An important step in my process as a photographer is to build a solid rapport with my subject, before they step in front of my lens. Being photographed can be an intimidating concept for many, if I have the trust of the person I am photographing, truly magic can be created in that collaboration. Sometimes from these exchanges, clients who begin as strangers become people I consider dear friends.
Erin is one of those incredible client-friends, who I am immeasurably grateful for. She humbly role models the power of gratitude and acceptance with such grace and intent, I feel so lucky to have her in my life.
When she reached out to me again this year to arrange a new photo shoot, I was beyond excited to bring her concepts to life. We had lengthy conversations about what the ideas represented to her, and how different locations could serve as symbols in the imagery.
We set out on a full day of shooting, with makeup beginning at a very uncomfortable 4:30am so we could make it out to Squamish BC by sunrise. Our small but amazing team made this day a huge success. Leigh Dickson Artistry on makeup, and Victoria Canning photo assisting and shooting some behind the scenes video.
Below you can watch the video of our photo shoot. Hope you enjoy!
Canada is a beautiful part of the world and for many reasons I feel so fortunate to call this place home. Here is a little tribute with just a few of my favourite spots I’ve explored in just British Columbia in the past year.
Here’s a video tutorial for a really quick and easy trick to reducing and dare I say, eliminating the double chin when posing for photographs. Every client will hear me remind them ad nauseam throughout their photo shoot. It’s a great idea to practice in the mirror until you get the hang of what it feels like when it looks right, then you can use it every time you’re in front of the camera.
This was my second shoot with The Faceplants and this time we had body paint and $1000 worth of fake plants. We created this set in-studio and it was based off the band’s concept to coincide with their single release (now available on iTunes) “WHY”
You can see the behind-the-scenes in the video below.
Location scouting is a really important step in photo shoot planning. The environment you are photographed in plays a huge role in the aesthetic direction of your images. Deciding on indoor vs outdoor is a good starting point and below are some considerations as you’re looking for a backdrop for your shoot.
Locations can change unexpectedly and can look different depending on the time of day and weather. To get the most accurate evaluation of a potential location, try to check it out at around the same time of day your photo shoot is scheduled. The season, day of the week and public access are also things to consider. For example, if you choose a place that tourists often visit, keep in mind ideal dates and times to book around potential issues.
When scouting interiors, note where the windows are and how much available/natural light there is. Look for outlets to power lighting equipment.
-What environment will suit your project/vision best. Take a look at locations that are more likely to be a good fit aesthetically.
-Are you willing to pay to use a unique location where the property owner or city may require compensation to grant access?
-Do you have access to unique spaces or places that others wouldn’t?
-Multiple backgrounds in a single area or within a close radius (preferably walkable)
-Open unobstructed spaces such as big open warehouse, epic viewpoint of mountains/city, a field, by the water.
-Interesting textures, colours and patterns.
-Shade- This is important especially for a midday session when the sun is high and the light is harsh.
-posing aids such as stairs, chairs, walls, interesting objects you can interact with.
This may be an obvious note, but be sure to take photos from many angles to give the best sense of the area.
Take a 360 spin from the centre, get closer up shots of details like wall textures or objects that may be of interest during the shoot.
Have fun! You get to explore and find a space that will help tell your story, further your brands image, or at the very least, take a tour of your city.
The past couple weeks in Vancouver the Northwest Comedy Fest hosted an array of amazing comedy shows and brought through so many incredible comedians. I dove right into the festivities and checked out a ton of performances, still thinking about Moshe Kasher’s insane crowd work and John Mulaney’s hilarious prank on two audience members who left momentarily during his show. So good.
To cap off a delightful couple of weeks, it seems fitting to share a project I had the pleasure of being part of recently. Dino Archie is a comedian I believe is going to rise to the top in no time. Before getting involved with his debut comedy album, I had seen him perform a number of times around town and was always blown away- every single time. If you have the opportunity to catch him live, just do yourself the favour and check it out.
I shot the cover of ‘Choosy Lover’ and filmed some behind-the-scenes for a video I made showing the making-of the album. It was recorded over 3 nights/5 shows at the Comedy Mix. Hope you check it out, and download the album over on his website www.dinoarchie.com
I was so happy with the new fancy hand-painted backdrop I bought recently, that I was inspired to give it a try for myself. See if I could make myself some more unique backgrounds for my photo shoots. I picked up some painters’ drop canvases to paint on, and kept my eye on the mistint section in the paint stores nearby. I was surprised by some of the wonderful colour combos I found with only a few visits to the paint stores. I hauled all of this (5 gallons of paint and three canvases) onto the ferry and over to the Sunshine Coast so I could enlist the help of my artist Dad. Luckily we had a nice day so we set up on the deck and had some painting fun outside. I’ll be interested to see how they photograph. Below is a little video of us making these backdroppies.
I’ve been lucky enough to know the very lovely, Megan Bourne, for many many years now. She is a rad photographer in her own right, but I stole her for a few hours in front of the camera. We had such a fun time and I had the opportunity to play around with some ideas I’d been dreaming up for some time, while testing out a new backdrop. I also took a little footage and put together a teaser video you can watch below. There were so many gorgeous shots, it was hard to choose a few to share. Enjoy!
The holiday season usually means the cameras come out as we document our festivities with friends and family. Inevitably someone with minimal photography skills will be in charge of capturing you. To avoid disappointment, I’ve put together a few tips to help before you jump in front of the lens.
1) Look for soft diffused light whenever possible.
If you have the option, it’s worth it to take a few steps over to a window for natural light rather then using flash or standing under bright artificial light, this can cast unflattering shadows. Whatever light source you have available, turn your face toward it.
2) Know your angles.
It will only take a quick look in the mirror to get the idea of what angles are most flattering for you. General rule of thumb, turn on a 45 degree angle from the camera and put your weight on your back foot.
3) Define your jawline – Reduce a double chin.
When you’re facing the camera push your chin forward and tip your forehead down slightly.
4) Flatter your arms.
Hold your arms away from your body so they don’t flatten against your body.
5) Group Shots – Keep heads level.
The person closest to the camera will appear bigger. You’ve probably noticed it in a selfie when there’s two or more people, one person’s head looks much larger and you have a good laugh. Try to keep your faces equal distance from the camera.