A Look Back at 2016

Now that we said goodbye to 2016 and the Holidays madness is over, it’s time for me to take a moment and look back at what the past year meant for me, professionally and personally (or let’s say both, I can’t really dissociate between what’s personal and what’s professional). 2016 was definitely a big year for me with many accomplishments and many challenges, and overall it was lots and lots of fun (yes, I really love my job). Here is a quick recap.

2016 Highlights:

  • 2016 was my first full year as a full-time photographer. It was quite a learning curve, especially since as a freelancer I am responsible for everything, from the actual work to contracts, invoicing, bookkeeping, sales, social media etc. etc. One of my main challenges was finding programs/software/ systems/ workflows to support all that back office work, and implementing those systems. I have to admit, my Accounting diploma and my past business experience came in very useful in properly setting up my business. I definitely count all this organizational work as a big and absolutely necessary accomplishment, especially since I am one person juggling so many roles within my business. 
  • I started off 2016 year by launching my new website, which I was quite proud of, given that I did it all by myself (it’s with Squarespace though, and they are quite a powerful website building tool. I highly recommend them). 
  • Portrait photography: I can say that 2016 was the year that defined my path as a portrait photographer, with many projects, such as beauty portraits, corporate headshots, professional or branding portraits, or creative portraiture . Portrait photography was not something I set out to do back when I started photo school (back then I wanted event photography), but the more I did it the more it grew on me, as it allows me to meet interesting people, and not only meet, but get to know them. I have worked with a number of people in different creative industriesas well as with business professionals, and I have also worked with companies such as Minimal, College LaSalle, Sectoral Asset Management, Shutterstock & Creative Mornings, . Here are some samples from some of my last years' portrait sessions:
  • Fashion photography: I really love fashion photography, it’s fun, and it generally allows me to be both the photographer and the makeup artist, which is even more fun. Last year I’ve had some nice projects (editorial, catalogue or e-comm) with brands such as Maison CYMA, Philhobar or Mode Vin Rouge. One of the photoshoots with Maison CYMA was particularly cool (and challenging) as it was in an icy cave. 
  • Event photography: I’ve had the opportunity to photograph a lot of events in 2016, from Creative Mornings events to fashion events (such as Festival Mode et Design, Fashion Preview(s), or the 5 a 9 McCord), to more serious corporate events and, of course, one of my favourites, TEDxMontreal.
  • Sports photography & Marathons: This is something I didn’t talk much about on my social media, but last year I worked a lot with Marathon-Photos.com, taking photos at runs and marathons. Here are some samples:
  • MAKEUP: Yes, this one is a big one. 2016 definitely marked a solid beginning for my career as a makeup artist. Not only did I get to work as a makeup artist on my own photo projects, but I had many projects as a makeup artist, from creative photoshoots with other photographers, to beauty & glamour makeup for events and weddings. Here are some samples:

  • Publications: Last year I’ve seen my work in print in a publication for the first time, with one of my images as part of an ad for Grandes Rencontres Creatives in Revue Gestion, or my portrait of Patsy Van Roost in the Journées de la Culture publication. And it was a great start for my makeup career as well, seeing my makeup in print, in an article about Maison CYMA.
  • Creative Mornings: last but definitely not least...I started off 2016 by taking on an official role within the MTLCM team (Director of Photography). Creative Mornings was my passion project all throughout last year (and it still is, but in 2017 I have taken an additional role, that of Art Director). Last year I’ve photographed (almost) all of the Creative Mornings events (except one), the Grandes Rencontres Creatives, and started a really cool (still ongoing) project, that I hope to reveal soon this year. 

In conclusion what I can say is...Pheeewww...2016 was quite busy. It took me forever to do a recap of my projects and I really tried hard to keep this blog post brief and only mention the essentials. But truth is, everything that happened and everyone that crossed my path along the way (friends, family, people I've worked or collaborated with) are pieces of my journey that I really cherish, and I am truly grateful for. I have to admit: doing this recap exercise was really rewarding and it gave me the confidence and motivation I need to take on the new year. I'm so excited for 2017!!!