Capturing Calvine. Where Naturopathy Meets Photography.
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Hey, I’m Viktorija, one of the Quality Assurance Specialists at OCUS. As a member of the Quality Assurance team, I’m always interested to learn more about our community and our photographer’s processes. So I decided to get out of the office and step into the field by shadowing Philippe Helmer, one of the OG OCUS community members during his day snapping pics with Calvine Tonga, a professional naturopath in Paris.
First Stop: The Office
Our day began at Calvine’s office, a cozy room in her friends’ family apartment. Here the goal was to showcase the homey feel. Philippe started working his way around the room snapping interior shots of the space. Since the room was quite tight (as many rooms in Paris are) I was SUPER impressed by how professionally he handled the photoshoot setup he had to try his best to find the best angles and highlight the space. Photographers love natural light to make a room feel airy, however, sometimes it may be a challenge. As a professional photographer, Phillipe still managed to work with a large volume of sunlight coming from the window and made the room a stunning space.
The number one thing that stuck out to me was the positive communication. Philippe did an incredible job actively engaging with the naturopath so they could make the best decisions together. At every stage of the process, he showed Calvine the photos to help her visualize the final result and ensure they were on the same page.
Next stop: Portraits
After this first step, we transitioned to portraits....and here comes a difficult part. Calvine, like many of us, admitted that she was not completely comfortable being photographed. But with his years of experience, Philippe put her at ease. He explained the importance of professional portraits and the atmosphere shifted...feeling more like a meeting of people with common interests, rather than a regular photo shoot. At the end of the day, Calvine was really happy with the results.
Last stop: Calvine’s services
Now that Philippe had snapped the space and Calvine, it was time to dive into the good stuff - her treatments. Prior to this, I didn’t know much about naturopathy so I was very intrigued to see Calvine working her magic. She is certified in something called Auriculotherapy aka ear acupuncture (who knew there was such a thing?). During this, she took her needles and got to work in the model’s ear. Philippe was such a pro! Stealthily capturing authentic moments throughout this treatment.
It was clear from Philippe’s experience that being a professional photographer is not just about taking good photos and having high-quality equipment...although it helps ;) It’s about juggling many aspects at the same time: communicating and making the subjects feel at ease, lighting, space constraints, and more all while being creative.
What I learned from the experience
Before I reflected on the day I wanted to hear from Philippe. In his eyes this was an enjoyable shoot, the guidelines were clear, the client was friendly, and above all, he loved getting a chance to talk to different people and learn more about their experiences.
From my side, it was an enriching and memorable experience. Here, naturopathy and photography collided and I was about to gain an insider look into the OCUS community what their day-to-day looks like. This is definitely a must for everyone at OCUS!