ViewBug community member martinesansoucy is a a mother to three incredibly fun and talented boys and live in the arctic flat lands of Saskatchewan Canada. "I would definitely describe myself as a daydreamer and sensationalist. For as long as I can remember a fantasy world in my mind has existed just as much as my everyday reality. Some would say this is a stifling trait, but I have found ways to make this mindset work for me and not against me! Growing up, I was surrounded by beautiful animals as my mother raised Registered cats and dogs, so my love affair started with a cheap film camera and capturing animals in their candid beauty. I would say my style has not evolved since then, but also has evolved a great deal. I still love capturing natural light and can see pockets of light in areas of darkness. I still love capturing people and animals in their candid states because I think that’s when people look their most beautiful. My style has evolved to be very editorial, story-telling and ethereal combined with an artistic and scenic appeal. Some of my favorite photographs have been a scenic landscape story with a couple or person small but still the focal point of the image."

Dreaming wide awake by martinesansoucy

In one sentence what has photography done for your life?
I simply cannot sum up in one sentence what photography has done for my life. I would say that in many ways, it has saved my life. A few years ago, I was living in extreme poverty on the welfare system. I was trapped in a cycle that had me feeling like there was no way out. I was depressed, anxiety ridden and struggled every day with being in constant survival mode. I remember searching through the cushions of our couch or my $200 car (that broke down after a year) to find loose change enough to make up a jug of milk for my three boys. When I had no car, I stood outside in -40 blistering winds with grocery bags cutting through my hands and my boys crying in the cold waiting for a bus or cab. I stood in long lines at the food bank just to walk away with a few essentials to make it through the week. It was a dark and humiliating time in my life that words cannot truly describe. One day, through some miracle, I qualified for a credit card and bought a small Canon Rebel Digital Camera. I told everyone that I was going to be a professional photographer and a lot of people doubted me, just believing I had put myself in an even more dire financial situation. Within a few months my camera was paid off from doing photography work and I was able to get off welfare. I never quit persevering and working at turning my negative to positive.

Self Reflection - Self Perception  by martinesansoucy

Can you share three tips with your fellow photographers?
1- Know where the sun is and do not be afraid of it. Stop hiding from the sun and heading to the shadiest spot! Embrace it and learn to face your subjects into the sun at the right angle.
2- Move around! I see so many photographers have a couple or subject in one spot and instead of moving themselves; they have the subject constantly moving. With each pose, I move around a lot, up and down from side to side, and around to get every angle possible.
3- Look at the big picture! Sometimes when I’m feeling stuck for ideas and poses during a session or wedding, I literally take a moment to back up and look at the big picture. Sometimes I see pockets of light I didn’t know where there, or another spot that I haven’t noticed before and sometimes from that spot I see a photo that I want to take in the moment.

Beautiful bride  by martinesansoucy

Please share one of your favorite photos with us with a short tutorial:

Put on some lipstick, pour yourself a drink and pull yourself together - Elizabeth Taylor by martinesansoucy

This is absolutely one of my favorite editorials from last year! It was taken at a Train Station style restaurant in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. It was an early afternoon session and it was a slightly overcast winter day. No artificial light was used as I really wanted the mood and ambiance of the atmosphere to come through. I used the window light to create buttery soft mood lighting over the model. I used a Canon 6D and for this particular shot and most of the other shots I used a 50mm at 1.8.

I wanted this photo to reflect a vintage Hollywood lifestyle, somewhat luxurious and mysterious. In post processing, I brought the image into Photoshop CS5 and used dodge and burn to accentuate the highlights and shadows. I also added more red tones to the image and added in the smoke for the cigarette (since smoking is illegal indoors in Canada). I dusted the entire image with a light vintage tone and brought out the blacks. I ended the process by sharpening and flattening the image.

Groom in love by martinesansoucy

Please share some thoughts on your ViewBug experience as a photographer!
I am honestly so happy I joined ViewBug! For many years I struggled with my self-confidence as a photographer and in my work, not thinking it was good enough to win awards or be entered in competitions! Not only has ViewBug allowed me to receive great feedback on my work and win and place for awards, but it has given me the courage to start entering my work for specific wedding and portrait awards outside of ViewBug, for which I have accumulated many accolades and awards internationally! I absolutely love that all photographers from beginners to experienced all share their work on ViewBug and the whole process connects people, whether it be for inspiration, mentorship or to generate feedback for each other to help them improve their craft.

California Dreaming by martinesansoucy

When you did you start taking photos and what inspired you to get started?
I have been taking photos ever since I was a young teen with a cheap film camera in hand and my mom’s beautiful cats and dogs to capture growing up. When I was finally able to get a digital camera, I already knew that I was going to make it my career even though I had no schooling or technical training and in fact didn’t know the first thing about cameras or taking photos. I just knew that I saw light in ways that others didn’t and I saw things in people that I wanted to showcase. I started by photographing my own children, friends and family and used those images to market myself to others.

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What has been your favorite shoot and why?
It’s really hard to pinpoint a favorite shoot of mine! All have been so unique and different. Any session where I am allowed to be in control creatively are my favorite kinds of shoots!
Do you remember a difficult photo shoot session? What happened?
At the beginning of my career I photographed a wedding in another city. Not only was the dingy orange and dark lighting difficult for me conquer but I was working with a videographer who insisted on getting in my way for every single shot and was quite rude about it, not making any attempt to work together. It was extremely unnerving and because I was fairly inexperienced I lacked the courage to confront them. Unfortunately it ended up ruining a lot of key shots and amazing moments and although my client’s claim to this day to absolutely love their photos, I was devastated to send them the photos knowing I could have done so much better!

I've got some damn bad intentions  by martinesansoucy

What do you carry in your camera bag?
Right now I use a Canon 6D, and my favorite go to lens is the 24-105. I also almost always have with me my 75-300 and my 50mm. I have one 600EX flash and do not use reflectors. I have one small rocket fish light about the size of my palm if I’m in need of some extra indoor lighting. I pack light and utilize my lens and equipment to their fullest capabilities.

Dreaming of you by martinesansoucy

Do you have a favorite location and time of day to shoot?
I absolutely love shooting in Jamaica as there is endless inspirational locations for photo options and the colors are always incredible. My favorite time to shoot is either early in the morning or at sunset! I love a good silhouette shot!