For September 2016, our Photographer Of The Month series take you to Paris, France to discover Gabi Alves’ photography artwork.
Gabi Alves, a wedding and engagement photographer in Paris, France has been selected by the team to be September’s photographer of the month. Dive into Gabi’s work and story through this interview.
Gabi, what is the one thing you wish everyone knew about you but (almost) no one does?
Gabi: People tend to think my clients are all naturally happy, smiling and comfortable in front my camera but actually I always give many tips during photo shoots for my clients to look at their best, feel good in front of the lens and have a lot of fun !
How did you get into photography?
Gabi: I discovered my passion for photography in the first years of my studies to become an architect: in 1998 I photographed graduation events that happened over the weekends. Although I liked it, it was not something that fulfilled me entirely. In 2007 I shot my wedding, all the emotions involved in a wedding day fascinated me and I became amazed at all the pictures that I could create while the bride & groom’s story unfolded. After that wedding, I started studying wedding photography and became increasingly passionate about this universe.
Where were you born and how did you end up where you are?
Gabi: I was born in Brazil and lived in 7 different cities from the north to the south of Brazil, mainly because of my father’s work, who also was an architect. In 2005 I went to Australia to study English and also enjoy the wonderful beaches of Sydney. In 2007 I returned to Brazil, thinking I would pick up my old routine but back then I had no idea how much my life would change in the next to years. In 2009 I went to the US for a photography workshop, and met a “French guy” (now my husband) in New York. After two years of flying back and forth between Sao Paulo ( Brazil ) and Paris, in 2011 I decided to move to the city of lights. I have been living in Paris since then.
What is the most difficult part in becoming a professional photographer?
Gabi: Clearly, the hardest part for me is balancing the creative and business side of being a professional photographer with the social/family life. You always want to do more for your photography business but it is important to keep some time to yourself and your family!
How would you define your style?
Gabi: My style is romantic, fun and photojournalistic. When shooting weddings, I will mix between romantic and photojournalistic shots, depending on the moment. When I do photo shoots in Paris (honeymoon, engagement, family proposal) with couples who have never been photographed by a professional, I try to introduce more fun in my work, creating a combination of relaxing and romantic photos.
What was the best photoshoot you’ve had so far?
Gabi: It’s almost impossible for me to pinpoint “The best photoshoot”, when I have photographed so many amazing couples.
The best photoshoots for me are when the couple is relaxed, in love and want to have fun. These are essential items to create wonderful pictures.
What is your dream photoshoot and where?
Gabi: Considering I am addicted to travel, I have many places I would love to photograph weddings or have photo shoots, for example: Greece, Africa, New York, California, Australia, and more!
To be honest, if I don’t have a couple that is deeply connected and romantic, neither yours nor mine dream photoshoot can not come true.
Any advice for future clients who want you to capture their love in Paris?
Gabi: If you want your photos to have a soft and beautiful light with no tourists in the background, make an effort and get up early. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to dress, I always send a Pinterest board with some inspiration of winter and summer outfit.
Paris has beautiful places to shoot beyond the most known sights, so if you feel adventurous let me know and we will explore off the beaten tracks places!
What are your 4 favorite images ever? Could you tell the story for each one of them?
Gabi: Let’s see…
This couple came to Paris to enjoy their honeymoon and brought the wedding clothes for having a photoshoot in Paris. They had one special condition: they didn’t want many pictures of them kissing. Their desire was to have pictures reflecting their own style with a zest of fun on top.
This was a destination wedding in Tuscany, Italy. We had planned on doing an informal photo shoot a day before the wedding to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tuscany at sunset because the forecast for the wedding was 90% chance of rain…
The bride was so sad to know that it would be raining on her big day, so the make-up artist and I encouraged the bride to have the first look the day before the wedding. Thankfully she accepted our idea and we created wonderful pictures together.
This photo was taken at the end of the photo session in Paris, we got blessed by an amazing sunset. I had the chance to be surrounded by tourists for about 2 minutes, which was enough time for me to do this picture . This image was published on various wedding blogs in Brazil.
The story behind this photo is so romantic! Robert had contacted me to shoot a secret proposal. About 10 days before the photo shoot, he sent me an email asking if we could do another session for a secret Proposal on the day before, because his girlfriend was suspicious that during the shoot he would propose her.
After organizing together the exact place & time they would have to be at for me to capture it, it happened! I was hidden behind a tree and had the chance to photograph this unique moment in the life of a couple. She had no clue what was happening, it was completely unexpected for her!
Thank you so much Gabi for sharing a part of your story with us !