6. Do you retouch your photos?
Hey there! My name is Alex Tran and I'm a Montreal based commercial and editorial photographer specializing in portraits and headshots.
I grew up in Montreal, where I was aligning myself towards a career in biology. Just a few years ago, I was wading through the rivers of Panama to study tropical fish, but I’ve since put my net down and picked up a camera. Photography was the natural extension of my curiosity for people and their stories. Whether I’m photographing friends or clients, I’m always bringing the same energy and commitment to create vibrant, authentic, and natural photographs.
Editorial and commercial portraits
I offer a customized portrait experience through my editorial portraits. These photos are often taken for editorial, promotional, personal, or commercial purposes. The process starts with a brainstorming session in which we discuss and develop the concept, mood, location, target audience, etc. Some ideas are fairly simple to execute, whereas others may require weeks of planning.
On the other end of the spectrum, I offer simple studio headshots. Most of these are taken in my studio located near Frontenac metro station in Montreal, but I also have a portable set up that I can bring on location to your home or at your office.
There are countless other assignments that don’t fit into the above categories. If your project is one of those, feel free to ask and I’ll let you know if I’m interested / able to do those assignments. For example, some of my favourite projects included creating the visual content for the book Carnets de Montréal, documenting the Applied Improvisation Network conference, and working with Tejano BBQ Burrito.
Because my assignments vary so much, in order for me to give you a quote, I'll first need to hear about your proposed project. To get a quote quickly, please answer as many applicable questions below as possible in your initial email. I’ll let you know if I need more information.
Please describe the proposed project and your needs in detail. Don't worry if your idea is a tentative or incomplete, we can develop it together later.
What will the photos be used for? Where will these photos be used?
Approximately how many photos do you need?
If possible, can you share examples of photos in the style you like?
I’ll let you know if I need more information and get back to you as soon as possible.
I think about 90% of the people who come to me have never been photographed professionally before and warn me that they're not photogenic. I work almost exclusively with non-models, and I take pride in making great portraits of inexperienced people. I always do my best to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. I'll never expect you to come prepared at the sessions knowing what to do in front of the camera.
Depending on the assignment, we may or may not have met before the photo session to brainstorm. Regardless, I always give ourselves a bit of time before the session to chat, to answer any last questions you might have, and to review how we're going to proceed with the shoot. When we transition into shooting, as you're getting used to being photographed, I'm also adjusting my lights and getting used to the space. I show you the photos early and often (and we laugh at the bad ones). We figure out together what kinds of angles and expressions work best for you, and we progress photo by photo until you're happy with the result.
Unless we've discussed clothing already, I think you're the best person to decide how you should present yourself in the photos. Pick out something that feels like yourself, rather than something you would only be wearing for the shoot and never anywhere else. I could say that neutral coloured clothing is the most versatile, but I don't want you to change your style if you're typically someone who wears bold colours for example. If you're not sure, feel free to pick out a few outfits with varying colours and/or necklines (and making sure that they're well ironed). We can decide together on the day of the shoot.
Skin, make-up & hair
I think you're once again the best judge for what you need. Ultimately, I want you to like your photos, and I want you and others to recognize yourself in the photos. In general, I have a preference for minimal or natural looks. I collaborate with a few awesome professional make-up artists / hair stylists. If you'd like them to do your make-up or hair prior to the shoot, let me know early on so we can find a time that works for all of us. Make sure you're well-rested for the day of the shoot!
By default, I will post-process all of my images (colour, contrast, exposure, etc.), but I won't do any retouching if you don't request anything. If you do ask me to retouch specific things, I am happy to do so with some caveats. I'm fine with doing minor retouching (essentially making you look like you on your best day) like removing blemishes, reducing appearance of bags under the eyes, etc., but I won't do heavy retouching such as re-shaping someone's body. If you're not sure, just ask, I won't judge :)
BMO, Costco, École Nationale de l'Humour, Éditions du Passage, Enterprise, Etsy, Frank + Oak, Gault Nature Reserve, Hawksworth Restaurant, Jardin Botanique de Montréal, Les Bio Locaux, McGill University, Montreal Improv, Salon B, Santropol Roulant, SweetIQ, TEDxMcGill, Tejano BBQ Burrito.