Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Our Barcelona Trip Blog - Montreal travel photographer Hera Bell

Although this Blog is more about my portrait (glamour, boudoir)  work I would like to announce you that our travel blog Anthony & Hera   is once again being updated.

I started updating it this morning. The first two days of our Barcelona trip in May 2013 is up and running. I will try to update on regular basis. I have two weeks material to cover.

The first two days contains 24 photos, one video clip and a comprehensive travel log written by my husband Anthony.

Here is the link:

hola-barcelona-sunday-may-19-2013-our first two days

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dream Wedding Gown- Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

A Dream...

This image I just finished reminds me of the song L'ete Indien of Joe Dassin. Listen to the words you would understand why. I grew up with that song. When I fell in love years ago I started daydreaming kissing him again by listening to that song. At the age of 18 I arrived to the country where L'ete Indien takes place.

Yes, I dream a lot. I turn them into reality in my photos. Instead of calling myself a painter, I am called a photographer.

Location was shot by me with Canon 5 D Mark III in West Island. The wedding gown is by an Italian wedding gown designer. The session happened in my studio.
It is a collage.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Creating Old Fahion Vintage Photos In Photoshop... Montreal Portrait Studio Hera Bell

I am commissioned to create a very special wedding album which will look and feel 100 years old. The bride wore a very antique gown to the wedding. Everything represented the year 1913. It was held at an estate. Only 80 guests were invited. Everyone was dressed to fit the époque.
I am in this mood aroud these days editing over 700 images this way. Since I have no model release to share the images with you,, I tried the technique on a recent studio shot which I have a model release.
The subject was shot over a paper backdrop. The fur (background) was shot with cell phone. Then the texture was applied over...
Voila the elements.. Everything is possible... The wedding shots will not however have the dark texture. Therefore they will be less in darker mood and have more grain... To see what I mean please visit my other Blog post:

 Creating old fahion vintage style photos.
Let me present you... Organic Dreams...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Creating Realistic Digital Photography Collages-Montreal Glamour Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

Today I would like to share with you another realistic photography collage from the same photography session in my West Island photo studio which took place last Monday with Karima.

In the morning I visited Hudson's Finnegan Market with two photographer friends of mine. After having some drinks at Willows In I returned home.


Around 3pm  my husband and I we decided to go into town. I brought with me my Samsung  Galaxy SII cell phone.

In the past I could print up to 16"x20" size prints from my cell phone snaps. So I was lazy to carry any other gear.

I noticed the reflections you see below. I composed as it and snapped the shot. Here is the un-edited shot.

Here it is the final image with Karima in it. Karima was photographed in my studio with two Bowen strobs and my camera Panasonic Lumix GH2.

I hope you like the impact of the final image. I hope you notice the realistic aspect of the digital collage. Please pay attention to the shadows and to the harmonious nature of the warm tones from two different cameras and two different shots.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Digital Light Painting Art Versus Photography-Montreal Glamour Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

During the film era I had experimented with light painting with slides. It was mainly on still life subjects.

Several years later, my good friend Howard and Ronda and I experimented with light painting with our digital cameras in my old downtown photography studio near Lachine Canal Montreal. We used flash lights and created portraits of each other.

I have always wanted to push the technical and artistic envelope when it came to do things beyond a snap shot, beyond what just comes out of a camera.

I have always said that styling your images sets apart a visionary photographer from a photo snapper.

But that alone it isn't enough in the industry today.

Few weeks ago I photographed this barn on the way to Toronto. Bright day light. Hand held shot. Nothing extraordinary. Here is the unedited version as it came out of the flash card. The RAW file size is reduced.

Karima and her daughter Mimi were in my studio as my clients 7 years ago. We did a mother and daughter photo session. Since then we have kept in touch. Karima is an art lover.

Last Monday, Mimi and Karima were in my West Island photo studio. 7 years later they were as beautiful as they were back then.

The entire session although happened in studio in front of a backdrop, the final images were going to be digitally transported to other locations.

I could have very easily transport the Lady In Red to the day light shot of the barn. It had to be much more different. I wanted  the drama.

Everything was re-created in Photoshop. And it did take me less then 20 minutes. Much like in the old era darkroom, I burnt selectively to create the night shot.

Voila... Lady In Red Under The Moon Light...

In real life, no luxury glamour portrait client would pay you and stand at night in the middle of a field, infested with bugs, just to get photographed.

Yes models would do it for a portfolio shot. Fashion magazine editorial art directors would do it, because they have the budget to hire the models, photographers and teams to make their vision possible.

But why slave around photography? The only thing you need is to have the artistic vision and the technical know how to create the same vision in Photoshop.

Convenience versus inconvenience...  Convenience would always win.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Visions- Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

"An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision."

 James Whistler 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Human Graffiti- A Fine Art Photography Project By Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

It all started in my studio with one brush and one color of paint and a willing subject. The rest of the project took its own journey over a period of few years. My subjects have inspired me. Something beyond this world guided me to paint things that I have painted on my human canvases.

The audio visual was produced in 2008.

The images were printed on 6' tall Italian silks. They have been exhibited. And it created a lot of buzz.

Today it is nothing but a great memory.

If you would like to see the AV please visit the link below on Vimeo.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Getting Photographed by Hera Bell - Montreal Glamour Portrait Photography Studio

When a client calls and asks for my photography packages and I tell them that the basic package consists of 12 final images, they look at me with disbelief. Then they ask "Only 12 shots?"  I say yes, but each image will be different and highly artistic.

Some believe me and book me, some might not. Now a days, after 16 years, I rarely market myself.  I usually work with referrals.  If some prospect client would  prefer going to another glamour portrait studio that offers hundreds of shots, they were not my type of clientele. At the end I wonder how many top different images they would get out of 100 shots at the other studio? Not that many more...

I believe all the images I would give to my clients should be stuff they would be proud of to hang up, or to create an album with. They have to be different, artistic... I only click that shutter when everything is almost perfect in my view finder.

Today I will show a series I shot of Sophie which I had shot several years ago. September 17- 2008... She is a medical doctor. Beautiful young lady. I did her make-up, and the last portion of the shoot, I body painted her.  Here we go, let me share 10 shots from the day.  The session lasted less than three hours.

I do all my client's make-up. It is included in all my portrait packages. I edit every single shot. Nothing leaves my studio un-edited.

Today's day and age what will distinguish you in the business of portrait photography from millions of other photographers? If you you can be different with an artistic signature style, you will survive. You have to have a passion for it. Just certain clever  marketing strategies will not make you a success.

For me, every client is a new artistic adventure. Much like getting a blank canvas and start painting. Our camera is just the brush and paints. You don't become an artist by holding a camera.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Art Of Photographing Pets-Montreal Pet Portrait Studio-Hera Bell

Do you think cats do not know how to pose to a camera? Think again.

Toby the cat was my subject briefly today just before we left for another graduation ceremony. He was just sitting there. I called his name this is what I got. Quite a Casanova poser he is...

Give me a camera I will photograph all the pretty stuff I see around.


Beaconsfield High School Graduation Of 2013-Montreal Portrait-Photographer-HeraBell

The leaders of tomorrow... BHS 2013 Grads... I loved seeing all the high heels last night. And no one fell while getting on and off the stage.
Congratulations everyone.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Testing My New Canon 5D Mark III Montreal Portrait Photo Studio Hera Bell

The grain on Canon 5D Mark III is amazing. I have shot few images at ISO 25800... At that level it is the grain of Canon 7D at 1000 ISO.

The clarity in the details with this baby is amazing.

Check this out.

A snap shot of a still life at 1000 ISO, available mixed lighting, f/4  1.60 sec  Canon 50 mm f/1.4 lens

RAW file saved as jpg. As is, un-edited. It is a very large file. Just click on it to see.

The crop detail... WOW! See the tiny hair on those strawberries? Do you want to see it larger? Just click on to the image.

At 3200 ISO...

Crop Detail

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pointe Claire Stweart Hall-Photographing A Special Couple by Hera Bell

The year was 1998. I got commissioned to photograph a very special couple from Sweden. Emma & Daniel...

Our first part of the session happened on Pointe Claire's Stewart Hall grounds. It was early spring. The snow was melting.

Shot on color negatives, the images were scanned later on in 1999.

I will share with you at another blog post the results from our second session in my home's basement. More sexy, more poetic images. Which actually became quite iconic later on...

If you know me in person and followed my 17 years of photo carrier from day one this avant premier will indicate you which images I am talking about.