Lindork’s Lists – Q&A #36: Emilie Iggiotti

Lindork’s Lists – Q&A #36: Emilie Iggiotti

Note: this is the public version of my email newsletter Q&A that gets sent to paid subscriber inboxes first every other Sunday. You can get these Q&As in your inbox first by becoming a paid subscriber.

Originally published to newsletter subscribers on October 23, 2022

The 36th person I’m profiling in my Q&A series for paid newsletter subscribers is:

Emilie Iggiotti, Portrait & Branding Photographer

My Q&A with Emilie Iggiotti first went out to paid newsletter subscribers on Sunday, October 23, 2022.

Getting to know Emilie Iggiotti (she/her): 

Emilie Iggiotti is an Edmonton-based portrait and branding photographer who is passionate about photography and empowering people through it. Emilie grew up on Reunion Island, a French island in the Indian Ocean, and has lived and worked in a few places before landing in Edmonton. I love Emilie’s approach to photography, which she talks more about below—but I think this encapsulates it so well:

Emilie aims to make herself “a mirror, a kinder, gentler, more loving mirror than the one you look at and tear yourself apart in—so that you can see how stunning you truly are.”

She is very empowering. And so interesting. And is really changing lives with each photograph she takes. Personally, I also love Emilie’s style. Her brightly coloured outfits, in particular!

Learn more about Emilie below, and check out her Website, Instagram and Twitter.

Let’s Dive Into the Q&A with Emilie:

  1. Can you talk about the work you do? First for those who really don’t know, what is an editorial and portrait photographer? And then secondly, talk about the approach you take to your photography. I know you’ve said you’re not a “regular” portrait photographer, please elaborate :)

    • For me, photography is empowering and I take my craft very seriously, haha. My goal is to capture people’s personalities through imagery and to take authentic photos of them, photos that really represent who they are. I think we are moving away from impersonal portraits, or even headshots. I very much dislike the word “headshots” as it’s closer to a passport photo than it is to a portrait. It does not show the subject’s personality, it’s a generic photo of a person and we are now in the era of authenticity. These stiff photos don’t work anymore.

    • So my approach is very casual and I have a very specific workflow. I send my clients a few emails before the session so they are prepared for it (what to wear, recommendations for makeup artists and stylists, etc.) This is why all my sessions are at 1 hr minimum because I do think it takes at least 1 hr for me to get to know you and get a good portrait of you. Then, the most important thing is posing. I give lots of instructions and directions when I photograph people because most of my clients never had a photoshoot before. They need guidance and help all throughout the photoshoot. I will never just tell someone to stand there, click a button and never interact with them. This is torture for the subject! I always say that for me, a photoshoot is a conversation. We are here to have a connection and once in a while, I take some photos. The conversation never stops just to take photos. I want to know who you are, what you do, what your hobbies are, etc. 

    • My approach is a mix of very specific posing techniques, a casual conversation and a genuine interest in the person I have in front of me. I treat every client as someone who could become my best friend. Who is this person? How can I capture the things that are unique about them? Photography is about connection. If you can’t connect with your subject, how can you expect to take a good photograph? 

  2. Can you talk about the different types of sessions you offer, I feel like these are very specific to you and very aligned with your approach to photography—”the beauty in us” “the light in you” “the truth in you” “the crone!” Why is self-love so important to you?

    • Ah, this question could lead me to write an entire book about self-love! Haha! I guess self-love is what I have been struggling with my entire life, so I want to share with people what I learned about self-love, self-worth and maybe help them love themselves a little more. Photography has played a huge role as a way to empower myself. When I felt like I did not know who I was, I stepped in front of the camera embodying the person I wanted to be or the person I wanted to remember before society told me who I was. I wanted to empower people through photography the way photography empowered me.

    • So all my sessions are centred around the question: who are you as a human being? Yes, your job is great, yes you are a mother, yes you are this or that, but really, apart from the titles that society has given you, who are you? Who is Linda? Linda is more than a blogger, a wife, a social media personality, Linda is her own person in her own universe and I want to know this person. Not defined by a job, a title or a role in society but Linda as she wants to be seen when all the titles are gone. 

    • My journey with these sessions started in Montreal in 2016 with “The Truth in You” and it has evolved since then into different offerings such as The Crone for Women over 50 or The Beauty in Us for mothers and children. But the real core of my photography is always to bring people back to themselves, because this is the meaning of life.

  3. Can you share a memorable moment or ‘successes’ in your career / life? 

    • What a tough question! I feel like my life is made of “tiny” memorable moments. I feel successful or grateful every time someone uses a portrait I took on their social media channel or tell me that it’s the first time they really loved a photo of themselves. I collect all those little moments and I hold them dear to my heart. I think sometimes we see success as this grandiose act, like someone being on a big stage, or selling millions of books, but for me each time someone loves themselves a little more because I showed them the beauty in them, is a huge win for me. The ripple effect of this person gaining some confidence and then going into the world to change someone else’s life is undeniable. This might sound cheesy but I do believe that change happens in the little moments.

  4. Can you share a challenging moment, obstacles or failure in your career / life? And perhaps what you learned from it or how you overcame it? 

    • My biggest challenge with my career is burn out. I did not realize until last year how burnt out I was after 2 years of a pandemic and constantly having to pivot and adapt to a new way of living. As a self-employed person and small business owner, I am used to do everything by myself and I did not realize how hard it was on my body and my nervous system until I crashed last December. I overcame this challenge by learning to regulate my nervous system, protect and manage my energy and by being more intentional with the way I spend my energy.

  5. Can you talk about perhaps a common misconception about or something that might be surprising for people to learn about photographers, the photography industry? 

    • I very much dislike the idea that photography = Photoshop. I am not a retoucher, I am a photographer. My tool is my camera, not Photoshop. I often joke about it but it really makes me sad when people say things like “oh, you can just photoshop my ___ (insert body part), right?”. I don’t look at people and think “oh, I am definitely going to photoshop this later”. The same way a DJ does not take requests when they are playing a set, I don’t take requests for photoshop. Haha!

    • We are so used to see things retouched and edited in magazines and online that we forgot what a real person looks like. I keep my retouching to a minimum. I don’t retouch skin heavily or make people look skinnier. While I am not here to tell people what to do or not do with their own body, I also do not want to enable the idea that we are not worthy as we are, and that we need to be “retouched” because our skin is not perfect or our body is not conventional. I am not the Photographer for that, and that’s okay. Every photographer is different and there is room for everyone.

  6. I think I saw you shared about how you used to get really upset when you saw other photographers copying your style or things you were doing but now you don’t let it bother you—can you speak more to that, why and how you got to that point where you were okay with that? 

    • Ahhh, I realized there is no much I can do except complain. I wish people knew that being inspired is okay, and giving credit is highly appreciated, but copying is crossing a line. But then why am focusing on this? I am usually a step ahead so why do I care that they are copying something I did last year. They are just catching up, and as long it does not hurt my business (I draw the line at people literally taking my words and put them on their website as theirs, or copying my packages or offerings), I need to let it go. Because worrying about what other people are doing is not making my business better. It just slows me down and I don’t have the time or energy for that.

  7. Can you share advice for others who might want to get into photography or be their own business owner / entrepreneur? 

    • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I got into business thinking I had to do everything by myself to “save money”. Meanwhile, I burnt myself out and I spent lots of time suffering unnecessarily (doing my taxes by myself?! why?!). You don’t have to do it alone. There are mentors and coaches, and other businesses out there who would love to support you in your business journey. I myself decided to offer mentorships to photographers years ago because I saw how quickly people would give up after a few years because they were not prepared to be a sustainable business or a creative photographer on the long term. I did make some mistakes in my photography journey and if people can learn from them, I am happy to share this knowledge.

  8. Can you tell me about your hobbies! What do you do for fun? 

    • I love books and movies, and also reality TV ( I am talking Fboy Island, The Bachelorette and Love Island here!). ;) I love kickboxing and belly dance. Or just dancing in my living room! 

Wrapping up our Q&A:

  • What is a fav local restaurant or store you’d recommend?

  •  What’s something about Alberta you love or recommend others check out?

    • I mean, I love the mountains but I am a city girl and nothing beats watching the Edmonton skyline on the top of a hill at sunset. Seeing the warm light reflecting on the buildings and being surrounded by beautiful trees, while looking down on the River Valley. There is something about this city that will always make my heart beat.

Thank you Emilie for sharing your story!

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