Having started his professional photography journey in the luxury weddings’ industry some 15 years ago, Ara Hagopian explored other genres of photography throughout the years, branching mainly into conceptual portraits and architecture. The common thread between his portrait, architecture and wedding photography work is his unique style distinguishable by his use of heavy colors, dramatic flair and a painterly effect working in tandem to evoke the feeling of the captured moment. His passion for Art History can be seen in his portraiture work, mainly drawing inspiration from Renaissance and Baroque masters such as Michelangelo and Caravaggio.
Ara supports local and aspiring photographers through speaking engagements, private workshops and as a regular competition judge at Montreal’s oldest camera club. Outlets where Ara’s work has been published include Photo Vogue Italia, Rangefinder magazine, Grace Ormonde Weddings magazine, Fstoppers and a number of wedding and luxury lifestyle magazines. He is the recipient of multiple awards, notably including First and Second places at the WPPI competitions and is currently the only WPPI Master Photographer based in Quebec.
“I am truly humbled to have the opportunity for a second year in a row to represent Quebec and Canada at the World Photographic Cup! This competition is a breath of fresh air to the common individualistic approach of most competitions where an entrant represents only themselves. With the incredible photography talent we have in Canada, I am confident we will shine a spotlight on this great country once again!”
“Love Yourself” was created to illustrate the state of mind of someone who lacks self-love. COVID left many feeling that things are coming at you from all sides. You feel vulnerable, cornered and alone – almost left to rot. Fear of the unknown, fear of the future makes it feel surreal, empty and cold. You are numbed by the feelings you can’t express – you feel like just another nameless, faceless person who’s about to tear open with the plethora of repressed emotions.
To emphasize the highly ornate nature of Islamic art, I found this angle that allowed me to aggregate layers of ornaments, textures and shapes all while taking advantage of the depth and drama created by the sunset.
“Forgive Me Father, For I Have Loved”-It all started with an obsessive desire to apply Renaissance and Baroque inspiration to the portrait of this couple. Since paintings of these periods were typically based heavily on biblical stories and references, I felt the love of this couple would nicely contrast the biblical symbol of the snake. To accentuate the tension present in the main theme, the image uses other contrasting elements such as the masculinity of the subjects vs the soft floral background, the smooth skins vs textured sheets, the passionate red vs the toxic green.