Tag Archives: photographer

Beginning 4th Year

1 Sep

The first day of 4th year is a few hours away now.

I don’t know why but I’ve never been so anxious for a school year to start. I think it boils down to the fact that I’ll have been at this for 5 years, a nice little bubble to return to and in 8 months I’ll be out of it for a long time. I don’t think I’ll be going back to school for a while after this one, if ever.

I think it’s also that fear of growing up a little bit more. I won’t be able to “play” as much as I’d like with student loans looming, looking for a place once I get some money saved in a little while. Money is a very scary topic. It would be nice to just get some sort of deal and make loads of it so there really isn’t that worry, but, well, that probably isn’t going to happen either.

I’m also worried as I have no idea what sort of assignments I’ll be getting this year. Not that I had any other year but this is the year to really figure out where I’m going with my work, if I can do something with it. Sell it, put it in magazines, galleries…

Do people really want pictures of old farm buildings?


There are a lot of questions buzzing in my head, I hope most of them are resolved as I think being an artist we have a lot of questions that might be bubbling about but are answered along the way.

One good thing about this year is I think for the first time (and not to slag off the rest of my instructors) the teachers I’m having this year feel more dedicated, either that or they are just teaching 4th years, they are professionals in the field so they know what’s going on. All my instructors are, but I feel some of them are kind of happy in the security of the school. Others have active studios and practices with clients coming and going all the time. We finally have a business class. Why it’s left until 4th year I don’t know, as I think it’s so important. Most photographers you talk to say the business is business. Selling your work, making a name for yourself and knowing how to get that name out there to clients who want your stuff.

I think once things start up, once a bit of a creative flow starts coming back and once assignments start things will get better. Keeping busy is the main thing.


Field Trips

25 Jan

While I’m all for class field trips, usually meaning downtown in the city, somewhere close, convenient and affordable for everyone, I didn’t expect my teacher today to propose going to Vancouver/Seattle for a four day weekend type thing. While it sounds pretty great, it’s not exactly my type of traveling, two cities in 3-4 days? A bit overwhelming. Two days traveling on a bus is not my cup of tea and most of all – I have nothing in my budget for this kind of thing.

I’m already broke, I really can’t afford something like this on a whim. Plus, in my mind set, doing a trip like that just isn’t worth it or the money spent.

If I were going to Vancouver and Seattle I’d at least make it a week if not two, not one day in each city bustling around to numerous galleries and the like without really even being able to soak in anything of the city itself. Also, I figure the nights will be like Italy all over again, everyone getting having a party or being loud in general in another room, while I have a bath to myself and go to bed early.

I probably sounded about 78 just then, but that’s what I did in Florence haha. It was actually quite nice to have a moment of quiet, the hotel room all to myself without the 5 other girls and get some much needed sleep.

If this trip happens, I’m quite sure I’m staying put at home.

Home boy

13 Jan

You know that warm fuzzy feeling of AWESOME when you find out someone you admire is from your home province? I got that feeling today.

I suppose I could have found this out a long time ago, but for whatever reason I never checked out his “about” section on his website. Why that is, I have no idea, I’m usually really good about that kind of thing.

The thing that brought my attention to Ed was his alarm clock design “Wake Up!” You might recognize it as I embroidered it straight after seeing it. It had to be done!

The guy I’m talking about is Ed Nacional. He’s a graphic designer who’s done some things withFriends of Type. Ed was born and raised in Calgary, the city I’m in right now for school. One of his recent tweets said he was in Edmonton, my home city, which in itself was pretty cool, but knowing he is really truly from around here made it even more cool.



Newfoundland VI

4 Jan

This one is a little late, as flying back and getting settled in at home again was priority.

We went for a bit of a drive up to Jacques-Fontaine, where my great nan and pop used to live. It’s about an hour drive from Burin, but well worth it. There’s something about that place that is so personal I can’t explain why. I get all choked up thinking about it, seeing it was even worse. I didn’t choke up though, it was really calm and oddly at peace. The tide was in, and of course it had changed some in the 10 years since I’ve been. The sound of the waves coming lightly to shore brought back so much stuff. I spent a while wandering the small rocky beach looking for rocks that had holes in them. My great Pop used to look for them and I still have some he gave me years ago. I didn’t seen any, but I found three pieces of sea glass, a shell (there were many, but I wanted one) and a very flat rock. On my way back to the van, I found a very old shoe sole. Quite small which would have belonged to a child. It was an odd find, I’m glad I found it and was able to make it mine.

We went to another spot which I think was called Parker’s Cove. I’ll have to double check. There was some waves crashing into an island and such. Of course it was typical Newfoundland hamlet. Sheds on their docks and an outlet to the ocean. There was also a dog out there in it’s little house, chained up in the back of someone’s yeard. I whistled at it so I could get a picture of it looking at me.


The day after we went along to the swimming hole. Which, according to Google Maps, doesn’t have a name. But it is in between Aurthurs Pond and Island Pond. When I was in Newfoundland between grades 4 and 5 for 6 weeks, my friend Johnny and I would swim here regularly as it was one of those hot summers. Though, when we went there was a little bit of snow falling on me. I hiked the short trail to the ‘diving board’, getting my shoes well muddy in the process, as well as nearly freezing my feet off while wading through a small stream that used to have a mini boardwalk over it.

But, making it up to that spot was worth it. Being there again brought back memories, the worry of eels in the shallow parts. I have no idea how long we swam out there before Johnny’s dad came back to get us. It was really deep, and cold. No sign of the bottom at all. But well worth it when the temperature was in the 30s (Celcius) on a daily basis.


The day we left, my folks and I made a stop in North Harbour. It’s where my Pop is buried and it was strange seeing the headstone. Not to get all deep, but it’s strange having someone pass away so suddenly. Getting that phone call was odd, as I totally went through the first few phases of mourning in about 10 minutes. Seeing him there was just, strange. I’m not sure I’m really over it.

After paying our respects, we carried on back to St. John’s. We saw two moose on the way as well, which seemed to be a rare thing as there were about 5 cars on the side of the highway with us. I, of course, didn’t have my camera ready, or the right lens, so I didn’t get a picture. I was pretty pissed off at that missed opportunity. But I got some nice landscapes otherwise.

When we got into Town, I had gotten in contact with my friend Matthew, who lives out there. We got connected on Facebook in an odd way. He came down and had dinner with my folks and I at the hotel and had a really good chat for a few hours. (I got my cod tongues for dinner too!) I was quite pleased with that. Matthew is the one who used a couple of my photos for his latest album he released, so I traded him Karl Pilkington’s newest book for a signed copy of it.

After the conversation it was bed time, then flying time for another 6 hours with a short stop in Toronto. I was not happy to see the snow we have back at home as Newfoundland had none! The temperature was also quite nice ranging at +2 – +6 each day we were there. Our luggage decided to come last off the plane but we meandered home finally to much noise from the cats. Seems they were ‘neglected’ when we were away.

I am determined to not be 35 the next time I go.



26 Dec

Went down to Grand Bank yesterday for Christmas dinner at the old people’s home. Saw my great nan, who at 91, looks pretty good. She didn’t say anything but she’s still fairly mobile, though in a chair. She looked at me a few times, and even though her mind isn’t all that good, it wasn’t like she was a ghost of herself. She was just an old lady who I had met a few times in my life who didn’t know who I was. It wasn’t a depressing atmosphere or anything. It was quite nice. She also got spoiled with all her 7 kids buying up something. 18 pairs of socks and new pyjamas and the like. She won’t be going spare for candy either.

Tonight we had our big Christmas dinner, 25 pound turkey, lots of dressing and salt beef and the whole show. It was amazing. I get to relive it all for the next few days as well! My apple pie has been eaten, but with all that food there wasn’t any room for dessert.

Gifts went over well too on Christmas morning. I got a hoodie with faux fur lining that can be worn as a coat, some kitchen things which will be quite handy, cash, another chocolate letter, and a few other little things that are all appreciated. That cash is going toward a Wii though. With my Nan getting one ( I KNOW!) it’s making me want one more than ever haha. My nan also got a little iPod shuffle. I’ve helped her set it all up so she knows how to get music on it and so on, I’ll be setting up the Wii for her tomorrow. She liked the cushion I made her, I shall snap a photo of it before I head out as I haven’t taken one of it yet and the christmas ornaments went over well too.

After the home we went down for a little drive around, passing by Grand Beach, Frenchman’s Cove and Port au Bras. It was well windy and I nearly got blown over, but I got some pretty fantastic pictures as well.


23 Dec

I’m currently about 45 kilometres outside of St. John’s, capital city of Newfoundland & Labrador, on my way to see my Nan for Christmas. After a very long day of flying yesterday, with Inception as one of the movies, we arrived in St. John’s at about 11:30 PM nfld time with a stop along the way in Ottawa. Phoned my Nan when we were there and she said she baked my apple pie with 18 apples! Amazing. That will involve a picture no doubt.

After getting to the Sheraton Hotel, putting our bags away in our rooms, my folks and I went out to a pub that is 24 hours, the Celtic Hearth. Brilliant having a 24 hour pub. Edmonton/Calgary, let’s make this happen! My mom and I had the fish and chips with dressing (stuffing) and gravy on the fries. Amazing combo of flavour, while my dad had a burger. I’m not sure how much seafood I’ll be having when out here, so I want to consume as much as the fresh fish as possible!

The weather is something to be desired, raining and very very windy, which is apparent even more when you’re in a vehicle that is about as aerodynamic as a toaster. Though with no snow, it’s hard to complain about it. Something about the rain just makes it all that more “Newfoundland” in my mind. We just came into some fog as well. Just passed a sign saying Clarenville is 87 km away. We are heading down to the Burin Peninsula and will probably be hanging around that area for the majority of the trip. On Christmas Day we will be spending lunch at a seniors home where my Great Nan, 91 years old, is living. Her mind isn’t so good, but we know her and it’s good to see her as realistically she could go at any time now.

My great uncle Dave will also be around when we are as he wanted to come home for Christmas, I only met him when I was a baby, so it will be good to meet more of the family, plus it gives my dad another guy to hang around with and I’m sure they can get away from us ladies.

There are a couple things on my to do list, so hopefully I will be able to do those things in the days we have here. Apart from a few set events, like Christmas, everything is pretty open, so I hope we can do some driving so I can see some spots I went to as a kid that really stuck in my mind.

No moose sightings yet, but that could change.

Fall term

3 Dec

I’m a little baffled as to where the first semester went. It’s officially over in 19 days, but I doubt I will be hanging around all that time. Classes this term are drawing: the body, specialization in photography, photographic history, photographic practices I and ethics and standards.

I have to say, specialization and ethics were a bit of a disappointment. I don’t really feel like I was able to specialize in anything as all the assignments were dealing with the “big three” adverts, art or editorial. I couldn’t just choose one and work toward honing those skills. With ethics I didn’t really feel I learned much about what causes make a photograph controversial, though I suppose that could be fairly obvious. As well as standards, I didn’t really think I learned many standards in photography, nothing about business or any of those things.

One thing I am glad I took part in is joining the Student Legislative Council. Even though my department is full of apathy, no one seems to really care about improving the program or raising money for shows and such, I like being involved on a different level and making decisions about things. Yeah, the things I decide on isn’t really the end of the world, but ratifying student clubs and allocating money to various things, is important on it’s own level. Plus, joining the SLC let’s me meet people in all the other programs I wouldn’t be talking to as the school is somewhat segregated between the majors.

I also joined another committee dealing mainly with the faculty of my major. The goal is to assess the major and start changing it within a reasonable time table. Things like, instead of the major being a Bachelor of Design, it would become a Bachelor of Photography. To me this would make much more sense as the things I learn don’t really deal with design on the same level as the Visual Communications major. Yeah, we learn a little about text placement and leaving room for text, image placement and so on but beyond that, there isn’t really a whole lot of designing going on.

Next term I hope some of the gaps I feel are present will be filled. I am craving a business class, and unfortunately, I think there is one in 4th year. I think this is too late. We are constantly told that the business side of things becomes more important than taking images int he first place. Being self promotion machines and getting our names out there is obviously crucial. If it’s so important, why am I not learning anything about it? I do mean basic things to start out with. We’ve covered model releases which is good, but what about contracts, drafting one with proper wording that is an acceptable document. How about copyright? Editions? Invoices? Pricing? Grants? How do I put a package together?

I plan on selling my work, applying for magazines and promoting the hell out of myself. I want in depth knowledge of how to keep a good workflow and organization to do such things successfully.

One thing that has come out of the term I’m really happy with is the portfolio’s I’ve made. I think my work in those, especially the first, is what I love to take photos of and it shows how far I’ve come. I felt pretty spoiled having class time to drive around all over the place and find those buildings. It certainly didn’t feel like work. I want that all the time after graduation.

Christmas break should be quite exciting as I’m going to Newfoundland to visit my Nan. It’s been about 4 years since seeing my Nan and 10 years since I’ve been to The Rock and it’s about time I get back. I’m really looking forward to seeing my Great-Nan and where she used to live. Right on the ocean, no joke. I really hope that when I’m at that spot the fog rolls in.

Next term should be interesting as well. Design theory, photographic practices II, Advertising and communications, another drawing studio (as I’m not taking digital imaging II) and english. Should be good to see what comes out of it.