In October 2011, I founded Raphaëlle Photography in London, UK, as a creative extension of my work as a classical music performer. My name is Christina Raphaëlle, and for my photography business identity I use my middle name. In September 2015, I moved my studio to Toronto, Canada, although I still work in London from time to time.
I have always been inspired by and attracted to images, so this was a natural progression for my artistic output. Every client who has walked into my studio has brought me great joy. For me, the beauty lies in the way each individual shines, by opening up during the shoot and allowing me to capture personality truthfully. I love every image I release to my clients: there is no such thing as a bad shot.
I studied at the University of the Arts London: Photography at Central St Martins and Make-up Artistry at the London College of Fashion. In February 2014, in order to expand my interest in publicity and promotion, I completed an Advanced Certificate in Public Relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in London. I have a good eye and I’m passionate about achieving the best possible image that reflects both the subject’s individual personality and unique talents as a performer. Whatever your discipline, we will work together to get shots that reflect you fully, as a person and an artist. My studies in the public relations arena have led me to investigate and understand the need for a strong personal image through clear publicity materials, honest storytelling and a strong cultivated online presence.
My background in the performing arts is as a musician: I have been singing classically since I was a teenager and I have developed a career as an opera singer internationally, working in my native Canada, America, Europe, the UK and Asia. I have a BMus in voice performance from the University of Toronto, spent a year of study at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and completed an MMus from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. In September 2015, I began a DMA in voice performance at the University of Toronto, which I find challenging and satisfying. My experience as a performer, and my international contacts, ensure that I have my eye on what is current with regards to image and publicity in the arts. We will discuss your own style, and together create an environment in which you are comfortable, which allows you to shine through your publicity shots.
Being a classical musician myself, I know what my customer’s needs are with regards to publicity images. I also relate fully to my clients, and establish an immediate rapport, which helps to create a relaxed atmosphere during the shoot. From start to finish I am focussed on my clients and their needs: from helping them pick out their wardrobe to giving feedback on photo selections from the shoot. I begin every shoot by doing the make-up for my client, which not only ensures their being camera ready, but also provides a chance for us to get to know one another a bit. In order to create a captivating image, the subject should ideally be relaxed and open, without inhibition or barriers. I aim to provide the setting for trust between photographer and subject, which results in images that are true and unique to the individual. I also care about my clients, and take my time with every photo shoot, again ensuring a relaxed atmosphere in which experimentation can occur. Many photography studios want clients in and out, with sessions lasting only a few hours. I prefer working for an extended period of time, around 5 to 6 hours depending on the needs of the client. This gives us the freedom to try many different moods and settings. I ensure that my clients get images with a wide variety of backgrounds and looks, so that they can get everything they need: from simple head shots for programmes, to more dramatic full body shots for websites, posters and album artwork etc. I shoot using indoor studio lighting, which provides a clean crisp look, as well as outdoors for more variety and creativity. My concentration on photo editing ensures that my product is of the highest standard, with regards to finish and re-touching. My clients so far have been thrilled with their results: I have yet to meet an unsatisfied customer!
I love people and I’m fortunate to meet so many interesting and vibrant personalities through my work as a photographer and a performer. Everyone has their own story to tell, and it’s important that we reflect this in your image through your publicity portfolio. Above all it’s important to have fun during the shoot, as this will ultimately result in the best reflection of you and your own unique look!