So much of the advice for photographers (really, for any small business owner) is to get super clear on your Why. Mostly I find attempts to write down why I take photos descend into overthinking and general cheese pretty quickly, but I think it’s important to keep talking about what pushes me to take photos so I can better connect with you, dear reader, for whom my reasons (hopefully!) resonate. So I’ll try to keep it together and hopefully we can all get out of here more or less unscathed.[Read more…] about Why I Take Photos (and why I print them)
Despite the monster that has been this year and Dr. Bonnie Henry
cancelling Christmas telling us to stay safe and stay home, one thing that actually won’t change much is the taking of the photos of Christmas Day.
It has been awhile since I posted the brownies food photo/kitchen stories shoot with dear friend Leah, but I have been slowly plugging away at my friends and food photography project (or I was, until Covid made it ill-advised to be inside with people outside my household), and I’m thrilled to share these pre-pandemic photos from gnocchi-making with Estlin McPhee.[Read more…] about Food Photography & Kitchen Stories
I’m not always the first person to jump on silver linings (I’m working on it!) but hunkering down at home to me feels like the perfect opportunity to encourage you and everyone else I know to take more photos of your people.[Read more…] about Take More Photos of Your People
In the midst of client work, it always feels really important to make time for fun, creative shooting, taking pictures of things that inspire me just because I want to.[Read more…] about Fresh flowers and Preserved Fruit
I got the scans back from last week’s lifestyle branding shoot with Vancouver model and designer Astrid Shapiro, and I couldn’t wait another minute to get these photos up![Read more…] about Lifestyle Branding shoot with Astrid Shapiro
I’ve been gardening for a few years now, and while I started out with a desire to learn to grow food, it soon became apparent that growing flowers makes me just as happy (if not more so) as growing food. And few things make me happier than making pictures of flowers, so in honour of spring I’ve gathered up some of my favourite flower photos from the last few summers.
I found gardening overwhelming at first, learning about soil amendment and companion planting and succession planting, feeling like everything had to be perfect from the get-go. But after stressing about it, and noticing that the plants don’t really care if I’m stressed about them or not, I started to take things a little more slowly, a step at a time. Maybe I didn’t grow enough cucumbers to have pickles through the winter or enough greens for more than half a salad, but when I put a seed in the dirt, something happened, something sprouted or bloomed or grew a little before succumbing to my less-than-perfect soil.
After a couple of seasons of failed tomatoes and fava beans (I love tomatoes and fava beans and one day I will master growing them) I decided to be ok with learning one thing per year. One year it was planting beans and squash together. Then it was recognizing that shelling peas do great and so planting a lot more of them. Then it was wildflowers and calendula scattered everywhere to help keep the bad bugs away and invite the bees to come and stay.
The garden gets better every year. The tulips I planted two years ago have come back strong and thick, and the muscari and crocuses that were lackluster last year are pushing up through the leaf mulch I didn’t get around the spreading until December.
Last fall, with some help from the lovely Carissa of Seed and Nourish, I planted my beloved favas as a cover crop, and even if I don’t get to eat them I know they’re improving the soil a little, making life easier for all the plants to come this summer.
Last year we grew dahlias for the first time and we dug up the tubers at the end of the season and stored them to be re-planted this spring. I might not have done it exactly right and they might not all come back, but I trust that something will happen. Something will bloom.
I’ve never been a gearhead in the usual sense. I don’t need the newest or fanciest of anything, one of my favourite activities is to lurk around craigslist and eBay for things I don’t really need but might want someday, all my camera gear is used.
I never met a film camera I didn’t like, though. When it comes to cameras the best ones (in my humble opinion) aren’t new, they’re very old.
I like things that are simple and solid and that last (I once remarked to my partner that I loved anything old and well made. They looked at me all agape and said, “Is that why you’re dating me??”) I like cast iron pans and analogue watches and leather boots and—I bet you can guess what’s next—film cameras! And this is where I run into trouble. There’s a Rubbermaid tub under my bed full of old srls and point-and-shoot cameras along with an assortment of lenses, filters and flashes. I have a bit of problem.
So I nearly lost it with excitement when a good friend told me they had a medium format camera their grandfather bought in the 60s, and not only that, they were going to let me borrow it.
Despite outward appearances, it doesn’t get much simpler or more solid than a Hasselblad camera. It’s all mechanical, no batteries required, no electronics to breakdown (RIP Nikon F4). People tend to think film photography is harder or more complicated than digital, but once you wrap your head around a few key differences, it’s actually simpler in many ways.
That means this impeccably crafted tool gets out of your way, lets you focus on what you see in front of you and create beautiful pictures. (Having very attractive friends who join you in the sunshine and let you photograph them at length certainly doesn’t hurt either.) These are a few from my first two rolls of medium format film, Portra 400 and Fuji 400H!