Ever elusive and changing as a subject, people have been called ‘the most difficult landscape.’ Whether we intend to or not, we tell stories about people when we engage them with a camera. They are one of the most challenging and rewarding subjects we can photograph.

This personalized 2 hour coaching session offers one-on-one instruction to help you develop creative approaches to portraiture, whatever your current skill level. Once you've registered there is a free 15 minute phone/skype consultation available, so we can discuss where your current interests lie and use those interests as a framework for your learning.


  • The importance of photographing people
  • Becoming a better photographer
  • Intuitive portraiture
  • Developing your style
  • Overcoming your subject’s shyness – and your own
  • How to discover and reveal your subject
  • Ways to help people relax in front of a camera
  • How to create a series of portraits
  • Getting technical
  • the right equipment for the job
  • Lighting and metering
  • Composition
  • The session
  • Posing or not
  • Location
  • On the streets
  • Direct the subject or document the subject?
  • Model release forms

What you'll learn:

  • How to work quickly with your equipment
  • Basic portrait composition
  • Better lighting technique
  • How to develop your personal portrait style

Each coaching session is two consecutive hours or longer if requested. Cost for one person is $195.00 cdn. The price includes one hour of instructor's travel time within the Greater Toronto Area. Additional travel cost of $75.00 per hour plus expenses will apply outside of this area. Location is determined by the instructor. Contact us for details about discounts for coaching with groups of 2, 3, 4 or more people.

Contact by phone (office 416-778-6521 - mobile 647 286 1705) or email (michael@michaelobrienphoto.com) to book a time. Payment can be made online using the PayPal form on this site. Full payment at least five days prior will confirm the date for the session.

Working with Groups Worldwide:
All of Michael's workshops can be adapted to group settings and delivered at the location of your choice anywhere in the world. In this case workshop fees are per person; location, travel and production fees will be extra. Detailed estimates are available on request. Michael currently teaches these skills in college programs throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Michael is known primarily for the intuitive, natural way that he photographs people and places. His formal portraits, as well as his travel and documentary images of people are all built on a foundation of trust and respect. Michael's work explores the themes of identity in the individual, the family and the community.

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