Taylor – Urban Dance

It’s funny the way things work and you realize that the world is indeed a very small place especially with the internet.

This is Taylor and she’s an amazing dancer! IMG_3348-EditShe’s also the daughter of friend from high school (it was a long time ago). Taylor also spent a month dancing and training in New York over the summer with Zack, one of my former students. One of her dance teachers Jaimie (one of my all time faves even though we aren’t supposed to have them) was also one of my former students. Not too many degrees of separation here!

Taylor’s Mom, Chris contacted me in late September to do some head shots and action photos. Dance photos? I was in!! I had a location in mind as soon as I heard “dance!” After a bunch of back and forth discussion regarding favourite dance styles and types of styles we set a tentative date of the Thanksgiving long weekend. Everything was weather dependent of course and over the next 2 weeks we watched the weather change from glorious warm fall days to cloudy, dark, rainy days.

The weekend approached and what did we get?

Rain Saturday, rain Sunday, and finally about 3 hours of no rain on Monday but with a heavy rainfall warning. The 8am texts began and we decided to go for it. We photographed for just over 2 hours and came away with some amazing images of some amazing dance. I’m still in awe over the power, flexibility, and grace Taylor demonstrated! Thanks Taylor and Chris for letting me capture these photos!!

The results:

IMG_3455IMG_3371-EditIMG_3646-Edit-2 IMG_3804-Edit

Samantha ~ Sands Secondary Grad 2015

Meet Samantha.

I put out a call for a potential Grad models in August and had a wonderful response. It was a difficult choice to decide who would be representing Steve Lowe Photography for 2015 and in the end it was Samantha who won out not just for her great smile but because she was a cheerleader! I’d never photographed any type of cheerleader before but knew exactly the one defining shot I wanted to capture. I even had a location and time of day picked to do something amazing, I just needed someone to photograph there!

We started out under the pier at White Rock Beach and despite some initial nerves, Sam really started to rock the session. I truly cannot believe how many great images I got from that day and how unbelievably easy  she was to work with. It kind of went like this, “Try this…ok, can you balance on this? Sure., Now walk along this concrete tube onto a small platform surrounded by water and pull some cheer moves… I’ll try!” So awesome!!

I’m very happy that Sam is representing me this year. From our chats during our session I found that she very much wants to succeed in life and is willing to put the work in to meet that goal. Have a great Grad year Sam. Enjoy every minute of it and thank you!

IMG_2495 IMG_2381-Edit-2-Edit IMG_2534 IMG_2592 IMG_2477-EditIMG_2737 IMG_2684

and the shot I always had in my head…

IMG_2691-Edit2

The New Client Galleries

The Client Galleries on StopBathImages.com 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 stopbathimages.com 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.

Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.27.57 Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.28.07

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.28.26 Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.28.46

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.

Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.29.09

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.

Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.31.42

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.

Ordering

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.

Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.30.32

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.

Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.30.43

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.”

Screenshot 2014-09-18 13.31.20

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

Jaxsen – LTSS Grad 2015

Jaxsen is one of my Grad reps for 2015 and has been waiting since last year to get these photos done! I’ve known Jaxsen for almost 7 years now and he’s become quite the young man. He’s a quality guy and a good person. Who could ask for anything more?

He (and his mom) wanted photos beyond the norm. They wanted photos that reflect who he is at this time in his life and that they’d be proud to show now and in the future! Photos that make you look great now and even better 10 or 20 years down the road. Why would anyone want to be like everyone else?

Thank you Jaxsen for representing me for 2015 and spreading the word that grad photos can be different and unique to you.

IMG_1589-Edit IMG_1709IMG_1618-Edit  IMG_1725 IMG_1732 IMG_6766-Edit IMG_6880-Edit

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!

SteveIMG_9973IMG_0012

IMG_0003  IMG_0027 IMG_0041 IMG_0265-2 IMG_0270 IMG_0242-Edit

 

The Soon Family

The Soon Family. I thought the name sounded familiar but couldn’t put 2 and 2 together until the day of our session. While getting organized with this lovely family I was chatting with the patriarch, Gerald. I asked him how he came to contact and book me for our session that day and it turned out that he was cousins with my Aunt Gina! It’s definitely a small world we live in.

So Gerald and I had planned this session to coincide with his daughter and her family were visiting from Stockholm. I have to say I can appreciate the care and attention they put into this session. From the very beginning I sent an information sheet on how to best dress as a family for a session. You want to coordinate colours and tones but not match. They did a wonderful job of this despite the vast distances apart. I imagine there was a lot of Facetiming to get it all right.

The Soons were a terrific, welcoming, and willing to try anything family. Thanks everyone, you were wonderful to work with!!

Steve

IMG_9528

Shehani | Lord Tweedsmuir Class of 2014

I’m super late in blogging the beautiful Shehani’s Senior/Grad photo session but better late than never!

Shehani contacted me at the beginning of June wanting to get some grad/senior photos done after seeing Nicole’s and Tyler’s photos. After some back and forth with her and her mom we planned a session for the following week. Shehani wanted a more outdoor natural setting similar to Nicole’s photos and believe it or not we did our session all within walking distance of her family’s home. Luckily, they live in a more rural area and there was no shortage of interesting areas to photograph in! She really did rock this session. Absolutely amazing.

Best of luck at University next year!

Your Grad photos should reflect who you are. You do not have to have the same grad photos as the other 800 kids in your graduating class.

Be different.

Now some photos of the stunning Shehani.

IMG_6144-Edit

IMG_6092-Edit-Edit IMG_6053-Edit-Edit IMG_6071-Edit IMG_6112

Special Olympics Canadian Nationals

Finally another Blog post! I just spent the last 3 days volunteering with the Special Olympics in Vancouver, BC photographing the National Championships. There we teams from all over Canada and every province and territory was very well represented.

I’ve volunteered for the BC Summer games a few times and I quite enjoyed helping out with those events but the SO were some… special. Every single athlete, volunteer, and coach was amazing. Every athlete was so appreciative of the efforts of all the volunteers and they were so happy to be participating. The demonstrated a real passion to making the games an experience to remember for the athletes and it showed in their enthusiasm and the genuine caring they had for every athlete.

I cannot be any happier that I got to experience and try and capture the essence of the games. I captured just over 3200 images over the 3 days, given about 1000 high fives, and got a sunburnt nose! All in all a super successful 3 days.

I have to thank my wife Julina for supporting my photography addiction and daughter Brynn for forgiving Daddy for being pretty spotty with attendance for the last 3 days. I’ve mentioned my friend Barry before, but thanks again for getting me involved in the games!

Steve

Pics. These are all JUBE pictures!! (JUBE=jubilant!)

IMG_8503 IMG_8516 IMG_8623 IMG_8640 IMG_8733 IMG_8758 IMG_8842 IMG_8847 IMG_8860-2 IMG_8867-2 IMG_8869-2 IMG_8874-2 IMG_8918-2 IMG_8933 IMG_8936 IMG_8941 IMG_8947 IMG_8960 IMG_8987 IMG_9068 IMG_9072 IMG_9093