MY STORY

I remember that on every family trip my father was always taking pictures of my mom with his Pentax MX. When I was "old" enough to hold the heavy camera, he explained that the camera was a precious treasure and I needed to be verrrry careful when holding the precious camera. He also taught me to look into "the little window" and to move slowly the little "wheels" from one side to the other until I got the "green light", which meant it was ok to take the picture--just imagine a 3 ft high little girl holding a camera bigger than her head. Yes -- that was me -- and that is when my curiosity for photography started.

I got my first camera when I was in fourth grade; since, then I was the "photographer of my class." Every trip, party, birthday, and school event I was always there with my camera capturing all the fun moments of my friends and the other students. During high school I took several classes of oil and watercolor paint, mural drawings, and graphic arts. That's when I knew my future was going to be something related to ARTS. During the 90s Costa Rica didn't have a Photography University, so I went on to study graphic design in university, where I had the opportunity to take a few black & white photography and dark room courses.

After getting my degree, I spend several years doing graphic design for commercial ads, magazines, websites, newsletters, logos for different industries from fashion to sports. It was a cool and interesting time of my life, and it went well. However, as funny as it sounds, most of the projects I had were somehow related to photography. Photography kept popping out in my life so I decided to complete a bachelor's for photography and do what I love the most professionally.

I view photography as a natural extension of my passion for arts. With a designer's eye, I am constantly searching for the perfect moment to tell the whole story with a beautiful composition, while applying all my knowledge of 15 years as graphic designer consultant and more than 10 years as a photographer. After so many years and I still get butterflies in my tummy before every photo shoot, and I still run excitedly to my computer after each shoot to download the images! :)

My goal in photography is not just to produce beautiful works of art, but more so to capture those moments that represents the beauty that is life and the emotions we all endure as we travel along its path. I aim to make clients feel comfortable while I work and that pictures I produce have a candid and authentic quality to them. I believe extraordinary pictures result from knowing my client's desires. As a perfectionist no detail is ever overlooked. As a highly computer savvy designer I can add a little touch to every photo I take to go far beyond my client's expectations.

I am a storyteller and I want to tell your story.
cristinaphotography_cristinaarce_about_toronto_photographer
This FAQ has been created to help you know more about Cristina, her boutique photography studio and her style of shooting. She wants you to know even the little hot details! ;) It is always her intention to provide nothing but the best service. Click here to see all the FAQ. If there are any other questions that she has not answered here, don’t hesitate to contact her!

HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR STYLE?
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR STYLE?

I want my photography to be timeless, beautiful and all about the subject. I always knew what I wanted but didn’t understand how to get there at first. It took me several years of practicing, working and sorting through what I like and what I didn’t like as much. My style is based around my attention to detail. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my photoshoots. I think one of the most important decisions I had to take was: stop comparing myself to everyone around me, and learn to be just me.

Read more.

HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE YOU SHOOTING PER MONTH?
HOW MANY SESSIONS ARE YOU SHOOTING PER MONTH?

I was shooting several sessions per week but felt I was not giving my 100% creative best!  So now, I take on limited sessions per month. I rather spend my time knowing my clients and offering a world class service to make sure 100% of my clients are happy.

Read more.

DO YOU OFFER ANY MENTORING?
DO YOU OFFER ANY MENTORING?

I am planning to offer local workshops for moms to learn how to use their cameras. If you are interested, please contact me for more info. I would eventually love to offer online mentoring if there is an interest. My mentoring will be personalized to each photographers needs and I will also offer a more generalized session. Interested? Please don't hesitate to contact me!

Read more.

ARE YOU FORMALLY TAUGHT OR SELF TAUGHT?
ARE YOU FORMALLY TAUGHT OR SELF TAUGHT?

I am proud to say both. Formally taught with a lot of self-teaching. During high school I started out reading everything I could get my hands on about photography. I went to Veritas University for a bachelor in photography (at that time, everything was just film), so after the digital era arrived I have taken photography classes in George Brown College to update myself a little bit, and have also attended several workshops. But Hey! The Internet is a wealth of knowledge! I am always reading blogs, online forums and learning new stuff. I love reading photography books, ...

Read more.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO HELP A CLIENT COME OUT OF THEIR “SHELL” DURING A SESSION?
WHAT DO YOU DO TO HELP A CLIENT COME OUT OF THEIR “SHELL” DURING A SESSION?

For my glamour and fashion photoshoots, I constantly guide them and give directions with all poses and I will demonstrate it for them; I am sure to let them know how gorgeous they look and what an amazing job they are doing. I’ll even give them a few quick peeks at the LCD screen when I get an amazing shot – It really helps boost up their confidence during the session. I LOVE making people feel good about themselves! For my engagement and couple sessions, I simply let them make out LOL, no really, it has happened before ...

Read more.

ON AVERAGE HOW LONG DO YOU SPEND EDITING EACH SESSION? WHEN WILL I SEE MY PHOTOS?
ON AVERAGE HOW LONG DO YOU SPEND EDITING EACH SESSION? WHEN WILL I SEE MY PHOTOS?

I hate to admit to myself or others that I probably take too long editing, but I can’t help to be a super perfectionist while I do it. I like to take my time. I try to get the best SOOC (straight out of camera) but I am not done until ALL of my client’s photos take MY breath away. I love to take a great photo and make it magical!!! Why? Because I love making my clients happy, it is so rewarding! About the timing... depending on the session.  I always try to have everything ...

Read more.

HOW IS YOUR SHOOTING SPACE? WHY A HOME STUDIO AND NOT A RETAIL STUDIO?
HOW IS YOUR SHOOTING SPACE? WHY A HOME STUDIO AND NOT A RETAIL STUDIO?

Privacy has always been an important part of how I do photography, and it is always a concern to many of my boudoir/fine art clients. At the beginning I was renting a retail studio, however more and more clients were telling me it wasn't as personal.  Because I love making my clients happy, and they are my #1 priority, I made the change. Since I took the studio to my house, my clients were feeling more comfortable and that was reflected in their photos.  I work with many different clients; attorneys, teachers, soldier's wives, etc. and I respect ...

Read more.

WHAT DO YOU SHOOT WITH AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LENS?
WHAT DO YOU SHOOT WITH AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LENS?

I love my Nikon D4. It’s hard to choose a favourite lens because I use each one for different reasons. I use my 50mm 1.4 on my camera most often for in-studio portrait sessions, but I love my 24-70mm 2.8 & my 70-200mm 2.8 for all my outdoor sessions… but lately I do seem to reach my 105mm the most. I am loving the results, since I am photographing people from a distance, it evokes real emotion vs posed smiles.

Read more.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE PROCESS OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE PROCESS OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS?

Shooting is awesome! Keeps me on my toes, gets my creative juices flowing, delivering that finished polished photo is always a thrill! ... BUT I definitely enjoy the time with my clients. I really enjoy meeting moms-to-be who are very shy at the moment of their pregnancy photoshoot, just two months later is priceless seeing their excitement of bringing in their new baby for a session. Most of my moms get the "first year" package, so I get to know them even more. For them, those first months go by so quickly that often it feels like ...

Read more.

DO YOU SHOOT INSIDE IN A STUDIO, OR DO YOU SHOOT ON LOCATION?
DO YOU SHOOT INSIDE IN A STUDIO, OR DO YOU SHOOT ON LOCATION?

I do both. I am storyteller, so each session is unique and built for that particular person.I have a fully-equipped home studio where I shoot all my glamour and boudoir sessions. For my maternity, loved ones and engagement sessions, I give the option to shoot outdoors.  There are so many beautiful parks and small lakes around to take advantage, the city of Brampton and Toronto have tons of amazing non-paid outdoor locations where to take photos. I shoot mainly in studio when it’s cold outside. Unless the theme chosen for the session is snowy!

Read more.

WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SPECIALIZE IN THAT AREA OF PHOTOGRAPHY?
WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SPECIALIZE IN THAT AREA OF PHOTOGRAPHY?

I would say my specialty is capturing true personalities and beauty of women. Whether it be a maternity, a glamour portrait, a boudoir photoshoot or a happily in-love bride…  I strive to tell a story, capture real emotion and the beauty within. I believe that all women are beautiful no matter how young or old, small or big, short or tall they may be. Each and every one of us is unique, and that true beauty comes from within, its our talents, our hearts, our love, our kindness and everything we do that contributes to our beauty. Growing up ...

Read more.

I HAVE SEEN YOUR WORK PUBLISHED ON MAGAZINES. THAT'S AMAZING!
I HAVE SEEN YOUR WORK PUBLISHED ON MAGAZINES. THAT'S AMAZING!

I know right?  The first time I was speechless to see my work printed on a magazine. It was a dream come true.  I have collaborated with different magazine over the years, but definitely a delighted experience was to be part of the PRODUCT Toronto Magazine staff for over a year. PRODUCT Toronto is a 50-page, full colour, monthly magazine.  Compact, easy to share; the perfect fit for an active lifestyle.  Stylist and timeless in its design and layout.  PRODUCT is about the people, places, and things that makes Toronto a world class product.  As a Senior Editorial ...

Read more.

BE HONEST, WHAT DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH THE MOST?
BE HONEST, WHAT DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH THE MOST?

For me, besides being a perfectionist, my biggest struggle is time management and balancing my home life. It’s hard being a photographer. Seriously! People think I work 2 hours at the session and make a ton of money. What they don’t realize is that it is more like 70 hours at home doing all the rest. Post processing, editing, ordering prints/albums, packaging, emails, skype sessions, in-person meetings, ordering materials, prop shopping, bookkeeping, contracts, paying bills, cleaning and taking care of all the equipment, finding new amazing locations, stocking the snacks and fridge for clients, etc, etc. Let alone ...

Read more.

DO YOU OFFER REFERRAL BONUSES? DO YOU HAVE SPECIAL OFFERS OR COUPONS?
DO YOU OFFER REFERRAL BONUSES? DO YOU HAVE SPECIAL OFFERS OR COUPONS?

Most of my business now comes from word of mouth from my clients. I offer a referral bonus – my loyal clients, who come to me over and over and send so many my way, receive special goodies from me at their sessions, including extra images in the gallery, extra planning, some free prints, or a credit for each friend that books a session... or whatever I can throw in there just to say “Thank YOU!”. About the promotions and coupons, Find me on FB: CristinaArcePhotography, and

Read more.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT IN YOUR BUSINESS?
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT IN YOUR BUSINESS?

I have had many moments I was proud of and lots of moments where I had to push myself to try harder. - I vividly remember calling up my father after shooting my first paid photoshoot, telling him everything about the lights and set up I used. I was just 18 or 19 years old. It was a defining moment; I realized I was into something much bigger than I thought. But nothing feels better than having a returning client. I feel like I have made so many wonderful friends in my years of being in business. There ...

Read more.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AS A PHOTOGRAPHER SO FAR?
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AS A PHOTOGRAPHER SO FAR?

Hearing a clients say “this has been the best day in my life” after a photoshoot. It´s maybe the best compliment I have ever gotten and it went straight to my heart. As a photographer you get a chance to do something special for the people you photograph; you can give them a great day, you can help them change the way they view themselves, you can boost their confidence and give them memories to treasure. Being a photographer is so much more than working with a camera – I see it as healing, for me and for ...

Read more.

WHAT WAS YOUR ORIGINAL GEAR AND WHEN DID YOU START UPGRADING YOUR EQUIPMENT?
WHAT WAS YOUR ORIGINAL GEAR AND WHEN DID YOU START UPGRADING YOUR EQUIPMENT?

I started shooting anyone that was willing to get in front of my camera, and I had a Pentax MX. One of the most amazing cameras I had so far. It was introduced in 1976 as a pro-caliber all-manual workhorse SLR camera! The quality of the photos was simply stunning. I may have to confess that, like most of the photographers, I often fall in love with the newest, coolest equipment and gadgets, but at the same time I am so picky about it, that I have learned to control myself of what to buy and what not ...

Read more.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO “STAND OUT” FROM SURROUNDING PHOTOGRAPHERS THAT YOU ARE COMPETING WITH?
WHAT DO YOU DO TO “STAND OUT” FROM SURROUNDING PHOTOGRAPHERS THAT YOU ARE COMPETING WITH?

My work is me. I feel like you can see me through my work. I am not competing with anyone. There is plenty for everyone and everyone has their own style. I love that others around me are successful too. I figure there is a right client for every photographer. For me, I stand out in my own way as they do too. As you can see through my gallery, my work has a happy laid-back vibe with an artsy approach but also too perfectionist at times. I am here for all my clients who already know ...

Read more.

WHEN DID YOU START SHOOTING FOR FUN AND THEN MOVE TO SHOOTING PROFESSIONALLY?
WHEN DID YOU START SHOOTING FOR FUN AND THEN MOVE TO SHOOTING PROFESSIONALLY?

I’ve always shot for fun. I started taking pictures since I was a little girl. I used to pose my baby sister with all sort of “props”. (She is still one of my favourite people to photograph and lucky for me she still is put up with having my camera in her face her whole life lol). During high school I was always the “girl with the camera” as the un-official photographer of my school generation. I used my fathers’ Pentax MX using black and white film to take photos of my family and friends. I loved film ...

Read more.

 

GET ON OUR VIP LIST

Join our VIP mailing list to receive access to a wide range of exclusive benefits which include coupons, events or promotions via your newsletters.
 
Perks on being a VIP?
 
  • + Be the first knowing our first-come, first-served promotions
  • + Special freebies just to VIPs
  • + Get exclusive pre-sale pricing
Please leave your name and email to join our VIP list and be the first in line!
Your Full Name
Your Email Address
Secure and Spam free...