2013 Year and a Few Months In Review

25 Dec

Let’s try this again shall we (sorry for the technical difficulties). *Note: resolution not formatted for full-screen viewing. Watch HD Version here.

Well, that was fast. A blur really. Is it a sign of old age when the years fly by? At any rate, I can’t believe we are at the doorstep of 2014. When anyone asks me what kind of work I’ve done this year, I can’t really put my finger on it: a little bit of everything I suppose! And I mean that! Being a professional photographer in the North means wearing many hats. Some days I’m a commercial photographer, other days a photojournalist, a wedding photographer, a portraitist, a landscape shooter, fine art photog, quick and dirty news stringer, event shooter and everything in between. In this business, in this part of the world, versatility is key and it certainly has opened some big doors for me this year.

Above are some photos taken in the last 16 months. This is my first full-year as a freelancer after working as a magazine staff photographer for 8 years. It was a very tough decision to leave a secure job and jump into the void but I’m thrilled I did, and to be honest, kind of wish I did it sooner. As a rookie in the freelance world, I’ve been incredibly lucky. It is not easy to find work in photography, period, let alone make it a full-time gig. For that, I’m incredibly thankful.

To my clients, thank you for giving me the creative freedom to do what I do and inviting me to be part of your team and family. Some assignments that stick out for me this year are:

– an 8-page feature in Canadian Geographic on the GNWT’s trapping program.

– being hired by Outside the Cube as official photographer at the 2013 Yukon Quest, “the toughest race in the world”.

– pitching, shooting, writing and designing the Our Yellowknife campaign for The City of Yellowknife

– working with Venture Publishing in Fort McMurray and Fort Chipewyan.

– commissioned for various photo assignments for EdgeYK magazine.

– working with The Hotkey Marketing Group to promote “Destination Deline”.

– creating and launching True North Photos, an online image collection and collaboration with some great friends/Northern photographers.

– publishing my first book: “North”

So what’s in store for 2014? You might notice a few branding and marketing tweaks over the next few months (ie, new website and hopefully a new workspace), but really, my main goal is to constantly produce great ideas and images for my local clients, and to be an ambassador for Canada’s North though my national work.

Thanks again to everyone for your support this year, and have a wonderful 2014!

Nadine + Geoffrey

21 Dec
Nadine & Geoffrey on the beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

Nadine & Geoffrey on the beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.

My wife and I just returned from photographing a beautiful destination wedding in Turks & Caicos, a small group of islands in the Caribbean between Cuba and Haiti. This was a huge change of scenery since most of my work is done in the Arctic, but I’m not complaining! And who would? T&C has been said to have the best beaches on earth: aquamarine blue water, powdery white sand and an endless supply of rum-punch. It was heaven, especially coming from the deep freeze of a -40 winter.

Thanks to Nadine and Geoffrey for having us along, we had a blast! More than that, we came away making some great friends from Newfoundland, Manitoba, Alberta and the NWT. I felt like such a part of the family that at one point, I waded into a pool in my gitch just to take a photo of the whole gang! Thanks again guys – I hope you enjoy the photos for a very long time!

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Deline, NWT

4 Dec
The Deline shoreline, along Great Bear Lake.

The Deline shoreline, along Great Bear Lake.

Had a great assignment in Deline, NWT with the fine people at the Hotkey Marketing Group out of Penticton, BC. Myself, Jason Knibbs from Hotkey and Marty Ann Bayha from ITI hit the streets of Deline, visiting artists, elders, school children and generally enjoying the sights and sounds of this beautiful community. For anyone traveling North, make sure to put Deline on your list – it is THE spot in the NWT for cultural tourism: we went ice fishing, had a cookout, snowmobiled and snowshoed, just a few of the experiences you can enjoy. It was also my first time to the community, and I have to say it is one of the friendliest places I’ve been to in the North. Big thanks to Jason, Marty Ann, Jackie, Bruce, Verna, Gordon, the Grey Goose Lodge and everyone else we met – hope to be back soon!

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Brrrlesque 2013: Behind the Scenes

11 Nov
Karen Wasicuna as Stella Gams

Karen Wasicuna as Stella Gams

Another Brrrlesque and another knock-it-out-the-park performance by all the ladies this year. It’s always great to photograph this event and see all the hard work that goes in to making it a reality. Enjoy some behind the scenes photos from this year’s show. Till next time!

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“On The Line” in Canadian Geographic

26 Sep
Opening spread to "On the Line", Canadian Geographic Oct 2013.

Opening spread to “On the Line”, Canadian Geographic Oct 2013.

Canadian Geographic has picked up my photo story about Colville Lake’s trappers in the latest issue of the magazine (October 2013). I’m pleased that they’re sharing with their readers a way of life that many Canadians might not know still exists. And while this story might make a few readers gasp and protest, I applaud the staff at Can Geo for showcasing NWT trapping as it really is in Colville Lake: a traditional lifestyle, an economy for a small population in a remote part of the country, and a way of keeping cultural values relevant for their young people.

This is my first photo essay for Canadian Geographic. Special thanks to photo editor, Laura Stanley, and to staff writer, Michela Rosano, for bringing this story to life and being so enthusiastic to help share it with their readers. An especially big shout-out goes to Francois Rossouw and Marti Lys for letting me tag along with them – in my opinion, all levels of government should follow their lead and hire photographers, videographers and artists to document Northern life in such a rapidly changing world. Most importantly, thanks to the trappers and the people of Colville Lake for inviting me into your homes and sharing your life and culture with all of us.

You can click the images to see the pages larger, but if you get a chance, pick up the October issue of Canadian Geographic. There is also an accompanying online gallery, which you can see here.


Lachlan, Bryce & Megan

16 Sep
Lachlan, Megan and Bryce in Yellowknife.

Lachlan, Megan and Bryce in Yellowknife.

Had a great family shoot the other day with my friends Megan and Bryce, and their son, Lachlan. It was a fun couple of hours starting in Yellowknife’s Woodyard neighborhood, then we headed downtown and finally Sambaa K’e Park. One of the best parts of this was taking some pics on Range Street in Yellowknife’s gritty downtown. Bryce wanted a few photos that were “a bit more rock ‘n’ roll” than the average Sears photos. Amen to that. Below are a few pics from our little walk – hope you enjoy!

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North/Land Portfolio at Vancouver’s Satellite Gallery

13 Sep
Cover of North/Land

Cover of North/Land

I’m honoured to contribute a portfolio of selected work to the Satellite Gallery in Vancouver as part of the Ten Thousand Suns exhibit, curated by Jeremy Jaud. An description of the exhibit from their website:

Satellite Gallery presents Ten Thousand Suns, a new group exhibition that features works in sculpture, audio, video and performance by Rebecca Belmore, Tanya Tagaq, Luke Parnell, Guadalupe Martinez, Abbas Akhavan, Jamie Look, Ali Ahadi, Erin Siddall, Carlos Colín and Brianne Nord-Stewart. These artists investigate our past and present relationships to resource extraction, the body and land.

The location of the exhibition in downtown Vancouver—a global resource exploration hub, major international port and un-ceded First Nations territory—is home to some 1,200 junior mining exploration companies that operate globally. Coal alone accounts for almost 40% of the total volume of goods moved through the Port of Vancouver. At present only three land-claim agreements have been ratified in all of British Columbia.

The exhibition brings together contemporary artists from British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Argentina, Iran and Mexico. Exploring effacement, memory and remembering this exhibition will consider the layered interconnections of policy with respect to resource-based development projects in Canada and globally, modern technology and artistic practice.

Ten Thousand Suns is curated by Jeremy Jaud, a UBC Critical and Curatorial Studies MA Candidate. This exhibition is made possible with support from the Michael O’Brian Family Foundation, the Killy Foundation, Government of the Northwest Territories, and the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory in collaboration with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at The University of British Columbia, and Satellite Gallery.

My portfolio, North/Land, is a visual look at the Canada’s North and the people who call it home in the face of resource development and political mandates. Below is the work as it appears in the book. If you are in Vancouver, I invite you to go see this great exhibit. If you would like to purchase a copy of North/Land, please get in touch:

Click pages and spreads to view larger.

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