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  • Kristin Breitkreutz

Portrait Perfect at InstaMeet 21

On Saturday, June 22nd, URBANYEG hosted its 21st InstaMeet. Led by Kate Jensen (@katejensenphoto) and Alex Marcu (@marcufotography), this particular InstaMeet focused on various aspects of portrait photography with Lauren (@laurenyeg) and Mason (@mason_halvorson) as models. Using the locations of the Oliver Exchange Building, the Victoria Promenade and Le Marchand Mansion, roughly 60 community members had plenty of opportunities to stretch their portrait skills.

Kate gave numerous helpful portrait tips at our first location including: 

  • Plan your shoot beforehand by checking out the space and plan where you’re going to shoot.

  • Play music to relax your model. It’s your job to guide the model and make them feel confident.

  • Give your model clear directions and get them to move around – that way you’ll get a variety of shots.

  • Utilize what’s around you.

  • Play with angles – get lower and shoot up to make the model appear taller.

  • Choose indirect lighting.

  • Be aware of how your lighting changes outside.


Participants had the chance to photograph a model and collaborate with each other before moving on to the next location. The group ventured along downtown towards the ravine lookout where Alex gave a portrait tutorial. Her tips:

  • Introduce yourself to your model and break the ice.

  • Before you shoot, give them clear directions and adjust them, but let them take the lead in posing.

  • Always ask before you touch your model.

  • Pay attention to where light hits curves on the model’s body.

  • Always be kind. Talk to your model and encourage them – make them feel confident and comfortable.


“When it comes to teaching the portrait tips, it was really nice to see how engaging everyone was,” Alex stated. “I’ve always loved teaching anything that I know, so when URBANYEG reached out I was so happy to know I can share what I’ve learned over the years.”

Photographers got creative and shot the models walking across crosswalks, on benches and even in a parkade entrance. 


Community member Karlie gained a lot of insight from the event. “I never really got into portrait photography as I had no idea how to do it well. I got a lot of information on how to use lighting and backgrounds to my advantage, as well as instructing and encouraging a model during a photoshoot.” 

You can find all the photographs from IM21 on Instagram under the hashtag #URBANYEGIM21. Follow us on Instagram @URBANYEG to stay tuned for details on future events!

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