I’ve known and loved my friend Amy for a long time now, and the longer I know her, the more I love her. It’s the best type of friendship, and the older I get; the more I know how rare and special these types of friendships are.
Amy and I met back in college, when we were both stumbling our ways through our newfound love of theatre and our ever-growing knowledge of reality/the grown up world. We grew up together, and although not side-by-side, Amy has always been there for me.
A special added bonus is the fact that Amy is the co-owner of Ponytails and Horseshoes, and while I don’t take that for granted, I’m very grateful that one of my good friends own’s a business that I require on a regular basis… because I get to see her… on a regular basis. In this extremely busy world it’s small things like this that take a perceivably mundane thing (like a men’s haircut), and make it something I look forward to… always.
I’m so proud of my friend and her amazing achievements in life; career and personally. Amy met Dave soon after I met her, and so at that time, I wasn’t fully able to understand the change he had on her. Dave is one of the funniest guys I know. He is hilarious and also a guy I could spend the entire evening talking to, joking with, and getting challenged to a duet. He’s good people, and I’m so happy Amy and him are about to take the leap into parenthood. He’s going to be a fantastic father.
I’m so very excited for my friends, and the journey that awaits them, and I’m so grateful to be here to document this special time in their lives.
A week ago I was contacted about the possibility of doing a last minute shoot… Local thespians, Marilyn Ryan and Dave Horak are currently in rehearsals for the 2006 Sterling Awarding winner for new play, Carol Murray-Gilchrist’s The Frequency of Water and they tasked me with the challenge of capturing some images of water being splashed on Dave’s face.
I was totally in, not just because I’ve been really interested in attempting some high-speed sync shots with liquids, but doubly because of the idea of getting to witness bucket loads of water being poored and splashed on Dave’s mug (we go WAY back). I mean seriously, that’s just awesome.
So, for the next couple of days, I set up some ‘practice shoots’ in my kitchen/living room and with the help of my loving wife, I tested things to see what would give the best results.
NOTE: I did not splash water on my wife’s face, instead I asked her to poor water from a pitcher to a bowl, wave her hands really fast… and for kicks… did a little shaky face…. I’m keeping these on file for blackmail. Smiley Face with a wink. (I don’t know how to make those little cartoon faces… so I think I’m just going to type them out… to help with tone. Thumbs up)
The shoot was hilariously awesome, Dave went through four shirts and was a true champ the entire time. I’m super jazzed by the images we achieved and I’m really looking forward to experimenting more with this style of shooting.
The Frequency of Water runs at the Fringe Theatre Arts Barns from January 17th-26th, tickets are on sale now, and if you click the title of the play anywhere in this blog, you can buy the tickets online. It’s definitely not to be missed!
I fully believe that, being surrounded by the creative imagery of Nevermore, and the amazing places we travelled to, immensely helped me in my photographic journey.
I’ve culminated some images taken during the different stages of that journey. Upon viewing these, I invite you to look through my younger eyes. It’s been over two years and I’ve grown in ways that I’ve always dreamed, and in other ways I never wanted to. I’ve experienced the euphoric highs of love and life, and I’ve witnessed the realities and ultimate pains of sorrow and death. In short, I’ve grown up a little and to me, these images are nostalgic; they pull at me… and they make me very excited to join the adventure once more.
For information on how to purchase tickets for the upcoming run in Edmonton, Vernon or Vancouver visit the Catalyst website.
I was so jazzed when Eric and Camille contacted me about squeezing in a family portrait session before the holidays! I hadn’t seen their kids Caspian and Petra in such a long time, I was almost thrown back when they were standing in my studio last week… I know it’s cliché to say, but they have grown up SOMUCH!
As you will see from the pictures below, the session was an absolute hoot! And hanging out with Petra and Caspian was utterly intoxicating! We had a mini yoga-session, led by Petra and an energetic jumping session which was led by Caspian.
Not only are Eric and Camille parents to two of the most adorable kids in the world, they are the minds behind Mosaic Entertainment; a local film company of which I’ve had the honor of working with on numerous occasions (photographic, directing, acting, and writing/developing). They are producing some amazing content out of Edmonton, you should definitely check them out, Tiny Plastic Men, Delmer and Marta, Caution: May Contain Nuts, and Truckstop Bloodsuckers are just a FEW of their creations.
Now for the pictures! I hope you enjoy them! I sure do! Look at those smiles!
My cousin Karli is the mother to three wonderful boys. Three fantastic little balls of energy. Three boys. Three boys between the ages of 6 and 2. THREE. In the eyes of her older cousin, who has trouble with a whining cat (yes I’m referring to myself), my little cousin Karli is one of my heroes.
When I hear the words loving, compassionate, and strong I think of my cousin Karli. She is a wonderful mother. I will never be a mother (I know!! it’s a bit of a newsflash, and I won’t be surprised if me saying that get’s this little blog picked up by Huffington Post…) but if I was, I would be looking to Karli for guidance, and I can’t wait to watch these little boys grow up and fully realize how wonderful their mother is. Of course they know it now… but coming from a son (that’s me), the full depth of that knowledge can’t be fully realized at such a young age.
Of course, these three boys have a wonderful Father as well and I could talk about Gray and how amazing he is with the boys as well, but this blog post is just for mommy. Sorry Gray :)
Thank you Karli, for bringing Gavyn, Karter and Graedyn into the world. They are precious, hilarious, very individual little men and FANTASTIC brothers.
I was thrilled to get an message from my good friend Jennifer last month asking to do a cake smash for her little baby niece Rose. Jennifer first told me about cake smashes (I know what kind of photographer am I?!?!) back in the spring during a headshot session we had together. She said they were all the rage down in L.A. and mentioned booking one for her niece on her first birthday. I was so happy she followed through with that! Meeting Rose was an absolute hoot, and with the help of Grandma and Auntie we had her smiling and dancing along to the music (remind me to video these sessions, too cute!!!).
Rose was very conscious and considerate in not making a mess whilst taste-testing her birthday cake. I expect she will grow to be a very clean and proper little lady.
Guy Bourdin is a name that some of you may know, and many more of you most likely do not. He was born in Paris, France and after picking up his first camera as a cadet in the French Air Force; he pursed his passion and became a fashion photographer in the mid-century. In my knowledge, he had a very hard life, with rumors of treating his models with cruelty … but, his talent was huge and while he wasn’t known as well in his time as say, Helmut Newton, he set the stage for a new style in fashion photography. A style that in it’s day was highly provocative. He was one of the first fashion photographers to introduce a narrative into the images, sometimes (and almost always) sinister, exotic, full of violence and sexuality. Since his death in 1991, he has been hailed as one of the greatest fashion photographers of all time.
On a very cold afternoon in November, I had the opportunity to pay tribute to Guy Bourdin with Calvin Alexander, Amanda Naywoski and Yanna Lorence. I met Calvin over a year ago when he was hired by my client to do makeup for a portrait session I was shooting. A month ago he approached me about the shoot, explained the concept and I was totally in. We had an absolute blast and I’m looking forward to more collaboration’s down the road.
Below you’ll find the images we produced, along with the original images, which inspired us. The first two, are simply portraits to show off the Makeup and Hair.
Makeup: Calvin Alexander Hair: Yanna Lorence Models: Calvin Alexander and Amanda Naywoski Photographer: Ryan Parker
After our Wedding, my wife and I took a ten day adventure to Italy.
For both of us it was the very first time we: - stepped on Italian soil - drank Italian Wine on Italian soil - ate Italian Food on Italian soil - rented and drove a car on Italian concrete/gravel (that was only me) - rode in a Gondola in Italian water - witnessed the perfection of Michelangelo’s David with the naked eye - and so much more
Not only did I lug around my DSLR everywhere we went, I also brought along my Hasselblad 500 and my Yashica T4. These two cameras produced some of my favourite images from the trip.
This is a small selection of 35mm film selections from my Yashica T4, most are from Venice, the first one of me is from the little town of Cortona.
Now onto the Hasselblad, this next series was taken in Venice, however, the last image of my wife, was taken on the steps of the town square in Cortona.
And finally, the last series of film was also taken with my Hasselblad, they are all images of our villa in Tuscany. We had the great pleasure of staying for seven days at the Borgo Di Vagil, just outside Cortona. The place was absolute magic…. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
About a year ago, I woke up on a beautiful late summer morning, put on a crappy pair of jeans and the worst long sleeved shirt I owned, strapped on a dust mask, and headed into our garage. This garage, for the last 20 odd years had served as a storage container, or as I liked to call it…. “a half way house to the local dump.” Before it’s demise, for many years it served as a pottery studio for my in-laws. They would throw, glaze and fire their pots within the creative walls of this little detached double-car garage; even transforming it to a shop for their bi-annual sales. I had just finished an inspiring week long photography intensive in New Mexico at the Santa Fe Workshops, and I was determined to set up a studio of my own so I could continue practicing and experimenting… the garage was the perfect space.
After a full week of hard labour, lots of paint, some excellent advice from family and friends… and forty tons of my own personal sweat, I had my very first, humble studio.
And then… I started to play.
To celebrate the one year anniversary of my little make shift garage studio, here is a culmination of work that it has helped me produce in it’s first year of birth. I’m so very proud of my little baby studio, and how it has helped me to explore light and shadow; how it has encouraged me to have wonderful conversations, and a thousand laughs with so many beautiful souls. It has helped me to connect with new friends and reconnect with old friends.
My gift to you, my little humble studio, is a selection of the souls you’ve had the pleasure of embracing. Here’s to you, and many more beautiful moments.
For more go to my site, it’s linked above in the menu bar. Thanks.
Ryan Parker is a freelance Headshot, Portrait and Studio Photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is also an accomplished film and theatre actor and takes his experience from the acting world into his studio.