Julien Payette-Tessier

Sports | Last Updated: February 16, 2021

My name is Julien Payette-Tessier 28-year-old freelancer photographer in the cycling industry known as Pété Photographie. I’m the father of a 2 year old boy and a newborn little daughter. I do photography since almost 15 years at first as a passion and I finally started as a professional since 3 years. As a teenager, I had started analog photography and developing my black and white pictures by myself in the dark room.

For a huge part of my life, photography has been a passion, a really strong passion that has helped to enrich my projects as a graphic design and architecture student. I finished my studies in graphic design and I have worked for advertising agencies and worked a lot retouching images before working in the cycling industry.

I have also worked as a photographer and graphic designer for one of the most well respected bike companies in the world: Specialized Bicycles. And now I’m working for another bike company called Opus Bicycles. I also work on evenings and weekends for myself as a photographer under the name of Pété Photographie.

During my two years and a half on board with Specialized Bicycles, I have had the chance to work on amazing projects that have helped me gain recognition from people across the world. Event photography, product photography and advertising as a graphic designer are a couple of the tasks required of me at Specialized.

Among the many projects I’ve done for the company was a photo shoot of six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes’ bike. This bike was used during #ClarasBigRide, a 12,000km ride across Canada to help end the stigma associated with mental illness.

Another project that I have gotten a lot of recognition for is the photoshoot I did of the 2015 Specialized Fatboy. Fat biking is a new trend for cyclists, and these pictures were used in Specialized dealers around the world.

As I said, Pété Photographie is my own company. And by the way, if your asking to yourself why this name, it’s simple. “PT” are the initials of my family name. So I just added two “é” to keep the sonority and it makes Pété. This French word means, crazy, out of the box, insane etc.

Cycling photography is the main chunk of my work. I worked for cycling teams, magazines, bike companies and also two of the biggest UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) races that we have here in Canada called Les Grands Prix Cyclistes | Québec et Montréal. These races include the biggest cycling team in the word. For example, these guys and team are the same as Le Tour de France.

Concert photography is also a significant chunk of my work. Here in Montreal, Canada, music is really popular and a big part of our culture. We have big festivals from rock to jazz to electronic music. I worked sometimes for artists, music festivals like Igloofest and labels like Warner Music Canada and Slam Disques. I’m trying to mix my work in between sports and concerts photography as far as I can.

I try to stay the most simple as I can with my gear but want the best I can get. The Canon 7D Mark II is a beast of speed. This camera gives me really good quality of images at a phenomenal speed. The only con I have is the fact that it’s a crop sensor. But on the other hand, I really enjoyed it because most of the time, in sports photography, you want to be as close as you can get to the subject. I still work a lot with it but as a second camera. It’s still there when I need speed on a race.

The Canon 5D Mark III is just a charm to work with. And when you combine it with the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 or Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art it’s just…sweet. It’s fast enough for the majority of the time, sharp as heck and a lot of pixels, which is really good when bike dealers wants to print big banner of your photographs in their store.

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 is a really fun lens that I use most of the time for landscape or to be super close to the cyclists and have an enormous perspective. But it’s not a sport lens at all. What I mean is the autofocus is very slow when you have a pack of cyclist who ride in front of you at 50km/h.

I just had my HoldFast gear money maker strap and I’m really impressed. I didn’t have the chance to work a lot with it yet but it fits very well and look amazing.

The Sigma EF-610 DG Super Flash and the YoungNuo YN568EX II are two really great flashes that help me for cycling teams portraits or events photography. I don’t use them a lot on races. I like to combine them to my two YongNuo YN-622C and the YongNuo YN-622C-TX so I can work with external flashes.

Finally all my pictures are processed in Lightroom CC and I use Photoshop for deep retouching. I don’t use any preset — I hate those. I retouch each picture one by one. It takes me more time but I’m sure my client will be stoked if I am 100% satisfied of my retouches.

Hope you enjoyed my little story!

My gear:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 7D Mark II
EF-610 DG Super Flash
YoungNuo YN568EX Flash
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM art
Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
YongNuo YN-622C-TX
YongNuo YN-622C (2x)
Lexar Professional 800x 64GB (2x)
Lexar Professional 800x 32GB
Lexar Professional 133x SDHC
SanDisk Ultra 8GB
Transcend 4GB
Hoya Fusion Antistatic CIR-PL 77mm
Graduated ND (Neutral Density) Filter
Western Digital My Passport 2 TB USB 3.0
LaCie Rugged 1 TB
Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB
Tripod velbon CX 540
Photo Hatchback 22L AW Camera bags
Macbook Pro 13” with Retina Display
iMac 21”
HoldFast gear money maker strap


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