August 7, 2019 at 10a.m. I was at “Fort de Chambly”, QC, waiting for Mr. Beauchemin when my phone rang, it was him. “I’m sorry I was on an urgent dossier and I did not see the time pass. Come home, we’ll do the photo session here. My address is…It will take you a short while to get here, obviously since you can’t fly. You will need your GPS to get here.” I repeated the address and made sure I got it right. 10 mins later I was there, took my gears, locked the car and rang the bell. There was a glass pane next to the entrance door and I could see through the house. Before entering I was already stunned by the ecsquisite beauty of the interior. The other side of the house was in glass, from end to end, from floor to ceiling, glass only and overlooking the beautiful “Bassin de Chambly” lake. Then came his wife, Sylvie, who opened the door and greeted me in, followed by Mr. Beauchemin a few seconds later with a very welcoming smile on his face and a warm handshake. There is always that bit of nervousness when photographers shoot celebrities, unless you’re an Annie Leibovitz or a Peter Lindbergh.
We sat at a table in one corner of the house, which in itself is a solarium, Mr. Beauchemin offered me an espresso and we started chatting. He asked about me and both him and Sylvie listened with interest. They asked me a few questions about my youth, my home country, my travels and the question every Quebecer asks me, “Pourquoi le Quebec?”, “Why Quebec?”
That’s Sylvie clearing the table after breakfast, as humble as ever. Sometimes we tend to think that people with millions have a dozen maids working for them. Happiness is found in everything you do with love, so I observed, and not in the money itself.
Our first conversation was about health, food and nutrition, diabetes, phamaceutical industry and the research they fund. As one can imagine, the discussion started on a high level and from his hand gestures one can guess the passion in the conversation. Mr. Beauchemin would explain to me the direct link between people’s nutrition and diabetes and how the whole thing gets out of control. He knows all the technical terms and how they all function inside the body. I was absorbed in the conversation, I observed him and listened attentively, taking a few images just to capture the moment but without disrupting the flow of the discussion.
Mr. Beauchemin then connects the health issue with karma and religion. Thanks to my studying of orthodox hinduism and my involvement in a vedic monastery over the years, I was amazed by his similar enlightenment and could totally relate to it. The subject got very detailed and I am skipping some of that here. He is as well properly versed in Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. We then move on to do the following portraits.
There were some test shots too that turned out to be very good and funny.
By the end of the session, another gentleman joined in, Stephane Drouin, a well-known man in the entrepreneurship community. He is the CEO of the “Centre Québécois d’Innovation en Commerce”. He is a business partner and a good friend of Mr. Beauchemin.
And finally a beautiful image that captures a lot of the dynamics between these two wonderful personalities.