At some point I suppose every photographer tries to define themselves by putting their work into some kind of category they call a personal style. My evolution as a photographer has lead me in multiple directions. And for the most part I don’t think that’s a bad thing because it has allowed me to grow as an artist and carry what I’ve learned from one area into another, and figure out how I can apply it.
I started out as many people do, photographing landscapes. It didn’t take me long to realize that there was a lot to it. I was fortunate enough to be able to accompany Darwin on one of his fall photo bootcamps a number of years back. It was an incredible experience, and I learned what it meant to photograph consistently well and to make every photo count. The camaraderie I shared with Darwin and other photographers from all parts of the continent was fantastic. Many, I still keep in touch with today, and landscape photography will probably always remain my first love.
Although I’d been photographing for a number of years, this image I took back in 2009 really stood out for me and resonated in my gut. I photographed “Early Start” along the shoreline of Maligne Lake just after sunrise. Each time I look at the image I still hear the sounds echoing across the lake and can smell the cool misty air. As I positioned the two fishermen in the frame, my visualization of an old antique mountain photo came to be. I suppose you could say this image was a turning point for me as it got the attention of many and still continues to be one of my most popular images.
I also enjoy photographing wildlife and nature. Back when I was 10 or 11 years old, I can remember wanting to be a wildlife photographer. It’s something that has stuck with me all these years.
And along the way, I discovered that I had other photography interests as well. During the long, dreary winter days when huge snowfalls made it difficult to get out and treacherous road conditions made it impossible to travel, I began to explore the world of portraiture. I learned studio lighting and a whole new set of skills related to camera technique, flash photography, posing, and processing.
Today, I spend my holiday time going back to the mountain parks and photographing landscapes and wildlife in my own territory – the Great Bear Rainforest. Otherwise, almost all of my spare time is spent doing everything from personal portraiture to newborns. I find a tremendous satisfaction in working with somebody to get them a portrait that sees right into who they are, and one that they’ll cherish many years from now. And although I never would have believed I’d be photographing newborns, my wife Paula really enjoys it, and we make a good team.
So exactly where my photography will go next, I’m not really sure. But as long as I keep improving at what I do, and can give people images that are meaningful and personally valuable to them, I’m happy.