Best of 2014 – Portraits

I am thankful that over the years, I have enough people in my life that allow me to take their picture and help me to grow as a photographer. This year was no different. This year, I got to photograph some people who are very close to me personally such as my family, friends and personal mentor, as well creating some new relationships with talented athletes and dancers. These are some of my favourite images that my subjects and I created over 2014. Thank you to all of them.

Frank Shufletoski

Frank was my photo instructor at SAIT and one of the reasons why I do what I do today. When my studio was finished being renovated in January, it seemed only fitting to have the man who helped start my career to be one of the first ones to have a photo taken in it (even if he was less than thrilled to do it).

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Esther Hong

I met Esther through my work with the Calgary Rage Women’s Tackle Football team. She has been a great friend through the years and a total joy to work with. This photo was also shot in my studio with a lot of fog.

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Lisa Gomes

Lisa also appears in my Best of 2014 – Editorial blog, but there, she is getting punched in the face. Here, she is getting that girls face tattooed on her arm so she has a target when she clothes lines her next season. Ok, not really.

This photo and the following one of Alyssa were shot for my portrait project of the Calgary Rage. I loved a lot of the photos from that project, but decided that these two were my favourite.

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Alyssa Quinney

This photo was probably my favourite concept to execute from the project. Thank Alyssa (and the model) for humouring me to let me try this one.

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Angela Gladue

Angela and I have been trying for over a year to shoot this together. We first had it scheduled to shoot the first day of the Calgary floods in 2013, so we had to post-pone. We finally shot it in August 2014. I have known her for a number of years and I have nothing but respect for her as an artist and a person. Almost every frame from this shoot was amazing thanks to her.

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Connor

Shot for my Faces of Pow Wow series that I have been working on for a couple of years now, Connor was my favourite subject this year for this project. In this photo, he is showing off his signature moves, and then right after, he fell over into the tall grass and laughed his head off. Then he got up and flirted with my assistant for the rest of the afternoon. This kid already has game at the age of five. This one was shot during the Tsuu T’ina Pow Wow.

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Ryan Chornohos

This photo is the closest photo that I have to a perfect photo. From corner to corner, I love everything about it. It is a wonderful thing when you can call up a friend and tell them “put on a flannel shirt and grab an ax, I will be over to pick you up in 10”, and they don’t even question you.

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My Uncle Leonard

This photo makes it into this blog because of the way it happened. While I was shooting the photo above of Ryan at my family’s farm in LaCorey, my uncle was walking by with my aunt’s new dog. I asked him to come over and sit down for a quick picture. I never thought he would and I got this as my fourth frame and stopped shooting because I did not want to press my luck.

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John and Rebekah Waenink

Yes, I do shoot weddings. It is not a huge part of my business, but I will usually shoot a few each year. In 2014, I just shot one of my basketball teammates John and Rebekah. I have know Rebekah for a few years and have won many a championships with her and one with John since he has joined our team. I was thrilled to get to shoot their big day and I love the way this photo turned out despite the not so pleasant weather.

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Juwan Simpson

Juwan makes two appearances in this blog and one in my Best of 2014 – Editorial blog. He is member of the Calgary Stampeders and is now a two-time Grey Cup champion. We met through my work with Metro Calgary (shooting the games). Juwan is a total professional and has been one of the best subjects I have ever worked with. He is able to step in front of the camera with ease and has a great attitude (no ego) towards representing his team and himself.

I chose the first photo because it a different side to the athlete everyone sees on the field and I feel that it shows his real personality as a person outside of the game.

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For the second photo, it was shot as the cover for Metro Calgary for the preview of the Western Final in November. This photo was shot really quick, in the cold. This was the exact photo that I needed and Juwan was able to deliver this look without a lot of direction and very quickly so that neither of us had to stand in the cold for too long. Thanks for that!

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Robin Randall

Robin is a member of the Canadian Men’s National Water Polo team. I met him in 2008 and had this idea for a photo for about three or four years now. The problem with our national team is that they are not always in the country, so it is not easy to get the timing to always work out. It finally did in October this year. This photo took myself and two assistants to pull off – and one patient subject who did not mind having water thrown at him a bunch of times.

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames

Juno A. Ward

Of course Juno is going to make this list. She is my most photographed subject and my best friend. We spend our days talking about squirrels and cookies, and going on dates with her boyfriend Tucker. I know everyone thinks she is super photogenic, but I challenge anyone to try and take a photo of this dog in a studio. Thankfully, I had the help of a friend and a bag of cookies to get this beautiful shot of my dog.

Juno

Thanks again to everyone who steps in front of my camera. I look forward to creating more great portraits in 2015.

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