Photographer Sophie Starzenski is taking back 'the selfie.' Usually a thinly veiled vanity-shot, Starzenski has documented her entire pregnancy, from 4 weeks to after birth, and refashioned the selfie to bring viewers into the journey of pregnancy, rather than expose herself. Strategically covering her face, Starzenski's photos focus on the bodily changes that occur when pregnant and allow anyone to superimpose themselves their own identity onto the photo, the opposite of what a selfie usually is. Peer into Starzenski's pregnancy in the photos below.
Two Months After, with son Simon
Beautiful or far too revealing? Should pregnancy be kept private or do you applaud Starzenski's openness? Let us know in the comments below.
No matter where you work, Quebec's Act respecting labour standards, enforced by the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), lays out which days off you are entitled to take. Here are some of them.
The Quebec government specifies that employers must allow employees to be absent from work for the purpose of jury duty or to be a witness during a trial — so your employer cannot fire, suspend or discipline you for your absence.
Employers are not required to pay you if you are required to be absent for court. But prospective jurors and witnesses can claim an allowance or compensation for time spent in court.
If your employer penalizes you for a court absence, you can make a complaint with the Tribunal administratif du travail, in addition to taking any appropriate legal action.
MTL Blog got the chance to chat with the photographer to find out more about her craft and how she developed as an artist.
Answers have been edited for clarity and conciseness.
What made you get into photography? How did you develop your style?
In my first — and only — year of university, I started studying film. I got a bit frustrated by the theory aspect of it and took all the money I put aside for my degree to buy a camera in order to teach myself and travel.
I often questioned whether I could travel solo as a woman. It fed into my already existing reflections as an immigrant in Montreal.
I have also always had a deep fascination for the erotic and nudity. Maybe because it was so taboo in my culture. All that mixed up together is kind of what led me to what I like shooting now.
I feel like my style is constantly evolving and changing every day. But what remains stable is my curiosity for my subject's vulnerability and being able to explore intimacy in all its forms, either through fashion or documentary photos.
Your portraits really highlight body positivity. Was that your intention? Why is body positivity so important to you?
Growing up as an immigrant and changing countries twice, I quickly learned about what it's like to be "different," to not fit a mould and often not feel like you belong.
This really fed my exploration of what diversity means to me and how important it is to engage in conversations about it — And by diversity, I'm talking about diversity in cultures, sexualities, bodies. That's one reason why this is important to me.
For me, a naked body is a landscape that tells a story. It's such a complex and powerful thing to witness and that's why it's important to portray a multitude of it.
When I shoot close-ups of bodies I truly see all the corners of someone's body as an intricate and shape-shifting landscape with plenty of mounts, valleys and textures that deserves to be celebrated.
What do you love most about what you do?
There are so many things I love about what I do.
I love seeing people open up to me. Being faced with my own insecurities and doubts as I explore people's doubts with them.
I love exploring subjects such as intimacy, diversity, eroticism and vulnerability through my photography.
I love being able to portrait the beauty of the human body through my lens and let my vision evolve. Celebrating the beauty of our ever-changing bodies.
Why You Need To Apply: Groupe Dynamite is looking for a bilingual Photography Coordinator for its e-commerce platforms. They're looking for someone with a college degree in photography and some experience in shooting photos.
A valid driver's license is necessary for this posting, as well as a strong Instagram portfolio and knowledge of Adobe Photoshop.
Why You Need To Apply: Desjardins is looking for an analyst to develop system and infrastructure operations. With limited experience, you should be able to design, configure, administer, maintain and upgrade computer networks.
There's a possibility of working on-call 24/7, so be prepared if you're looking to apply. The company is looking for a candidate with basic knowledge of .NET/C# programming languages, SQL, networking, and administration systems.
Why You Need To Apply: If you're a civil engineer who's new to the field, Group Lessard is looking for an architectural engineer in Laval. They hope that you have one year of experience, but it's not required.
They're looking for a candidate who is a member of the ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and who can use ADA, SG and Méplat softwares.
Why You Need To Apply: Ubisoft is looking for a content coordinator for its console, PC and online brands. If you're a social and video content pro who loves gaming, this one's for you.
No degree is required, but you'll be an asset if you have a degree in communications or marketing. You need to have a good knowledge of analytics in social platforms like Facebook, Twitch, Twitter and Instagram.
If you’re an influencer and/or blogger, then you know how important it is to take beautiful photos. Actually, even as a writer, photos are extremely crucial since they are always the first thing that people see. If your photo is not good, chances are, people won’t want to read your content. It's true what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Knowing how to take quality photos is an art in itself and learning how to take these photos can be expensive at times. However, Dawson College offers a full-time, tuition-free (Quebec residents only), Commercial Photography program at night where you can learn to shoot like a pro.
Yeah, you heard that right. If you're a Quebec resident, the program is TUITION FREE.
Didn’t think that was possible did ya? I didn’t either. This is the first time that I’ve heard of a tuition-free program but it’s very much real and it’s very much worth it. This is also the perfect program for people who want to learn all about photography without having to give up any of their time during the day. You can have a job and still succeed in this program since it is offered at night and since it is a full-time program, students are also eligible to apply for loans and bursaries.
If you’re an aspiring photographer, then you know that we live in a world where everyone takes photos so it is very important to distinguish yourself by being consistent in the quality of your photos. That’s where Dawson comes in.
One of the great things about this program is that the teachers are mostly professional photographers that will help you along the way to develop the necessary skills you need to capture amazing photos and encourage you to develop your own vision.
Now if you don’t believe me, just take a look at the pictures below. They were all shot by one of the teachers at Dawson, Daniel Cianfarra who also happens to be a professional photographer who focuses on advertising and fashion.
You can be sure that you will be learning all there is to know about photography from the very best who are actually in the field. As a student not too long ago, I know how important it can be to study side by side like minded people who want to see you succeed!
And speaking of success, students at Dawson have gone to do great things with their photography skills. Take a look at Annabelle and Jean-Francois. They both received awards from the Applied Arts magazine which is a huge deal in the photography industry.
"For me, it’s the third year I win, but it was the first time I was not in the Students category, now I am in the Young Blood category, which means images from photographers who have 3 years or less of experience. The interesting thing about winning an Applied Arts Award is that you are published in their Magazine which is seen by a lot of our potential clients, everywhere in Canada, so it's really good exposure.”- Annabelle
"I really liked the Commercial Photography program at Dawson. I would've done an extra year, had that been possible! Now, two years later, I'm still in touch with one teacher who became my mentor! Even now, she's still willing to share her experience with me and help me succeed. Her name is Valerie Simmons and this woman AND very
an inspiration for me."
"I graduated around 5 years ago from the Dawson Commercial Photography Program. Since then I won numerous awards. Applied Arts Magazine is the commercial visual arts/communication reference in Canada, so winning in their Photography Annual contest is always a great pleasure."
If this sounds like the type of program for you, Dawson college is having two information sessions on March 29 and April 11 at 6 PM in room 3H.10. This is the place where you can get all your questions answered and find out more about the program!
So what are you waiting for? If photography is your passion and if you're from Quebec then head to the Dawson info sessions. Check out their Facebook page for more info on Dawson and if you’re ready to apply, visit them online here. Application deadline is May 1, 2017 - don’t miss your chance at this incredible, tuition-free opportunity!