Gillian: 13 year old Calgary Dancer

When watching any dancer perform or train it always amazes me what the human body can do especially when that person is only 13. Gillian’s mother called me one afternoon and asked if I would take some photographs of her daughter for an audition that Gillian was attending. The one main requirement for this particular audition was that each dancer needed to bring with them a 5″x7″ photograph of him or her jumping. The cool thing was if Gillian was accepted she would then be able to attend an intensive workshop either in Los Angeles or New York City with some of the top choreographers in the dance world, dancing 8 hours a day for a week straight. So the three of us came up with some ideas, hired the amazing and talented hair and make up artist Teslin Ward (http://www.teslinward.com), rented a space, and started shooting.

Gillian would consider herself a contemporary dancer and the shoot consisted of using both dance costumes and a variety of street wear that she felt comfortable dancing and moving in. There were a few spills, a few awkward faces, but try to imagine kicking your leg up to your face, giving a genuine smile, maintaining your composure, having good technique, and make it look effortless. Not as easy as it sounds does it?

Gillian was a trooper and continued to jump, move, and one particular moment she even kneed herself in the face. She never stopped until we got the shot which made working with this amazing talent such a joy.

Also a huge shout out to Prestige Dance Academy for allowing us to use the space: http://www.prestigedance.com

You can also see a previous shoot with another young Calgary dancer here: http://jeremyfokkens.com/blog/young-calgary-dancer-andrea/

Calgary Dancer
Calgary Dancer
Calgary Dancer
Calgary Dancer

 

Photographing coaches for Crossfit Ramsay

Recently I have been doing quite a few photo shoots with the athletes at Crossfit Ramsay trying to add a bit of creativity into the photography regarding the type of fitness Crossfit is, and when the owners of Crossfit Ramsay approached me and asked for portraits of their coaching staff, I was thrilled and could not wait till the day of the shoot. It also turns out Crossfit Ramsay is moving locations (not far just the next bay over) creating a larger and more efficient space that will allow for a greater Crossfit experience for all their clientele (Photo’s coming soon). The photographs below are going to be used for the companies website where a faculty page will highlight each coach with a profile picture followed by a short bio. In my opinion there is nothing worse than going to a website and seeing photographs of company owners and staff taken with their iPhone’s or worse yet, no visual representation of the individuals representing the company. Most people are quite visual and we sometimes make visual references from things we have seen before sub consciously, especially if it has had some type of impression on our minds. Having a good portrait allows potential clients a good opportunity to see who they will be working with and that creates value giving your clients the confidence they might need in their investment.

In the end we photographed fifteen coaches and if you are looking for a new type of fitness, come checkout Crossfit and why not learn from the incredible staff at Crossfit Ramsay: www.crossfitramsay.ca

 

Crossfit Ramsay Calgary
Crossfit Ramsay Calgary
Crossfit Ramsay Calgary
Crossfit Ramsay Calgary
Crossfit Ramsay Calgary
Crossfit Ramsay Calgary

 

Calgary Dancer Kyle Heck

When I first met kyle it was a few years back as I was doing some promotional material for “O2 Dance company” which is a Calgary based contemporary company created by Artistic Director Sarah Dolan. If you have 5 minutes check out their website as they’re an incredible talented group of dancers. -> http://www.o2dance.com.

When I photograph people I always try and emphasize certain features on their face and/or characteristics of the person that I think are unique. In this creative shoot it was all about Kyle’s face and nothing to do with Kyle’s back ground as a dancer. I wanted to practice some specific lighting setups as well as use modifiers I don’t normally play with to get in that uncomfortable zone where there is no expectations on me or my subject. These creative sessions always remind me of what it was like training as a dancer where your constantly pursuing, problem solving, pushing, and suffering all at the same time. It’s a process that I find is both humbling and thrilling, especially when it all comes together in the end.

On a side note I wanted to send out a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Kyle as he just landed a 1 year contact at the Moulin Rouge in Paris this year. He found out 3 days after we did this shoot.

Thank-you again for visiting and you will being seeing a lot of NEW FACES photographed from all walk of life this year, so stay tuned I hope you enjoy them.

 

 

Young Calgary Dancer : Andrea

Growing up as a dancer was one of the greatest experiences of my childhood and one that has opened countless doors and given me opportunities that I could have never have imagined. When I see other dancers in a studio or on youtube, it is amazing how the talent of each generation gets better and better at such a young age. Andrea is one of those young Calgary dance talents who I am sure will do very well once she enters into the dance world. Oh and she is only 12.

Andrea’s Mom contacted me a while back and said her daughter wants a photo shoot for Christmas. I thought what a cool kid, so Andrea, her mother, and I met over coffee and started discussing ideas and what the photo shoot would entail. We even took it a step further and brought on hair and make-up artist Sarah Byrne (www.sarahbyrne.ca) who I have worked with in the past and is amazing at what she does. The shoot itself was extremely fun allowing Andrea to show off her amazing technique and highlight some of her tricks without any pressure from her peers or teachers. I remember the first frame where I asked Andrea to kick her leg in 2nd (dance term) and BOOM there it went right next to her ear (The first photo of this post was our first frame). Since it was a Christmas gift, I decided to take her top 20 images and create an album so Andrea and her family could look back as she gets older and reminisce about how dance influenced her life.

 

[…] Young Calgary Dancer : Andrea […]

Photographing Crossfit Athletes: Calgary Photographer

Well here we are with the first blog post for 2014 and what better timing than to share some photographs from a recent shoot for Crossfit Ramsay. Now I am not going to go into any motivational speech on why you should start your year off with a resolution committing to a gym membership because we all know how that ends. What I will do is highlight some very talented woman who are part of a community called Crossfit.  I myself have been part of this community for almost 2 years, it has become a lifestyle change for me, and I can honestly say it has changed the way I think about fitness and immensely impacted my life. But enough about that lets get to the photos and these incredible athletes.

First off I wanted this shoot to be about the woman who participate in Crossfit but staying completely away from the cliche bikinis, poses on motorcycles, and dare I say it- “Biting the finger porn shot”. Seriously, all you male photographers that make your female models do this… stop it, it makes you look like a D-bag, and does not do any favours for your portfolio. What I like to do now before any photo shoot that involves any intricate lighting set-up is sketch out my lighting and model positions on paper. This helps me focus on how I want to light a subject, visually problem solve, and get the idea from my head and into my camera. The two featured athletes are Jenn Lee and Michelle Greaves and they train at the Crossfit Ramsay location her in Calgary. The two of them were absolute troopers on the day of the shoot where we photographed consecutively for 5 hours performing a variety of different techniques and movements, not to mention these woman train on average 5 times a week and 2 hours a day so this was more of a rest day than a workout.

Also I would like to thank the incredible team that made this shoot happen.

My assistant: Elsbeth Schwizer who I nickname the “Urban Sherpa” for her incredible work ethic, attention to detail, and her Swiss wit.

Athletes: Jenn & Michelle

Hair and Make-up by the incredible Sarah Byrne: http://www.sarahbyrne.ca

And of course Crossfit Ramsay: www.crossfitramsay.com

I hope you enjoy the photo’s and stay tuned for more…