Baby shower experience

My camera is my passport into the great cultural diversity of the city.  Every time my camera takes me to a new place I am mesmerized by the people, the color, the smiles, the smells, the texture.

In this occasion I was invited to photograph a baby shower. I have been in small baby showers before, mostly family gathering of family and closed friends, but at this baby shower there were about 200 people.

The venue was the semi basement of a church in Verdun. The room was decorated with vivid colors and the ambience was festive.

When I arrived the organizers were finishing putting up the decorations and the guest began to arrive.

Some techniques to photograph big events such as baby showers, weddings, baptisms, birthday parties.

Arrive early

The photographer wants to take some images of the empty room waiting for the guest. There is a big contrast with the empty decorated room and the room overflowing with laughter, hugs and tears of joy.

Capture the Sequence of events

You want to tell a story with your photo. The empty room, the first guests, the room filling up, some kind of welcome announcement. the interaction of host welcoming the guest, the eating or drinking or toast, the abandonment of the moment with the performances or the dancing, the guest slowly leaving, the empty room after the party.

Always take more than one picture

When someone is posing for the camera, make sure to take at least one photo, you will see different shades of the smile, different position of the eye, different gestures, all of that in just a few seconds.

Take photos of food and drinks

We are united by the food we eat. Food is one of the big attraction of every event and it is important to save that memory. Many people will say: The party was great and the food was fabulous. The pictures will remind the guest how fabulous was the meal.

Go from table to table asking permission to take a photo.

This is a great opportunity to make sure you get all the guests. As they sit down to eat, you can ask them to turn around for the camera. They will be happy to oblige.

Position yourself close to the door as the party is wining down

This is the last opportunity to get everyone before they leave. Find that strategic point close to the door and ask the guest if you can take one last photo. Some times some of them are a bit drunk from all the drinking and you cold get some funny pictures.

Be part of the crowd

Evey one will recognize you as the photographer, but if they see you as a friend, as a member of the family, the guest will be more relaxed when you take a picture of them and the photographer will add to the positive experience.

Have fun!

Eating at Korean restaurant with friends

One of the biggest joy of being a beginner photographer is that I get to take out my camera at any occasion and just start taking pictures.

In this particular outing we went to a Korean restaurant in Montreal.  There is a sort of BBQ in the middle of the table an in there we just trow the meet and vegetable and eat until we are full.

The photo were taken with a Canon Rebel 5 on Automatic setting.

Going to the movies with friends

The most beautiful moments of our life is lived when we spend time with friends. We don’t get to chose our family members but we get to chose our friends.

We have to draw a balance between living the moment and recording the moment. For example, in these photos we had a great dinner and then we took a few photos. Then we watched the moment, and right before going home, we took some photos.

Live you life, but record those moments and then share them with friends and family.

Beginner’s night photography

These photos where taken on top of the Mont Royal mountain on January 4th 2017.

As you can see, the photos are far from being called “professional” photos. I look at them and I don’t like them. They are not sharp, they don’t any contrast, they have nothing appealing.  So why do I share them?

One day I will become a good photographer. I can already see a the progress that I have made. It is only by coming out and recording this photographs which are not great that I will be able to see how much I have progressed.

Are you an aspiring photographer? Don’t just keep the beautiful pictures, keep the ones which could have been better, go back in time, compare your present photographs an congratulate yourself for the progress you have made.

Alain Guillot is a freelance photographer in the Area of Montreal. To get in touch with him go to the “About” page.

Photos at a regular Toastmasters meeting

For three years I have been a member of a public speaking club called Toastmasters International. This club is special to me because we learn how to become better speakers and in addition we build some great friendships.

Many of you are members of different organizations: a yoga class, a chorus, a bridge or golf club. The list goes on and on, the point is that memories of those activities which are so important to you, should be preserved.  Take pictures and tag your friends.

This morning some one stopped me in the street. It must have been and old student. Anyway, he was very friendly, as if we have been friends for years. I wish I could find pictures of him to that I can put him in context.

In short, make sure you record the memories which are important to you, It is always nice to re-live those moments.

Should you take photos when at the restaurant with friends?

In our fast moving life, meeting with friends at a restaurant has become a common occurrence. We don’t have time to cook, we don’t have time to clean up before or after hosting some friends, so the best alternative is to go to a restaurant, enjoy a meal and share some time together.

When when share those precious moments, we have confront a dilemma, do we take a few photos to make sure that moment is part of our memories or do we just enjoy the moment and no ruin it by taking out the camera.

I find myself thinking about this dilemma quite often. At times, I feel compelled to take out the camera and take a few shots, but I stop myself. I feel that by taking out the camera and make every one smile for the lens, I will disturb a magic moment, I disturb the conversation, I disturb the now for the tomorrow.

Other times I regret having all those fussy memories and no hope of ever recalling those happy moments, at that time, I resent not to have taken a photo.

How do you deal with the same dilemma?

Here are a few pictures I took while having lunch with some friends.

How was your new year’s day?

The new year’s party is one of the happiest event of one’s life. We gather to dance, eat, drink, and at midnight we hug each other wishing many years of happiness, wealth, and love.

As time passes,  we forget all those wonderful memories.  We forget the details, who we were with, what were we wearing, where were we.

How about if were to create an album called “New Year’s celebrations” and just put all of our photographs of all those happy moments and review it from time to time, to re-live the joy we once felt.

I invite you to take pictures of all your new celebrations. You will get to see who was with you  at the turning point of your life, who were you hugging, who were you sharing a meal with. You will be able to see the evolution of your friendships,

Our memories are feeble, but if we record them, those memories will last for ever.

Alain Guillot is a photographer based in Montreal. For more information visit the About page.

Have a photographer at your dance class

men dancing with two women
Lucky guy, dancing with two beautiful women.

For many people dancing is a part of their lives. I know it because I am a dancer. I have been dancing for about 15 years.

These here are photos of some of my dance students taking a dance class. These students came from Toronto to Montreal to have fun, the fun included a dance class.

I was fortunate enough to be their teacher and at the end of the class I just asked them if I could take a picture of them.

This brings me to the idea that if you like any physical activity such as dance, yoga, martial arts, mountain climbing, etc. Why not photograph those happy moments.

In our mind nothing is permanent. At the end of the day we remember if we had a good time or not, but all the details escape us. How about if you document your life, your happy moments. and make it extra special by having a photographer with you.

Man dancing with two women. Photography by Alain Guillot.
It’s hard to dance not smile like that.

Alain Guillot offers his photography services in the city of Montreal. In particular he likes to photography people, events, parties, etc.

Cropping pictures with Windows Paint

Many times, when we take pictures we discover that there are many unnecessary object which distract us from our focus point. In this case, the best thing is to crop out all the unnecessary information.

As a new photographer, I have very little experience with sophisticated photo editing software. In fact, the only thing I know how to us is Windows Paint. So here it is, my class on how to crop pictures.

Let’s use this image as an example.

In this picture, I wold like to crop out the hallway and the a bit of the ceiling.  Here is how to do it.

  1. Open the Paint application.
  2. Drag the picture into the “canvas” or into the white space of the application.
  3. On the upper left, there is a little box, click on it.
  4. Place the cursor on one of the corners of the photo, hold it pressing down and drag it in a way that a small box covers the area you are interested in keeping in photograph.
  5. Let go of the cursor and click on the icon “crop”
  6. It’s Done.

Here is the end result:

That was an evening in which I went out with some friends for some Lebanese fast food.

Here are some more pictures of that event:

My name is Alain Guillot, I am a photographer based in Montreal, Quebec.  I like to photograph events, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, corporate meetings, etc.  If you are interested in my services, don’t hesitate to contact me.

How many photos can you take? Battery/memory capacity

 

when going to an event, ask yourself this is a very crucial question: “How many photos will I be able to take?”

Many of us take photos with our smart phones and we are familiar with two shortcomings:

  1. Battery life
  2. Memory capacity

I have seen it many times. People missing spectacular shots because they ran out of battery.

I have a friend who keep her phone with hundreds of photos. Off course, when she wants to take one more, she has to look into her memory to find out which ones to erase.

Good habits to build

  1. As often as you can, preferably the same night when you take photos, get those photos out of your memory card and into your computer. If you make this a habit, you will always be ready to go.
  2. On the night before an event, make sure your battery if fully charged. Don’t relay on your battery being full a week ago, make sure it is charged right before the gig.

Capacity

If you are going to any kind of event, make sure you have capacity to take  1,000 pictures. When that is your main purpose at a party, hundreds of pictures can go by fast.

Your battery life will change on many circumstances, such as the temperature, whether our not you are using the flash, whether or not you are looking though the view finder or the screen.  To be on the safe side, consider having an extra set of batteries.

Photos of my friends on December 25th, 2016