The Groomsmen's Perspective

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(above image by the amazing Dana Pugh)


On my wedding day, I carried around my Hasselblad 500 c/m with one roll of Kodak Porta 160 and blogged about it last year- CLICK HERE to see that post. What I didn’t mention was the fact that, on the morning of my wedding, I gave each groomsmen a Yashica T film camera, with a roll of 36 exposures and told them to document the day however they’d like to.

A Tiny History on Yashica T’s
The Yashica T’s were a high end automatic ‘point and shoot’ through the 80’s and 90’s; many pro photographers had a Yashica T in their kit due to the fact that they were all made with Carl Zeiss glass thus producing beautiful images.

I told the boys, all you have to do is point and shoot. No pressure… just take a picture if you see something you like. You don’t have to use the whole roll, and if you do, I have more… take as little or as many as you want. I just want to see the day through your eyes.

At the end of the night, I took the cameras, and with the leftover exposures on a few of the camera’s I took pictures of our first day of married life… and the following days cleaning up the ceremony site on the farm/preparing for our honeymoon.

All in all, these images are very dear to us. I’ve decided to present them camera-by-camera because I believe it’s the best way to view them. Each stream has a persona, and that persona is one of my favorite pal’s on one of the best day’s of my life.

What I love about shooting with film is, I take the picture, I capture the moment and then I move on… I don’t look at it, judge it and make it better; I don’t get caught in this purgatory of fixing or this instant gratification of knowing it’s good.  It’s living in the unknown and I bubble with excitement for the next moment.

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Nana's 80th

Today is a very special day; my Nana is turning 80 years old.

There are very few in the world that I hold as dear to me as my Nana. She is the strongest woman I know and the sweetest most generous human in the world… that’s not an overstatement…. if you know her, you know it’s the truth. I’ve had the very fortunate chance to spend my entire life with my Nana and Papa very close by, and along with my parents, they have been extremely influential in guiding me and helping me become the man I am today. This past weekend we celebrated her 80th year with a backyard party and camp over…. complete with a movie under the stars (and just wait until you see how my uncles hung the screen)! We were all reminded of how our little family is continuing to grow and grow. 60 years ago, it was just my Nana and Papa…. now our family reaches into and soon past the 60’s.

Just to let know how hip my 80 year old Nana is…. she is an avid Facebooker, she was on Instagram before I even was and her favorite drink of choice is scotch. My Nana grew up through World War II, when she was young the radio was her form of entertainment, and she now avidly uses an iPad. What an amazing thing, she’s seen so many amazing things! She is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Family is everything to my Nana and that love spreads through to all of us and makes us all better people. My Nana is a constant pillar in our family… and I love her dearly. Constance (Connie) Isabelle Parker, here is to you!

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Elinchrom Pro HD 500 Review | Edmonton Fashion Photographer

Since I began my somewhat recent venture into studio photography two years ago, I’ve basically been using a starter kit: the Elinchrom D-Lite 4 IT. While these strobes worked wonders for me and I could easily continuing using them for years to come, I felt I come to a point where an upgrade was needed. I had reached the limit in what the D-Lite kit could offer me and they were holding me back… they are afterall a starter kit. Once I began researching, I was instantly overwhelmed with my options; I could leave Elinchrom behind and start investing into a new pro line series (Profoto, Bowens, Bronocolor, etc. etc.) or stay with Elinchrom.

I opted to stay with Elinchrom for the following reasons:

 1.     They are ‘reasonably’ priced

2.     The modifiers they sell are fantastic, top of the line and un-beatable

3.     I know the brand and I’ve never had a problem with them

4.     They’ve been around long enough that they aren’t going anywhere

5.     I’ve already invested in a variety of their modifiers and while I know adapters are available… I’m somewhat of a purest and I’ve only ever found that problems start to arise when introducing 3rd party adapters

The caveat for my decision was the fact that Elinchrom had recently introduced a pro line series: the ELC HD PRO. These heavy duty lights pack a pretty wonderful punch and come with some really great features… some which obviously loose appeal after the ‘test shoot’ and could be likened to the wonderful ‘selective color’ feature that was rampant in the early 2000’s point and shoots… other features however, that bring these strobes into a category completely of their own (for now), making them a dreamy item for any studio photographer.

First up: regular shooting and overall system

Not much to say about this, it works great, just like you would expect. The range is phenomenal, over eight stops of range, and with modifiers and grids, I can get the light down to a 1.4 f-stop in studio OR pop it up to 16 in a matter of seconds… without having to screw on an ND filter and re-doing my white balance (or boost my modeling light).

The OELD screen display and menu system is out of this world, and a huge step forward for the studio strobe. It’s the first of it’s kind and while I know it’s not the last…. (or the best in the not so distant future), I’m blown away at how user friendly these strobes are.

The recycle times are actually insane… no…. seriously, they are insane, even in default mode the strobes recycle lighting quick…. In sequence mode… it’s mind boggling… but that will come later.

Here are a few test images with a 70cm Maxisoft White Beauty Dish and the best model in the world. My wife.

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Next up: Strobo Mode

A very cool feature, but could easily go the way of the ‘selective color option’  referenced earlier… if it’s over used or abused. How it works: in one single exposure, the light flashes numerous times, giving a multiple exposure and ‘strobe effect’ to the image. *Best to have a tripod on hand for this one.

The mode itself is very adaptable; you can choose the amount of strobes and the length of the shutter to sync to.

As you will see in the following images, you can choose up to 20 frames in once single exposure or as little as one. The first few images have around 5, then I went up to 20 for the arms dropping and finally 3-4 for the hair dropping shot at the end.

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Next up: Delayed Mode

We stayed in the theme of hair dropping for this mode. This is pretty much a glorified second/rear curtain mode. For these shots, I opted to use a Lowel D-Pro (continuous light) for the rear highlight. This way the front stays crisp, while the back/outline/anything that moves… has a much more dreamy quality.

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Next up: Strobo Mode on Black background

A black background, and side lighting does wonders for the ‘Strobo Effect’. Pop it into monochrome and you’re in for a treat…

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Last up: Sequence Mode

I think this may be the feature I will find most useful and it’s the mode that sold me on these lights. In sequence mode, you can shoot high-speed frames continuously for a rapid-fire effect. The ELC-PRO’s recycle at lighting speed so in motion you can capture 20 consecutive frames… which is a rare quality to find in a studio strobe AND highly useful when capturing movement or hard to time moments of explosion…. AND you can make really awesome GIF’s like this.

 

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In conclusion… these strobes are fantastic. They have fun features to keep your creativity flowing and they deliver solid results when combatting with other pro-line strobes. They are the most user friendly strobes I’ve come in contact with, they’re so easy to use you won’t bat an eyelash busting through all these modes in a single shoot. These strobes will keep you from dropping into the user manual so you can focus on the creation of your images.

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This is coming from a photographer in the beginning stages of his career; I don’t consider myself a ‘pro’… I’m continually striving to learn more every day, and the skill’s that I have, come from a ‘try and fail then try again’ system. I read and research at nauseam and I shoot in my DIY studio whenever I can. These lights are purchased and in no way am I affiliated with Elinchrom.

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Dana Andersen Portrait Session | Edmonton Portrait Photographer

Ladies and Gentlemen: Dana Anderson… you may also know him as ‘The Man Who Invented Pretending’. 
It was an absolute honor to hang out with my good pal Dana for a couple hours in studio and shoot the heck out of his beautiful mug. He’s the real deal, he’s been to the moon and back…. and has the stories to prove it. He is the definition of classic. He is Clint Eastwood meets John Wayne meets Yosemite Sam meets Dana Andersen. Yeah that’s right… he meet’s himself.

Cue the ‘Epic Tarantino Film Music’ and enjoy the picture show.

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Gil & Landon | Edmonton Couples Photographer

 I had the extreme pleasure of spending a wonderful Sunday evening with the awesome couple that is Gil and Landon. We started the session off in the studio and then because Gil and Landon both love a good walk, we made our way though the river valley ending up at the Muttart Conservatory… just as the sun was setting. Many jokes, quips and jabs were had at each other and myself, but underlying the entire adventure was the absolute love these two share for each other. I had a great time getting to know these two and by the end of the night I was exhausted from laughing so hard with them (and also reminded that I needed to maybe get some cardio back into my life!!). Gil and Landon are the kindest of souls, what a joy it is to know them a little better. Enjoy.

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Mat Hulshof Portrait Session | Edmonton Portrait Photographer

My man Mat is a top-notch guy. He’s a local actor and just had an incredible season here in Edmonton.  He’s also a very regular instagramer and throughout the course of the week, I’m continually updated on what he is doing, how he is feeling and what he looks like. He is the master of the selfie and has over 5000 followers on instagram. I had a fun, almost cliché idea for a portrait of him and so I asked him if we wanted to come in and play for a bit… do a portrait, then do some fashion stuff (he’s also high into Fashion and has a plethora of oustanding outfits). He was game, and like that, we were hanging out, drinking coffee (which he provided… thank you very much MAT!) and laughing about all the crazy things our creative lives involve… and don’t involve. :)


Hope you enjoy the shots! This guy could SO be a model, and you just might see more of him through my lens…. but until then…

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Happy Mother's Day!

 A Happy Mother’s Day! 

We celebrated Mother’s Day one day early over at our household, hosting a little brunch for some pretty special ladies! And after we stuffed our bellies with some fantastic food, we jumped into the studio for a quick and FUN shoot. To all the mothers everywhere (past, present and future) Happy Mother’s Day!!! Without you all, none of us would be here. Thank you for your strength, your courage and your utter resilience. Here’s to my mother and sister… the reason I am the man I am today.

 

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And here’s a fun one for the kiddies!

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Claire Uhlick - Artist In Residence at YESS | Edmonton Art Photographer

Claire Uhlick is the current Artist in Residence at the Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS) and this coming May 6th to 16th an Art Show and Sale titled ‘Breaking Illusions’ will be up at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts featuring artwork created by her and the high risk youth she has been working with at YESS over the last six months.

I have the luxury of knowing a bit more about Claire, because she’s also my wife, but I’m trying to keep that separate to this blog post, just so the post doesn’t start to be a ‘my wife is the best’ blog post…. although, I’m fine with it just being that…. because she is in fact, the best.

*Er, ahem*

Claire started her residency with YESS back in 2012, however this has not been a continual contract, in my understanding, they liked her so much the first time (a six month contract), they found money to bring her back for a second time (a full year contract). ‘Breaking Illusions’ is the first of two art shows that will happen during her residency; the next being at the end of her contract in October 2014.

While the show features the body of work she has been currently producing and exploring at YESS, it also features work that Claire has helped the youth at YESS create. These are youth between the ages of 15 and 21, who are facing difficult realities; some are homeless, some are struggling with addictions and all are facing or have faced a hard life so far. For Claire, the residency has been and continues to be a very challenging and highly rewarding experience; it’s been amazing to watch her grow day by day.

Here are a few images of Claire and her work in her studio/office at YESS. Please make an effort to stop in at the Nina Haggerty on May 16th for the closing reception. If you are interested in purchasing a piece of artwork, you may not want to wait until the closing reception, at the last show the youth’s art sold out in a matter of hours… so drop in earlier. The youth work with Claire to price their own pieces, and once the sale is done, 100 percent of the ‘youth-art profits’ go directly to the hands that made the piece of art. So, if you buy a piece of art made by one of the youth for $40.00, that artist will receive $40.00… and that’s pretty awesome. So, show up, support this wonderful show and buy their art!

I fall more in love with Claire every passing day, I’m so proud of her recent work, and I can tell that she is too…

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Anna-Maria and Paul | Edmonton Maternity Photography

I’ve known Anna-Maria and Paul for quite some time. My wife and I know them as the cute couple we always run into in random places; at the restaurant… they are the couple sitting at the next table on the way to the same concert, or in the food court during the winter shopping season, we are both eating gluten free New York Fries, we always stop and chat and have great fun talks which include the newest gluten free place to eat… a little while back my wife actually turned to me while we were walking somewhere and said, “you know who we haven’t run into lately?” …. Yes, I did know, it’s Anna-Maria and Paul… now I know why…

I was flabbergasted when I was contacted to do a Maternity Session with them…. as that was my introduction to the idea that they would be bringing a new life into the world…. I was elated and sent back a very enthusiastic “YES! Please! When! And Yay” email.

The session was an absolute hoot and I’m so happy to share a few of the shots.

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Shara Sommerfeld | Edmonton Fashion and Beauty Photographer

Way back in the fall of 2012, only a month after the incarnation of my DIY garage studio I did a ‘just for fun’ session with a very dear friend… whom you may recall from my last blog post. With the help of Cammielle Best at Mode Models, we got together with Shara Sommerfeld on a very cold October afternoon and did a little fashion/beauty shoot. After a prolonged wait, I’ve finally had the chance to finish all the images. Here they are!

Credit:
Model: Shara Sommerfeld
Stylist: Amy Laing
Makeup: Jane Holowchuck
Assistant: Morgan Willard

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 And the tiniest little behind the scenes peak to see the mastermind at work.

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 Now back to the shoot.

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