Hôtel room dance portrait session

Behind the scenes feat. Lyria Van Moer

I am back with a quick behind the scenes… finally! I’ve made a few of them the past 4 months and still never got to share them anywhere. A few images here and there on IG but that’s it. This happened during my short stay in Paris, where I got to meet with an old friend for a quick "improv" session. A hôtel room, a ballerina, these are all the ingredients for today's session.


I only stayed 24h hours in Paris. I travelled there to give a conference for Fujifilm, and thought it would be a good idea to insert in between my 2 interventions, 2 seperate sessions in my room. The first one on the day of my arrival, and the second one the day after right before my last talk.


So not a lot of time, just but just enough for quick sessions like these. If you know my work, you know I usually do portrait and boudoir sessions in hôtels and appartments. Take a rapid look at my past sessions at home and you will quickly understand.


The only difference here, is that I am not familiar with the place, and on top of that I don’t have all the gear I usually have at my disposal. This session, is the one that was made on my last day early in the morning. A simple portrait session, with a dancer, playing with lines and shapes.


The other one was more of a boudoir, lingerie session and it is already available exclusively here, for all of you premium members.


2 different approaches because both sessions happened at 2 different times of the day. I used the light from the window, until it completely disappeared for the 1st boudoir session, and popped out my flash afterwards. I thought I would do the same the next day by reversing the order, but we had enough light from the beginning. So we decided to work with only that window light during this entire session.


Lyria Van Moer (Paris - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/100sec f/1.7 ISO 125 at 80mm


The poor man’s trick to diffuse and shape the light is to use the curtains. Diffuse with the see through, and if you want to control your light, cut it or even block it, just use the black-out curtains.


Lyria Van Moer (Paris - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/250sec f/3.2 ISO 800 at 80mm



Lyria Van Moer (Paris - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/250sec f/3.2 ISO 800 at 80mm



Creating shapes with silhouettes can also be fun. I am not a fun of dark silhouettes, I usually do my best to keep a lot of details in the shadows. I added the light shaper on the right side for some shots on the bed, and used the white fabric just to get a bit of bounce and fill light on my model’s body.


Lyria Van Moer (Paris - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/1.7 ISO 50 at 80mm



And we ended the session with some classic head shots!


Lyria Van Moer (Paris - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/125sec f/1.7 ISO 125 at 80mm



These sessions can be done fast. There is little to no retouching in the images you just saw. A bit of cleaning here and there (unwanted objects) some dodge and burn (light) and my colors. I can do 3, to 4 sessions like these in one morning, because it doesn’t require any complex lighting setup, it’s just me and my camera directing my model and that’s it.


It’s up to you to use the space creatively even if this means shooting from strange places.


Maybe these will inspire on your next quick session! I used to do a lot of these when I started out.