Montreal Canadians Forward – Tomas Plekanic

JOB: To photograph Tomas Plekanic of the Montreal Canadians for Sherwood Hockey.

SHOOT NOTES:

1. The shoot took place at the Montreal Canadians practice facility in Montreal. Its a nice space but its not the Molson Center so I really had to spend some time to look around and plan my shots.

2. We had Tomas for about an hour. Hes a very nice man, but shy when it comes to photos so I knew I had him only for about 20mins. Or at least I wanted to keep it under 30mins of shoot time.

3. When you shoot an Edmonton Oiler a few people show up. When you shoot a Montreal Canadian lots more are there. I mean its understandable I mean come on its the Canadians. So I had to make sure once the shoot started I had to have full control and make sure Tomas knew I was on my game. I am clear and concise as to what I want and need. Athletes respect that. When you work with someone lot you can bull shit with them… but when its a new face. Its in and out.

4.  We shot in the dressing room and on the ice. I was given 100% creative freedom here. So we decided to have Tomas looking strong and tall in the shots. As opposed to moving around skating and shooting.

5. I still play hockey, grew up with it, and follow it closely. I am a fan of the game. But not while i’m working… If funny how that goes… when on jobs for Sherwood and SportsNet and I’m shooting Hockey players I subconsciously  compartmentalize the fan part… The shoot is all about me and getting what I want commercially and not about meeting or getting to know the player. I am respectful of the player of course… and on a few occasions I have hung out with a few of the guys post photoshoot…. but even with the players I have got to know well while shooting I am shooting them I am in full pro mode.

 

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Dr. Nigel Flook… Probably the best last name anyone could ever ask for…

JOB: To photograph Doctor Nigel Flook for Canadian Family Physician magazine.

SHOOT NOTES:

1. I end up shooting a lot for the AMA and CMA… So I am comfortable shooting doctors in their environments. I quite enjoy it actually. They key is to be a fly on the wall when shooting… be patient and allow the action to unfold in front of you.

2. For this shoot I wanted to keep the tone loose and natural, kind of like what you would see in those old LIFE magazines (but in color)… these are clean files as you can see by the dust speck above the docs head in the first image:)

3. This shoot would not have been possible without the Canon 1DX and its high ISO to quality ratio. I shoot the whole job about 800 ISO with no additional lighting… so I had to use prime lenses to ensure the best quality under the difficult lighting.

4. Docs spend a lot of time at a desk… so to give some visual narrative to the mentorship part of the story I had Dr.Flook interact with two other doctors around the clinic… In fact the young man in the photograph with him was his son.

5. The surgery shot was simple luck. The patient agreed to be shot so long as I didn’t see her face. I have no idea what the surgery was for. I’m not good with blood so as soon as I had my shot I was out of there.

NHL Goalie Reto Berra of the Colorado Avalanche

JOB: To photograph Reto Berra of the Colorado Avalanche for Sherwood Hockey

 

I wanted the viewer to see Reto from the view of the puck.

SHOOT NOTES:

1. I have shot a lot of NHL hockey players in the past so working with Reto wasn’t stressful at all. He is also a very laid back guy so the shoot was made easier by that.

2. I still play hockey (Goalie) to this day, and often times while I am playing I think to myself “oh shit this would be a great photograph”. Its usually right about then that the other ream scores on me.

3. The only challenge to this shoot is that for the hour before Reto was on the ice working with his goalie coach François Allaire. So he was a little tired after his practice.

4. I needed to work fast with Kevan to ensure we didn’t “lose” Reto because he would be too tired. To get Reto to do what I needed I made sure to include him in the process… So I kept showing him work.

5. I shot 5 scenarios in just under 40mins on ice… then shot about another 10mins in the dressing room. When working with athletes like this speed, organization and experience is KEY!

Italian Feast for some large window banners

JOB: To photograph an Italian Feast for large window displays for the Italian Centre Shop

SHOOT NOTES:

1. I was approached with the idea to photograph food for some large window displays. In conversation we decided we wanted to show a MASSIVE family feast in the photographs.

2. Next step was go get approval. Doing this concept meant we needed to use ALOT of food. And not cheap food. So once we shot it you really couldn’t re use alot of it. So the client had to be on board.

3. I wanted a rustic look to the images so we used an old table and a brick wall as a background.

4. I wanted warm organic tones in the series so I made sure that all the bowls etc had an organic feel to them. I also wasn’t going to be afraid of shadows on this shoot either… so deep tones were also very important for that rustic look.

5. We had to move fast to ensure everything looked fresh… Everyone from the stylist, art director, Kevan and myself. I didnt want things like the basil to wilt while I was fumbling around with lighting.

Shooting outside in Minus Thirty – Winter festivals

JOB: To photograph a series of Winter Festivals for the Government of Alberta Parks and Rec during winter.

SHOOT NOTES

1. In Canada its winter for over half of the year. So as a professional photographer one needs to learn how to shoot outside in very cold temperatures. At the time we shot these two festivals the temperature dipped to about minus 30.

2.  Model consideration is a MAJOR concern when shooting in such cold temperatures. My assistant and I can dress like Michelin men… but models need to look like they are enjoying themselves and thus need to keep warm.  The first concern when shooting in Canadian winter is where can the models warm up while we are prepping for the shot.

3. The other concern is gear. I use all Elinchrom and Canon gear and it performs under the harshest conditions. However on this shoot especially the ice sculpture ones my shutter on one body actually froze up.

4. The main tip I can give anyone reading this is get Merino WOOL socks and the warmest boots you can afford. Once your feet get cold the rest of your body goes down… Make sure to keep your feet warm. Also remember its not about style its about keeping warm!!

5. I was so impressed with all of the models on this shoot. They all look and acted warm for the shoots.I should note the crew over at Lindisfarne were the ones who found the talent for this shoot.