Life by Selena Photography
Montreal portrait & wedding photographer


The official blog of Montreal portrait and wedding photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. Explore her signature photojournalistic style and stay up to date on her latest wedding and portrait photography projects here.

52 : Newsletter (March 2018)

Back in January 2017 I launched an email newsletter with the goal of actively communicating my professional and personal projects to my community. As happens with many well-intentioned projects, my momentum flatlined, and I only got out two newsletters in 2017. Fast forward to March 2018, and I've decided to pull out the defibrillator and bring this newsletter back to life. In this blog post I share with you my March 2018 newsletter.

2017 Project Highlights

My biggest professional breakthrough as a photographer in 2017 came as a result of honing my photographic focus on portrait photography. This breakthrough came by sitting and evaluating the trajectory of my working life from gliding instructor to sociolinguist to photographer; what was the common link between each of these seemingly unconnected fields? After a lot of thinking, I realised the common link was people; each of these jobs allowed me the opportunity to intimately connect with the people around me.

Environmental Portraits with Ottawa artist "City Witch"

In fall 2016 I photographed people working on farms around Quebec as part of a project with the Coopérative pour l'Agriculture de Proximité Écologique. Through this project I realized that my major passion within the field of portrait photography lies in photographing regular people at work. This type of portrait photography is called environmental portraiture, a domain lead by photography greats like Yousef Karsh. In March 2017 I received a grant from the Quebec government through a program called Jeunes Volontaires. My project, entitled "Artists in Studio," is all about capturing working artists in their studios through photos and video. (More on this project to follow later this year.)

In May 2017, I joined Ottawa artist City Witch in their home studio, taking photos as they worked. Tess makes everything from small items like pins and patches, to larger items like scented candles, pentagram plant pots, and intricate pieces of embroidery. Although the items themselves are diverse, Tess’s artistic creations are unified around a witchy aesthetic, and use energy and intention throughout. With some effective pre-session planning, Tess and I were able to get a range of shots of them working on many different projects.

Jon and Kristina's Montreal Wedding

Jon + Kristina Wedding (Selena Phillips-Boyle) 1.jpg

I had two major goals in 2017 for the wedding side of my work: (1) photograph five weddings and (2) have one of these weddings be here in Montreal. I'm pleased to say that I achieved both of my goals! My 2017 weddings gave me plenty of opportunities to travel, visiting friends and family, and leaving room for several adventures along the way. The list includes: Christina and Danny's wedding in Montreal; Ian and Tracy's Toronto wedding; Lauren and Kyle's outdoor Edmonton wedding; and Emilie and Patrick's Adirondack mountains wedding.

One particular highlight for 2017 was Jon and Kristina's wedding in Montreal's Old Port. It was my first wedding of the season, and a great way to kick off the year! The biggest challenge was coordinating a big team as Jon and Kristina wanted a two-photographer and two-videographer team. It was a dream to be able to work with one of my most admired photographers and videographers, Blythe Kingcroft, her partner in crime Matt, and my second shooter, Sean Coulton. Prior to the wedding, the four of us sat down to coordinate our roles the day of the wedding and carefully select which locations in the Old Port we wanted to use for wedding party and family photos. I'm pleased to say that strong pre-wedding planning with the team led to a smooth day of shooting!

Family Photos with the Biziaevs

Biziaev Family Photos (Selena Phillips-Boyle) 1.jpg

Throughout 2017, I explored the intimacy of the home as a photographic environment. Although the home has more visual distractions than the studio, I have been delighted with the increased intimacy of shooting in this space. Given how much time we spend at home with family, partners, and friends, photos in the home can also be a treasured record of this special space. What made my family photo session with Ilia and Denise particularly special to me was not only the fact that we took the photos at their home, but also that I had the  honour of photographing the family's first bike ride together.

Some other special homes I got to photograph in during 2017 include Tara and Tim's portrait session listening to records and playing crib, and Davis and Tom's couple session, both of these sessions taking place in the couples’ first homes together.

Well, that's a wrap on this month's newsletter. If you liked this update, leave me a message below! You can also receive these updates directly in your inbox by subscribing below. If you're interested, you can click back to Life by Selena Photography's inaugural blog post. This Life by Selena Photography blog post and newsletter is produced by Montreal photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. Cet article de blogue sur la Life by Selena était produit par Selena Phillips-Boyle, photographe montréalaise.