Tag Archives: photo studio

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.

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:

Preggy and Pretty. A maternity portrait photoshoot turns magazine-style at Abelle Studio.

Maternity portrait from Abelle place in a magazine cover.

“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.

To see more images, visit this link.

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