Northern Lights


Photo by Johan Hellstrom (; light painting, with iPhone by Andre Nordblom (

Yep, that’s me, freezing my butt off but having a fantastic time after-hours at one of the most fun workshops I’ve ever taught. This was after the big group dinner (roast local Moose, potatoes, trimmings, and lots of wine), just as I was thinking about bed. A bunch of photographers decided this was a good time to go tramping off through the woods to do some astrophotography, and I tagged along. These guys (and gals) are talented, fun, and just plain weird.


Organized by Tomas Gillberg, and sponsored by Husfoto, this was a three-day workshop series for Swedish real estate photographers, held outside Gothenberg, Sweden’s second-largest city. We ate, slept, and shot in an 18th-century mansion called Munkedals Herrgard, which is obscure enough to not show up at all in a Google search.

Husfoto is a real estate photography company started by Erik Osterberg and Gareth Bagley. Unlike a lot of similar companies, Husfoto keeps all of its back-end processes in-house (e.g., no post-production in India or Asia). And it has a very relaxed relationship with it’s photographers, who are free to develop parallel real estate clientele on their own even as they take assignments from Husfoto.

The result is about a hundred well-motivated, happy photographers around Sweden, shooting really good stuff, gaining market share, and occasionally heading out to shoot wacky group shots in the woods at night. At 10 below.


Photo by Benjamin Rudstrom

Don’t ask what was being light-painted over our heads (with an iPhone). Trust me, you don’t want to know.

Back to the workshop: here’s a few of the beauty shots we made over the course of the three days. In the afternoons, we’d build a shot and then drop some amateur models into it and create a few lifestyle photos. And we got a couple of group shots made, too.









And yes, we braved the cold and did some twilights:


You can read an English-language write-up of the workshop, and see some killer behind-the-scenes photos at Benjamin Rudstrom’s blog. And, here’s some BTS, courtesy of Tomas Gillberg, and also a sampling of student photos:

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Finally, I’ll leave you with a quick video. Several of the Husfoto photographers are also deep into UAV photo/video. Click the link and check out the mad skills of this operator!

10 responses to “Northern Lights

  1. Great blog post Scott! Had a super time! Thanks for putting my post in! I’ve had a full-on easter-holiday and haven’t had time to respond to your email!

    I’ll be making a link-back in a new blog post soon. Thanks!

  2. Thanks Scott! We all had a good time. Your are really really good!

    • Tomas – you organized a really terrific event! Everything went extremely smoothly, from ground transport to accommodations (me, and the students) to of course the FOOD.

      Everyone, Tomas wins the prize for best workshop food, EVER. From the early-morning coffee service to the 3-course lunches (example: moose meatballs with mashed potatoes and vegetables, gravy, and fresh bread, served on “good” china with linen tablecloths and napkins, candles, and beer) to the 3:00pm coffee/pastry breaks to the outrageous dinner spreads….we were well cared for.
      Hats off to you, mate.

  3. Camilla Berg (HUSFOTO)

    Once again thanks for a brilliant and inspiring workshop Scott, I had a great time! Good blog post as well, glad you survived the crazy swedes!! 😀 Got your email and all the useful links, I’ll definitly make use of them so thanks for that!

  4. I’m so envious – I would LOVE to go to a workshop like that!

  5. -10 Celsius or Fahrenheit? Looks like a great group and some nice pictures?

  6. Scott, the workshop was the best I have been to!!! I have learned so much about interior photography, and I will try it at a hotel. I really look forward to that! Here you can see some of my shoots from the workshop, But it is in Swedish :). Thanks for all your inspiration! /Susanne Falk