MARIA MAGDELEINA

writer, podcaster, child of God

This is the second part of the Coffee Shop Series. Following the first unexpected photoshoot (Tigress in the Jungle), I had a couple of ideas for what to do next. I had certain people in mind for specific coffee shops, but then I realized I was planning it all and not leaving much space for surprises, or just going with the flow, like it happened the first time. Therefore, I decided I would just text my friends and see who would be down to model for me. I decided I would either give them a list of independent coffee shops from which they choose one, that was if they had no idea where to go, or they would simply let me know where they wanted to go. This way, I’d give more freedom to the subject of the picture, letting them be creative, instead of me planning it all.

After texting a couple of friends and trying to set up a photoshoot within our respective schedules, my friend Maggie, from BeautyXMags, was the first one available. I have to admit that about a year had passed since the first part of the series due to busy schedule, but it still felt like the first part of the series was done yesterday. Anyway, with that being said, my style had changed since and the ideas I had a year ago weren’t the same as the ones I had now. The Tigress in the Jungle photoshoot was done in February 2017. This one was done in December 2017.

I let Maggie choose the coffee shop of her choice and she went for Crew Collective Café in Old Port Montreal. To be honest, since I had previously gone to Crew Collective Café, I was surprised by that choice because, to me, a coffee shop has certain characteristics and a personality on its own, just like any person. Personally, Crew was too serious for a kind, bubbly, and sweet person like Maggie. However, I thought it’d be interesting to see how the photoshoot would go and how her personality would blend in with the coffee shop’s. Moreover, we discussed her makeup and her clothes and I told my friend, who’s a talented makeup artist, to be natural. I wanted her to be comfortable and be herself. In fact, for any photoshoot I plan, the most important thing to me is that my subject feels at ease. I want their personality to be shown in the pictures in a candid way. My goal is also to see how a coffee shop can do that.

On the day of the photoshoot, I saw how Maggie was attracted to this former-bank-now-coffee-shop; how big, beautiful, and almost church-like it looked. I thus realized how amazing it was that she would relate to the place by finding things she liked. It didn’t matter if the coffee shop was too serious and didn’t resemble like her. It didn’t have to: it only mattered that she liked it and that she felt comfortable.

What mainly inspired the title of the second part of the series was Maggie’s sweater and the Christmas decorations we found there. As you’ll see in some of the pictures below, we found this little Christmas tree on one of the tables and I had the idea to recreate one of the pictures I had taken of Sylande at the Leaves House Café. This photoshoot was different than the first one in which I was telling Sylande what to do and where to stand and how to pose. This time, sometimes I’d tell Maggie what to do and other times, she’d come up with ideas. For example, the pictures taken on the stairs, Maggie came up with the poses. I was trying to get some candid pictures as much as possible, so I would come up with different kind of conversations, or make her laugh. The pictures where Maggie’s smile and cuteness shine are my favourites.

I also love the pictures taken with flash. I like their vintage, candid style with the dark background, as if there was no one but Maggie in the café. They remind me of paparazzi pictures of celebrities that go out at night. The ones without flash really bring out the winter wonderland vibe and show a different side of Maggie. This photoshoot was fun because it almost feels like there were two parts in one.

I decided to write about photography on my blog. I am a writer first, but I believe that an image/photograph is worth a thousand words; hence, I want to combine writing and photography whenever I can. In this present post, I want to talk about one of my photography series: the Coffee Shop Series.

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I thought of writing my predictions for this year’s Grammy Awards, but the 2021 nominations make it really hard for me to take a guess. I thus decided to simply write about whom I think deserves to win (I won’t go through all the categories, only the most important ones).

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WARNING: SPOILERS

Since the pandemic, my favourite hobby has been to escape reality in every way I can. Since I prefer to stay safe and stay in, I watch a couple of movies and/or tv shows and read books every day after work and during the weekends. I’m into Egyptian movies and TV shows so bad. I have watched so many of them that I decided to write reviews again on my blog. I’ll write about all kinds of movies, music, books, etc. even if I’m late. I’ll write whenever I feel like it and today, I feel like writing about Lo2lo2, starring Mai Omar.

The show tells the story of a girl, Lo2lo2, who grew up in extreme poverty and was abandoned to an orphanage by her grandmother who couldn’t take care of her. Her father was a greedy criminal, and her mother was arrested instead of him because he ran away. When she became an adult, Lo2lo2 decided to escape the orphanage with her only friend, Marwa (played by Hadeer Abdelnasser), and start a new life. Lo2lo2 always dreamt of becoming a singer. The show goes on showing the ups and downs of a young woman who finds fame, and once she does, her life is never the same.

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I’m a cinephile. Sometimes, I think to myself, “if I can go back in time and change my university program, I would choose cinema.” I did think of doing my masters in film studies and I even dreamt of studying at the UCLA, but life never goes as planned… We never know, right? However, that doesn’t mean I never studied film. As a matter of fact, when I was in CEGEP, I was in the Arts and Letters program and attended various courses on film. Then, in university, I chose World Cinemas as my minor.

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