Portraits digne d’un.e cadre

Il était temps. Après plus de 20 ans comme cadre au sein d’une compagnie d’état, cette professionnelle n’avait que pour photo de profil ceci:

Je la taquinais amicalement depuis peu. Je lui ai finalement lancé l’invitation. Elle a accepté!

Par un beau samedi de mai, on a décidé de remédier à cette malencontreuse situation.

Personal branding headshot photographed in studio by Abelle.ca
Personal branding headshot photographed in studio by Abelle.ca
Personal branding headshot photographed in studio by Abelle.ca

Les poses étaient simples, le maquillage sobre, les tenues décontractées et l’ambiance amicale. Manue a amené une diversité de hauts de différentes couleurs, de matières et d’encolures avec lesquels on a créé une variété de portraits pouvant servir à différents médias.

Personal branding headshot photographed in studio by Abelle.ca

Les shootings photos ne sont pas tous pareils. Certains sont plus longs et comptent différents styles vestimentaires pour répondre à un besoin de photos corporatives et des portraits personnels tels des photos de couples ou de famille.

D’autres sessions sont plus orchestrées puisqu’on tente de recréer un look spécifique et on tient compte d’une charte graphique pour complémenter le style et l’image de marque de l’entreprise.

Personal branding headshot photographed in studio by Abelle.ca

Comme c’est souvent le cas, c’est en fin de session photo que le naturel est ressorti.

Merci à Myriam de Studio Espace Urbain Mtl pour un accueil chaleureux.
Merci aux doigts de fée d’Anik pour le maquillage et mise en pli: Anik Bourgeois

“Ok! It has only taken 6 months, but I’ve gathered the courage to do this!”

It started with a short email inquiry.

Then, 6 months later there was another email. She was ready to make a plan. To get photographed. To be seen. To be courageous enough to be vulnerable. To do this!

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” – Sophia Loren

That she found me online is incredible. That she chose to be vulnerable in front of my cameras in my cozy studio is humbling.

We covered clothes and accessories during the online consultation session. She aced that part! She brought several outfits and accessories that suited her figure and personality perfectly. I laid them out during the hair and makeup session and decided on the sequence of the various looks we would shoot.

We used natural light for most of the portrait session. We flow-posed from one outfit to the next for about 2 hours. We were both tired and exhilarated. We had created images that were authentic and timeless. This was a great team effort.

Her European elegance and flair were a delight to capture. Capturing the essence of this luminous soul was both a pleasure and an honour for us.

We needed to create headshots that had a more corporate look, but it was rewarding and thrilling to finish the shoot with some sequins.

Credits:
Makeup by Lacey of Laceface Makeup
Hair by Chloe

Family Portraits: A Moment in Time.

For this family, our story goes way back. Grade 8 homeroom late 1990s. (It doesn’t make me any younger.)

For this couple, family portraits are important. Every year, I receive Christmas wishes from them that include updated portraits of the growing clan. 1 dog. A belly. A dog and a newborn. A second belly. A dog, a toddler, and another newborn. You get the picture. *Pun intended.

This time, the crew I photographed was made up of three young men and a busy couple.

We set out to do Fall portraits that included casual attire of flannel shirts, jeans, and boots. We didn’t expect the temperature to rise to the high 20s and low 30s Celsius. Hot, it was. Busy, it was. Priceless it is.

In getting ready for the photo shoot, Supermom had planned for two sets of clothing: a coordinated outdoor wear theme, and another sportier look.

Miss Fantastic had also planned out cold drinks and snacks. These turned out to be lifesavers considering the travel time between the different locations we visited and the warm temperatures. The boys were remarkably cooperative. We were then able to go to one final location.

Once home, we were able to prolong the photo session just long enough to create a few more images of the three little monkeys in their natural habitat.

Wall of some of their family portraits (work in progress).
Eastern Ontario Portrait Studio

New Year + New Headshot = New Job

When T. reached out to me, she was finishing a degree in Data Analytics and in the process of embarking on a new career path.

She is an experienced and educated woman with a collection of impressive degrees: Biology, Fish & Wildlife Biotechnology, and now Data Analytics. She is a mother of two school-aged kids, who had gone back to school to reorient her professional life. This was a bold, ambitious, and courageous move. When life throws you a curve ball, you either duck or swing at it. And swing she did!

Time-pressed and budget-conscious, we had to get these headshots done. So we did.

We did a video call consultation before the shoot. We went over what message she wanted to convey with her professional headshots. We discussed the various looks we would photograph and talked about items of clothing and accessories to bring. She purchased some and borrowed a few items. Clean and simple was the way to go. We had to showcase her personality: competent, experienced, approachable, and talented.

As the session progressed, the self-confidence built. Can you see how much more relaxed she is becoming over time in the sequence of the portraits?

I’ve mentioned this before and will write it again:

A professional-looking headshot you are proud to show off to the world (online or in print) will boost your confidence. This newfound confidence generates an energy and a vitality that impacts your business directly.

Hair and makeup by the talented Samantha of Raw Beauty Cosmetology.

103 nautical miles and…

10 days and 9 nights
One 9-hour passage that led to my first bout of seasickness;
One amazingly red sunrise that “presaged” a violent storm followed by one rocky night of sleep;
one moon rising and one sunset;
1.3-meter waves that only experienced surfers could enjoy;
Two mini foldable bike rides with a Strawberry Shortcake fanny pack;
5 bags of chips;
Three open-fire meals;
10 perfect morning coffees with cream;
32 liters of water filtered using a LifeStraw©;
Two ice blocks (very difficult to find) and two bags of ice;
A 20-degree temperature difference within the same day;
A dozen mosquito bites, 5 deer fly ones, one wasp sting, 14 bruises, and 3 cuts;


But only one transformative experience.

“Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and end of all things on earth.”

– Heinrich Zimmer

#pec #princeedwardcounty #wellington #sandbanks #lakeontario #iphonography #abelle #tourismontario #sailing #greatlakes #freshwaterwealth

When you know better…

I recently shared some beautiful images of Lake Ontario and some of its sandy beaches. I’m blessed to be able to walk and relax on them. I’ve visited this particular beach about a dozen times in the last two years. Every time I go, I hunt down trash and notice a handful of dead birds. On average, I collect the equivalent of one shopping bag full. I find all sorts of treasures: plastic water bottles, beer cans, plastic tampon applicators (ever heard of the Diva Cup or OB tampons?),…

I also find partially disintegrated balloons. At first, I thought they were plastic bags but the decorative ribbons give them away. On every trip, I collect at least 3 or 4 of these. On this last trip, however, I collected 8 within a distance of 100 meters. 8!

These balloons, brought to the beach, courtesy of helium gas, break down, release their gas, and gather on the ground.

“Helium is the only element on the planet that is a completely nonrenewable resource.”
Source: npr.org

I see a handful of dead birds on every trip. Within that same stretch of beach, I saw 4 dead birds and a number of bones: 2 seagulls, 1 bird of prey, and a cormorant. Natural causes of death could be at play here. I am not a biologist. However, guess what I saw in two of the bodies’ bellies? Ribbon! These shiny ribbons attract the birds who swallow them.

So I am asking you to ponder the choices we make when it comes to unnecessary purchases. There are alternatives. Collectively, we can do better.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

#whenyouknowbetter #eachactioncounts #freshwater #canada #greatlakes #pec #princeedwardcounty #iPhonephotography #abelle #nature #doyourpart

Water

I love Lake Ontario. Love it. It’s beautiful, it’s turquoise, it has waves, sandy beaches, and best of all, it doesn’t have sharks! 🙂

I was saddened to find out that it is the most polluted lake in Canada as the other Great Lakes flow into it. I am concerned with water pollution in general. I worry one day the water quality will not only be poor but it will be toxic as is the case in other parts of the world. I cannot imagine a life without swimming!

Canadians have the increased responsibility of being the guardians of

20 percent of the planet’s precious freshwater resources.

www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/partner-content-where-our-water-goes-canada

On my end, I do my best to use less water, especially water provided by my municipality that has to be chemically treated. If I use less, I also release less wastewater that has then to be treated later on. So I aim to put less pressure on the system.


This year, I made the resolution that I was going to cut back on the quantity of water I would use. I reuse the bath and shower water to flush the toilet. I water my plants with water I use to rinse out dishes throughout the day. (I don’t own a dishwasher.) I practice selective flushing (ha! ha!). I do laundry only when I have a full load. As well as many other gestures that make a difference.

My water consumption went down from 9 cubic meters this Winter to 8 m3 this Spring to 7 m3 this last trimester. In 6 months, I was able to reduce my consumption by 2ooo liters! That is a lot of water for one person. Ironically, the municipality didn’t reward me with a reduced bill. I still paid the same amount.


For these shots of Lake Ontario, I underexposed using my old iPhone. Underexposing is, in my opinion, the best way to convey the beauty of light and nature. The effect is stunning and the colors pop. We tend to overexpose most of the time by letting the camera (or phone) do the metering for us. When it comes to light, snow, ice, and water, underexposing is usually the most striking thing to do.


#uselesswater #waterisprecious #weareblessed #nikonshooter #iphone6 #itsnotthecamera #underexpose #sigmaart #freshwater #princeedwardcounty #wellersbay #nature #canada #abelle #pec #lakeontario #sailing #swimmingincanada #professionalphotographer

Abelle Photography business headshot Brockville

Woman of Influence: Part III

I photographed this trailblazing woman back in 2016.

circa 2016

Now, she needed updated headshots. She is the host of Reader’s Corner and F.Y.I. on http://yourtv.tv/brockville.

Business headshot by Abelle Portraits
circa 2023

Doreen brings a wealth of experience and passion to all she does.  Doreen is curious about and engaged in the community. She is a woman of influence.

With the collaboration of Samantha, makeup artist extraordinaire and owner of Raw Beauty Cosmetology @rawbeautycosmetology, we created new business headshots.

Hair and makeup makeover portrait session
Samantha, the artist, at work.
Abelle Photography business headshot Brockville

The Pre-Shoot Consultation is an important step in this experience. It helps make the portrait session flow.

It may not look like it but getting photographed demands energy on the subject’s part. It is essential we work efficiently and that we have a good idea of the must-have shots we want to create. During the consultation, we map out the shoot by discussing looks, outfits, accessories, etc. We also get clear on the purpose of each business headshot while allowing for spontaneous additions or changes.

Doreen, being a returning client, has mastered the art of outfit selection. We were able to choose outfits with matching accessories to fit the different portraits needed.

Accessories aren’t necessary but are a nice complement to an outfit
to provide a slightly different look.
Abelle headshot studio
Abelle photography studio Brockville
Showcasing the independently published novel
by Neville Johnson: The Naked and the Damned.

Country Music Star: Another Woman of Influence in the Arts

A year ago, Jessica came to me with an exciting request: to create images that visually translate the lyrics from her latest music. This styled music cover portrait session was another opportunity to get the creative juices flowing and practice my craft.

Her songs talk of her hometown (Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon, Québec), her ties to Newfoundland and Labrador, her Metis heritage, and the sea.

“Love of the coast that flows through my soul.”

I’ve never been to Blanc-Sablon, and the mighty St-Lawrence river isn’t quite the Atlantic ocean. However, the frozen waterway, ice, and snow would have to do. We needed to figure out a way to bridge the 2500-kilometer gap!

The majestic Thousand Islands is one of the country’s most beautiful places to live. At the time of the photo shoot, we had arctic-like temperatures and ice thick enough to drive over. So we had a lot to work with.

One of the cameras froze a few times. Luckily, I had other camera bodies that my assistant kept warm so we could rotate them. The light meter was indiscernible so I couldn’t tell if the shot was properly exposed or not. The LCD screen on the back used up too much battery power so I couldn’t check the shots. Another camera’s digital sensor went wonky and added weird noise to the image files. I had to rely on my instinct and experience hoping the images would turn out. They did. I love the results.

This may sound strange but it felt like I was guided toward the settings I should be using. As I lost access to the digital controls, the cameras became simple metal boxes that let light in. It felt like my gut instinct was guiding me to only look at the scene and make this woman’s essence shine through.

At various moments during the photography session, the sun came out from behind the clouds and provided the most perfect halo around her body. I had natural rim light outside the photo studio! How awesome was that?

Also used during this shoot were “Hot Shots”. Lots of “Hot Shots” for the crew and the artist’s mittens and socks. Although it was well below zero, we stayed toasty warm. We had mapped out the shoot beforehand and we were very efficient. We had to be.

Jessica Lavallee’s music is everywhere online. Her first single is called Small Town Girl. You may stream it here:

Woman of influence: Part II

Stop them from scrolling past your service, your offer of value or your product.

Portrait of a woman laughing out loud.
Cara is a mortgage broker at: caraholdenmortgages.ca

Cara came to us looking for clean, clear, fun and polished portraits that would convey her business values. She wanted to showcase how relatable she is, how easy it is to get a mortgage with her expertise, how trustworthy and funny she is: she is always up for a good joke.

That is what we kept in mind when we created and styled the custom shoot. The wardrobe and the hair and makeup services were chosen with those values and themes in mind.

People’s online attention span continues to get shorter and shorter. People don’t read much of the content online but images (still and motion) capture the viewers’ attention. Attractive portraits help capture their focus. Make sure you add your contact information and invite them to connect. Make it easy for them to use your service. The world needs that service, expertise or product that only you can create and provide.

To find out about what your shoot could look and feel like, contact us: abelle.ca/contact-page