Your Photoshoot: an FAQ without the Qs

For those of you familiar with the different approaches to photography, mine is somewhat journalistic, yet others would call me a lifestyle photographer.  For me, photography is about capturing life, and finding those perfect moments that happen every day.  I want to see you vibrant, transparent, honest, and alive…  LIVING!


Your portraits should shout “THIS IS WHO I AM!”


I don’t believe in setting up posed shots – they are too artificial and devoid of life.  Decades ago, arranged poses were a must, but with todays shutter speeds I don’t understand how they’ve survived.  Posed portraits create a stale, lifeless result.  They aren’t personal, and they aren’t memorable.  They aren’t what I do.


My favourite shoots have always been those that are a bit of an adventure.  Let’s go on a hike, go to a spray pool, have a picnic, visit kinsmen park, take a walk through the University campus, trek through Cranberry Flats, see Boom Town, plant a garden, bake a pineapple upside down cake, learn to sew, etc.  :)   Whatever you’d like to do.  Let’s find something that you’ll enjoy…  where you can forget about my camera, let down your guard, relax and just be yourself – even if that is just you, reading a book in your favourite chair at home.


Having an activity planned also takes care of the issue of props.  Personally, I’m not fond of props as they are used for in-studio portraiture (you know, those stale boring sittings where the “photographer” takes exactly the same photographs of every family that comes through the door).  But props, as items used in your life while you are just out having fun?  I’m all for it.


Things like wagons, sleds, jump ropes, and bubble wands are perfect for a photo shoot at a park.  Feel free to bring along anything that relates to where we are shooting.  Bring a football or a frisbee.  How about water guns or a kite?  Love your guitar, banjo, or fiddle?  Lets play some tunes!  Or if you have an item that’s important to you – regardless of what it is, bring it along.  Want to share your love for your antique sewing machine or typewriter, we’ll make it work, and work spectacularly.  My number one rule is to just have fun.  So no worries.  You can’t get this wrong.  Bring anything you like, and we can make it work.


Many people ask me how they should dress, and honestly?  I’m cool with whatever you’d like to wear.  From formal wear to your skivies… What matters is that you feel comfortable.  Just be yourselves.  The finished photographs should be unmistakably you, and what you wear will impact how you feel and how you act.  So, let’s pick something fun to do, or someplace beautiful to go, and often what you wear will come naturally from that point.  Obviously if we decide to hit one of Saskatoon’s many spray pools you’ll want to be dressed differently than if we are hitting the trails out at Beaver Creek or if we’re shooting at a performance of the Saskatoon Symphony.  If you can’t decide between a couple pieces, bring them both along, or send me an email with pictures of each.  I’ll do my best to help you look the best you can so that you feel great on the day of your shoot.


As far as colours?  I prefer tertiaries, or shades of primaries and secondaries.  Need a lesson in colour?  Primaries are red, yellow and blue.  Secondaries are what you get when you mix those three, so orange, green, purple, etc.  The tertiary colours are those that come from mixing the secondary colours.  And a shade of any colour is what you get when you make it Earthy – mix in grey or black to mute it slightly.  After all, we want your FACES to be what stands out, not the colour of your shirt.  And I do prefer to avoid whites and blacks – they can be very harsh.


All in all, my approach is relatively simple.  It’s about making things work so that you have fun and look your best.  I love what I do.  Capturing life?  That’s as good as it gets for me.  So I am thrilled that you are considering having me be a part of something so important for you and your family.  Capturing moments in lives well lived…  it’s more than my slogan.  It’s what I do, what I love, and I think that shows.  :)

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