare more formal composing and posing. That’s why I chose more informal for this demonstration. I’ve asked family to bring different kind of clothes so I could choose the most appropriate ones. I chose light, casual knitwears for Kati, Timo and Kaarlo. Little Kerttu didn’t have any, but she had a fabulous, cute Marimekko dress which suited perfectly with the others clothes. I asked family Lampinen to sit on the floor, to take their socks aways and wrap their pants. The nostalgic part in this demonstration was that I used to have same kind of dress like Kerttu when I was a child 🙂

When I demonstrated details about lighting, composing and posing, little kids were great. Kerttu sat on her Mum’s lap and Kaarlo on his Dad’s. All the poses were harmonic 🙂 By the time it was time to shoot, Kaarlo just wanted to sit on his Mum’s lap. Very common for those who have shot children. But I’m sure participants took great pictures of the family during workshop period.

Later I added an extra layer on image in Photoshop. Backround looked so flat and boring, so I added some “scratch” to make it more lively.

Last group in the workshop was a band called Patty Joe’s Fireflies. There were five people in the band and they brought all the instruments with them. Studio became too small and I decided to improvise. I planned group picture, but we shot all the members individually. In that way we could include a person and an instrument properly in the picture. This way we were able to concentrate to lit a person and an instrument more properly (had more light sources for one person!). Participants also wanted to try smoke machine and coloured lights. So I demonstrated lighting with a band’s singer Martti and after that partcipants shoot the others.

This is not a lighting demonstration 🙂 (Picture: Markku Rintala)

Explaining how to narrow main light’s light beam. (Picture: Markku Rintala)

I enjoyed this workshop a lot. We had such different kind of groups so there were so many things about lighting, composing, posing etc I could demontrate. It was just great!

Thanks for everyone again – to Studio Kuutio and Kimmo, all the participants. Special thanks to Riikka from taking care of models and to Markku taking all the action shots. And thanks to great models too.