Tag Archives: portrait

An Extra Special Gift

This was certainly a first for me. I’ve been doing the photography thing for many years, and while my favourite subjects are things that really can’t move around, I do find myself enjoying the few portrait and wedding gigs that I come across. But when it came to shooting maternity it was all new territory. And it can be a pretty creepy one also. You look at places like Pinterest, and you can get carried away by semi-nude women showing off their pregnant bodies. Now before you lay on the hate, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing or wrong. I just don’t like that style of shooting, and when my subjects are my soon-to-be brother & sister-in-law. That’s just not the direction I want to take.

Evan & Holly - Maternity Shoot
Sony a6000 + Konica Hexanon 1:2.8 f=35mm

Evan & Holly - Maternity Shoot
Sony a6000 + Konica Hexanon 1:2.8 f=35mm

The idea is Heather’s who came up with the idea to do a shoot with them once we found out they were expecting, and it became all the more special when the one baby was two. Yep, instant niece and nephew added in, and just before my wedding. It did take Holly a bit of time to warm up to the idea of having maternity photos done. And I can understand that she also does photography, and it’s difficult for a photographer to stand in front of the camera rather than behind.

Evan & Holly - Maternity Shoot
Sony a6000 + KMZ Helios 44-2 2/58

Evan & Holly - Maternity Shoot
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-250 – SPUR HRX (1+17) 11:00 @ 20C

Thankfully we had just the right weather to be outside, well it was a little cold for Evan and Holly, I at least could keep my coat on. And for the backdrop, we took advantage of being in Hamilton the city of waterfalls and worked at Tiffany and Sherman Falls. What makes this whole thing extra special is that Evan and Holly had been waiting a long time to start a family, so it was an amazing idea from Heather to document it right from the beginning.

Evan & Holly - Maternity Shoot
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-250 – SPUR HRX (1+17) 11:00 @ 20C

Evan & Holly - Maternity Shoot
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-250 – SPUR HRX (1+17) 11:00 @ 20C

The great part was that once I got rolling with the photos it went really well, both Evan and Holly were great subjects, and the process moved along well. I found myself looking only once at a few saved images on Pinterest and then settled into my usual groove when shooting portraits. The only thing different was making sure to show off the baby bump! And no, I’m not getting into newborn photography, but I think I’d be okay doing another maternity shoot of the same style.

Inspiring Interpretation and Imitation

Recently in one of the many film photography groups, I’m a member of on Facebook a group admin, Reg Pritchard, put forward a challenge to interpret and imitate a famous photographer. Thankfully the photographer was not one that I knew, Robert Doisneau. Robert roamed the streets of Paris with his Leica during the 1930s, and if credited as being a pioneer, like many contemporaries, in the field of humanist photography and photojournalism. Thankfully Reg posted several examples of Robert’s work from which we could draw inspiration.


Paris Boulevard Brune Whole Family on AJS Motorcycle – Robert Doisneau, 1953

Doisneau’s photograph of a large family on a single motorbike caught my attention because that one person was looking right at the camera, there was a little touch of interaction between the subject and the photographer. It certainly is an aspect of street photography that I tend to look for, a silent confirmation that I was taking their photo. I jumped and started looking through my rather extensive collection of photographs I have online. Settling on these six.

Toronto - Dec 30th, 2015
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Eastman Double-X 5222 @ ASA-200 – Kodak DK-50 (1+1) 6:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Fall '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

Toronto - July 2015
Nikon FG – AI Nikkor 135mm 1:2.8 – Eastman Double-X 5222 @ ASA-250 – PMK Pyro (1+1+100) 15:00 @ 20C

Toronto - July 2015
Nikon FG – AI Nikkor 135mm 1:2.8 – Eastman Double-X 5222 @ ASA-250 – PMK Pyro (1+1+100) 15:00 @ 20C

The Streets of Brussels
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Kodak Plus-X 125 @ ASA-125 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 7:30 @ 20C

Toronto - July 1st
Leica IIIc – Leitz Summitar f=5cm 1:2 – Kodak Plus-X 125 @ ASA-125 – HC-110 (Dil. B) 5:00 @ 20C

While it’s important to develop your own eye and style, sometimes it’s good to look at the styles of other photographers and see if you draw your inspiration from them and even sometimes duplicate them.

52:320TXP – Week 25 – The Red Coat

52:320TXP - Week 25 - The Red Coat

From 1645 to 1885 the red coat of the British Army was both feared and respected, this army of as General Sir Arthur Wellesley the Duke of Wellington put it, the scum of the Earth, drilled and disciplined into one of the most effective fighting forces the world had seen, and helped Britain build an empire that spanned the globe. Week 25 is for my friend Col. Anne whom I met through tumblr and our mutual interest in Military history. Specifically the late 18th to early 19th century. The gentleman portrayed here is dressed in the uniform of the 8th (King’s) Regiment of Foot as they would’ve been dressed during their time garrisoning Fort Michilimackinac. This fort, originally built as a fur trading outpost by the French in 1715 was ceded during the Seven Years War (French and Indian War) in 1761. The fort only saw action once, during Pontiac’s Rebellion, native forces overran the outpost, killing or driving off the British garrison. After occupying it for a year, the British regained the post after promising better gifts to the local natives. The British moved their outpost over to Mackinac Island in 1781, being a more defensible location should American Rebels decide to attack. The fort was dismantled. Today the fort is part of Colonial Michilimackinac, and many of the buildings have been rebuilt and archaeological work continues to turn up a greater understanding of life at this distant outpost. I’m glad I was able to make it back here during the Photostock 2014 event as it is one of the few forts in the US that maintains a British garrison!

Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TXP)
Meter: Sektonic L-358
1/125″ – f/13 – ASA-200
Kodak Xtol (1+1) 12:00 @ 20C

Milton Help-Portrait – Event 2

This was my second year at the Darling House for Kids in Milton for Help-Portrait. This home in the rural areas of Milton is designed for families with children who have medical conditions as a space for them to be a family. This year I wanted to try something different (in addition to doing the portraits), I wanted to give them something but without using a computer and printer. Something unique, one of a kind, something that they may not have even seen before, or if they had, hadn’t seen in years.

Milton Help Portrait - Nov 26th, 2011

Yep, that’s a Polaroid, an Automatic Land camera from the late 1960s. I loaded it up with some new Fuji FP-100c film and went to town. It was a gimmic, something that would draw their attention and give them that print. Working outside made using it much easier to work with the people and the camera. I would pose the family, shoot the polaroid and give the pack to some of the members to keep warm while we did the digital images, and then I’d ask for it back and peel off the freshly cooked print. Their smiles kept me warm working outside in the slightly chilly air.

Milton Help Portrait - Nov 26th, 2011

Brent (above) put together an awesome video of the event which you can find on Facebook.

Reign of the Ice Queen

The second shoot from this past Saturday for Bethany Gilbert was more an ice queen motif, so the cold weather and the snow left on the ground was an added bonus for the shoot. Naddya, our model for the ice queen was also a natural in front of the camera making for another enjoyable shoot.

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You can view the entire set here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/axle81401/sets/72157626379019960/with/5570588841/