Friday, 28 April 2017

Mother's Day

99% of those who contact me are women and the majority are moms or moms to be. I knew this fact but hadn't fully realized until I started to think about Mother's Day which is fast approaching. In honour of this special day, there was one session that I knew I wanted to write about. All of my sessions mean so much to me but this one was different because it was my first time photographing new parents. By new parents I mean parents welcoming their first child just days before I showed up to photograph them. My sessions before this included an older sibling. this case, they were brand new parents. Parents navigating those early days that are chaotic, exhausting, messy, beautiful, full of new experiences and emotions - remember that feeling of not being able to take your eyes of this little person and maybe that feeling of how does this little person generate so much laundry?

As we think about Mother's Day, how do you capture all that it means? From those who are waiting to meet their babies to new moms just discovering life as a parent and perhaps a new appreciation for moms in their lives, to the moms who have been part of our life growing up that cared for us or that now watch over us. How do you capture the sacrifices made, the love, the commitment, the laughter, the nurturing, the encouragement that mothers bring? The scraped knees that are made better, the hugs after a long day, the talks and advice?

For me, showing the beauty of those early days is what I kept coming back to - the beginning. I was quite nervous before this session - without the distraction of other little ones running around, it's a different mood all together. Knowing full well how difficult those early days can be on everyone, I wanted to ensure that I gave them the space they needed to feel comfortable and at the same time to document the details of their life and routine that maybe sometimes we forget to capture. I felt so honoured to be invited into their home during such an intimate time when everyone is just trying to figure things out.

This little girl's story may branch off from her mom's but it will always be rooted there. Merci beaucoup aux parents de m'avoir faite confiance de capter ces moments. Joyeuse fête des mères.


Friday, 21 April 2017

After a Photo Session / Après la session photo

(texte en français suit ci-dessous)

This week I thought I’d fill you in a bit about what happens behind the scenes after a session – so,  after you’ve had a session with me, what happens next? For me, the end of a session is actually the beginning of much of the work. Once I get home, I upload the photos as soon as I can and ensure they are backed up. I then take some time to sort through them, tag the best photos and delete any duplicates, photos that are under/over exposed, maybe not the strongest angle etc. I take a lot of photos during a session to test different exposures or perspectives and they don’t always work – it’s just part of the process. 

What are the ‘best’ photos? For me and how I work, the best are the photos that tell the story from details, wide shots to close ups; photos that make you feel something; angles that are flattering, compositions that are interesting and lead the eye to the subject; and photos that reveal bits of soul. 

From there, I apply some basic edits to the photos, for example, I change some that I feel speak more in black and white or apply a standard edit across all photos and then return to each photo and tweak them individually. This whole process can take several hours. When I’m happy with the gallery as a whole, I upload it to a photo sharing site (I use Pixieset) and provide clients with the link and password for them to view the photos. Because I probably get as excited as clients to see the results, I usually have a quick turnaround for this initial gallery. Depending on what other projects I’m working on or family commitments, I can usually have the gallery ready within a few days after the session.

Once clients have selected their favourites from the online gallery (the number is based on the package they purchase), I go back to these photos, enlarge them on my screen and refine them as necessary. I look for ways to make them stronger and remove distractions that pull the eye away from the subject. I use Lightroom and Photoshop to crop, straighten, lighten, darken, sharpen each image. I don’t smooth skin out, I don’t alter how people look which is in keeping with my philosophy of capturing people as they are and telling real stories. I will remove a blemish or two, a fly away piece of hair, lighten a shadow – things like that. I want people to look like their best selves without giving into that pressure of perfection. So much can be achieved with angles and lighting that using Photoshop to change someone’s appearance is just not necessary. All of these final edits take another few hours depending on the complexity of the changes to be done. I aim to have images as close to perfect as possible straight out of the camera but given my style which is to document moments as they happen, sometimes I have no choice to just shoot and capture the story over taking the time to compose everything perfectly. Anyone who spends time with kids knows how fast they move! 

Once the final edits are made, I send clients a link to download the high resolution files they purchased which they can then print as they wish. 

So there it is, a little look into the work that happens after a session! If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.

Cette semaine, j'ai pensé vous expliquer un peu ce qui se passe derrière les coulisses après une session - alors, après avoir eu une session avec moi, qu'est-ce qui se passe ensuite? Pour moi, la fin d'une session est en fait le début d'une grande partie du travail. Une fois que je rentre à la maison, je télécharge les photos dès que possible et je vérifie qu'elles sont sauvegardées. Ensuite, je prends un certain temps pour trier à travers eux, marquer les meilleures photos et supprimer les doublons, les photos qui sont sous/sur exposées, peut-être pas l'angle le plus fort, etc. Je prends beaucoup de photos lors d'une session pour tester différentes expositions ou perspectives et Ils ne fonctionnent pas toujours - c'est juste une partie du processus.

Quelles sont les «meilleures» photos? Pour moi, ce sont les photos qui racontent l'histoire à partir des détails, des perspectives variées; Des photos qui vous font sentir quelque chose; des angles qui flattent, des compositions intéressantes et qui visent le sujet et des photos qui révèlent des morceaux d'âme.

À partir de là, j'applique quelques modifications de base aux photos, par exemple, je change quelques photos en noir et blanc ou j'utilise une modification standard sur toutes les photos, et ensuite je les modifie individuellement. Tout ce processus peut prendre plusieurs heures. Lorsque je suis contente de la galerie dans son ensemble, je la télécharge sur un site de partage de photos (j'utilise Pixieset) et je fourni aux clients le lien et le mot de passe pour qu’ils puissent voir les photos. Parce que je suis aussi excitée que les clients pour voir les résultats, j'ai généralement un virage rapide pour cette galerie initiale. Selon les autres projets sur lesquels je travaille ou les engagements familiaux, je peux habituellement préparer la galerie dans les quelques jours après la session.

Une fois que les clients ont choisi leurs photos favories de la galerie en ligne (le numéro est basé sur le forfait qu'ils achètent), je reviens sur ces photos, grossissez-les sur mon écran et affinez-les si nécessaire. Je cherche des façons de les renforcer et de supprimer les distractions qui éloignent le sujet. J'utilise Lightroom et Photoshop pour recadrer, redresser, alléger, assombrir, affiner chaque image. Je ne lisse pas la peau, je ne modifie pas l’apparence des gens, ce qui est conforme à ma philosophie de capter des personnes telles qu'elles sont et de raconter de vraies histoires. Je vais supprimer une bouton ou deux, un morceau de cheveux qui s’envole, alléger une ombre - des choses comme ça. Je veux que les gens se ressemblent sans qu’ils se donnent au pression de la perfection. On peut utiliser les angles et l’éclairage au lieu de se fier sur l'utilisation de Photoshop pour changer l'apparence de quelqu'un. Toutes ces modifications finales prennent encore quelques heures en fonction de la complexité des modifications à effectuer. Je vise à avoir des images aussi parfait que possible de la caméra, mais compte tenu de mon style qui est de documenter les moments qui se produisent, parfois, je n’ai pas le choix de simplement prendre la photo pour capter le moment et je n’ai pas le temps de composer tout parfaitement. Ceux qui passe du temps avec les enfants sait à quelle vitesse ils bougent!

Une fois que les modifications finales sont effectuées, j'envoie un lien aux clients pour télécharger les fichiers haute résolution qu'ils ont achetés et ils peuvent les faire imprimer comme ils le souhaitent.

Alors voilà le travail qui se déroule après une session! Si vous avez des questions, j'aimerais avoir de vos nouvelles.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Welcome Baby J

With baby J's early arrival, this family grew from 3 to 4. When I visited, big brother seems to be taking to his role quite nicely and I'm sure as they grow up together, they will be best buds.