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.
The school year is about to end. Where did time go? Graduating from high school, college or university signifies many different things to many.
This special time is significant for anyone. That is why we love opening up the studio doors to young men and women and treat them to a magazine-style photo experience and make them feel like a celebrity.
Prior to the shooting session, we do a styling consultation. This is when you share how you wish to be photographed. The blend of your ideas, personal style, and inspiration combined with the lighting setups and posing make for unique timeless images. We start mapping out the shoot during the consultation while leaving room for spur of the moment ideas.
The day of the shoot starts with a hair and makeup session. For guys, we can still bring in the fabulous artist as she can help style the hair and remove dark circles (from staying up late studying for final exams, of course).
You do NOT need to know how to pose. You do not need to worry about where to place your hands. That is my job. During the shoot, we flow from one idea to the next listening to music and grabbing snacks when energy is low. You leave looking and feeling fabulous, energized and ready to take on the world.
A few weeks after the shoot, you come in to view the images created for you. You can then decide how you wish to enjoy and cherish the images. There are keepsake boxes that fit 8x10s, matted enlargements and canvas prints. Stationary such as greeting cards and postcards or press-printed books are also fun, customized and long-lasting options. They are great mementos.
Below are a few of the dozens of young celebrities I have had the honor of photographing in the last 20 years.
The featured image at the top of the blog post is that of a young woman who is determined, ambitious and industrious. I met her when she was a few hours old. She was born on Friday the 13th, the night of a full moon, the year the movie Titanic came out.
One of the many reasons behind the setting up of her magazine-style celebrity-inspired portrait session was that we wanted to celebrate her graduation from a 3-year college degree in Interior Design. This young woman graduated with honors and spent one of her semesters in Paris working on real-life projects for a French design firm.
This session was also a way to celebrate another milestone: her admittance into Université de Montréal’s limited-enrollment and reputable Architecture Program.
This second graduation portrait is one of a talented and hard-working high school teenager. Her artistic abilities and infinite creativity leave me speechless. She manages to work part-time throughout her final high school year and still partake in many school initiatives that bring diverse experiences to her life. She has also worked as a studio assistant for me and makes the future look promising. I am excited by the idea that she is going to make the world better in her next adventure. Good luck Angélique!
This third image is over 5 years old. This beautiful, talented young woman is now a first-time mother. I have been fortunate to document many important moments in her life. (Baby portraits coming later on). Phia is smart, eloquent and creative and she has the voice of an angel.
These portraits are created with the intention of immortalizing an important moment in young adults’ lives. What it also does is foster a positive inner transformation that happens in almost every photo shoot like these.
Celebrating milestones and creating timeless images are important and of inestimable value. So get your portraits printed and show them to the world.
If you wish to receive some information on the in-studio beauty portrait session, you may order the brochure here.
Mother, Mom, Mum, Mummy, Mamma, Maman, Mamá, etc. There are so many different ways to call upon her. She is many things to many of us. From counselor, to confident, to nurse, to accountant, to judge, and to cook, she embodies all of those roles without, most times, any formal training in any of those disciplines. Even when she is tired, she always has energy for those in her tribe.
In the last 20 years of photographing women, I have photographed hundreds of mothers. The one constant I have found is the positive shift in energy when they talk about their children. No matter how tired or calm they seem, they always liven up when they talk about their children and family.
Life doesn’t come with a manual.
It comes with a mother.
We provide a place where you can come in, be vulnerable and authentic, and where you can relax. At Abelle Boutique Photo Studio, you are the center of your world for a few hours. When was the last time this happened?
Your portrait session is customized. We map out the outfits, accessories and props, lighting setups, backdrops and overall mood of the images we wish to create. If you also require a business or profile headshot, let us know we will add this to the plan.
You do not need to be photogenic. There is no such thing. It isn’t your job to know where to look, how to smile or where to place your hand. This is what we do: direct, inspire, and pamper you and craft the light in such a way that you shine.
Showing your children and the ones you love you matter sets a great example for them.
When your children and loved ones come looking for images of you, what will they find?
The web makes learning accessible. I use it as part of my regular training to perfect the mastery of my craft, I follow a number of entrepreneurs and leaders in my industry. I am constantly watching and listening to webinars and podcasts. Like every day. Like all the time.
The other day, while listening to a business webinar, the influential speaker said this: «You attract the clients you deserve.» In other words, you attract clients who are aligned with your energy. This line has stayed with me since.
I struggle with the confidence in the service I provide and the quality of the work I produce for people. I have come to understand that and expect it. I know many artists and soul-preneurs feel the same way because our soul is part and parcel of the service we provide for others. Indeed, portrait photography is my labor of love.
These are some of the lovely souls that have come into my life in 2018.
When I read this line over and over again: «You attract the clients you deserve.», I am at a loss for words to express my gratitude toward the clients who come into my studio. All I know is I am one darn-lucky and blessed human being!
Ah women… They are a special breed. This mother, sister, wife, and friend is such a remarkable human being. I never want to get too personal so I do not reveal too much of my clients’ personal lives. However, I can assure you that the world is a much better place because F. and S. are in it.
Beauty runs deeper than the thickness of the human skin. This is what you is visible in these images: an inner beauty that shines through in these portraits.
Based on the phone consultation we had, F. brought a variety of top of various colors, necklines and textures. We tried different colors and played with different necklines until we found what was most flattering and photogenic on photographs. The deep royal and emerald blues looked great on F. You see, this woman is from Cape Breton and the sea is part of her DNA. Not surprisingly, these colors, reminiscent of the ocean, looked amazing on her. Also, notice the neckline on the royal blue top. Take note: cowl necks are a must in your wardrobe ladies.
S. came in with simple and understated tops that also worked well in the photos. I hope we did justice to her perfect creamy skin and her sublime eyebrows.
Madison’s lip color choices. Frances is wearing Greystone and Sarah is wearing Saint. Colors by Nude Stix.
Meet Andrea and Annie, the models in this beautiful and intimate portrait photo shoot.
This is Andrea’s testimonial:
“ Isabelle in her thoughtful and skilled manner has marked a transitional age/stage for Annie and I. Annie is completing high school and is heading to university in September.
She reminds me of Chelsea Clinton.
I am growing my businesses in preparation for retirement from soon to be 25 yrs. of teaching. We very much appreciated Isabelle’s organization, professionalism and attention to detail in creating a safe atmosphere for the photo shoot and the exciting reveal process. As a painter, I am fascinated by how she masterfully paints her subjects in their most beautiful and authentic light! Annie’s casting shot captured her fresh look and was ideal for the intended purpose of her performance audition in Toronto.
Isabelle suggested a business shot for me which I will use in various multi-media forums including Facebook promoting my local businesses – Buells Creek Furnishings (hand-painted custom furnishings) & Walk More, Bark Less (pet nanny and dog walking).
I treasure the images which caught my girl and me in our groove together. Such fun working with you, thank you again.”
Photography assistant: Angélique Gravelle
Hair & makeup artist: Madison Moore
Photography and styling: Isabelle of Abelle
This next photo shoot, actually photo shoots, is of a gorgeous family of 5. Made up of three little boys who are full of beans, a mom and a dad, a dog and chickens. There is never a dull moment in this household.
Only a few weeks after delivering baby number 3, she was out on the ski hill with the two oldest boys.
Then came boy number 3: Grayson.
When I met them this Fall, they were just finishing some major home renovations including an entire addition. Where they find the energy, I don’t know. All I know is that this family is GORGEOUS, friendly, funny and authentic. I love them to bits.
People often ask What do you do? “I am a photographer’ isn’t enough“. This is what I do: I photograph connections and love and give families heirloom images of moments. Portraits that will stand the test of time. It is an honour and a privilege to do this for people and their families.
C’est avec sa robe de première communion, une crinoline en tulle, des ailes d’ange (oui, oui, vous avez bien lu) et des ongles d’orteils presque propres que Mlle C s’est fait photographier au studio. Seule. En lumière naturelle. Par un samedi matin tranquille.
Il y a presque exactement deux ans, elle était venue au studio se faire photographier avec maman. C’est fou ce qu’elle a grandit depuis ce temps-là.
Mlle C. en 2015
Les enfants, c’est du bonbon. Ils se donnent sans réserve, sans gêne. C’est pourquoi ils sont si photogéniques. Donc, à la base, tout le monde est photogénique. Il s’agit de faire confiance et se laisser diriger pendant la session photo.
Maintenant, Mlle C. a des devoirs. En plus de devoir apprendre le violon :), elle doit aussi choisir quelles images et grandeurs de cadres elle mettra sur le mur de sa nouvelle chambre.
Les autres images de la session de portraits en studio sont visibles ici.
J’aime l’algèbre. Oui, j’aime ça. Je suis prof de maths de formation. J’aime l’algèbre quand en plus ça donne ceci comme résultat: M + K = A. Soit: [M: Marjolaine, K: Keven, A: Alyce].
Ces images sont le résultat de 3 types d’équations: celles du premier degré, celles au carré puis, finalement, à la puissance de 3.
Quel privilège que de photographier ces 2 variables (maintenant 3) depuis les 3 dernières années, de leurs fiançailles, au mariage, à la grossesse jusqu’à la photographie de leur famille.
Ce qui est le plus beau, selon moi, est le fait qu’il la fait encore rire. Aux éclats.
Il n’y a pas seulement le Père Noël qui a une belle bédaine. Cette future maman porte fièrement un bedon bien rond.
M & K se sont mariés en 2013.
Aujourd’hui, ils attendent impatiemment une petite fille. C’est en studio que je les ai rejoins pour cette session de photographie en lumière naturelle.
Je suis certaine que la petite puce qui pousse sera bien entourée.
Ces images sont un beau complément à leurs photos de mariage.
Avouez aussi que M. ressemble un peu à Patrick Huard?