Riding the Helicopter – my sojourn into photography

When I was 10 years old, I imagined hanging out of a helicopter with a dozen cameras around my neck, shooting something dangerous (I’m not sure what) and getting the ultimate rush – not from the helicopter skimming at 750 mph, 2 inches above the ground but from the pictures! They could have been pictures of giraffes running on the savannah or of people running from each other, who knows! I just had to do it!

When I was in high school, I ordered my first Nikon FM2 from Honest Abe’s in New York. The camera was unceremoniously dumped outside my mailbox in the driving rain – I had it! And because I had it, I skipped school. A lot (don’t tell my kids.) I road tripped, hiked, biked and even jumped a train with the Nikon suctioned to my eye. I eventually did get to ride in a helicopter (many, in fact) and fulfilled the rush of seeing the end results in pictures.

I still get the same rush on each assignment – helicopter or not. Making every-day moments into great images is like . . .  well, you get the picture.

Bridging many disciplines

Over 20-plus years (Yikes!), I like to think I’ve developed a solid following as a wedding, commercial & documentary photographer, working artist and instructor because each assignment is like that imaginary helicopter ride. The only difference is that I’m now expected to come up with amazing pictures. And according to my clients, I deliver results they love. From full-day wedding assignments to layouts for wine magazines or family portraits with an editorial twist, the ride is always fun, the results “colourful.”

Abroad & Back

I’ve had the good fortune of shooting international assignments for foreign aid organizations in Pakistan, Sri Lanka & the Philippines, travel stories in Hawaii, Australia and many human interest assignments here in Western Canada including photo essays for Canadian Geographic, the Canadian Press, the National Archives & National Gallery of Canada.

Old & New

I have great respect for the great historical masters of photography. I imagine how these visionaries from the past might react to today’s world and technology. Having lived through the film / analog days, I jumped into digital work early on but the discipline of having worked with film makes me a more thoughtful craftsman. This shows in my approach to every assignment.

Sharing the Knowledge

I love to teach and give back what I’ve learned to students. My methods are a bit unorthodox – perhaps this is why my courses are so much fun.

I’ve taught sessions at the Centre for Arts & Technology (CATO), the Kelowna Art Gallery, Okanagan Photographic Arts Workshops (OPAW) and many others. I guarantee that students will take away an unforgettable experience and that I’ll learn some great new things myself.

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A few thoughts on Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is a form of story telling that demands particulars like preparedness, planning, and follow-through. On the other side, it requires things that can’t be quantified – like one’s love of people, a sense of humour, and anticipation of great moments that can never be repeated. 

My goal has always been to create images with staying power. There is little disputing that if a picture makes you smile, it has done its job or if a picture brings you to tears, it will remain etched in your memory for a long time. Couple that with knowledge of some amazing “secret” locations and you’ll have images that transcend from pictures into art.

Wedding couples often describe me as one who likes to “take it to the limit”, as a guy who is “bit crazy –  definitely unusual”. I consider all of these things to be truthful compliments. As a bit of a rebel, I tend to skirt the fringes of the “normal” and strive to present thoughts and ideas that are outside the box. At the same time, however, I enjoy working cooperatively – blending my ideas with those of clients, colleagues and friends. I’d consider myself to be a thoughtful person – mindful of others and respectful of differing philosophies.

I look forward to meeting you and learning about the ideas and challenges your wedding may present. Perhaps I can be part of the creative process during that unique time in your life’s history.

Please call or send an email if you have any further questions.