My name is Valerie. I’m a wildlife and landscape photographer based in Quebec, Canada and I am a deep nature lover.
I discovered wildlife photography while on sabbatical a few years ago. Every day out shooting is a challenge and it requires a lot of patience. What I love the most is getting to spend time with animals and observing their behaviour, I find the experience quite calming.
My work evolved into a collection of portraits. To me, photography is all about capturing an eye-to-eye expression and working with the background and foreground colours and textures to set the stage for the main subject.
I always attempt to get up close with the animals and this is mainly why I use fixed lenses like the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens. The 1.2 aperture gives such a soft look especially in forest environments with lots of elements in the foreground.
I love to work with foreground textures to add a bit more depth. I really enjoy the compact format and light weight of the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM made for the EOS R body. It has a configurable control ring on the lens itself which makes it very useful when shooting animals and you need to change settings fast.
Another reason why I use fixed lenses is because they tend to be lighter. When you spend that much time laying on the ground waiting with a heavy backpack and gear you need to be comfortable and avoid injuries. I usually don’t use a tripod because I enjoy the freedom of not having to rely on a specific height or position. It allows me to be creative in the moment.
To photograph dangerous or unapproachable animals, I tend to stay in the observer seat and use the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM lens and the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens. For wider shots and all of my ‘bird on hand’ shots I use the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 which offers great bokeh quality.
This past year I got lucky and expanded my camera equipment with my partner Alexis Lavoie. Since he specializes in wedding photography and I tend to photograph animals just the way we do with humans (up and close portraits) we luckily use the exact same focal lengths.
This is what my gear collection looks like:
Canon EOS R
Canon 5D Mark IV
Canon BG-E22 Battery Grip
Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R
Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
Canon EF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM
Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM Lens
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
LaCie external hard drives
Batteries and chargers
Inside Valerie’s camera bag: