So much fun this past weekend shooting fashion editorials at the studio! I teamed up with some of my favorite creative people in the industry: makeup and hair stylist Alexandre Deslauriers, stylist Lea Krpan, new face Inde from Sutherland Models, and Tye, also from Sutherland, for a "Old Hollywood" inspired men's editorial. Then I teamed up again with Lea and makeup artist Irene Sy for three other editorials with 3 up and coming Spot 6 Managements models. Here are a few behind the scenes shots!
I hadn't been in Ottawa in a while so I was really happy to have the opportunity to shoot again with an incredibly talented team - stylist Erica Wark, makeup artist Melody Iafelice and hair stylist Kirsty Macdonald always do flawless work! We put together this fashion editorial for Switch magazine, featuring Montreal based jewelry brand Don't AsK, and model Brittany from Specs Models who was perfect for the story! x
A beauty editorial featuring the lovely Eden from Elmer Olsen Models. Makeup by the talented Melanie Viger. Photography by Tina Picard. #toronto
I recently got to work on this fashion editorial with one of my favourite teams : stylist Amanda Fox, makeup artist Alexandre Deslauriers, and hair stylist Daniel Fortunato for the new issue of Fave Men magazine. We worked with four ginger models to create this barbershop inspired story shot at Bellwoods Barbers.
- What makes a great photo?
It's many little things that come together. It's about the concept, the idea, the creativity (very important). Its about the lighting and the retouching / post work that completes the creative process. Yes, composition makes a strong photo. But a stronger photo, is a photo that speaks. Its about the emotions that comes through. When you manage to make emotion the center of an image, you have a great photo.
- What makes a great photographer?
Curiosity and continuous need to learn. When we photograph, it's our soul that takes over - we see things with our soul, not our eyes. Like any artist, letting inspiration come to you, and using it when it is there. A stronger connection with the inner child. I think that's the main qualities that a photographer needs to be a great one. Forget about all of the technical stuff. As much as I love lighting and little technical details, over the years I have come to realize that if it comes from the heart and soul, it cannot go wrong. That's what art is about.
I recently had a few aspiring photographers asking me for my opinion on what it takes to make it as a fashion photographer. So I decided to put the following list together :
- As a fashion photographer, we have to be out there. Social media is great for reaching out to people, but meeting people in person is a totally different thing. If people can meet you and put a face to your name, you will be remembered so much more.
Collaborating & Creating Good Relationships
- Collaborating is so important for all types of artists. And creating good relationships with people you work well with is just as crucial. It is those relationships that will be beneficial to you in the long run. Make friends in the industry and you will never stop getting work.
- Unfortunately for some, the city you are based in is extremely important for fashion photographers. As for anyone that wants to specialize in the fashion industry. It is a business that is centered around specific cities across the world, such as NYC, London, Tokyo, Berlin, Milan, LA etc. So you need to be willing to relocate if you are from a smaller town or city if you want your career to expand.
- A great photographer is an artist who is constantly looking to learn new things. A never-ending curiosity is one of the best qualities you can have, which will get you far.
Long Term Vision / Goal
- What do you really want to do? Do you see yourself shooting fashion for the rest of your life? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen? I think that a photographer can only really make it in the fashion industry if he sees no other way of living his life. Becoming a fashion photographer has to be a must, it can't just be a maybe.
- You have to love what you do, and everything that it includes. You just have to. It has to be part of you, and it has to become something you cannot live without. Yes, it is work, but it also your hobby, and your passion. Passion is your most powerful asset. With this, there is nothing you can't achieve.
Over the years, I have also come to realize that nobody should be "trying too hard" in order to make it big. If you expect things to come to you right away, you might be up for a surprise. Everything comes with time. And a lot in this industry is about timing. So be patient, keep working hard, and most importantly, HAVE FUN. :)
Today was a blast at the studio! I teamed up with super talented ladies Melanie Rose and Amanda Fox for a 1970's inspired fashion editorial with the one and only Paul Mason. Stay tuned for the full editorial out soon! Thanks to the best assistant Anastasija Smirnova for these behind the scenes shots :)
Every photographer has a different story. Some were born into photography, some discovered their passion at a young age, and some later in their life. Some were lucky to have artists present in their life, and some just found photography unintentionally, by experimenting. For my part, I never planned on being a photographer while growing up. I definitely wanted to do something artistic and creative, but I never really knew what it would be.
I always loved photos, since I was very young. I loved anything that was visual. I used to draw ALL the time. The rest of my family were quite the opposite, and no one really pursued any artistic hobbies. The first camera I can remember having was a really cheap 35mm camera that my mom bought. We would snap the usual family shots with it, and wait a couple of weeks to see the photos in print. How exciting that was! Then, around age 8, I remember my aunt giving me a more high end reflex camera - I think it was a pentax MX. Altough this camera was broken and produced blurry and out of focus images most of the time, I really enjoyed shooting with it, experimenting and trying to be creative!
My first digital reflex camera was a Canon Rebel (the first model). The digital changed my life. I got to shoot more stuff, and this got to shoot more often! I started with photos of my dog and cats, of course, then I turned to landscape, and street photography. My next camera was the Nikon D300 - but I at that moment I still wasn’t very good, or should I say, I hadn’t found my passion yet.
Then in 2008, I met a photographer who was doing portrait photography on the side. He was quite passionate about his photography, and his passion was contagious. I came out of my shell, and started experimenting with portrait and fashion. And I fell in love. I learned a lot from this photographer - he became my mentor.
I quickly realized that this is what I wanted to do, no question. I left my desk job as a web designer to pursue a career in photography full time. The next few years were experimentation. I tried events, weddings, families & babies and all of that. I wouldn’t say that I didn’t enjoy those at some point, but I never really got any real inspiration… But when I returned to portrait and fashion, I felt like all the work that was involved was effortless. I was growing so much so fast - I found my niche.
It was important to me to differentiate, from the very beginning, what quality photography work was, and the difference between amateur and professional photography. I chose to learn from the very best of the best, and to only look at work from photographers who were at the top. I assisted a few photographers in Montreal, and this is where I learned the most about the fashion industry. I learned the things to do, and the things not to do; something that they would never teach you in photography school. I still went to school for a bit to perfect my technique, and basically to get a new outlook on the business side of photography.
The rest was just pure passion, and a lot of determination. You have to just go for it. Along the way I took risks, some small and some huge! And I don’t regret any of them - even the ones that didn’t end up working - because that’s when I learned the most. I think that when you have a vision and a goal, everything gets so much easier, and you don’t really see obstacles as obstacles… but more as fun challenges that you are actually expecting. :) Photography isn’t the easiest career. You HAVE to be passionate about it. You have to live through it. It has to become a part of you.
Every once in a while, I like going back to Ottawa to book some photo shoots - that city is filled with talent and potential and I always have a blast working with an incredible Ottawa based team! The next dates we have available are February 21st and 22nd, with potentially also the 23rd. Here are more details about the different packages we offer :
PORTRAIT / BEAUTY - Includes 2 hours in studio, hair and makeup, and 5 final retouched images
FASHION / PORTFOLIO - Includes 2 hours in studio, hair and makeup, styling (3 looks) and 8 final retouched images
For more info, email us at email@example.com - Spots fill up quickly, so contact us to book and secure yours!