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Day Two of Fashion Week!!

I just started an intense week of Fashion Photography education. It is awesome!! I love it. I knew I would but never really understood it until this week. I’m so hooked! On the second day we shot at The Superior, a restaurant in the James Bay neighborhood of Victoria. My old ‘hood!! I love it there. Just being there put me in a great mind frame for this shoot and I had so much fun with models Mariah and Tiara. Here are a few!

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A Past Life…Well, Maybe…

I had never gone to a shoot with the purpose of taking a photojournalism shot until this particular Sunday. When posed with the task I knew exactly what I wanted to photograph. You see, before venturing into the world of Professional Photography, I was a Forest Technologist. More specifically, I was a VRI Air Photo Interpreter. Basically, I counted trees…and estimated things like species, age, height, etc., from aerial photographs. It sounds involved, and it is. My brain used to hurt at the end of the day. But all that brain hurting was worth it when field work season rolled around. I got to travel to places I would never have gone, wander around in the forest measuring and getting to know trees. Have I mentioned the helicopters yet? Oh yes, there were many glorious hours in helicopters. At the end of projects you do get exhausted and sore. You miss home and your own bed. You want to exterminate every mosquito on the planet, and the thought of walking up a hill over blow-down in caulk boots makes you want to scream. But even on those mornings, when I didn’t know where the days energy was going to come from, the vibration and sound of sitting in a Bell 206B about to lift off always made me grin uncontrollably. I love it! I have a special place in my heart for working in the woods, so I knew exactly what I wanted to photograph. Now I just needed a model! I recruited a co-worker, who has an interest in photography, and I knew would be up for it. Yari! We found the spot…it was perfect! Beautiful light coming down through the tall trees, and a beautiful Sitka Spruce. Yari measured the tree and I photographed. I got a bunch of great shots, but this was the winner.

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D’at Mudder a’mine is sum beaut’y, w’ah?

This is my mom. The title of this post is typed in my native Newfoundland tongue as a tribute to my family and home (and because it’s funny…if you can understand it). In Newfoundland, some refer to their mothers as “Mudder”. I’ve adopted this in the last decade and have starting calling my Mom, “Mudder”. She’s not a big fan, but in true Mudder style she just shakes her head saucily at me. I’m an only child, and Mudder is my best friend. I live in Victoria, BC and she lives all the way on the other side of Canada in Western Newfoundland. That’s a really long expensive plane trip, so the time I do get to spend with her is the most treasured time. She came to spend the holidays with me in Victoria this year. It was the best month! It was so great having her so close! I really wanted to take this opportunity to photograph her, but I knew she wasn’t going to agree to this without a little hesitation. She’s not one for getting her photo taken. When I asked her, she gave me a strange look. But she knew how much it meant to me, and said yes almost immediately. It was so exciting!! The next day, I booked the studio and couldn’t wait! I was so proud to take her portrait, and I think she was proud of me taking it. It comes through on both ends of this photo and I love it.

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Caveman!

The idea for this shoot popped into my head late one night and I couldn’t get it out!! My love, CC had this well established beard and I really really wanted to photograph it covered in clay, caveman style! Then I though of the Hasselblad inspired square frame. I was already in love with this photograph and I hadn’t even taken it yet! I booked studio time and started planning. I searched everywhere in Victoria for clay and couldn’t come up with anything!! Aside from the 5lb block, which really didn’t seem necessary. I took a chance, after battling pre-Christmas crowds, on kids modeling putty and non-toxic paint. The modeling putty turned out to be exactly like that white poster putty…noooooo!! This was not good! I somehow, with the help of boiling water, a whisk and the paint made the putty into something that resembled the texture and colour of clay. Success?? I had to wait and see how it photographed to really know. We went to the studio and I slathered CC with my questionable “mud” mixture. Yikes! I don’t think there’s any doubt of this man’s love for me. I took a test shot with my DSLR and it worked!! It actually looked like mud! Success! So I broke out the Hasselblad and my provia 120 film and shot a roll and a half of Caveman. It was a dream! There’s just something so satisfying about the shutter “clunk” of a Hassie…sooooo satisfying! For my instant gratification I fired off a few more frames on my DSLR and this is one of those. Even though I had digital files the wait for the film to be processed and returned was a nail biter. But they also turned out great! Long live Caveman!

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It’s December…let’s go to the beach!

My darling friend LCF came to visit in December. She is beautiful, so of course I jumped at the chance to photograph her! We decided that a beach shot would be stunning…and despite that it’s winter (even though “winter” on southern Vancouver Island is not what people usually think of when they think of a Canadian winter) we headed to the beach! French Beach is glorious and about 45 minutes north west of Victoria. We had everything we could possibly need for this shoot…the usual camera equipment plus warm coats, toques, mittens, scarfs, blankets and of course coffee! We were ready! It rained the entire drive!! It was not lookin’ good for this one. LCF was only in town for 2 days so this was our only chance. As we came down the last hill to the beach it stopped raining, the clouds broke a little and beautiful light appeared! Yes!! We jumped out of the car and got to work! Within 15 minutes we were set up on the beach, LCF changed into her very summer dress and I had fired off 100 frames. We were back in the warm car in a flash!! This is one of many keepers from the shoot. I love the tranquil look on her face despite single digit temperatures and near nudity perched on the edge of the Pacific. She is awesome 🙂

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My Ode to David LaChapelle

It’s a great learning tool to pick photographers that inspire you, have a style you admire, or even someone you’ve never heard of, and emulate their work. This is my emulation of a master, David LaChapelle. If you’ve never heard of him…google! Or better yet, here’s a link…

http://www.lachapellestudio.com/

He’s known for off-the-wall sometimes shocking work. Props have to go out to anyone that can get a shocked response to art in a society that’s seen it all. Huge props. This man is beyond creative, and not only a master of photography, but also a master of Photoshop. It was a challenge to go so far out of my comfort zone I couldn’t even see it anymore. Shooting in a way I never have before, and also taking on huge post production job, my biggest to date! It was an amazing look into a different avenue of photography and I gotta say, I’m hooked! I learned valuable lessons, got a great response from my peers and I had a blast doing it!
Also I have to give HUGE modeling credit to my love, CC. He rocked it!