Julie England | Choreographer

Julie England is a Calgary choreographer and teacher specializing in modern dance currently residing in Calgary, Alberta. Given Calgary’s small dance community and the amount of new and innovative show’s that are constantly popping up around the city, ironically this is where I ran into Julie at a recent dance performance in October. We spoke briefly and promised to meet up in the future to talk more about a few ideas she had in mind.  Now I have known Julie for quite some time and our history goes back to when I was 14 years old while attending her dance class. What I remember of Julie at a young age were her ideas and the ability to constantly think outside of the box leaving her students always asking “You can’t be serious”?, but when it came down to it she always made what seemed like an impossible crazy idea into something challenging, fun, and original. When I got the phone call from Julie to meet up, I was excited to see what she had in mind and knowing Julie, the first question was how can we make this happen. We sat over coffee and we spoke about her plans and goals as a choreographer talking more about photographing some of her more recent work with a group of young dancers that she had choreographed for. After listening to her ideas, we came up with using a natural environment for the backdrop oppose to anything based on a stage environment as the concept was not about the performance. This was about an idea that Julie wanted to show in order to start promoting herself as a choreographer where she could stand out among other professionals in the industry. What better way to do that than to use incredible dancers, a cool location, and a ex-dancer and student to photograph it. You can see more of Julie here: http://julieenglanddance.com

Once we had finalized concept and ideas, I stared scouting and found a great location in Calgary’s Fish Creek park. The day consisted of about 50 pounds of gear, five dancers, one assistant, bush-whacking through ridiculously tall grass, dancers being bitten by ants and mosquitos all day, and of course the ever changing sunlight. The group shot is actually a combination of six different photographs with each of the dancers being lit individually, followed by an exposure for the back ground, and then all composited later in post production. Each of the single dancer images were all done in camera with touchups in post afterwards.

I hope you enjoy it.

Calgary Modern Dance Choreographer

One of the Julie’s dancers posing for a shot.

A group shot of all five Calgary dancers.

Jim Prentice | Candidate for Alberta’s PC Party

I received a call last week to photograph Calgary politician Jim Prentice. The job was to create a series of website based photographs for Jim’s candidacy as leader for the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. I was thrilled and excited because the last politician I photographed was Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi and this time I would have an entire day to shoot Jim Prentice rather than the 10 minutes I had with Calgary’s Mayor. The very next day we started production. Now this was my very first campaign shoot and it was exciting to work with Jim Prentice’s team and Calgary based video production crew Urban Revolver. The day consisted of me photographing behind the scene shots of Urban Revolver doing the video portion of Jim Prentice at his home, working in his office, reading the paper with his wife Karen, and engaging with the general public in various Calgary communities including the Crossroads Market. We had a strict schedule taking us to five different locations across the entire city of Calgary. And after many quick wardrobe changes, several corporate portraits, the day was a complete success and we got the shots we needed thanks to a wonderful group of people and of course we had great weather which always lightens everyone’s mood.

I hope you enjoy the photographs and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the work or just want to say “Hi”.

Cheers, Jer

 

A more editorial style portrait of Jim Prentice by Calgary photographer Jeremy Fokkens
A more natural portrait of Jim Prentice by Calgary photographer Jeremy Fokkens
Jim Prentice posing for an environmental portrait by Calgary Photographer Jeremy Fokkens.
Jim Prentice posing for a more natural look outside by Calgary photographer Jeremy Fokkens.

Jim Prentice talking with the general public at Calgary’s Crossroads Market.

 

Photographs used to help promote Jim Prentice’s Campaign through social media.

 

Jim Prentice talking with local vendors at Calgary’s Crossroads Market.

Jim Prentice talking with the general public at Calgary’s Crossroads Market.

Jim Prentice talking with the general public at Calgary’s Crossroads Market.

Jim Prentice working at his home office in Calgary, Alberta.

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.