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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
Stop them from scrolling past your service, your offer of value or your product.
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.
This woman is a positive, influential and active contributor to our community. We both come from the same small rural village and ended up here in Brockville. I like to think it was fate that we both ended up in the beautiful Thousand Islands region! Meet the inquisitive and talented Doreen. She is a producer on the local television network. Watch her as she interviews local personalities on the F.Y.I. show that airs on weekdays. www.yourtv.tv/node/1161
If you’d like to update your business headshot, please drop us a line or give us a call: (514) 259-5006.
Give the gift of professional portraits: they are a priceless, timeless and tasteful gift. For the entrepreneur in need of an updated headshot, for the family that keeps growing and expanding or for that special someone who always hides behind the camera. The Abelle photo shoot experience is memorable. Starting at 100$ and available in increments of 100$. Available online. Call us or write to us for details.
Une idée-cadeau d’une valeur inestimable: des portraits professionnels en studio ou à l’extérieur. Pour la personne qui a besoin d’une nouvelle image pour son entreprise, pour la famille qui grandit ou pour la personne qui mérite que sa beauté intérieure soit immortalisée. L’expérience photo Abelle est inoubliable. En coupures de 100$. Ces bons-cadeaux sont offerts en ligne.
Cette vue est certainement une des plus belles de la région. Cette région est assurément une des plus belles de la province. Ces collines verdoyantes, façonnées par l’activité agricole, ont été l’arrière-plan de l’enfance de R. On croirait entendre Julie Andrews chanter les collines en vie dans La mélodie du bonheur.
Pour R., fille de producteur porcin, cette journée, c’était son rêve de petite fille: se marier dans le champ sur la ferme. Une pandémie mondiale est venue ébranler ce rêve, à plus d’une reprise. Quoiqu’il en soit, ce rêve est devenu réalité. Pendant quelques heures, le temps s’est arrêté et tous les amis et proches de R et F ont pu respirer et partager leur bonheur contagieux.
La beauté naturelle du site et la simplicité du décor ont servi de trame de fond pour ces amoureux authentiques, sportifs et comiques.
Au cœur de la journée étaient la famille et les amis de longue date puis ceux et celles rencontré(e)s durant les plus récents chapitres. Tout ce beau monde s’est réuni dans le champ. La pluie était menaçante en matinée.
Puis, comme par magie, lors des photos du couple nuptial, des faisceaux de soleil les ont éclairés.
La soirée s’est terminée, à quelques kilomètres du site, au Domaine Château Bromont. Les convives ont apprécié le coucher de soleil automnal sur la terrasse.
There are very few images of my mother. Even fewer of us, her children, with her. Like most mothers of her generation or mothers in general, delivering, nursing, potty training, and raising children was/is an all-encompassing vocation.
Excuses. Oh, they are numerous. I’m too busy. I’m too fat. I’m not dressed up for it. Just the kids this time. I have no makeup on. Maybe next time. Or, perhaps mothers end up being the official family photographer and, although phones and cameras have timed delay options, that still doesn’t seem to help.
Ask people to shoot you along with the family. Ask your partner to take photos of you. Take selfies. Book a shoot. The time is now. Your clan loves you now, as you are. Please stand on the other side of the lens. Often. Whether you do it for you or for them, just do it!
The studio will open up again. Whether you choose to get photographed alone, with your partner, your own mother, or with your children is entirely up to you. Whether we create portraits in the studio, outside, or both, I will be ready to make that vision come true.