Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Well, it's the end of 2010. It was a good year, got lots of things accomplished considering I was in Afghanistan until mid August. My "end of tour time off" did give me some much needed time to set up my business. So here's a look back at the past 4 months and a preview of what I want to accomplish in 2011.

A big thanks goes out to all my portrait clients, you've kept me busier than I thought I would be. I've been able to do pets, kids, couples, big families and small families. For 2011 I want to keep improving on my portraiture and expanding my business through word of mouth. I enjoy being hired because someone liked what I did with someone else's portraits. Currently I don't shoot weddings, in my opinion (and many other photographers), you should have quite a bit of experience before shooting a wedding, there is no re-shoots...... So, for the upcoming wedding season, I'll be a second shooter for other photographers to gain some experience and see if weddings is something I want to get into. Very anxious for these new learning experiences.

On the nature side of things, my portfolio has grown quite a bit since getting back, or should I say, I've managed to create a portfolio (I have a sample book at Beantrees with all my prints). In the new year, I'm going to add a website with a web gallery, as soon as I decide how I want my website. As for building my portfolio, in March I have a photo tour booked with Darwin Wiggett in the rockies, I should come back with lots of keepers, new technical knowledge and creativity. Summer and spring are two seasons I haven't been able to capture in Cold Lake, so that will create many new opportunities for me. It's going to be an exciting year.

As for my blog, I 'm pretty happy with how things turned out. The weekly pics kept me motivated and it was nice to see some feedback and growth from my readership. I think my writing skills have slightly improved, thankfully most of you just look at the pictures, ha ha. So for 2011, I've decided to post a picture a day............ scary thought for me, what a commitment that's going to be. I need a challenge like this to keep me motivated and keep the creative juices flowing. So, here are my rules I'm setting for this challenge; photos have to be taken that day and will be posted every night. If I run out of time, or don't have access to an internet connection, I'll post multiple days in the next post, as long as I take a photo a day...... My main goal for this is to spike my creativity and learn to "see" a bit better. I'm thinking of also writing small reviews of my favourite photography gear, we'll see how that goes....

Last but not least, is my micro stock portfolio on My goal was to have 300 photos approved and 100 downloads by the end of the year; I currently have 300 photos in my port with 1 pending (make that 301, just got approved as I was typing this) and 106 downloads, it was pretty close but I made it. By the end of next year, I'd like to increase my portfolio by 500 photos and reach 250 downloads so that I can apply for exclusivity.

So for all of you that just look at the photos, here are some of my favourites from this year. Hope everyone has a fun and safe new years eve!

I didn't take this photo, but I feel the need to include it in my favourites for 2010.......... our baby boy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fun in the Snow

We've got lots of snow in time for Xmas and it made for a great portrait session yesterday. A little cold but lots of fun. Thank you Bobby, Violetta and Chloe for coming out in the cold, enjoy your vacation and the warmth!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The End of Weekly Pics

The end of the year is coming pretty fast. I'll be taking a little break from my usual photography routine. I'll probably put up a few of my favourite photos from the year in the next few weeks.

Forcing myself to go out and take photos every week was a good creative challenge for me. Sometimes you don't feel like going out, or you can't think of anything inspiring. Having the weekly pics gave me no choice but to get out there and find something. Usually once I got out to a location I started seeing things and came back with some keepers. So getting out there, even if you don't feel like it can be rewarding.

For 2011 I want to step it up a notch. Many photographers do something called project 365, where they take a photo a day for a whole year. Now that's a challenge that's bound to help me stay out of a creative slump. So, starting January1st 2011, expect a photo a day. I will strive to make it a good photo and not just a picture of my dog 365 days in a row, altho I'm sure Molly will make it into a few.

So here is a photo I had overlooked from my trip to Lac La Biche with my friend Brad back in October. I grabbed this photo with my Nikon P7000 point and shoot, hand held while walking. I think it turned out pretty good considering the lac of technique used. I like having my small camera out while I'm doing landscape work, that way if I see something, like I did here, I don't have to take my DSLR off my tripod and remove my filters to grab a quick shot. I have a feeling a lot of my Daily photos are going to be taken with this camera. As Chase Jarvis says, "The best camera is the one you have with you".

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weekly Pics, 05 December 2010

Not too much picture taking happened this week. Life just gets busy sometimes. Today was nice and sunny so I brought my camera when we walked Molly. Made for some fun winter family portraits. I really like how people stand out when framed against the white snowy backgrounds. So here are the Hachey's in the snow!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weelky Pics, 28 November 2010

What a beautiful week we've had..... Well, except for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the rest was pretty good. This weeks photos were taken at the marina once more. I wanted to see what I could find interesting on the right hand side, since I usually stop and photograph the dock on the left. For the next few weeks my theme is going to be "City of Cold Lake in the Winter". I have a few ideas in mind of how to best portray the city in these colder months. Lets hope the temps stay above -20 this week.

One more thing,

This coming saturday and the next, the Cold Lake Art Society will be setting up at Bean Trees to sell various works of Art that are usually not displayed. So that's December 4th and 11th from 9am to 4pm. I'm sure there will be lots of great christmas present ideas, and you'd be supporting a local artist!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekly Pics, 21 November 2010

Winter is here! Hope everyone likes snow cause we're getting lots today. Expect some snowy photos for next week. This will be my first year photographing snowy landscapes. I was in Afghanistan all last winter and the year before that I was on course in Ontario with no vehicle.

I'm really excited at the new photo opportunities that I will have this year. I always enjoy photographing new things, there's always something to learn. I think the highlight this winter will be my photography tour I have booked in the Canadian rockies with Darwin Wiggett next March. His work is very inspiring to me so it will be quite the experience to follow him around for a few days of all out photography.

So this weeks photos were taken at the Cold Lake marina. I got up way too early on saturday(5am) so I decided I may as well try and catch a sunrise. The sky was pretty clouded over so no colour that morning. Drove out to the Provincial Park to see if anything caught my eye and noticed the steam coming off the lake. Didn't find any spectacular compositions so I decided to see what the marina looked like with the steam rising from the lake. I think it was a good call. I really like the look of the frozen dock and the wall of steam in the distance. I actually had my tripod in the water for the second shot, it froze up pretty quick when I took it out. At least I didn't fall in, that would of been another Photography is Dangerous post, and we don't need that.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekly Pics, 14 November 10

Well we had our first big hoarfrost this week. Everyday after work I kept saying I was going to go out and take some photos. Of course, the day I actually go out the sun comes out and melts most of it away. Procrastination doesn't pay off. From now on, when I see something that catches my eye, I'm getting my camera right away. At least we had a couple of really nice days this week, which is kinda odd for Cold Lake this time of year. The following shots where all taken while walking Molly, seems that's when I do most of my photography lately. Oh well, she doesn't seem to mind waiting for me. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekly Pics, 07 November 2010

So I didn't get out much this week. I did go out for one evening shoot but that didn't turn out to well, at least I got to keep all my teeth this time.

Spent saturday in Crystals studio for her Photographer's Business Basics course, definitely my highlight of the week. Met some great people, had some good food and learned so many new things my head is still spinning with ideas. Thanks again Crystal!

Since I don't really have anything to show from this week, figured I'd show some of the interesting critters I shot during my "time off" while I was in Afghanistan. The first one is a camel spider, second one is a praying mantis, third one is a dragonfly and I have no idea what the fourth one was. Some form of stick bug. I tried looking it up, but no luck, if anyone knows what it's called, I'd love to know. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weekly Pics, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

Well, this was quite the interesting weekend for me. If you read yesterdays post you'll know what I'm talking about. I had an apple today and my teeth stayed intact, so that's a good sign.

Photography wise, it was pretty good. Found a new location I didn't know existed out in Bonnyville. It's a huge walking trail that follows a lake and also has a small animal sanctuary. Lots of rabbits, squirrels, birds and muskrats. The chickadees are so friendly they were landing on us while we were trying to take their photo! Kinda hard to take their pic when they are perched on your lens. I'll definitely be going back to that location, I saw two bald eagles but they flew away before I could get a shot.

Here are a few of my keepers from this weekend. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Photography is Dangerous

Here's a photography safety tip. Before you bend over to reach for something while holding your tripod, make sure the legs aren't extended, because the tripod will stop before your face does.

Not sure why I was smiling, I think I just couldn't believe what had just happened, ha ha. Oh well, just goes to show that you can get hurt doing anything. Thanks to some good dentistry my teeth look just like they did yesterday! Thought I would share this "funny" story. So the moral of the story is, be aware of your surroundings.

Oh, and the camera is fine, cause I know that's what everyone was wondering.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekly Pics, 24 October 2010

First feline portrait session this week. Cats are not as co-operative as dogs, that's for sure. These two did warm up to me after a while, a little bribery with food does wonders. It also helped that they both love boxes. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weekly Pics, 17 October 2010

This weeks photos were taken in Lac La Biche Alberta. My friend Brad and I decided to take all of Saturday and explore a different area. So off we went to Lac La Biche, about 150 k's from Cold Lake. Pretty small town but very nice. We decided to go to Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park (it's an island on the lake) and explore until sunset. There was no shortage of wildlife, that's for sure.

This little guy let me get pretty close to him. He just kept enjoying his snack while I took his photo.

I took this next one from the top of the long point hiking trail. I liked the way the setting sun was reflecting of the pattern on the water.

This was my favourite sunset photo I got on the beach. (Next time you see a nice prop Brad, grab it, lol).

After we packed up, I decided to try and take some quick portraits of us against the sunset before we left. These where shot with my new Nikon P7000 with the built in flash set to 1/16th power on manual. Not bad for a point and shoot and on camera flash.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I love this photo! 12 October 2010

Every once in a while, I make a picture I love so much, I can't stop myself from going back and looking at it. So from now on, I'll make a post when that happens. I'll also explain what I love so much about it.

This photograph is of my parents dog, Baily. Now if you knew Baily, you'd know that the laying position is not his favourite. I think he is most comfortable in mid air, check out my facebook album to see what I mean. As we were waiting to go to the airport at the end of our visit , I noticed him laying there in the sun and took two quick shots. The moment was over, he immediately jumped up and leaped towards me because of the "attention" I was suddenly giving him. I guess I just really like the lighting, almost looks 3D and seeing Baily all relaxed is a rarity.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekly Pics, 10 October 2010

Back to work this week. Only got to go out and take some photos on Saturday morning. I went down to the marina this time, unfortunately I had slept in a little too long that morning, so I didn't have much time. I did manage to get a few nice shots. These two are my favourites.

Almost forgot, Happy thanksgiving!

And here's my sisters dog again, Marley. She was disappointed that I didn't use this photo last week. Here you go sis.

And this dandelion shot I took this morning while walking Molly. I used a small pocket reflector made out of cardboard and aluminium foil to light it. As soon as I hit the shutter release, Molly trampled right through the flower, so this was it's last moments. I guess someone was jealous of the attention.