Former NWT model scores ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ photo shoot

Gabrielle Leblanc, middle, poses with Canadian photographer Raphael Mazzucco, right, during their September photo shoot.
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A model with roots in Yellowknife says she scored the photo shoot of a lifetime when she collaborated with Canadian photographer Raphael Mazzucco recently.

Gabrielle Leblanc, who grew up in Yellowknife, worked on an outdoor shoot with the renowned fashion, art and music photographer in Colorado late last month.

On Sept. 22, Mazzucco reached out to Leblanc about a potential opportunity after two years of going back and forth trying to work together.

Leblanc boarded a plane to meet Mazzucco in Aspen, Colorado the very next day.

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The two would spend the next four days together travelling from Aspen to Denver, scoping out shoot sites and taking pictures along the way.

“He’s amazing, a lot of fun and very down-to-earth,” Leblanc told Moose FM following their work together. “He’s very passionate with his art. It was professional but we also had a lot of fun.”

Leblanc moved from Yellowknife to Vancouver in the summer of 2012 to pursue a career in modelling. By early 2013, she was working full-time with international agency Charles Stuart.

But modelling started taking its toll on Leblanc. Within two years of moving south, she decided to take a step back from the industry and focus her efforts elsewhere.

That’s what made Mazzucco’s call such a surprise.

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“It’s funny because I had actually stopped modelling for a while so when he contacted me I told him I wasn’t really modelling anymore,” she said.

“But of course I wanted to work with him. It had been on my bucket list for some time so this was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime shoot.”

Leblanc admitted to feeling nervous and out of her comfort zone during the shoot, but said it was a privilege working with someone of Mazzucco’s influence.

Leblanc says some of the shots will be featured in one of his upcoming exhibits. As for her future in modelling, she isn’t ruling anything out.

“I’m not really sure what the future holds,” she said. “I’m not sure if I want to get back into it full-time. I’m kind of just taking things day-by-day and seeing what opportunities unfold from this.”

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