Creativity Magazine

Patrick St. Hilaire–A Passion for Portraiture

Posted on the 16 March 2013 by Art Of Mob @artofmob

Patrick St. HilaireGood things come to those who wait.  Due to a language barrier, it took a while to get this feature together of one of my favorite mobile photographers @blacksmithpat – it was definitely worth the wait!  No matter what your native tongue, the work of Patrick St. Hilaire speaks quite clearly.

There is a quality to Patrick’s work that is so real, so gritty, so engaging – portraits that capture not only the beauty of the subject, but the spirit within.  I am proud and honored to present this interview with someone who has perfected the art of portraiture – Patrick St.Hilaire. 

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Sam (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Sisters (above)

Geri:  What is your name and where do you live?

Patrick:  My name is Patrick St. Hilaire and I live in Quebec, Canada.  I'm married to my best friend, a Brit woman, who inspires me everyday.  We have four beautiful daughters.

Geri:  When did you get started with mobile photography?

Patrick:  I just started using my iPhone as a camera about a year ago.  I began posting some of my work on iPhoneArt after finding it on the web. It totally blew my mind to see so many artists creating art from a phone. 

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Bali (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Bali, in such a mood (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Mother and Son (above)

 Geri:  On the photo sharing sites, your name is @blacksmithpat.  Are you really a blacksmith?

Patrick:  I am a blacksmith, a farrier in fact. I've been a farrier for almost twenty years now and I still enjoy my work.

© Patrick St. Hilaire

The Farrier (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Dog (above)

Geri:  Do you have a traditional photography background?

Patrick:  I never studied photography.  I did photography for living when I was younger.(25 years ago) I lived with three other photographers for awhile.  We shared a studio and a massive darkroom, and experimented with art photography. That was back when we were using film, eating soup and smoking cigarettes.  The good old days when making an artistic photo took all day.  Double exposure, sandwiching two negatives together, scratching it, printing on wood, metal, anything we could find. That’s when I learned everything.  I quit when I had enough of being poor. Photography is a rich sport!  

Twenty years later I bought an iPhone and here I am again taking pictures and enjoying it again.  It's all about time, managing my busy life between my four girls, my wife and my work.  Mobile art allows me to edit my work from anywhere…work, walk, when my helper is driving .

Geri:  Who or what inspires you?

Patrick:  Mostly my kids inspire me…and fairy tales.

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Heavenly (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

4:57 a.m.

Geri:  I loved the first work I saw of yours, but since you began taking pictures of your daughters I am totally smitten!  Do they enjoy being part of the process?

Patrick:   My girls are my models and they participate in the process of creating my art. They do enjoy being part of it and often have their own idea about what to do for the next picture. For me what works in photographing them is to let them be part of it…let them contribute, express themselves and let them see themselves in the picture. I also let them take pictures of things and sometime it just doesn't work.  Sometimes they are not in the mood.  I can’t blame them, sometimes I don’t want to either. 

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Scarlett au matin (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Looking at it (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Tooth Fairy (above)

Geri:  What are some of your favorite apps?


  • Snapseed  makes me feel like I’m in a dark room. A must.
  • BlurFX : For the focal point of view. Helps make the eyes of the viewer go where you want by selectively blurring the image.
  • Noir Photo:  I like that app.  Good when your photo has great light.  It suits my work well. 
  • Image Blender:  I use it a lot for my artistic pictures when I want to superimpose an image. 
  • Hipstamatic   I love different combinations.  It works really well for some of my portraits.  The Tinto 1884 with the D-Type Plate works beautifully for me.  I always wanted to own an 8x10 camera and this is the closest I can get with the results. 

© Patrick St. Hilaire

My Cousin (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

View from the outside (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Homeschooling my doll (above)

Geri:  Have you ever exhibited your work? 

Patrick:  I have exhibited my work, but nothing serious. I would love to though, and I think with mobile photography and the different platforms the possibility is so much more attainable. The exchange with other artists is a big plus in my art. The possibility of seeing a masterpiece right there at the tip of my fingers makes me hungry for more. It is so inspiring to see such an ensemble of talent together.

© Patrick St. Hilaire

The Monkey (above)

© Patrick St. Hilaire

The Blacksmith Ghost (above)

Geri:  Anything else you’d like to add?

Patrick:  And then there is Geri.  You Madame, do so much for artists.  You are a gem for the artistic community…by sharing what you know (free apps) to presenting different artists you just push mobile artistry further along.  You make it real.  Thank you ever so much for what you do.   You are a love.

© Patrick St. Hilaire

Holding on (above)

Geri’s final thoughts:  Now I wish that the four years of French I took in high school had stuck!  Patrick is such a sensitive soul, I would love to communicate with him in his mother tongue to really learn more about this talented, dedicated and thoughtful man.  Thank you Patrick for the work you do and the inspiration you provide each time you share one of your beautiful photographs with the world.

You can view more of Patrick’s work here:

Instagram @blacksmithpat

EyeEm @blacksmithpat

iPhoneArt BlacksmithPat

All images in this feature are copyrighted property of Patrick St.Hilaire published on iART CHRONiCLES with the consent of the artist.

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