derek heisler

Route 66


It's about the car, the girl and the road.

It's about the car, the girl and the road. All distractions we need. The open road gives us the freedom to stretch our wings and refresh. The car gives us the power we need to travel through miles and miles of thoughts. And the girl, the girl. Music reminds you of her, glimpses of her smile in your peripheral. She's the angel and the devil on your shoulder on an adventure we all need to take. Take a deep breath, this is what life is about. 

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Jerome, Arizona

Jerome, Arizona the largest ghost town in the United States of America. I've been to my share of ghost towns and Jerome is by far the most interesting/spooky. Founded in the late nineteenth century for it's rich copper mines. At Jerome's peak it had a population of 10,000. Much has changed since those prosperous mining days. 

Clearly we are scared.

Clearly we are scared.

Editorial - SOL


Light and dark. Polar opposites that require many shades of bending and blending to reach either end of the spectrum. The day night cycle of Sol (our sun) follows this practice. Like the rising and setting of a sun, our lives and personalities find themselves in the same such dance. Between light and dark, the Soul finds itself. We transform as we grow, and every new experience either drives us closer to light or dark. Some need to experience true darkness before they realize the importance of the light. Others shine brightly to lead the way for others. What side do you find yourself on?

Photography - Derek Heisler
Model - Patience Silva
Creative Direction - Derek Heisler
Assistant CD - Bekka Gunther
Wardrobe Design - Derek Heisler and Bekka Gunther
Makeup - Marissa Vossen
Location - Santa Clarita, Califorina 

Also published for 1968 Magazine and Stellar

TEDxYYC Campaign

I wanted to share a very cool campaign I recently worked on with WAX and DDG. The idea for this year’s TEDxYYC was Where Ideas Mix.

To achieve that we set out to make dripping mannequin heads which would appear to be dripping into each other… ideas mixing.. you’re getting it now.

It was amazingly fun to work on, and was very happy with the resulting stills. Follow below to see the campaign and the amazing video from the guys over at DDG. A few behind the scene shots follow as well.

Wax recently featured the campaign on their blog here

Make sure to check out the credits at the end.




Client: TEDxYYC

Ad Agency: WAX

Creative Director: Trent Burton

Art Director: Brad Connell

Copywriter: Chris Lihou

Production Company: Deluxe Design Group

Director/Camera: Nick Thomas, Chris Krieger

Camera operator: Brock Mitchell

Editor: Brock Mitchell

Post production: Creative Fields

Supers: Greg Marshall

Audio House: Redemption Audio

Music: Mitch Lee

Photographer: Derek Heisler



Chantel Rae Set +


My recent spread with Chantel Rae was published on today. was then hit hard with over 250,000 hits shortly after. Very thankful for the success and response from the set. As always Chantel was a pleasure to work with. 

Make sure to check out the 8 image spread on my site here

Nik Radio Interview w/ Scott Shepard

Recently I had the pleasure/honor to sit down with Scott Shepard of Nik Radio to talk about my photography career to date. We talked tech, my engineering background, the mistress known as photography and how I lost my heart to her. 

Stream it here

Or for you Apple boys and girls;

iTunes Podcast 

I also had a chance to sit down for a separate written interview for Nik’s Pro talk. Check it out here.

A Few Words for a New Year

I was going to post about my year in review, however I decided to write these words instead.

We have a very limited conscious reality to allow barriers we create ourselves to prevent us from our true potential and happiness. We must lean into the sharper points of life and remove all weakness and doubt. Ignore the expectations we think others have of us, and take that leap of faith.

Put yourself in your shoes say fifty years from now and ponder about all the opportunities that you let slip away. Now act with such clarity and step forward.

Create change, create courage, create love.

Be who you are meant to be.

May this be the year you rise. May it be the strong foundation to something greater.

Humble Beginnings & Landscapes

I often haven’t told the story of how I got into photography. Did it start with all these beautiful women? Oh god no.

Back in University, second year I believe, I was taking on a few small graphic design projects on the side for some extra cash. I needed a lot of stock imagery, so I bought a point and shoot digital camera, I believe it was a Canon A75. At the time it was great for what I needed, however soon enough I found it’s limitations. I wanted more control, I wanted to control depth of field and shutter speed. So on my first work term I purchased my first DSLR. The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT. Originally I think I even bought the kit lens *shakes head*.

I read, read, practiced, practiced, experimented and read some more. I loved capturing nature and especially landscapes. I love to hike, so this was a excuse to do even more.

Soon enough, my female friends noticed my talent and wanted me photograph them. At first, I wanted nothing to do with it. I bought this camera for landscapes not women haha. Sooner or later, I did give in. After a couple shoots I knew I needed to learn a lot more, so back to more reading, practicing and experimenting.

After shooting a lot outside I wanted to try indoors. I purchased my first lighting kit off of eBay for $399. I believe it was a Smith and Victor or something like that. It was great, but due to being continuous light (tungsten 500 watt bulbs) things got hot very fast, both myself and the subject would sweat under the lights.

So the next step was to learn how to use strobes. But that story is for another day.