Saturday, November 26, 2011

Raising the Bar

Last night my husband, children, and I attended a book launch.  The photographer was George Webber and his newest book is called “In This Place: Calgary 2004-2011”.

I first met George in 1992 when I attended my first formal photography course.  The course was being taught at our local technical college, SAIT, and George, I now know, was instrumental in developing their photography program.  I was young at the time and in that in-between period of high school, travels abroad, and decisions about my immediate and long-term plans.  I recall George being passionate about photography – his, ours, and others’ - and it left an indelible mark on me.

Fast forward to 2007 when my husband surprised me with a Canon 40D – my first foray into the digital photography world.  When I had first taken that class with George those many years earlier, I’d done it with a decent SLR but one that was almost entirely automatic; I knew that I wanted to learn not only about shooting digitally but I also wanted to have a better understanding of manual settings.  In 2008 I enrolled in the very same class (which now includes the digital aspect) that I’d attended back in the early ‘90’s and walked in that first night to see GEORGE WEBBER standing there! I went on to complete the Certificate of Photography at SAIT and was lucky to have George as my instructor in ‘B&W Darkroom’ as well.

During my darkroom class I told George about a party my family was hosting at our farm.  George seems to be drawn to history and preservation; it seemed that our refurbishment of an old train station, and the pursuant celebration to mark its centennial, captured his interest.  I asked if he might like to participate in the Authors’ Corner at the party and I was thrilled when he said yes!

I occasionally run into George – at the print lab we both use or at seminars – and I always feel like I am in the presence of a great…a man who continually strives to further his art, to encourage and mentor others, and to do it all with a smile on his face and a kind word for anyone with whom he interacts.

Please visit to learn more about the man and his work.

Congratulations, George, on your newest book and on being a photographer and human being who ‘raises the bar’!

Life is good!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Introducing a Princess

It is with great delight and anticipation that I am planning the addition of a permanent studio space in our home!  Of course the primary reason is so that I can eliminate the need to set up and tear down the ‘studio’ for each shoot (‘cause I’d rather be doing something productive or fun with that time!); the other reason, which is actually really exciting for me, is that I will then have a space to practice lighting set ups and techniques any ol’ time I feel like it!  

So, there I’ll be in the new and wonderful space…but then what?  You can’t really learn to light a subject without a subject!  I do a lot of learning, just like everyone does, on the job; but I wanted more time to play, to fiddle, to experiment, and to be curious.  My first thought was to use models, but they’re expensive and when you're working around your kids’ schedules (which is true for any at-home parent) you want to be flexible…it was pretty clear, pretty quickly, that models weren’t the way to go.  My second thought was an assistant, which is what brings us to the focus of this piece…

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my new assistant!  She has agreed to sit for me whenever I want (in between serving Froot Loops and resolving disputes!), she won’t charge, and she’s flexible/positionable (you can imagine how brutal my web history was last month when 'googling' "flexible dolls"!  I think I had a permanent blush during those few weeks of searching for the perfect ‘assistant’ and had to keep my fingers crossed that the police didn’t need to use my computer for anything!)!  All kidding aside, I am thrilled with the thought of learning whenever I want while not inconveniencing anyone or going broke!

Now, what kind of boss would I be if I didn’t give my new assistant a name?!  For me it felt like naming a baby and I didn’t want to get it wrong.  I desperately wanted a name that would inspire me and so I made a list of things she would serve to represent: grace, beauty, sexiness, intelligence, playfulness, elegance, and confidence all were fairly immediately jotted down (this is how I want my women clients to feel while they’re in front of my lens) and it led me to:  Principessa.  Just like when I named the company; this name simply makes me smile (plus I like the subconscious thought that this very rich, extraordinarily beautiful, and powerful woman has asked ME to light HER!).

Now, this isn’t the ‘secret project’ that I wrote of a few weeks ago, that will remain under wraps for now, but Principessa will certainly play a role in it!

Life is good!