As many of you know, we like to travel. So, we started planning something to get away on March Break for a few days… Which ended up getting cut short (thanks Covid-19), but that’s beside the point. We figured a little road trip to Montreal would be perfect and decided to dedicate a few hours of one day to work with a dancer. After a lot of social media digging (thanks to Brittany lol), we came across the talented Aurélie Fortin.

We contacted her and got the ball rolling.

Aurélie is a 16-year-old ballerina who dances at École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec in Montreal. Aurélie started dancing when she was 4-years-old. She started training with the school recreationally at age 6 and then joined their professional program when she was 10. Aurélie’s typical school day involves 3 hours of academics and then 5 hours of dance (averaging about 25 hours of dance a week). She begins everyday with 3 hours of online learning, then she heads off to school to dance the rest of the day. When she gets to school, she has a ballet technique class, followed by a pointe class and then a variation class. Depending on the day, she then has either a contemporary class, a repertoire class, or a rehearsal for an upcoming performance. Woah… Isn’t this every dancer’s dream? It sounds pretty cool!

Brittany basically looked like the “heart eye” emoji when she heard this.

We arranged an indoor shoot at the beautiful Espace Gris studio. This space was definitely a photographer’s dream studio. One day!... One day!... The owners of this place were great to work with and we already can’t wait to schedule another time to go back.

Aurélie met us at the studio on March 16th, 2020. We waved to each other as introductions (the virus-free handshake) and then got set up while she stretched and warmed up. Aurélie brought a variety of ballet leotards, a flowy dress, and her pointe shoes to use. We came with photography gear, creative ideas, and lots of hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes lol! We used the studio space to its full potential: the cyclorama wall, the big windows, the lounge area, and a couple props you’ll have to check out below.

Our pre-planned 2-hour shoot turned into a 4-hour shoot. We were getting so many good shots, we just weren’t ready to stop. So, Espace Gris let us extend our time for an amazing price. They even gave us a cheaper last minute rate for the additional 2 hours (half-day package). We didn’t say no to that (thank you!). Aurélie really gave it her all and didn’t quit until we got each shot perfectly. Seeing her excitement when we finally got what felt super challenging (taking all photo timing, posing, technique, expression, and lighting into consideration) was so awesome!

We felt just as excited!

Below are all our favourite photos from working with the talented Aurélie. Take a look!

-Mike and Brittany