Month: June 2012

Day 30: Waiting


Wow. So we’re basically at the end of it. For today’s photo, I wanted to try something different. Something a little more…storytelling. This one is actually something that Colette and Bernadette (the model) came up with, with a little help from me. I was hoping for a slightly more…country road that rolls on forever than we typically have around Tumbler Ridge, but would have had to drive about an hour to find the nearest appropriate agrarian road, so I shot this one at the local saddle club. The heart of this idea is the polka-dot suitcase and purse (and jacket and not-appearing-in-this-shot cell phone) and the VW Beatle, which is not actually broke-down. Shot with natural light and a 200 mm lens to compress the road just a little bit.

Portrait a Day 29: Have Airship, will travel


For those of you not familiar with Steampunk, it’s a bit hard to explain. Take technology back to Victorian-era England, and power it by, well, steam. Mix in a bit of horror, a bit of fantasy, and a whole lot of fashion sense, and you have steampunk.

Roxanne is a bit of a fan of the genre, so much so that she’s put together an outfit and even developed a persona around it: the comical dirigible mechanic.

I had this grand vision of taking a shot and creating a virtual set, complete with 3D dirigible, but that didn’t come to pass. Instead, we have a portrait of the unsung, yet always instrumental to the success of the mission, mechanic.

Portrait a Day 28: Boxer


Tadan is a mixed martial arts fighter here in town, and yes, there are MMA fighters here in town. I’ve used variations of this lighting before, but with Tadan I had my ever-present beauty dish, though don’t tell him that’s what it’s called. I used it overhead (not having a boom stand, I got Colette to hold it over top of him.)

Tadan just graduated last week and was voted most likely to be asked to take off his shirt multiple times in one day, so, well, what else could we do? We oiled him down, then went to spray water on him, but not able to find a spray bottle, Colette used a water gun. You make do with what you have.

Portrait a day 27: Peace


There is something about a baby sleeping that instills a sense of peace. Maybe part of that is the noisiness of the day in comparison to those quiet moments, or perhaps it’s that serenity is only found when the little one feels safe, warm and content. And it’s not an easy thing either, to get an infant to sleep and then put him into weird spots and poses just for the sake of a cute picture.

When it comes to any photo the image has to speak to the heart of the person or the photo doesn’t speak truth. Children can sometimes be bribed or cajoled to smile but when a true smile comes from the heart the spark is there. Babies can’t be bribed or even joked with, they have no pretences and if they don’t like your idea for a picture… well it’s time to be flexible and come up with something they will agree with. Leo is a beautiful big chubby baby, but was having a bit of gas. ¬†We posed him in a way that made his tummy feel better and he gave us some wonderful expensive images before falling asleep in my arms worn right out. So we thought, lets see if we can do just one more image with him asleep surrounded by softness. Mommy got him just right sleeping contentedly and we captured this moment of peacefulness in their home.

Portrait a Day 26: Where there’s smoke…


When I met Tallas after the Tumbler Ridge Secondary acting class’ play a few weeks ago, he projected a classic vibe, so I thought maybe something James Dean-ish. But there’s this classic Hollywood image of a man in a trench coat moving through the fog that I wanted to recreate, so I put the two ideas together and came up with this. This is out in the driveway just after sunset, with the car headlights behind, plus a couple studio flashes and a fog machine. It’s amazing how, depending on how you approach things, you can make that time of night look all colourful (like Dakota’s picture), blue (Ashlee) or like San Francisco after midnight, here.

Portrait a Day 24: Save a horse, ride a mechanical bull



Yesterday, we shot the Dawson Creek grad class. As part of their dry grad celebrations, they had bouncy horses, nerf guns, a DJ and a mechanical bull and surfboard. Oh, and us, too. This is Tiana, one of the grads from Dawson Creek riding aforementioned mechanical bull. Erin will love her because she was wearing a Big Bang Tee-shirt.

From a technical point of view, this is just a bare flash to camera left, and a fair bit of work in post, by Colette.

Portrait a Day 23: Fingerbang


This is Andy, brother of Calissa, who was featured about a week ago. He is one of Tumbler Ridge’s most recent round of grads, and was at the grad event we were shooting on Friday (yes, I know, it’s Sunday today; yesterday was ridiculously busy. More on that later). He’s got a very rubber face, so Colette called him back after the family portrait in our photo booth to pose for our PAD. I turned off one of the lights I was using for the Photo booth so the Red and blue gelled lights would stand out, and then just let him do his thing.

Portrait a day 22: Here’s mud in yer eye


Colette had a vision for this shot. Roman, in the mud, making mud pies and having fun. But do ya think he wanted to play in a mud puddle under the supervision of mom and dad? Heck, no! Like any kid, he’ll eat dirt and poop mud when he’s all by himself, but ask him to play in the mud and he’s all suspicious like. Maybe this is some sort of trap. So he kinda protested and avoided and demurred and said he was cold. Until SPLAT!, dad hit him with a big mud ball. Oooh, and then he was into it.

No real photographic magic sauce with the lighting here. Just take one kid, add mud, then photograph the results.

Portrait a Day 21: Geronimo!


This was the first photo I took of Christopher…well, first real photo. The previous one I wasn’t in the right spot and cut off half his body. But I showed him the picture, and he thought his face was too excited, so the next time, he looked like he was reading a chapter book. When I mentioned it to him, he went over tongue out, a la Michael Jordan. No, this one captures the spirit and energy of what he was doing.

I wanted to shoot this using high speed sync to really freeze the action, but my flash that does high speed sync is currently out of commission so there’s a bit of motion blur around the edges, which I kinda like. It gives a sense of motion, and he is definitely moving.