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.
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.
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.
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:
“Birth is the epicenter of women’s power.” –Ani DiFranco
This woman has had to wait for baby no. 2 less so than other women but more so than most. It hasn’t been an easy adventure, to say the least, but, at last, “Audrey” is on her way. In order to document this life-changing milestone, G came into the studio to immortalize the delicate and raw beauty of her pregnant state.
In-studio, we created a number of different looks with a flowy sheer maternity dress, some taupe taffetas fabric, and then black, body-hugging dresses, tops, and leggings that she selected from her wardrobe.
It is easy to get carried away in the photo studio with props and accessories while creating a magazine-style shoot because there is so much excitement attached to this moment. However, we tried to keep it simple yet elegant. Emphasizing the bump and classic body poses enhanced by natural and studio lighting.
Ideally, for comfort and ease of movement, weeks 32 to 37 are the ideal time frame to schedule the photo shoot. After that, moving is more difficult and your energy level starts to run low. We may have been a bit late to schedule this one but G is strong and flexible. We scheduled two different sittings and took breaks during each session. The results speak for themselves.
Most women feel self-conscious during their pregnancy and hormones sometimes get the better of the self-talk. Feeling fat and unattractive is common for expecting mothers. So, this session attempts to push the self-inflicted negative self talk away as it is simply that: negative self-talk!
Also, many of my readers will look at the finished portraits and believe they could never look this good. I started photographing women in 1999 and have created portraits of close to 1000 women and the feeling of inadequacy is universal. Let’s put an end to it, Sistahs!
I am extremely grateful I got to participate in creating these timeless studio portraits with G. The memories will stay with me forever.
Confinement has brought along a number of challenges but it did allow for time to be creative. To Express beauty using a different muse. For a few months, the human face was temporarily replaced with the contemplation of nature. Here are some of the pieces.
You may find these pieces on my portfolio page of Fine Art America.
Social distancing and the shutdown of non-essential services had Abelle Photo Studio, like the rest of the world, at a standstill. I reconsidered the future of my portrait and wedding photography business. I dabbled in stock photography and fine art landscape photography. It enabled me to improve my study of light crafting and bending and my technical skills. In the end, there was a silver lining to this. I realized just how important creating portraits and playing with light are to me. How contemporary portraits are priceless to families. How essential professional headshots are to business owners and entrepreneurs, and how cherished wedding photo albums are to couples and their families.
Time didn’t stand still, though. Children grew up and families shared more and more intimate moments. Some businesses disappeared yet others evolved, streamlined, and redefined themselves while new businesses were born during these unprecedented times.
Meet the Fortier family. They decided to document the announcement of the future member of their family in a fashion similar to their firstborn, Oli. We discussed the ideas and general feel of the session ahead of time. What types of images did we wish to create? When was the best time for our busy schedules? For Oli’s schedule? He is 3 years old, goes to daycare, and has decided to skip his afternoon naps.
With the help of a valiant helper, I tested various lighting situations. I got my light readings ahead of time and when the crew arrived, we started shooting, wasting no time.
A toddler’s attention span is short. Very short. But we rolled with what Oli was willing to give us. The images aren’t posed. Much. The images were directed. I decided on the best angles and sunlight position. The rest was taken on the fly in rapid-fire fashion. The results are images that convey a sense of joy and elation and tell the story of the day mom, dad, and son officially announced that Audrey would soon join this family.
To view more images of this cute family portrait session, click here. To book or inquire about family portrait sessions, write to me.
Researchers say it takes many touchpoints before converting a follower into a client or a member of your tribe. A consistent and polished media feed is key to building trust with your audience.
Upgrade your social media presence to make your business stand out.
From professional, casual, or fun portraits to images of your storefront and polished photos of your service and products, this experience is all-inclusive to help you promote your business.
The shoot includes a styling consultation, an in-studio or on-location professional shoot, a variety of looks, professional business portraits, a curated bank of images of your place of business, and of the outstanding service and products you offer. Optional and highly recommended hair and makeup services are also available by a licensed professional.
When you photograph a face…, you photograph the soul behind it. – Jean-Luc Goddard
Clients do business with people they know, like, and trust, so it makes sense to proudly show your face in some of your social media and marketing.
Écouter est un art et cet entrepreneur et formateur maîtrise cet art depuis longtemps. En matière de vente et conseil, il préconise la préparation. C’est là que le lien de confiance se tisse entre le conseiller et le client.
C’est un peu ce qui s’est passé dans le studio. Il faisait chaud à la fin de la session de portraits pendant laquelle se sont succédés des portraits corporatifs et personnels. Plus la session avançait, plus le côté généreux et passionné de Félix transperçait sur les images. À la fin, Monsieur n’avait plus besoin de coaching; son charme naturel venait de prendre le dessus.
PRÉPARATION: Armé de différents ensembles, il est arrivé préparé avec chemises, cravates, accessoires et vestons allant du très professionnel bon-chic-bon-genre au look apéro 5 à 7 pour terminer avec le look décontracté de fin de semaine.
Nous avons eu de la difficulté à choisir quelle image définit le mieux cet entrepreneur de talent et renommé. C’est aussi difficile de choisir l’image qui dresse le portrait de l’homme derrière l’homme d’affaire. Qu’en pensez-vous? Laquelle est votre préférée?