“My heart and soul can be found in the images I capture” Billie is a Portrait and Fashion photographer located out of Toronto, ON. Her style is unique and is often described as nothing less than “beautiful”.
Meet Billie Chiasson
What is your background/education?
I worked in finance for 8 years prior to taking on photography as a full time career. Photography for me over the years went from a hobby to being a tangible career.
How did you get your start as a photographer, did you have a special mentor?
I started photography 6 years ago whenever I picked up a digital camera to take photos of my brother, father and I. I went from taking photos of nature, family to eventually finding my signature in body work and fashion. I did not have a special mentor.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the people I photograph. It’s important for me to capture the individuals essence I am shooting and to focus my attention on incorporating their raw sensuality into the images.
Who are your favourite photographers?
My favourite photographer is Steve Richard out of Halifax, NS.
What has been your most memorable (crazy, interesting, amazing or inspiring) photography experience?
When I shot the cover for ACF, it was an incredibly bleak day (barely any sunlight) & as a natural light photographer I have learned to work with the elements at hand. As we were shooting the cover shot the sun peaked through the clouds for 2 minutes, which gave me enough time to frame and get the shot I desired. We had perfect even lighting and the sun created a beautiful halo to accentuate the models hair and it created an extra dynamic of separation and beauty in the image. I felt as though that was the universes way of telling me that it wanted it to be beautiful. I just needed to capture it.
What do you think contributed to your success after just 6 years as a photographer?
I never settled for less then what I wanted in the images and I worked several jobs (full time) prior to being confident enough to pursue photography on a full time basis. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a significant amount of growing to do and am very much looking forward to that growth. I also focused a lot of my energy on my own work and putting my heart and soul into what I was doing and making sure it was a positive focus and drive in my life. It’s also important to treat the people you work with, with the respect and dignity they deserve. A positive attitude and signature in your work will get you far.
What has your greatest career accomplishment been to-date?
I think the slow and steady incorporation of a signature into my work has been a valuable accomplishment that will follow me into the next 10-30 years of my career if I’m fortunate enough.
What are some of your biggest challenges? How do you overcome them?
I think that the biggest challenge in the industry is incorporating your signature and your work into the area and location you live in without compromising the integrity. I sometimes have to ask myself, do I want to do this professionally? How do I incorporate this into the Canadian market? What do I need to showcase to clients to stand out so that I am able to be successful? It’s always a give and a take and a constant evolution of your skill. You have to be mutable for your clients.
Do you have any advice for photographers starting out?
Give yourself the valuable time needed to build your skill and a signature in your work. If you need to get a full time job, part time job, do whatever is needed to invest in the quality of your work. Quality over quantity.
Tell us a little about some of your favourite photo gear.
My favourite source of light is a window and it’s very rare that I will ever shoot with strobes. I recently have acquired a Olympus OM-1 film camera with a 50mm 1.8 that I am in love with. I’m also a huge sucker for prime lenses. My kit consist of : 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8 & the 100mm 2.8 Macro. My camera bodies are: Canon 5D mkii and a Canon 5D (Original).
What is your favourite photo accessory, other than your camera?
If you had to choose just a single camera and lens would it be and why?
Right now, I would say it is my film Olympus OM-1 film camera.
What can ProFusion attendees expect from your seminars?
To learn a little bit more about natural & available light and how to incorporate that into the fashion, portrait, lingerie and body work they do already!
Creating Photographic Moments
Thursday October 16, 2014 | 9:00am-12:00pm
Presenter: Billie Chiasson
Learning to Shoot Lingerie and Fine Art Nudes
Thursday 16 | 3:00pm-6:00pm
Presenter: Billie Chiasson