When I decided to focus on women’s portraits three years ago, my goal was to photograph women in every stage of their life. However, I did not get a lot of inquiries for maternity sessions or family sessions because I am not per se a “maternity photographer” and people don’t see me as a traditional “family photographer”.
But I have always been fascinated by portraiture, and by women, and maternity and motherhood is part of some women’s lives. And I am happy to document it!
So I was delighted when Paige (who won my silent auction for a Truth in You session at the Stollery Women’s brunch on January 27th) asked me if we could take some portraits of her 9-month-old baby and her. Absolutely yes!
This session was a dream. Paige’s makeup was done by Elizabeth Segura from Blushed Beaute. We shot at Paige’s house and she asked me to bring my flowers backdrop. And baby Lainey was absolutely adorable!
This is a quick edit in black and white because Paige and I both love black and white (our inspiration for the shoot was mainly black and white images from Vogue editorials!). But I had to share something today!
I just got this amazing backdrop and I would love to get some people in front of my camera.
First, I thought of doing a “marathon” day of shoots where I would have maybe 10 people coming in one day for a 30 min session.
However, I realized that I was doing these marathon shoots because everyone else was doing it. But to be honest, I hate being stressed and these days would be extremely stressful for me. One of my life goals is to live a peaceful life aligned with my values, and basically, these shoots would just kill my soul.
I love talking to people, I love taking my time, especially if I am photographing you. Even if it’s a 30 min shoot, I want to take the time to get to know you. I don’t want to rush you out the door if we are having a meaningful conversation.
So, I am breaking up with the marathon shoots, or mini sessions or whatever you want to call them.
But I still want to photograph you and offering affordable portrait sessions for people who need a good and simple portrait.
***We don’t even have to use this backdrop. We can use my plain walls or a beige backdrop.
So here are the details of these simple portraits:
It’s not a secret that I love to play with the light. I am obsessed with light and shadow.
A few years ago, I remember trying to explain to someone that “I can see the light”. They look at me like I was the boy in The Sixth Sense telling Bruce Willis “I see dead people”. Hahaha! But what I was trying to say is that I can see where the light is, if the light is good, and how I can use in my photographs.
As a portrait photographer in Edmonton, winters can be long, so I learned to shoot indoors and play with the light and create interesting images. I really think that being limited by the light and the location can sometimes help you be more creative, and it pushes you out of your comfort zone.
So, with Devyn, it was winter, I wanted to shoot outside and I did not have any artificial light so everything you see was photographed in natural light.
We started in my bedroom. There is a corner next to the window which has some interesting light. I used my curtains to bring more light or limit the light. I don’t think we need lots of props when photographing someone, especially if you are making portraits. Just focus on your subject.
So, a chair, some good light and a photogenic model… this is what I had for my session with Devyn.
Don’t be afraid of shadows. Not every photo needs to be in full light. Shadows can actually bring some mystery and mood to your photographs. Embrace them!
She has the best smile!
Do you want to come shoot in my small apartment and play with light with me? Haha! Send me an email!
These are Lazina’s words because she is the only one who can tell her stor. I just showed up to take her photos. What a beautiful experience. Thank you, Lazina.
“July 28, 2017- I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It’s an autoimmune disease. A disease where my immune system is attacking the joints in my body. It can cripple and disable those who have it. It can leave people wheelchair bound. Yes, July 28, 2017 was a horrific day in my life. It was the beginning of not being able to squeeze toothpaste onto my toothbrush, open a bottle of water, do up my buttons, tie up my own shoelaces, pour water from the tea kettle, hold a glass full of liquid, write with a pen, walk without pain, wear high heels, open a packet of ketchup or bag of chips, properly cut with a knife and fork, and more.
Can you imagine not being able to do the most basic of tasks?
It was also the beginning of a new, uphill, gritty, life-altering, “dig to the depths of who you are” kind of journey for me.
That was the beginning of my journey to heal myself.
First, and most importantly, I sought medical intervention. Modern medicine is something that I now don’t take for granted. If I have to have his disease, I’m sure lucky it was 2017 and not 1917. Pharmaceuticals enable me to move my joints and my body everyday. Second, I changed my lifestyle. I upped my activity level, I moved towards an anti-inflammatory diet, I minimized (wow!) my alcohol intake, I minimized stress in my life, and so much more. Third, I gathered my support network. When s**t happens in life, you need your people. All of them. The close ones, the far ones, the ones I casually know and the ones I just met. Also, my family is far from me but not once has it felt that way- I’m a lucky daughter and sister. Last, I just happen to have the best husband in the world. His love, time and effort has brought me back to life- physically, emotionally and mentally.
I wanted to visually document this milestone in my life so I could always remember that within one year of hearing pretty awful news, I overcame this obstacle.
I’m not going to be crippled. I won’t be deformed. I’m not going to suffer & wither away like RA sufferers did 40, 50, 60 years ago. I’m strong. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m in remission. Thank you beautiful @emilieiggiottiphotos for capturing me.“
Stories like Lazina’s story are why I do what I do.