Birthday season has started in our family, and this week saw Miss C and I fly out to Edmonton to surprise my mom for her 75th. We had quite the whirlwind trip, arriving Wednesday night and leaving Sunday morning, but we managed to pack in plenty of visits and a lot of love in those few short days. Back in Montreal, I attended an iPhoneography workshop, where I finally learned how to properly edit my mobile phone images. There will definitely be more (and hopefully more impressive) mobile phone photography in my life from here on out! Finally, to round out our week, we celebrated the birthday of an amazing kid who is now suddenly 13 years old and looking very grown up!
I love personal projects. For most of the time I have called myself a photographer, I've been involved in one personal project or another. Although they can be long and arduous, personal projects push and pull me in ways that are very good from a creativity standpoint. Almost all of my favourite images were made within the context of a personal project, and I attribute so much of my progress as a photographer to them - in short, they have been good to me! At the beginning of 2017, I sadly fell off the personal project wagon. I started a P52, then dropped out after a couple of weeks. I shot a bit in the months that followed, but I was aimless in my approach. I guess you could say I lost my "phojo". When I heard that my good friend and fellow photographer, Geneviève, was starting a new summer photography project called 50 nuances d'été, I knew this was the perfect time to jump right in.
50 nuances d'été is a photography project that calls for 4 images per week for the duration of the summer months. There are no constraints and no theme (unless "summer" can count as a theme). My goal is to document parts of my family's summer and hopefully, to collect a few new favourite images along the way (I may already have one in this current batch!). Each week, at the end of my post, I will provide a link to another photographer's blog, and you can follow the circle for more photographic inspiration.
For my family, week 1 was all about settling into our summer condo at Bromont and introducing our 6-month-old puppy Ruby to the area. Temperatures were unseasonably cool, but that didn't stop us from getting out and enjoying the beautiful nature on the mountain.
Please continue following this project by visiting the blog of the extremely talented Annick Paradis of Quebec City next! Link is here. Bonne semaine!
Our new puppy, Ruby, won over my friend Julie's heart when she came over to see her. Julie loved Ruby, and Ruby loved Julie... one thing led to another, and Julie decided to make our sweet Miss Ruby some homemade puppy treats. Ruby LOVED her puppy treats and finished them off quickly, but not before I managed to grab some photos of these cute and delicious (so Ruby says) puppy treats. Please see Julie's wonderful food blog, Blogieat, for the full recipe.
I was happy/honored/proud/stoked to have one of my articles published on the Click Magazine Blog. Click the image to see!
My interests are wide ranging and kind of eclectic, so it's only natural that the genres I love to photograph are varied as well. Food photography is something that has appealed to me on many levels for a long time, and when the opportunity to participate in a workshop right here in Montreal arose, I jumped at the chance. The workshop was given by The Illuminated Table, and it took place in a gorgeous natural light studio in Montreal's Mile End. I was lucky to have my good friend Sue, who came in from Ottawa, as my foodie photo partner for the 2-day workshop.
Here are a few snapshots from the workshop, along with the final food shots that I helped style and photograph. *Disclaimer: the taco photo is my image, but not my styling!
Well, your headshot can be used for any kind of professional or personal promotion, ie. your company's website, your LinkedIn profile, any social media account, or in this case, to promote your NEW BOOK! Congratulations to my talented client who has co-authored the book TOUT savoir pour composer avec les turbulences à l'adolescence, on her impressive achievement.
I'm extremely happy to be back with a new website, lots of new content, and a new direction in my photography style. Take a look around the new site and see what I mean!
If you knew my previous website and client work, you will notice there is a clear shift away from family photography towards more personal work with a few corporate headshots thrown in. I'm excited to move forward in this direction and to focus my client work on helping entrepreneurs and small-business owners market themselves effectively. I will continue to offer my signature clean + modern corporate headshots, with the choice of in-studio or on-location photo sessions. I now also offer commercial and editorial photography, which is a service geared towards entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking for compelling visual content to help grow their brands. If you are a small business owner, I would love to meet with you to discuss how I can help you reach your marketing potential.
And just to prove that I haven't been idle while I've been off the blogging grid, here's a glimpse of some of what I've been up to in the past year. Condensed version. :)
S P R I N G is here and it's a great time to update your business portrait! I am currently taking new headshot clients, with sessions taking place either in my home studio or at your office. This is a painless and fun 30-minute photo session, guaranteed to give you photos of yourself that you will love. Please contact me for more information!
Nothing beats a beautiful fall day in Montreal. My guess is that nothing also beats having a sister to share a beautiful fall day with in Montreal. I never had a sister myself, but I always wished for one. My mom has a fantastic relationship with her two sisters, and I grew up with friends who had (and still have!) the most amazing friendships with theirs. I'll be honest, the complicity and bond shared by these 2 beautiful sisters made those old feelings of sister envy resurface in me. As I look at the portraits I took of these two girls on that gorgeous fall day, all I can think about is how unbelievably lucky they are to have each other... for their entire lives no less.
The fall season is pretty much wrapped up, but I will have more sessions to blog, so keep a look out for new posts. In the meantime, if you'd like to see more autumn glory, here's another family session I did last fall that remains a favorite of mine. Bonne semaine!
Call me crazy, but my favorite part of receiving something is quite often the thanking I get to do after. There's nothing better than composing a little handwritten note on beautiful stationary and sending it off all pretty and neat to an unsuspecting recipient. I always imagine the moment of delight my note might bring to someone's day and that in itself is reason enough for me to pop a card in the mail. I've been sending thank you cards since I was a little girl and trust me, I'm not stopping anytime soon. Recently, I came across some thank you notes from my grandmother who had sent them to me when she was in her 90s! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I make it to that ripe old age, and I sure hope I'm still churning out thank you notes between my aquasize classes and hairdresser appointments!
So what was the occasion for this most recent gratitude mail-out? Well, check these out:
These are my swanky new business cards, specifically intended for the corporate headshot market and I love them! Headshot photography is an aspect of my business model which is growing and I wanted a tangible way to reach this important market. Everyone needs a headshot, and if you don't believe that statement, then you need to read this post on the importance of having a great headshot ASAP!
Of course, the first thing I thought of when I got these beautiful cards was I HAVE TO THANK MY CLIENTS WHO ARE ON MY NEW BUSINESS CARDS!
Honestly, it was just what I needed to pull out the stationary and pop a little love into the mail...
I ran into a client last week and she was so excited to share the following news with me: SHE LANDED A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR CLIENT BECAUSE SHE HAD A GREAT HEADSHOT.
Really? No kidding? All because of a headshot I took for her? I couldn't believe it, but she maintained that it was absolutely because of her new headshot on LinkedIn that a complete stranger reached out initially and finally became her client. I was so happy for her, not to mention proud to have contributed to her success.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized the importance of having a great headshot; a headshot can shape the way people perceive you, even before they actually meet you in person. That's an interesting point to consider, especially in today's world of on-line everything. As a professional, in order to stay ahead of the game, your headshot should portray you in your best light, and bring to mind adjectives such as cool, confident and capable. Ultimately, you want your headshot to say, "you can trust me, I've got this".
The day before school started last week, my kids surprised me and asked for their own professional headshots, and this is what we came up with:
What do their photos say to me? They say "trust us, we've got this, Maman". Okay, perhaps my son's photo breeds a little more confidence, but that's because my daughter's a silly goose.
Hmmm... the importance of having a great headshot... even if you're only in grade 4 or 6!
To see more examples of professional portraits I've taken, please visit my dedicated headshot board on Pinterest.
J'avoue, parfois je parle à des clients et je n'ai pas seulement l'impression d'être photographe, mais aussi d'être quelqu'un qui peut les aider avec un problème. "Nous n'avons aucune photo de famille depuis 4 ans, et les enfants ont tellement changé depuis..."
ou bien, "Il faut mettre à jour notre mur de photos !"
et même la trop souvent pire des situations... "Nous n'avons jamais fait de photos de famille !" Ummm... pardon?
Bon, ne vous inquiétez pas les amis, je ne vous juge pas ! Ce n'est pas la fin du monde puisque je suis là pour vous aider avec tout ça.
Dans le cas présent, pour cette famille sympa, au moins ce n'était pas le pire des cas, mais disons qu'elle était due pour une mise à jour. Voici ce que la mise à jour a donné.
Mais attendez... avant de vous montrer les photos de toute la famille, je vous rappelle qu'une famille, ça commence toujours avec 2 personnes qui s'aiment, pas vrai ?
Je prends toujours le temps de faire quelques photos du couple seul, et cette-fois ci, disons que j'ai été vraiment contente d'avoir pris les 2 amoureux en photo car en prime, c'était leur anniversaire de mariage ! Félicitations Danielle et Charles, je vous trouve ravissants et très photogéniques... J'aurais pu passer des heures à les photographier, mais bon, ils m'avaient engagée pour faire des photos de famille, donc j'ai finalement fait la place aux enfants ! Et quels beaux et charmants enfants sont-ils ...
Et voilà! Je vous laisse avec cette photo, qui pour moi, est l'une des plus belles prises de toute la séance. La vie est belle, et cela se voit dans le bonheur des enfants. Chère famille, merci de m'avoir laissé vous photographier, et j'espère que votre mur de photos est désormais bien garni ! J'en profite pour vous souhaiter un été plein de joie + amour. xxx
She called me because they were moving away from Montreal in a few weeks. She and her husband Ianik had a great condo in Old Montreal where they lived with their adorable puppy Scotch, and they wanted to have some tangible memories of their 'Montreal life' to take with them to their new home. "Hmm... like a lifestyle session with just the two of you + your dog in your condo?" I asked. "That sounds really cool + fun... I'm available!" From our first contact, I could tell Laurie had a very likeable + effervescent personality. She had ideas and was interested in collaborating creatively with me in order to capture some fun shots of life with her little family of 3 in Montreal. We talked Pinterest boards, wardrobe options, fun activities, and all the different areas of the condo she wanted to capture. I couldn't have been happier; this photo shoot was going to mean playtime for all involved!
And playtime it was! Laurie + Ianik were nothing short of a photographer's dream: they hung out, made French toast, cuddled their dog, worked in their office, snuggled in bed, explored their closet, freshened up, and generally just rolled with all of my suggestions while I snapped away.
I left this session feeling very happy with how things went, but a little disappointed that these 2 (+ Scotch!) were moving away from Montreal. From what I understand though, there are plenty of friends + family who are thrilled to have them moving closer. Lucky people!
Laurie + Ianik, thank you so much for inviting me to document your life in your Montreal home. You are a lovely couple and I enjoyed every minute of my time with you. If you ever move back to Montreal, please give me a heads up, and I'll try to find you a place in my neighbourhood, okay? All the best to both of you (+ Scotch!). xxx
The goal was to update the gallery wall of family photos. The children had grown so much and were almost unrecognizable since the last time family portraits were taken. The parents, on the other hand, hadn't changed very much at all, but like fine wine, had only improved over the years. There were so many reasons to have new photos taken, but perhaps the most important one was that life with children goes by far too quickly, and that time + moments have a way of slipping away from us if we're not careful. Walking through this family's home, I noticed that the walls + shelves were adorned with photo after beautiful photo of the couple, their girls, and their family. I immediately had a sense that my work that day was very important, and that the memories we were about to create together would be with this family forever. With them forever... Wow, just the thought of it gives me goosebumps.
Part way through the session, a discussion ensued about how life has changed for us as parents since we've had children. We reminisced about how often we used to go out and how much time (+ money!) we spent in restaurants. At one point, someone lamented, "it was amazing -- we used to be SO COOL!!!". I don't know, but these two still both look pretty cool to me. Vous n'êtes pas d'accord avec moi?
Well, my conclusion after a session with a family like this, is that they're all pretty cool. As usual, it was a complete honour to be invited into my clients' lives to capture their memories for them. I truly hope these portraits will find their place among the other beautiful photos in this family's home, and that they'll be treasured... pour toujours!
Finally! This beautiful Rococo cake by Albena Petrova of Sweet Temptations has been on my mind for a long time. I photographed it back in October, but had to wait many months to publish any photos as it was awaiting publication on the cover of Cake Central magazine. I'm happy to report that the special Rococo cake issue has now hit the stands, and I can finally post some images of this incredible piece of edible Rococo art.
To say this cake was impressive is an understatement. I'm not at all surprised it made the front cover of a publication, because let me tell you, it was STUNNING. As is always the case with Albena's cakes, each and every detail is designed, crafted + painted by hand. Every last bit of Albena's cakes is also edible, and having recently tasted one of her creations, I can attest to the fact that YOU WILL WANT TO EAT. IT. ALL. Kudos to you, Albena Petrova, you are a true cake master!
Buoyed by the recent popularity of photographer Kate T Parker's Strong is the New Pretty movement, I decided to revisit the personal blog post about my own daughter that I wrote last year and see if I was still doing a decent job of portraying my little girl's beautiful strong spirit in photographs. My conclusion? I did an okay job, but between you + me, I know I can do better.
The exercise of looking through my photos made me realize that I have always leaned towards strong girl images, but I have a strong boy as well, it would appear.
To be honest, I don't really understand the hullabaloo about the Strong is the New Pretty movement. No disrespect intended, but I think ALL children, boys + girls alike, are strong in their own way. The key is to capture it, that's all.
Here are 3 tips to help you capture your strong girl or boy: 1) Make a point of photographing your child in action, using and revelling in the power that is in his/her strong body. 2) Observe from a distance and capture him/her just being. 3) Whatever you do, for Pete's sake, don't instruct the child to "say cheese!", because a fake smile will most certainly extinguish any strong kid mojo that's in the air. (Laughing + natural smiles are obviously not forbidden.) Now get out there + have fun with your strong child - now!
Little 12-day old baby Henry was wide awake when I arrived at his family's beautiful urban Montreal condo for his newborn photo shoot last week. His home was buzzing with activity; it was his first official photo shoot, after all! Despite the excitement, with a little swaddling and plenty of kissing + cuddling from his parents, baby Henry fell fast asleep in no time. He alternated dozing in and out of sleep the entire time I was there, giving me plenty of opportunities to capture him both sleeping peacefully + being fully awake. Henry was one cooperative + happy baby boy -- never once did I hear a peep out of this perfect little prince! Welcome beautiful baby boy... I know you will enjoy life with your wonderful + loving family, because clearly they enjoy life with you.
As a reminder, the first two weeks of life is hands down the best time to capture your baby's newness in photographs. Click on the following links to see more examples of at-home newborn photo sessions: a 12-day old baby boy's newborn photo shoot, andbaby Theo's official newborn session. Voilà... et sur ça, bonne journée à tous!
Are you tired of waiting for spring to show up??? Yes, me too. Well, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is, as I was editing these cake photos last week, I heard birds chirping outside my window. The bad news is, as I type this blogpost, I am looking out the very same window, but I don't see any birds, only huge white snowflakes falling! Arghhh... Anyway, being that it's April now, I'm going to ignore the snow and proclaim that spring has sprung! In celebration of this long-awaited change of season, I've decided to ring in spring with a cake blog post. If you're a regular reader here, you may remember last year's post about the cake photo session I had with Albena Petrova of albenacakes.com. This year, I was lucky to photograph some of her recent creations which appeared in Montreal's March 2015 Bridal Boudoir Affair.
Am I not right in saying that these beautiful custom cakes lift the spirits and just ooze S P R I N G? Winter be gone!
Yes, everything you see on these cakes is edible (flowers, leaves, butterflies --- everything!) Albena is a true artist and anyone would be lucky to be celebrated with a cake designed by her. I know my husband has heard Albena's name dropped more than a few times already... because July is not too far away to plan for a cake!
Ahh January, ahh February... how can I say this and not offend you? You’re hard to love. Your darkness, your bitter cold and your dreary landscape are tough on a girl like me who's happiest on a warm sunny day. You were especially brutal this year for us Montrealers with your deep freeze that seemed to go on and on (and on!). Making matters worse, you always come in the off-season for my photography business, and I don’t even get to bury myself in client work to help forget about you. Thankfully, over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to help combat the winter blues, and a lot of them involve diving into new projects. Last year in January, I undertook the important task of creating my photography website + blog. This year, I decided to spend the cold season learning how to properly use my macro lens.
Voici un peu des fruits de mon travail. Let's begin with the fruit, shall we?
To say I loved this class is an understatement; I definitely produced some of my favorite non-portrait images to date. To be honest though, it was not all butterflies and tulips (not in my head at least). During this class, I suffered from the fear of failure, something that plagues many artists. When shooting for the weekly assignments, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with new work that was any good. I feared starting from scratch every. single. time. What if I couldn’t surpass the standard I’d already set with the practice photos I’d taken during the week? What if my new photos sucked?
Those fears were stronger than ever when I had to shoot for my final assignment. I forced myself to pick up my camera despite the feeling that my best images of the week were already behind me.
So there I found myself, the day before my assignment was due, roasting + arranging beets, styling my shots and pushing away the fear in my head. I picked up my camera and tried my best to get something decent. In the end it all worked out and I love the resulting photograph. I’m so glad I didn’t give in to my fears, and if these beets could talk, I think they'd agree.
For me, the best part of a personal photography project is actually completing it and then seeing the whole shebang presented in one place. I was a little late in getting it set up and ordered, but my Blurb photo book documenting the year-long project I completed last year finally arrived yesterday! The kids were excited about opening the package and leafing through last year's photos; I was feeling kind of proud seeing my own cinquante2clics photo project come to a full and final completion; and lastly, my sentimental maman's heart grew a little emotional knowing that I have put our family's memories to paper, for my kids and hopefully their kids, to enjoy years from now... maybe even when I'm... you know... long gone...
It's a good thing I was able to snap myself out of it long enough to grab a few shots of le grand dévoilement:
And because I'm most content when I've got a project going on, I'm super excited about clic4saisons, which is a new 52-week project I started recently. You can check out the beginnings of my photo project here, and if you're interested in joining the clic4saisons community, we'd love to have you!
Happy weekend everyone, and don't forget, there's a reason why there's a hashtag #printyourphotos!