Toronto Scotiabank Photography Contact Festival - Workshop

Contact Festival Event listing, care of

Contact Festival Event listing, care of

I am excited to announce I’m coming to talk at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto in 2 weeks; May 11. We’ve partnered with Vistek and Canon Canada to bring you an evening of photography, lighting, directing talent and business talk. Come on by and check it out, it’s free to attend. Thank you to our sponsors! See you soon Toronto!

Add it to your Contact Festival Planner here.

Workshop Information:

Title: Vistek: Learn to Shoot like Derek Heisler

If you’ve dreamed of becoming a fashion photographer, this is an event you don’t want to miss. This is your chance to learn from one of the best commercial fashion/lifestyle photographers in the business, Derek Heisler, on how to light, shoot, and work with a fashion model. Sponsored by Canon.

Visit to register.

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.

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.

Model Animals

We often see female and male models in a studio setting, it has become a very large part of our advertising culture. 

For this series I wanted to put animals in that very setting we are so accustomed to seeing people in, all while still capturing their essence.

The Bashful Black Bear. The Stoic King Penguin. The Motionless Whooping Crane. The Towering Andean Condor. The Vibrant Gentoo Penguin.

They are, model animals.

Through the Lens - Bill Nye

In this Through the Lens I had the opportunity to photograph Bill Nye The Science Guy for the SETI Institute. For most, Bill doesn’t need an introduction. He filled our Saturdays will learning, laughter, and fun. I can definitely say that Bill played a part in my curiosity towards the Sciences.

While chatting on our way to my portrait area, we talked about how technology is affecting the brain. He was exactly how I remember him on TV so many years ago. During the shoot I mentioned that I was also an Engineer and that I had worked with control systems. He immediately perked up and said “I’ve got something for you! Remind me after we’re done”. I was curious like a child again! When we wrapped up the session, he grabbed his laptop and placed it on the table nearby. Without grabbing a chair he kneeled down to get to eye level with his laptop. He then began to explain how he had just been at a conference and someone (I apologize for forgetting his name) had revisited how control loops should be done. It was just a simple change that made increased efficiency of the system. I stepped back and had a fan boyish moment where I realized I was getting a personal Saturday Bill Nye The Science Guy lesson!

Bill is a genuine Educator. He does what he does, because of his passion for Science and sharing knowledge. We can all learn a little from that.

Through the Lens - Robert Picardo

Robert Picardo

In this through the lens I present Robert Picardo of Star Trek Voyager. I had the opportunity to photograph Robert at SETIcon in California last week.

He entered Yale University as a pre-med student, not knowing that he would someday portray doctors in three separate productions: first as Dr. Dick Richard on the ABC series “China Beach, “then as Dr. McCaskill in the theater production “In The Waiting Room” at the Mark Taper Forum, and now as The Doctor on “Star Trek: Voyager.”

It’s always a pleasure to photograph actors. Often if you can create a scene and describe it, they have no problems putting themselves in it, which makes my job almost too easy.

Make sure to jump on over to twitter and say hi to Robert @robertpicardo.

Robert Picardo

The Generations Project

The Generations Project.

A gritty intimate portrait session with Don “The Rev” Brunning and his son and my friend David “The Kid” Brunning. The Generations project is glimpse into the deep bond between father and son. Two men, two motorcycles, two stories, one generation apart. Enjoy. 

Please Share.

See the full series and write up here.

Quotes & Landscapes

I grabbed a few landscape images I photographed and placed some quotes down that I’ve come up with over the past year. Thought I would share them.

"We know not the ripples we create that bear waves"

This is something I’ve learned time and time again this year. Even though at times it feels like things are moving at a slower pace than you would like, you keep on creating. Little do you know what’s going on in the shadows as you work away. Just like dropping a rock in a pond those ripples can affect things far away that at the point of origin are not experienced. Nevertheless, that does not mean that they are not occurring. So keep pushing on and creating those ripples because who knows who or what they may affect.