Maggie Habieda has only one goal — to make her clients feel beautiful, like the “queens and kings of old.”
Habieda built Fotografia Boutique Inc., a photography studio that specializes in portraits, about six years ago during a time when photography studios were shutting down. It was one of her biggest challenges, but that didn’t deter her. Habieda isn’t the type of person to simply give up on a dream. With a certain amount of grace and charm, she fights, learns, and persists. She graduated with a Masters in Communication and Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design, but that didn’t include a lot of practical business experience, so she went to the library and took out every book she could find on finance and entrepreneurship. Six months later, she hosted her grand opening.
Habieda came to Canada from Poland at the age of 16. She knew she had the soul of an artist, but couldn’t get into any art schools in her home country. She decided to move to a foreign country — Canada — despite the fact she didn’t know the national language, and proceeded to be accepted into art schools with a number of scholarships.
In college, Habieda painted and drew women – most of them as princesses. Eventually, she discovered a passion for photography and started her professional journey as a wedding photographer, capturing women on the happiest days of their lives. This type of photography changed how she viewed the term “princess.” She started to believe that every woman is a princess, and that’s something she wanted reflected in her work.
“I shifted away from weddings, I wanted my own environment where I could greet people and the whole place to be for them, to feel better for them. Where they could get their hair and makeup done and change clothes where no one is watching. Create their own world where they feel and look beautiful and walk away with something timeless.”
What makes Habieda’s portraits so unique is her classic style, something she says she developed over the years to combat the “overdone” selfie craze. Her photographs are textured so that they don’t quite look like the traditional pictures you may keep on your phone. Instead, they look like classic paintings or drawings, something you may find in an old castle rather than a 21st century living room.
“In today’s world, everyone has a camera – there is sea of photographers taking photos and as soon as they are taken they are forgotten. I bring back the classics,” she says. “When I edit, I like it to be creative. I add textures, adding little elements, something that makes it more illustrative than just a photo itself.”
Habieda’s creativity and ability to focus on true beauty, rather than just point-and-shoot with a camera, is what separates her from others in the industry. She has been able to connect with high-profile celebrities, politicians, and community leaders, which has led to a very successful and thriving business. She has won a number of prestigious awards for her work, including the Tiboor Horvath Award of Excellence, Wedding Portrait Best in Class, and Certified Glamour Photographer from the Professional Photographers of Canada.
And yet, she still hasn’t lost touch with her true vision — to capture, and inspire, beauty in others.
“Every day, I transform people’s lives. I spend time hearing people, their life stories. This is beyond capturing a portrait — its capturing people’s souls from the inside, how the world should see them.”
When she isn’t working in the studio, Habieda runs an annual concert called Colours of Love, which brings together six international artists to celebrate love, diversity, and the performing arts. This will be the third year Habieda organizes the concert, held at the Mississauga Life Centre, and hopes this year will be just as successful.
“Music is the universal language. I want to give and spread love with this world.”
To see more of Habieda’s portfolio, visit her website at fotografiaboutique.ca.