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!
Yesterday I got back in studio with my first fashion editorial of 2015. Days like this are without any question my favourites! We shot this vintage theme creative with incredible styling from everyone in the team : stylist Amanda Fox, hair stylist Daniel Fortunato, makeup artist Ana Sorys and model Emily Fox (NEXT Canada), who was just amazing in front of the camera. And special thanks to my wonderful assistant Anastasija Smirnova for taking these behind the scenes shots! :)
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2014 was a year filled with dreams, big decisions, daring moves, a lot of surprises, a ton of work, many challenges, and successful achievements. The thing that influenced my whole year was undoubtedly my move to Toronto. Moving to a new city is a big step. It has been a great challenge for me, which caused me to grow even more than I expected. I could never be where I am right now if I did not make that decision. This proves once more, that it is important to always keep challenging yourself. And it brings me to an exciting beginning of 2015, with amazing projects in the making.
This year also made reminded me how much I love what I do. It is true that if you don’t wake up every morning jumping out of bed with a smile on your face, then you should reconsider your job / career choice. I am fortunate to have found my passion and to make it my “work”!
A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported over the years, but especially in 2014. I met and worked with with incredibly talented people this year, and I am very grateful to being able to continue to do so in the next. :)
To everyone I wish you an outstanding 2015! XO
In this world where perfection is the ideal, our society shows us an image of what we should look like. This makes so many people feel uncomfortable with their body, and makes them feel as they have to change it, or rely on some product, makeup and cosmetics, to make themselves feel better.
Over the years I have shot with many models, and while in the fashion industry, we do use makeup almost 100% of the time, I found that models were often more beautiful without anything on their face. So before every recent high fashion editorial shoot, I decided to sit them in front of the camera to snap some shots. I wanted to capture something beyond just the face - an emotion, or a personality trait. And prove to the industry, and the rest of the world, that we don't need any cosmetic to be beautiful.
Hope you enjoy this series. :) T.
- * Special thanks to models from the following agencies : Angie's Models, Models International Management, Peggi Lepage Model Scout, Paul Mason Management, Elite Toronto, Plutino Group.
This week was filled with creativity! I got to put together this fun 1920's inspired editorial with an amazing team : stylist Kathleen Osland, makeup artist Melanie Rose and NEXT Canada new face Gemma, who was perfect for the shoot. Take a look at some behind the scenes photos taken by my wonderful assistant Anastasija Smirnova and keep your eyes open for the editorial coming out very soon. :)
This weekend I got to shoot GTA based fashion designers Knight & Taylor's new line, coming out in 2015. It was a pleasure shooting with these talented guys, and the whole team was a blast to work with! A huge thanks to Ed Tse for taking these awesome behind the scenes shots!
What do I do on days when I am not shooting? A lot of people have this impression that a photographer's job is to snap photos all the time. This is far from the reality. For example, I can spend twice as much time in front of the computer, editing and finalizing the final photos from a photo shoot, after the shoot itself. And there’s also the pre-production of the shoot (meetings with client, location scouting, getting a team on board and meeting with them, preparing the details of the day etc). A lot of elements are included in a photo shoot, so it far more than just a shooting day!
Also, professional photographers are business owners before anything else. This means there is a lot of tasks that are more business related than photography related that every photographer has to do every day. Answering emails, dealing with the bookkeeping and finances (my favourite), working on advertisements, promotion and marketing of the business, as well as maintaining a social media presence - which is VERY time consuming - are all important duties that a photographer has to do.
The chart below, created by ISPWP, really shows how a professional photographer spends his/her time. ;)
1- You are not alone - Toronto is filled with photographers!
This can be a bad thing if you see photographers as your competition, but it can also be the best thing for any photographer! Share your thoughts on photography, your tips and techniques, and you will in return get inspired more than ever if you make them your friends. In fact, photographers should be your best friends.
2- Most people in Toronto have an open mind and are supportive.
A big percentage of people in this city do encourage artists and entrepreneurs. Work at being creative and standing out of the crowd, and you will be successful without a doubt. There are many organizations and communities for artists - I highly suggest looking into them!
3- People are friendly.
Before I moved to the big city, I heard so many times that Torontonians were rude and cold. But it’s basically a generalization that people have about bigger cities. After I moved, I met so many down to earth and friendly people, so you really have to see for yourself. One thing that is true - Canadian are nice people. Which makes it easier for artists and entrepreneurs to make friends and connections.
4- There are a LOT of opportunities.
Everywhere you look. If something doesn’t work out, you can be sure to find something else without too much trouble. Just keep your eyes open at all time!
5- The money is here.
Being good at business is a must, and if you excel at it, the money will flow. Toronto has this great advantage over smaller cities in Canada.
6- The city keeps growing.
This means even more of everything in the future - more people, more talent, more jobs, more opportunities, more art. :)
What other reasons makes Toronto a great city for photographers and artists? Share your thoughts below. :)
During the weekend of November 14th to 16th, we will be booking photo shoots in Ottawa!
Are you starting your modelling career and need some fun and professional shots that show your diversity and abilities in front of the camera? Or do you need to update and improve your portfolio with new fresh images? Book your FASHION photo shoot with Tina Picard Photography now! Makeup, hair and styling with a team of pros also available.
You don't need modelling experience to book a PORTRAIT session. Treat yourself and let us create beautiful images with a concept or theme that shows your personality!
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your shoot. Spots are limited!!
As artists, we sometimes get caught in our own limitations. It’s important to keep an open mind, and try new things all the time. Here are a few things you can do to keep your creative flow going.
1 – Have a conversation with an artist. Artists often motivate and inspire each other. Hearing about somebody else’s visions and exchange ideas is refreshing for the creative mind!
2 – Start early or work at night. For some reason, I am always way more creative when I work late at night, or when I start working early (always with a cup of coffee :-)
3 – Turn off all distractions. Turn off the TV and close Facebook! Get away from anyone who might disturb your creative process. Music, however, is a great tool to get in the right mood.
4 – Take breaks often. Concentrating is a must, but taking a break is as essential! Make sure that you take breaks often during your day.
5 – Go somewhere new. It doesn’t have to be out of the city. Go somewhere you’ve never been or do something you’ve never done before. Every time I do this, I get some new fresh inspiration.
6 – Do something you’ve never done before. Try a new sport or hobby, join a club, take the time to learn something you’ve always wanted to learn. It can be something totally random!
7 – Meditate or take some time “out” from everything. Take the time to relax your mind of think of “nothing”. Meditation and yoga is excellent for the body, and for the mind. Every since I have started practicing, my creativity has improved drastically.
8 – Let go of your fear of not being “good enough”. Everyone, once in a while, has this limiting fear of having ideas that or not good enough. Everyone has brilliant ideas.
9 – When you have a new idea, don’t reject it right away. The first idea you get might not always be your best, but it can certainly lead to your best idea. Start with an idea and build from there. When you start getting creative, don’t stop yourself halfway through. It is a process. Many times, I found that the best ideas appear when you don’t limit yourself.
10 – Write everything down. If you are like me, you often get brilliant ideas at random moments. When you have a flash, write it down to not forget it.
11 – Challenge yourself. Set yourself goals and challenges every week. Staying in your comfort zone is far from being the best thing for your creativity!
What else do you think is a good way to stay creative? Share below!
Whether you are an aspiring designer, stylist or photographer, there are easier ways than other to break in the fashion industry. Below is a list I made of things to do that can give you a great advantage. By the way, if you are unfamiliar with the industry, a good way to start is by talking to people in your networks and surroundings who already made it, or even by contacting someone that you admire.
1 – Know your outcome.
What is your dream, and what is your specific goal? If you take the time to know what you are really after, then elaborating the steps to get there will be a much easier task. One thing that is absolutely needed to succeed, is passion. If you are truly passionate about your art and your dream, there is nothing that will stop you.
2 – Learn about the industry around you.
Chance are, if you live in a smaller city or town, the fashion industry won’t be as developed as in a bigger centre. That makes a huge difference in how successful you can be with your goal. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some), opportunities in the fashion world happen mostly in bigger cities, so consider moving if you can.
3 – Be there.
Attend every fashion event possible and introduce yourself to new people. Your presence is your most powerful tool.
4 – Collaborate.
Again, try to meet everyone you can. Work on projects creative together, especially if you are starting out. Creatives are a great way to make new friends and gives you the opportunity to work on your own creativity and vision while improving your technique.
5 – Be present online and social medias / Start a blog.
Becoming a social media pro is a must! The internet is SO powerful for freelancers.
6 – Consider joining a class or a group.
In big cities, there are classes for everything. It’s a great way to meet people who share the same dream as you and who can become great friends or collaborators. You can grow so much more if you are sharing your passion with others!
7 – Say Yes to new opportunities, but stay smart about it.
I think that when you are starting out, it is ok to do some volunteer work. But you have to be careful. This industry is growing and changing so fast, and so many people are wanting to be part of it, that a lot of them will do stuff for free because they want their name out there, or they just do it “for fun” and not for the money. This is not good for the ones who are serious about their dream and goal. Those are the ones who want to make their passion their way of making a living, and so they should take opportunities like this very seriously. You want to make sure that if you volunteer on some project, that it will help your career in a big way.
8 – Take initiative.
Never be afraid to ask or to reach out to someone, even if you barely know them. In this industry, if you are fearless, you will go a long way.
9– Keep up with the new trends and new technologies.
Everything changes so fast in this industry, so you’ll have to keep up! Again, it isn’t a hard thing to do if you are passionate about your career.
10 – Believe in yourself.
The most important part, and sometimes the most easy to forget. Being confident and believing in your own abilities is the final touch that will bring you to your goal. <3