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.

Styling Your Glamour-Boudoir Photo Sessions- Montreal Portrait Studio Hera Bell

The year was 1998... We are talking about black & white negative era... I had just entered the world of photography May of 1997.

Stephanie & Frank contacted me. They wanted to have a sexy photo session with me. We did not call back then this type of photography "boudoir"... I was calling it "glamour make overs"... They were sexy make-overs. We are not talking about just a fashion shoot with glam.

I have always thought that styling makes your photos stand out. The choice of clothing, make-up, hair, compositions, the selective lighting can create timeless images.

I have singed rights to the shots. Voila, the same couple, photographed by me during the same session in our home's basement in 1998... Negatives were scanned in 1999 by Nikon Coolscan scanner . You can see the beautiful fine grain of Kodak TriX 400 ISO. I would re-scan them one day. To bring out the details in my blacks. But this shows how I did scan etc... It needs improvement.

The same beautiful blond. One with her own hair, one with a wig... Styling can transform a person.

The black wig shot is called... "My Beautiful Doll"... You conclude what it means. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

May Dad Then And Now. Father's Day 2013 Montreal Portrait Photographer Hera Bell

Without them I would not be here on earth.

Without their unconditional love and support I would not continue on living.

In the eye's of a father, his child never grows.

Then and now.

We all age.

I love you dad. You are an amazing man. Such a giving human being.

Happy father's day Agop (babisko)... May you be with us for a long time.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Photographing A Very Sexy Man. Montreal portrait photographer Hera Bell

My first shoot with Ilhan was  several years ago. In 2006... This image is from that session.

Since then we have been collaborating together whenever he visits my town.  Soon he will be in front of my camera again. I can't wait to photograph him again.

I just purchased a Canon 5D Mark III. I will put it into test against my Panasonic Lumix GH2. Not the same ball game cameras. I will still travel with my Lumix, and probably use it for most of my studio sessions. I like its size and the quality of the images I get through it.

Meanwhile, if you want to see an audiovisual from our first collaboration visit the YouTube video link below. You won't regret it.

An AV with Ilhan Karabacak by Montreal photographer Hera Bell 2006 ©

Canon 5D Mark III test:  High iso is awesome on this camera. At 12800 ISO, non edited RAW file saved as is in jpg. To see the fine grain detail just click on the image below to enlarge it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Creative Photography & Realistic Photo Collages - Montreal portrait photo studio Hera Bell

When I observe the Master's photography, throughout ages, they all had a very big common quality that they shared. They knew their craft well. Technically they created for their era flawless images. But what made them stand out of the crowd was their creative eye.

The gear even though might be maybe %25 of the game starter in photography, without the technical know how which for me represents the other %25 of what an iconic photo carries. I find that the big %50 goes to the photographer's creative eye and mind.

Film or digital. This hasn't changed. An old era Pinhole camera or an  ultra mega pro digital camera in the hand's of the masters becomes a mere  tool to achieve their vision.

I do not need to name the masters I admire. You can surf to your own leisure and discover their works, and analyze the creativity in their body of work which I am talking about. .(old masters of photography)

We can't invent what is out there which is already there. We can get inspired by them. Or like many, use the net (Pinterest, Google Images etc etc) to emulate as is some photographic concepts and compositions already done by others.

Today I have a family portrait  session. My clients are a young couple with a 9 months old baby boy. I haven't spent my time surfing the net to find and see what I will create with them. When they arrive to my studio, they will inspire me, the baby boy's actions will determine the final compositions. In other words each client is unique. Their looks, clothing and energy are unique. Yes I direct everyone. I am a detail freak. I seek the bring out the beauty in every subject.

Yes, my work has been described sometimes as edgy. In the last past years, I am heavily involved in my fine art portrait stuff creating collages. They are quite realistic. I like them that way. I create realistic fantasies. My clients do not suffer through weather conditions. I take them digitally to spaces that they have always desired to get photographed professionally. Everyone has a digital camera now of days. Including my clients. Have you ever wondered why they still would pay to get photographed?

Some of you know that recently my husband and I spent 2 wonderful weeks in Barcelona Spain. I came back with some awesome location shots. Slowly I am adding digitally my muses to these locations. The hardest part photographing these location were not the have any tourists in them to spoil the location's beauty. They are inundated with tourists. Controlling the mixed low lighting was the easy part of the entire exercise. Remember, no flash no tripod.

I have always admired  Antoni Gaudi . He was way ahead of his time 100 years ago as an architect. The photo below was shot recently at one of his apartments La Pedrera .

Few years ago the burlesque diva Scarlett James was shot in my studio. Voila, the final result.
In  desaturated and in B&W version. With  my own vision, this spectacular space needed a beauty.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Untouched Montreal Artistic Fine Art Nudes by Hera Bell

I met Elia during my early photography era. She was one of my muses in front of my camera.

This particular session happened at our home's basement.  I used those infamous blue bulbs to light the scene. What's on her head is a fabric I bought at Fabricville at the curtain department. I added the super long fake nails. Did her make-up. etc etc...

This was all during my film and darkroom era. In later years I scanned the 35mm negative on my Nikon Cool Scan II scanner. Added the PS texture. Don't ask me why the added texture...

At my studio opening in September 13 2001 (yup the week of infamous September 11 attack) it was a part of the exhibit. It was presented on the walls of my studio as a canvas transfer.

It has been analyzed to death by viewers.

I titled it  "The Untouched"...

The long nails, her covered head, yet exposed breast were described as very symbolic religious stuff.

Elia (a south American origin Montrealer) is today a wife and mother. She is no longer the wild daring young lady she used to be.

Time flies. People change. Life goes around. Memories fade by they stay in photos. Photos and people who were in them are a big part of our past. Because us, humans, we tend to try to re-write history often if it doesn't suit our fancy.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Same Leather Costume Different Woman- Montreal Fetish Photographer Hera Bell

"Ishtar, The Warrior. Be careful what lurks under the calm waters. The trolls might think they can hide. A skillful warrior sees all."

Go an read the book "The Art Of War".

Yesterday I shared one of my  photos of Emanuelle in this same costume.

Voila, the same costume, on a different woman. She practices marshal art in real life.

Here is the mini audio visual from our photo  session.

Ishtar The Warrior

Shot by me with a Panasonic Lumix GH2 few years ago. Two Bowen strobes 1000 watts each.