Category Archives: Personal projects


There is nothing worse than being stagnant and stuck in a rut. I wouldn’t say that I was stuck in a rut but I did want to continue to improve my skills and be better at what I do. I recently did an online course with Meg Bitton to learn how she processes her images.

What do I love about her images? The warmth simply put. The course was much more than that though. She mentioned so many little things, some I knew, some I didn’t, that help to make a photograph truly special and stand apart from the rest.

Here are a couple of before and afters that I have been working on. Can you spot all the changes?

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Jaimie – Outdoor Dance Test

Shooting dance in the studio is fun and you can do so much when you control the lighting but outdoor is a whole different thing. Jaimie and I have been photographing quite a few dance sessions lately in studio and I thought it was time to get out into nature again.

I saw this location on a friend’s Facebook timeline and asked the location. It took about an hour to scout out the area and find the best spots and times to photograph. A bit of arranging and we headed out to see what would happen. We had another photographer come along who happened to be one of my old students. They had never really photographed anything like this before so why not give someone new an opportunity? Checkout her images on Facebook and the web ~ Daniella Dolmans Photography.

We were hoping that potential clients may want to try something a bit different and do some dance in a location like this but I have to say it was challenging for Jaimie. Slippery and uneven footing mean a lot of ground poses. Jaimie almost took a bath a couple of times! Good thing I have a bunch of other outdoor locations on standby if someone wants some really different dance photos.

Some of the images from our adventure that day.

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The New Client Galleries

The Client Galleries on have been revamped with a bunch of new features to make it easier to view and order your photos. Every photo is able to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest with the click of a button. The new galleries are also GORGEOUS and look great on mobile devices as well.

Here’s a quick “How-to” so you can get the most out of your gallery.

When you get the email that your gallery is ready for viewing, click the link and it will take you to the homepage. Click on Clients then you will be redirected to the site shown below. Just click on the correct category for the type of photography you had commissioned.

Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.27.42After you’ve clicked the category, choose your gallery to begin to view it. The category goes a bit dark when you put your mouse over it.

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Then you will need to enter your email address and password.

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Why the email address?? Well the new gallery allows you to send email links to photos, highlight your favourites, and gives us an address to send digital negatives to.

Once you’re logged in you’ll see your photographs in a beautiful collage format. Place your mouse over one of the photos and you’ll see a semi-transparent bar come up along the bottom of the image like below.

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Screenshot 2014-09-18 14.12.11The icons from left to right are: Add to Cart, Share, and Favourite. When you favourite a photo it’s saved for your email address and it helps to keep you organized. You know a picture has been favourited when you see a star an orange circle in the top right corner.

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You may also see this icon, Screenshot 2014-09-18 19.51.10, and when you click this one you can download the digital image with a PIN code provided by me.


If you wish to purchase a print or other product click the shopping cart icon Screenshot 2014-09-18 19.53.54 and you will see a menus with all the products.

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On the bottom right corner you will see an “Available Discounts” button that lists things such as print packages and what items are needed to get the discount.

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Once you’ve picked your products, you can click on the cart button Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.31.04 and review your order then click “Begin Checkout.”

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At this time you only need to pay for you order when I deliver it to you! That’s it!

Take it for a test drive (no email required)!! Just use the password: test

Carry Speed FS-Pro Prime Hardware Review

I’ve had the Carry Speed FS-Pro Prime sling style strap now for a couple of months and have been waiting to really put it through it’s paces before writing any sort of review for it. This is the second iteration of the FS-Pro strap and they’ve made some improvements along the way.

In the past I’ve used Crumpler Industry Disgrace straps and Optech neoprene straps as well. Both of these are regular neck straps and for short sessions they were fine but for longer days they would become a pain in the neck literally. After a 10 hour day at Disneyland, with my family, carrying a Canon 6D with a 24-70 f/2.8 lens I realized that I needed a sling style strap for longer days as my neck was killing me! I called up a friend of mine who’s the rep for Carry Speed straps in Canada and got one old and one new style FS-Pro Prime straps to try.

I used the FS-Pro Prime and the older FS-Pro for three 8 hour days recently while photographing the Canadian Special Olympics at the University of British Columbia. I had a either the Canon 60D with a 70-200 2.8 lens or a 6D with a 24-70 2.8 lens on the strap at all times with the other camera on a monopod. I have to say they worked pretty much as well as advertised. Very comfortable and quick to get into shooting position like most sling straps. The wide neoprene strap was actually quick cool as well. I thought it was going to be a sweat magnet but the venting helped quite a bit in that regard despite the 30+ degree Celsius weather.

The biggest improvement from the older FS-Pro to the newer Prime series is the hardware that holds the camera to the sling. Like the older series, the Prime uses a ball that is connected to the tripod mount of a camera and a socket that is attached to this is on the modular carry strap. The older connector was a screw locking mount with a rubber O-ring to help keep everything safe. There were random reports on the internet about the metal wearing through and cameras falling off the ball because although the ball was stainless steel, the socket isn’t. The new connector is quite a bit thicker and now made of stainless steel that is chrome hardened. It gone is the screw threads and it now is a push and twist to lock mechanism. It’s actually much quicker to use once you get used to it and cannot back off like the screw mount. I can’t see this new connector wearing out anytime soon. The new connecter is on the left below.

IMG_0784What really cool is they’ve redesigned the bottom plate as well. The original plate was only Arca Swiss compatible but had many 1/4″ tripod mounts to mount install various plates. The new plate is still Arca compatible but now is also Manfrotto RC2 quick release plate compatible which is great for those of us with both systems. Some of these dual compatible plates are compromises and don’t always fit that great but I’m happy to report that it fits nice and tight on the 234RC and 498RC heads on my monopod and tripods. The plate also works very well on my Mefoto Roadtripper tripod. Below is a photo of the new (left) and old (right) plates. Notice the slightly smaller size. My one complaint about these plates is the tripod screw is not the best quality and are a bit soft so are damaged easily but then again I tend to change configurations of my equipment quick frequently since I shoot such varied subjects from day to day.

IMG_0780The new plate fitting into the 234RC head. No problem.

IMG_0783Overall, I have no reservations recommending these Carryspeed straps to anyone looking for a sling style strap. The straps themselves are much more comfortable than BlackRapid straps. It’s just too bad they are not available in the U.S. due to Black Rapid’s heavy handed (and a bit sketchy) patent enforcement. In Canada they are available from Henry’s and London Drugs among other places. Check them out!

What the duck???

Photo tip!!

When photographing people, dogs, landscapes, or whatever it’s always a great idea to pay attention to your surroundings. Back (way back) in the day when I was enrolled in photography at Langara, my instructor always said good photographers always get it right in the camera. Now that was definitely true back then because we worked with film and you couldn’t just remove objects out of a photograph like you can now. Which leads to a dilemma of, “is it still a photograph if it’s been photoshopped?”

Personally and professionally, I believe that it’s still a photograph if the integrity and intent of the image hasn’t changed. If it enhances but doesn’t alter the meaning (such as a news photograph) it’s good.

Anyway, I wanted to show an example of why it’s important to get it right in the camera and how moving your subject 12 inches can save you a lot of time.

A before and after!

Before and After

Teagan and the beard

Okay it’s actually Teagan and Nathan but boy does she hate the beard!! I have to admit that I really like the beard as it really gives Nathan a unique look. Kinda hipster’ish. We both appreciated the fact that he trimmed it for the session though!! Now I’ve photographed with Teagan before but not Nathan. Teagan and I were joking before the session that we hoped he could keep up and did he ever. This guy is a natural in front of the camera!

We’ve been planning this session for a few months now and after a few non-starts we finally got it done. Weather was great (ie. no rain) and so we started in Downtown Langely then moved our way to Derby Reach. It’s fun to mix up the locations up. A bit of urban and a bit of country. We were going for a bit of a fashiony, editorial, lifestyle portrait session and I think we achieved that.

I really enjoyed this session as these are both really great people who care about each other and it shows. Thanks again guys!


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The Hanson Family

Meet the Hanson family and their new addition baby Lively! This session was pretty special because Mom is a teacher and Dad was my student teacher just last year. He is one of the most caring people and teachers I’ve ever met. What a lucky little girl to have parents like hers! I’d have to say I’m pretty lucky they let me do their portraits as well!

Thank you Leah and Brennan and welcome to the world Lively!

Relaxing and getting ready for the photos.

Wearing Grandma’s knitted hat and blanket.
All tuckered out.
Love this one.
Dad and Lively – safe and secure

Adam and Anmy

This is a very special engagement session for me as it was for my brother! Adam and Anmy met quite a few years ago and have been inseparable ever since. I couldn’t be happier for them.

It was sort of a loose photo session where nothing was set in stone except that they wanted some material to frame and put up in their house and that Lacey, their dog, was involved in some of the photos. The day like many in October this year was absolutely fantastic. The cold dry weather helps the leaves to change into some amazing colours. Here are a few from the day. If you like them or want to send a congratulations to the happy couple, leave a comment!