When 2014 began, I was on maternity leave and isolated by a brutal Ottawa winter. I forced myself to get out; I went to the gym every morning (and got in the best shape of my life!) and decided to sign up for a new photography class offered by my wedding photographer, just to get out of the house sans bébé. This small and seemingly insignificant decision ended up changing my life more than I could have ever imagined.
Not only did the class teach me valuable technical and practical photography skills, but by the end of the course, the teacher asked me to join his incredible team of wedding photographers; which I graciously accepted of course. I spent my spring, summer and fall shooting over 20 weddings alongside my mentor. I learned more than any course or book could ever teach me - and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it!
This experience, and the support of my dear husband, provided me with the courage and the confidence to finally put myself out there and thus, Michelle Ma Belle Photography was born (which by the way, was heart palpitating). I've been shooting and learning photography for about 8 years; ever since my first inspiration was born (aka Noah). I took classes, joined amateur photographer groups and basically just carried my camera around with me everywhere, documenting and capturing memorable moments. Let's just say I've filled many photo books over the past several years. Sure, I alienated by first born, but it was all part of the journey ;)
The photography business is a tough nut to crack so I set some very modest goals for my first year in the "bizz". I never anticipated the level of interest and success my newly founded photography business achieved in 2014. I'm still a little shell shocked but incredibly flattered. From May to December 2014, I've photographed over 50 families - some more than once. I've discovered parts of Ottawa that I never knew existed (this is a B-E-A-UTIFUL city!). I reconnected with old friends and met so many new ones! It's been a pretty epic year.
My photography style and skills have evolved, and so has my branding. I introduced mini sessions, which wasn't part of my original plan but they were highly successful and so much fun! (I plan on running many more in 2015 so stay tuned.) I discovered that my true passion lies in outdoor and lifestyle family photography; I like to watch life and all its beauty unfold in front of me and be able to freeze those intimate moments with a click of my camera. It's my superpower ;)
In 2015, I plan on doing much of the same; continuously learning, evolving and providing clients with affordable quality photography. I plan on running several themed mini sessions, doing a few "valley tours" and spending lots of time outdoors with families, including my own. My availability this year will not be as flexible as last seeing as I am back at work full time and have children of my own to capture (plus a husband and a dog - you know how that goes). One very valuable lesson I've learned this year is how important it is to find that balance between family and passion, work and play, social time and solo time.... in order to remain happy and healthy, and to be truly successful.
If you read this far, MERCI!
And THANK YOU to all those who gave me a chance, who shared their positive experience and referred others to Michelle Ma Belle Photography. Your support and encouragement in 2014 was truly appreciated. I don't do it all but I do a lot... and do it pretty well ;)
I sincerely hope to see you and many more in 2015.
La vie est belle.