I'm excited to have Pascale Thérien on the blog today sharing about Studio La Luz, a photography business her and Félicie Hubert launched together March of last year. I had the pleasure of seeing their work firsthand last summer and the whole experience was a dream; they really make you feel like you're getting ready for the cover of a magazine! From getting your hair and makeup done, to styling different outfit choices, to making you practice dropping your bottom lip for a dramatic shot, it was a blast! I wanted to share their business on the blog specifically because of their emphasis on making women feel beautiful and confident.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I studied in communications at university and dabed a bit in a lot of things. I did a bit of album critics for a local newspaper (Mirror). I had a local hip hop radio show on a community radio station (CIBL) for 6 years. I’ve always loved fashion and portrait photography. I did my first “fashion” photoshoot when I was twelve with my best friend. I told her how to dress and pose. I love music, food, good wine, dancing and reading. But most of all, I love my kids!!
What inspired you to start your business?
I have been a commercial photographer for almost 15 years (magazines, add campains, corporate portraits etc.). Having my kids changed my focus and I realised I didn’t feel fulfilled in what I was doing anymore. I had been working with Félicie for about 4 years on diffenrent projects. I always liked her and felt very close to her, even though we didn’t know each other very much.
One day, she mentionned she’d like to offer the “magazine” experience to regular woman and would I be interested in offering these services with her. In my carreer, I’ve always been labelled the people’s photographer. Meaning that my clients would always call me when they had to shoot someone who wasn’t used to being photographed. I’ve always been good at making people feel comfortable.
So when Félicie mentioned she wanted to start this business, I was all in. It turned out to be exactly what I needed, somewhere I could really make a difference by helping women to feel and look beautiful and confident. That is why I do it, and it makes me really happy.
How did you decide on your business name?
Oh that was a tough one! We brainstormed for a long time but everything just seemed too much or not enough. La Luz means “light” in Spanish. We loved the sound of it and got attached to the name instantly.
What makes your business unique?
We are the only photography studio in Montreal created and run by two artists who have actually worked in the fashion industry. We have an expertise that is beyond what is available in a regular portrait studio. We offer an alternative to the traditional “family portrait," we offer a glamorous experience from the first contact to the photo reveal session. We treat our clients like they are super stars and we love it!
What’s your favourite part about running your own business?
All of it. Working really hard for myself and seeing the results. Pushing myself farther, learning new things, being in control of how my clients get treated. Taking full responsibility for the successes and failures. Feeling like there are no limits, no plateau. Keeping real relationships with my clients. I love it all!
What’s the hardest part about running your own business?
Although you might think at first that you can take some time off whenever you feel like it, it’s not the case. At some point I realized I needed to work my butt off if I was going to make this thing work. I also would rather not have to do EVERYTHING! The hardest thing has to be to put myself out there even when I don’t feel like it.
What’s it like being an entrepreneur and a mother?
It’s wonderful and really really draining. I have to be very carefull I keep enough energie for both. My kids are really small and they demand a lot of attention. I often don’t feel I have any strength left when I get home. I have to be very conscious all the time and stay focused when sometimes all I want to do is crash on the couch and do nothing.
I also love the fact that I can leave the office at 4 to pick up my kids as apposed to 5. I work 35 hour weeks instead of 40 and that’s my choice. I want to be with my kids as much as possible, especially during this critical time of their lives. I only have 18 years with them before they leave the nest, more or less. I feel like I would be making a huge mistake if I didn’t keep that in mind everyday.
Where do you see your business in five years time?
Félicie and have have big plans! We want to have 3 different locations in the next 10 years. We see this business as a long term project. We see it growing a lot!
Visit their website & see their amazing before & after shots, here.