Saturday, January 14, 2017

Portrait Photo Editing Styles Versus Signature Style Portraits by Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

We all talk about branding a product. This certainly also applies to photography business.
In the past we always talked about "Signature Style"...

 When you look at a photo can you guess its author without seeing any name or logo attached to the shot?

 I used to teach portraiture. People who took my classes wanted glimpses on how I see the person, how do I direct them. They always had hands on classes.

 Often students try to emulate the teacher's style....

 I have been seeing several photographers on the market taking classes with master shooters, and often ending up editing their work as the master they tried to emulate. Consistent editing styles can be created simply by creating actions in Photoshop. Their best photos in the portfolio often are shots taken during these workshops where there are stylists, amazing locales and models.

 Is your editing style enough to call it your signature style?
To tell you the truth anyone can emulate your editing style.

 It is the way,you yourself the way you pose your subjects, how you style your shoots, light your subjects that will create a true signature style, which will not be that easy to emulate, and it will be a style beyond just photo editing styles.

 One shot. 3 editing versions. First one is as shot.



Believe it or not this type of editing below had been in vogue over the past few years.  There are several action packages people are marketing to achieve this look. That faded old prints look. It is not a Signature Style. It is the flavor of the year photo editing. Years to come it will look like as funny as the bee hive hair styles of the past.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year by Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

Another year has gone by.
Life is full of simple pleasures to treasure and share.
This was the breakfast I made this morning. The last breakfast of the year 2016. Cell phone snap.

Then my client who is an art collector just sent me these shots of his beautiful place. Such a wonderful gift to see of my limited edition brushed metal print at his home. 

I had a sucessfull solo exhibit which was well attended. By such dignitaries as Quebec Minister Martin Coiteux and Federal Government mp Mr. Francis Scarpalagia. I thank Gilles Desjardins  taking the event's gala photos. Here are few samples.

The exhibit was well received and listed among Montreal Tourism Event's.  Which attracted a lot of tourists visiting the town.

And we just booked our next year's  trip. It will be Sicily. Looking  forward exploring the island with my husband.

To everyone I wish a happy healthy prosperous New Year.
Make a wish blow a kiss towards the sky where the stars are at midnight.

Please note that the above animated gif is not mine.

On to another note. Check the descriptive personality graph below. Which type are you? If you are into making new years resolutions it is worth to self analyse yourself. You are the only person responsible of your life and success.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

H2O CANADA Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bells Upcoming November 2016 Photography Exhibit

 A Photographic Collection of Canadian Waterscapes by Hera Bell

 It is still.  It rages.  It ebbs and flows.  It trickles gently; it roars.  It meanders, yet with purposeful objective.  It quenches, cleanses, and refreshes.  It is an essential life force within us and around us.  Water.
  Welcome to Hera Bell's H2O Canada, a photographic journey of our country's water sources in various forms, captured through the lens of a photographer critically acclaimed for her edgy, erotic imagery.

 In her third exhibit at the Centaur Theatre's Ted T. Katz Family Trust Gallery, Bell conveys the majesty of our waters with breathtaking splendour.  In signature Hera Bell style, the images in this display are luscious and sensual, seductive, as if they depict a luxury not essential to life, the farthest notion from the truth.
  It is no secret that our waters are dissipating through pollution and climate change, being coveted and stolen through corporate greed. With an increasing human population, it is a commodity that we must turn our respectful attention towards.  Simply stated, our survival depends on it.

The exhibit is also listed at Tourism Montreal. NOVEMBER  Art Event's list.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Special Glamour Make Over Session With The Italian Actress Playright Michaela Di Cesare by Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

My photography has been a journey for each of my subjects.
A moment of reflection in our chaotic life and finding that stillness within.

Michaela Di Cesare  will open her play In Search of Mrs. Pirandello  at Centaur Theatre's WildSide Festival 2016. There will be only 5 performances. Go and see. You will not regret.

I first met beautiful talented Miki September 16 2013 for a special photo project with Montreal Italian actors and comedians. And yes I call her by that name, just because I can...

Here are some results from that session...

 Yes this was our first connection together.

We stayed in touch. Often we run into each other at plays. Shared a glass of wine and discussed theatre.

Then I got a message from her in February 2015 wanting to book with me a glamour make over session for their upcoming wedding anniversary. Due to busy schedules we ended up doing our session in April 2015. The session was going to become a birthday gift to her hubby.

We discussed the art direction only between emails. Her and her husband love to travel. She wanted me to represent during our session the countries they have traveled. A very tall order for me.

This is what I received from her:

" Hi Hera,

I think it's about time I sent you all the destinations/themes I would like to try to capture. I'm just going to write down words and images that come to mind

Where we've been
Cuba: a dark cave with bats
New York: williamsburg, cafes, broadway, art, spotlight
Turkey: mosque, harem, Sanli Urfa, Capadoccia, magic, 1001 Nights, scarves, lights
Mexico: Baja California, Hotel California, Water,
West Coast St Lucia: Caribbean, coconuts, mango, paradise, salt
Rome: eternal, spanish steps, trevi fountain
Sicily: limes, heat, ruins, lazy, sensual, yellow and green Thailand: gold, buddha, richness, turquoise, beauty

Where we're going He is dreaming of Africa...Madagascar...but also many other places so this could be ambiguous. Or maybe with a globe?

And maybe one image that represents home? That could be a nice romantic idea.."

I was getting a bit nervous. April 8th 2015 quickly arrived. I told to myself, go with what she brought as dresses, props and take it from there.

Here are some results from that day. We both had fun creating these images. I did her make-up, hair, styled each shot what she had brought and what I had in the studio. The backgrounds are all my own travel photography.

She loved the experience. She has now caught the bug of getting photographed by me.. That makes me very happy.


24 karat gold leaves...

Memoires from a harem... Boots are from Turkey. Embroidered leather. Many more beautiful shots with the boots, but they will stay private.
The nightmare with the bats at the hotel room.

At The Opera House



The wife, the lover

Today I will see her play at Centaur theatre. It is the opening... I wish her all the best.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Romantic In Venice Our Gondola Ride by Montreal Glamour Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

After spending a two weeks in Venice, walking almost its every tiny streets, watching millions of tourists in gondolas, and photographing them (me off course), we finally decided to take our own gondola ride two days before our departure date.
Our decision was to take it from the spot that every day we had a Campari spritz. The place was next to our apt. We chose to do the half and hour tour, in tiny canals and end the trip back to the grand canal. Price was 100 Euros. Worth... every penny of it. I actually preferred spending it on a Gondola ride then few our restaurant bills which coasted more then that.

We absolutely wanted the ride during dusk, sun set time. Exactly 8.30 pm we started the ride. Our driver was great. He was doing this job since he was 18 years old. Over 35 years. He spoke only at the right times. It was uber romantic time for both of us. Quite, relaxing zen like.

Here are two photos of what I mean that I captured during our ride.

PS: On a funny note. During the ride, at a spot, a man with Quebec accent shouted at us. "Arete, arĂȘte un peu" He wanted to take our photo. I asked him "etes-vous from Quebec?" he answered "Oui, de St Lazarre"... What a small world.

 Our Gondola Ride Audiovisual on Youtube filmed with Samsung Galaxy S6

just click to the link above to watch the AV.


Friday, January 1, 2016

The Butcher A Centaur Theatre 2015 Play by Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

Least year I was commissioned by Montreal's Centaur Theatre to photograph and create their entire season's visuals.

The photos have been circulating in the entire media.

I just discovered this Montreal Gazette article about the play. Just follow the link.

And here are some of the other shots snapped  by me for this particular play.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Art Of Giving A Photography Gift Certificate by Montreal Glamour Boudoir Portrait Photographer Studio Hera Bell

Yesterday I delivered one of my new gift certificates to a very happy client. Couple of ladies got together to purchase this gift certificate to their co-worker who was turning 50. She was not expecting this new elaborate design. I wish I had taped her face when I showed it to her.

 I have created this handcrafted package all by myself. The person who receives it will explore it layer by layer. To me a luxury item's gift wrapping is as important as the gift itself.

Inside of the plain white envelope which it wrapped in luxurious double sided ivory thick satin ribbon, they will discover another amazing envelope, which one side is covered with a beautiful velvet flock design surface, the opening has a dye cut guipure lace and a crystal. The actual invitation has my seal logo sticker and it is embossed with my initials. You open that, you see an ivory pearled stationary where actually the text of what the gift is about is printed on.

To read and see what this highly personalized photography gift certificate involves and means you can visit the link below.


And this is how that gift certificate looks like.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Testing At Night The New Android Cell Phone Samsung Galaxy S6 by Montreal Photographer Hera Bell

I have recently returned from Venice from a two weeks trip.

I have put to test my new Samsung Galaxy S6's camera almost every day during this trip.

Very sharp, very clear, low grain at night shots high quality and large image files.

I also did video with it. Especially at night during almost pitch black situations its capacity shines though.

Here is an example.

To see the files larger just click on to the images.

After editing, the result is below. I just did bring out the details and used Noise Ninja to smoothen the grain.
And the video sample.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

About The Bully by Montreal Glamour Make Over Boudoir Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

When anyone tries to bully you, the reason behind it all is to turn the attention towards themselves and meanwhile their entire purpose with this cowardly act  is to cut you into pieces and they want you to react and feel hurt.

Stand TALL. Ignore. Shake it off. Ignoring the bully is the best way to get back at them.

A bully thrives on controlling a group of people by directing them to gang up on others. Meanwhile that same leader bully tries to show a friendly face towards the bullied. Bullies are insecure controlling cowards. Their insecurities make them suffer from the disease called envy.

Several years ago I watched a great play about this at Centaur theatre. I wish I remembered the play's title.

Thank you George aka DarkAngelOne   for creating these two fabulous animated gifs below of my photo "Getting Bullied" from "Emotion In Motion" series. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. George is a legally blind Amerindian photo animator. He is extremely creative.
You either repulse the poison implied to you by others.
Or you let it in and get hurt. The choice is very clear. You are the master of your own universe.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

About Relationships And Friendships by Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

Most friendships or most relationships are like a pair of shoes. You got to wear them out, only in time they will show if they were a good fit for you. Sometimes you are better off running shoeless to feel the difference.  Often we push ourselves to fit in a pair shoes out of desperation much like friendships Just because we don't want to feel lonely, or the shoe looks good but feels bad.

Do not forget. We are our choices in life. Much like our choices in our relationships.

Patrick was photographed in my studio in 2004.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Centaur Theatre Launches its 2015-2016 Season by Montreal Photographer Hera Bell

I am proud to be the photographer behind the 2015-2016  season's theme poster and the play posters. yay. now we can show the results. no more secrets. The much awaited media launch happened yesterday.

When Centaur's graphic designer Steve proposed me as the photographer to create the photos to the theatre's artistic director Roy, I was quite excited to undertake such task and achieve the very specific visions of 3 people. Steve, Roy and Eloi the communication director.

After few email exchanges with Steve, we had a very productive lunch meeting at my place, where I cooked, we ate, drank and brain stormed about the direction we were about to take.

I went ahead and booked few people for the shoot. As some of the play's actor's were not casted yet.

The two full days of shoots happened at the main stage. 7 sets, over 600 shots, then putting it together in two separate meetings with the boys.

We achieved in a very tight schedule (about 10 days from the shoot to completion) what you are about to see below.

As they say, I am not sad it ended, I am happy it happened.

Thank you boys. It was a great privilege to cooperate with you all 3.

6 plays which 4 of the play rights are Canadian women, which are represented in one theme poster "Luminosity"

Roy's fast sketch the day of the first shoot , photographed by me under available light with my cell phone.

The Brochure for 2015-2016 Season At Centaur.
Did I mention that I have a fear of falling? photo snapped during our shoot by Steve Ross.

At the media launch