Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Connecting With Old Friends :: Claresholm Alberta Photographer

One of the great things about being a photographer is capturing happy moments in people's lives. I had that opportunity a month or so ago when my family and I were invited to the birthday party of one of our friends. We all met when we were living in Edmonton Alberta years ago. Now we are all living in the same area again. Back then we each only had one child and now our two families have 3 apiece.

I had been trying to get together with this family for awhile to do a family portrait but things kept coming up. Finally we were able to  get together and do some photos.

The mother, Halli Lilburn, is actually a published author. You can keep up with her over at her blog. Part of the shoot was also to do some headshots for her up coming book. Check her out and keep your eye open for her book.

One Year and Counting :: Claresholm Alberta Photographer

Over the summer I had the great opportunity to do the one year photos of a cute little boy. His mother was actually one of the great women that have worked with my son while he was in grade one. It was good to see her again and to help visually capture her son's personality.

This little guy just would not stop smiling. He was great to work with and his parents had some good ideas about what they wanted. His mother wanted to shoot on some railroad tracks right from the begining when she booked the session.

Photographing kids can be really easy in some aspects because they are so cute but they can be a cahllenge in many others. For example, children like to move and dont't take direction very well at times so you have to be quick and try to keep their attention on you or a parent that is situated close to the camera.

And Here Are the Winners... :: Claresholm Alberta Photographer

A while back I did a draw for 3 free photo sessions and posted a video on the blog where I announced the lucky winners.

After I did the blog post I contacted the winners and set up times with them to discuss what they would like to do in their shoots.

A predominant theme for all of the winners was that they wanted to have their photos done by a barn or similar background. I just so happen to have a great location with a barn that I regularly shoot at just outside of town. So the only issue was if I was going to use this location for all of the sessions, how would I make the images unique and different enough from each other? The great thing about the location is that it is large and diverse enough to offer a lot of flexibility.

By changing lenses and shooting from different angles and locations around the property I was able to provide my families with what they wanted and something a little different from everyone else.

Photography is not all about the gear and the locations. I try to alter each shoot to suit who I am shooting at the time. different angles will produce different results and a different feel to the image. next time you say to yourself "I've shot that before" or "I've run out of ideas" try looking at things from a different perspective or through a different lens.

Dusting off the Cobwebs :: Claresholm Alberta Photographer

Over the past few months I have been very busy and I have to admit my blog has developed some cobwebs... sorry for the lull. during this  and the next few posts I hope to catch you all up on what I've been up to and let you see a few of the images I have created for myself and some beautiful people.

Well now that you are here lets gets started.

When we last met I was shooting some of the graduating class of 2010. I finished up my grad sessions with two beautiful young ladies from the local Catholic School.

It was a busy day for these girls and we were pressed for time on both shoots but we made the most of it by having fun and getting some nice images. you might recognise one of the girls from an earlier post about my grad ambassadors. It was really nice to do another shoot with her.

For those that are learning to photograph people you will notice that after you've shot someone a few times the two of you can feel a little more comfortable with the process and you can get a lot more done in a shorter period of time.

One post down... many more to come

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Grad 2011 Baby! :: Claresholm Alberta Photographer

This past weekend I got together with some great families as they celebrated another milestone in their child's life. This time of year is so exciting! Things are green again, people are happy and school is almost out for another warm summer.  




Congratulations guys on your achievements and I wish you all the best in the coming years.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Family Fun at Sunset :: Claresholm Alberta Photographer


This past week I got together with a great family to do some photos. When I met with them for their pre-shoot consultation they expressed that they wanted to do their photos in Dinosaur Provincial Park. This got me excited because I love going to the badlands to do photos. The terrain is different and there are so many places to shoot. On the way out to the Park we stopped by a farm and did a few photos and then continued on to our primary location. Despite the mosquitoes we had a good time and got some great images. Thanks guys.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Brooks Minor Ball :: Brooks Alberta Sports Photographer

Tonight was my last night doing Brooks Minor Ball photos in Brooks. I approached the Association a few months ago and ended up getting the bid for this seasons. I've had a blast "shooting" the ball players and seeing the excitement in the young players.

I'm a big believer in organized sports and how they help kids learn important life lessons like following rules, working hard, teamwork and good sportsmanship.

It's fun to watch the younger kids play and to see the look of joy on their faces as they run the bases or make a good play. You can tell the coaches are having fun too. They are constantly cheering for their players giving them pats on the back. Good coaches make a huge difference in kid's lives. I've had a few influential coaches over the years. Their examples and life lessons have helped shape who I am today. It's so important to have good role models.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Revisiting the Farm

I was driving home from Dinosaur Provincial Park yesterday with my family. While we were driving down the road I was keeping my eye on the sky and watched as it developed into dusk. As we approached a farm that I had photographed a few years ago I decided to stop and take some pictures.

 The Image above was taken On August 4, 2006 at 6:15 AM and the sun was rising in the East. I did not have any filters with me and had to make do with what I had.

The Image above is what I shot last night (May 6, 2011) at about 8:15 PM with the sun setting in the West. I had my filters with me this time.

You can see the diffence in the two images. In the first one I did not get as close to the water and I included  white fence on the right. The inclusion of fence and the grass on the bottom is a bit distracting. I could have cropped out the fence and the grass but then I would have cut off the right edge of the creek as well. This time around I made sure I was nice an close to the water to eliminate both issues. The other major difference is the position of the sun. In the first image the sun is in the frame causing the sky to be blown out. I had to take multiple exposures and then combined them in post. In the second image the sun was setting behind me and I was able to control the contrast between the sky and the ground easier. The use of graduated filters made this image really come alive.

I like both images don't get me wrong. My style has changed over the last few years and I am glad that I was able to try a different angle at a different time of day.

Just because you have "been there and done that" doesn't mean you can't do it again. Try going to a location several times and at different times of the day. See what happens with your photos and how the light changes. Try different settings and make some mistakes. That's how we learn.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Change in Perspective

I was in Lethbridge Visiting family for the Easter Break and had the desire to shoot some landscapes. I packed up a few of my filters, my tripod and my camera and headed towards the High Level Bridge. I eventually set up on the East side of the Coolies over looking the valley below and the bridge. I got there a little later then I had planned but tried to make the best of it. I started off facing the sun and began shooting through the wheel  sculpture they have by the Galt Museum. The sun set ended up being kind of blah so after the sun had gone well below the horizon I began looking for other other perspectives of the wheel. I noticed that the surface of the wheel was highly polished and had the idea to turn my back to the setting sun and shoot the last rays of the day bouncing off the wheel. After a few graduated filters and some camera adjustments I made the following image.

When you're not liking what you are seeing in front of you, try moving around and see what else you can find. try different angles, lenses, shutter speeds and use up some space on your memory card. digital memory is cheap. You might be surprised at what you find.

When I got back home I ran the image through some post processing and made the following image. I wanted a dirtier feeling to the photo and added some additional texture.

Have a great week everyone. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

2011 Brooks Trade Show Photographer

I've just spent the last few days at this year's Brooks and District Chamber of Commerce Trade Show. This was my first time that I've had a booth at a Trade show and I really enjoyed it. I met and talked to well over 450 people and had 423 people enter my draw for a free photo shoot and 16x20 print. I originally planned on giving one prize away this year but due to the number of people that entered I have decided to give 3 way. I drew the names today and have a video of the winners at the end of this post.

I was fortunate to be located in the show by some other great businesses such as Frontier Signworks, 2nd Floor Hair and Body and Meadows Golf Course. They were all very energetic and talkative. This was a nice bonus during the slower times. It was also able to talk to a few people that I haven't seen I a while as they cam by my booth. It was great to catch up and hear about what was new in their lives.

Life goes on and people get busy. One of the most common things I heard was that it had been several years since people had done a family picture. If you look at your last family photo that you have up on your wall and see that you still had hair and are now bald you need a new one. If you see in the photo that your oldest child is wearing a diaper but in reality is old enough to drive your car now... you need a new photo. Finally, if you've had any new addition to your family or have started your own family you need a current family photo.

My thoughts on this weekend:

Meeting 450+ people and having them see my work... Awesome!
reconnecting with some friends... Great!
Made some new friends... Sweet!
Standing on concrete for 18 hours... not so good.
Having my son come hang out with me for an hour and help pass out cards... Highlight of the weekend!

And Now for the winners of the draw...

I realized after I finished recording the draw that the one woman's name is actually Nikki not Nuki... sorry Nikki.

Monday, April 18, 2011


If only real life were as easy as we can make it look in post production. I have subscribed to Rhett and Link's youtube channel for awhile now and IMHO they are some of the most creative people on the site. So sit back and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mr Golden Sun :: Claresholm Alberta Grad Photographer

What a difference a few days makes. Today I had a shoot with another member of the graduating class of 2011 and this time the sun was in full force and we were loving it. The sun was not impeded by any clouds and the snow was melting once again. We actually needed to find some shade to avoid the harsh shadows that accompany it's direct exposure.

My model for today's shoot is no stranger to the spot light. She has experience modeling and acting and has one of the starring roles in her schools production of Football Romeo. She has also been to Toronto to attend the Canadian Model and Talent Convention where she was exposed to various talent agencies, models and actors from around the world.

If you want to help this young woman get a free grad photo session at the beginning of June just mention this blog post when you book your next session with me. You have to have your pictures done before June 4, 2011 to help her out though.

Thanks again to my model. I hope you all join in with me when I say break a leg in your production thin a few days.

Snow time like the present :: Claresholm Alberta Grad Photographer

This past weekend I had the great opportunity to spend some time with a lovely young woman who is graduating this year from one of the local High Schools. We had been planning this shoot for a few weeks and we were both looking forward to it. We had met before hand and got to know each other and I learned of her love of sports and her busy schedule. She is finishing her last year of high school and plays hockey and softball and works part time as well as spends time with her friends and family. I’m tired just writing about it.

The weather was great leading up to the day of the shoot. The temperature was above zero for days and the snow was melting. However, the day of the shoot arrived and we woke up to a blizzard. OK maybe it wasn’t a blizzard but it was snowing hard. Big wet flakes with the occasional gust of wind. It goes without saying that we didn’t see many people out and about and I think those that saw us might have thought we were crazy.

My model was a trooper though. She seemed to take it all in stride and was very relaxed in front of the camera, even with the snow blowing in her eyes. We went to a few locations around town that offered a little shelter from the storm and got some great images. Then we moved out into the open and got what I think are some of the best shots of the day. It just goes to show you that you don’t have to have an ideal day to get great photos. What you need is a great model, good locations, the right gear (wrapped in plastic bags) and the knowledge of how to put it all together.

Thanks again to my model. If you want to help this young woman get a free grad photo session at the end of May just mention this blog post when you book your next session with me. You have to have your photos done before May 28, 2011 to help her out though.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Location, Location, Location :: Claresholm Alberta Photographer

I took the opportunity while I had a few hours today, to walk around the city a bit a take some photos. This served a few purposes.

  1. My wife would like me to get back into the shape I was when we were married 10 years ago and it's a start

  2. I have created a library on my ipod of photography locations in various cities and I wanted to add my Brooks locations to the catalogue.
I've done this so that if and when I get stumped in the middle of a shoot I can pull out my library and develop some location ideas on the fly. It also helps immensely when I am preparing for a shoot so I can refresh my mind about the location. It was a foggy morning when I headed out but after a few hours it had cleared up and the sun was shining. The return of the sun, even for a few hours toady, was a welcome sight. I visited a few of my favorite locations and even discovered a couple new ones. It was a great morning. One of the nice things about living in a small city is that I can get to any location on foot pretty easily. Give me a call or send me an email and we'll go see a few of them

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cute as a button :: Claresholm Alberta baby photographer

I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph this little one a while ago and I have to say it was fun. I really enjoy the challenge of capturing the innocence of small children. This little one was not exception. She was these eyes that seem to communicate with your soul.
I have arranged with the parents that once 10 people comment on this post they will get a free 8x10 of one of the above images. Leave a comment and tell them which is your favorite.

On Display in Brooks Alberta :: Claresholm Alberta sports photographer

Well the prints are up at the Recreation Centre and Centennial Regional Area in Brooks, Alberta.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, each print is 6 feet wide and 3 feet tall and are printed on vinyl banner material.

I have to thank both the Director of Community Services, Russ Tanner, and the Manager of Recreation Services, Chad Glasser, for this opportunity to work with them. I had the images printed in Brooks with a local sign maker. The owner was able to print the images in a good a mount of time and was very helpful when we ran into a few snags along the way.

If you would like to see these images up close head down to the Lakeside Leisure Centre and Centennial Regional Area and while you're there take advantage of the services they offer.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Collaboration and Learning :: Claresholm Alberta Photographer

I have been contemplating a project for a few months now. I would like to announce that for the next 8 months (one session a month for 8 months) I will be offering an interactive workshop focusing on developing your skills in multiple areas of photography. topics will include:
  • Basic and advanced camera functions/techniques
  • Natural and Artificial Lighting
  • Landscapes
  • portraits (wedding, family, fashion)
  • Sports
  • Macro Photography
  • post processing and work flow

Each session will be a combination of instruction and hands on shooting. I will be arranging for Models/subject matter. You will have an opportunity to see how you might approach a certain subject matter but also be able to shoot it in a supportive environment. for those that are looking at expanding their knowledge and/or portfolio this will be an excellent opportunity to do both. Participants are encouraged to bring their gear and be ready to use it.

If you are interested in attending you can email me at:

or call me at
(403) 427-0293

I will be limited this first run to the first 8 people who contact me. Registration ends March 5, 2011 at Midnight. Sessions will be the 3rd Saturday of each Month and will be from 9:00AM to 2:00PM. On the weeks we will be covering Landscapes we will be starting either very early in the morning or later in the afternoon/evening. The first session will be March 19, 2011

Registration is $450.00 ($56.25/session) and includes snacks in the morning and the cost of Models in the afternoon.