We met on a very rainy Friday in June of 2017. Back then, Cheryl was the owner-manager of a Golf course where the WMB Kingston hosted their annual Summer Kick-Off event At the end of the evening, she had won a portrait session with us as part of the door prizes draw.
She called about a year later. Lots had happened in her life. We spoke on the phone and discussed how she wanted to be photographed. She wanted to celebrate a new chapter in her life and celebrate life itself. This delicate and elegant woman overcame cancer in the last few years.
She now dances just for fun almost daily. She is saying yes to opportunities and invitations all of the time and her positive and vibrant energy is contagious. Take a look for yourself and scroll down…
I received a call a few months ago from Meredith. We knew each other without my realizing. We used to attend the same spin class and the local gym. This woman is a machine on and off the bike!
During the styling phone consultation, we discussed how she wanted to be photographed. The photography session we were going to create together had this purpose: to celebrate her uniqueness. For one, her idol is Iris Apfel. They seem to share a love for funky, out-of-the-ordinary and stylish glasses. Secondly, her love of textures and colors in clothes made for very different looks during the shoot.
After going over general guidelines and tips about what to wear and what to bring to the photo shoot, I shortly received an email with four pictures. She had put together four different outfits, including accessories and footwear, and photographed each one. To say this woman is organized is an understatement.
This woman is a powerhouse. She is a published author. She wrote Road to the Rainbow: A Personal Journey to Recovery from an Eating Disorder Survivor. She also works for the local hospital Foundation and is an amazing, caring, inspiring and generous human being.
Which of the four styles of glasses do you prefer?
Meredith’s book, published by CCB Publishing: Road to the Rainbow is available on Amazon.
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, 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 the disciplines. Even when tired, she still has some 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 and be vulnerable and authentic and where you can relax. At Abelle’s 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?
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde
Many female clients put portraits of their loved ones on their wall. Some women admit they feel vain displaying a portrait of themselves. Yet, they have no difficulty having their partner’s portrait or their children’s in the home.
Women clients tell me they are not photogenic, that they dislike their arms, their double-chin, their thighs, their behinds, their hooded eyelids, etc. In the last 20 years I have heard it all!
So I have a challenge for women, this Valentine’s Day. How about honouring your unique beauty? That inner beauty that is uniquely yours. That beauty that is earned in a life of raising children, staying in or leaving a marriage or long-term relationship, caring for aging parents, losing a loved one, going back to school, building a business, embracing retirement, etc. The beauty that comes from a life lived to its fullest.
The unique features that define your body image create an energy that is perceptible in a portrait. Energy, passion and sparkle cannot be Photoshopped into an image. Those are superpowers that you bring to the photo shoot.
Hanging portraits of yourself in your home, reminds you of how uniquely beautiful you are. It lets the other members of the family know you are as important as they are. It is a great way to model self-love and acceptance to younger family members. If nothing else, you leave a legacy-portrait of yourself to those who love you. More importantly, it may change the way you see yourself.
In the beauty magazine-style photoshoot experience, we go after your sparkle. Your inner light. The styling of the photo session is customized. It can be as casual or as glamorous (or both) as you wish it to be. You decide.
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!
Parfois, on a le goût de jouer à la star. Parfois, c’est le regard que les autres posent sur nous qui nous aide à grandir.
Ça fait longtemps que j’attends la belle So. J’avais ce shooting en tête depuis plusieurs années. Puis, un dimanche d’automne, on eu la chance de concrétiser ce projet. Et, ça donné ceci:
Je me suis sentie vraiment entre les mains d’une professionnelle qui a su me mettre en confiance et me guider. J’ai tellement aimé l’expérience! Quel bel exercice pour rehausser sa confiance et son estime :))))
Ce n’est pas le maquillage, la coiffure et la robe qui rendent un portrait inoubliable. Ce sont les yeux qui sont le reflet de l’âme qui se trouve derrière ceux-ci.
“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.“George S. Patton
There are no words to describe this session. I decided to let my client share her story in her own words.
“Most of us know life can bring challenges that knock us down for a while. And even when we know things have started to turn around, this turn-around can take a while, in little steps at a time. When I moved to Brockville in 2015, it was to start over. I found Isabelle’s blog by a “happy accident.” And I put the beauty makeover photo shoot on my wish list for when I felt ready to “come back out” into the world. It took 3 years, but then I contacted her, which started the ball rolling. I was excited and scared, and questioning it all as I met with her beforehand and decided what I wanted to wear. But also afraid that what I had been hoping for so much would turn into another disappointment that I had to overcome.
Disappointment was never part of this experience – ever—not during the shoot nor when I saw the pictures. The shoot felt professional and Isabelle’s photography knowledge was front and centre. However, her compassion for her clients like me was also an integral part of the process. She knew and understood this was not an easy experience for people to go through. Yes she was gentle and considerate about it all. My pictures surprised me but also made me feel like I had found me again….yes, a bigger size, a little more wrinkled and looking older. But I now had something—physical evidence– that showed on the outside how much better I was feeling on the inside.“
On my quest to reduce my use of plastic, especially single-use plastic, I found this product right in my neighborhood. I came across Priscilla, owner, and beekeeper, at yoga. She was gifting these wax-covered wraps to the owner-teacher-yogi. I inquired about these and found out that she was the maker of these gems and had them in stock.
These wraps are useful and cute and they smell nice.
These are the large-sized wraps which I use most of the time.
I also got a few of these packets. They contain a mix of seeds of plants that attract bees. They make great hostess gifts for people who don’t drink wine.
This is a kit containing a wrap in each of the three sizes: small, medium and large.
Isn’t the bee-shaped wax seal on the back of the packaging the cutest?
The large 13″x13″ completely covers my medium-sized bowl and is perfect for large bowls as well.
You can order these online at Madebybees.ca
So long plastic wrap!