A winters worth | B.C. backcountry ski photography

Best run ever

Spring is upon us here on the coast and while there is still plenty of good skiing ahead, the deep days of winter are alas, behind us. Which means its time to post this year’s ski season-pictorial. A winters worth is a gallery of some of my favourites from the 2010/11 ski season.

What makes these photos my faves isn’t necessarily their technical merit or composition. It didn’t have to be an action shot or even a burly line – although there are few I’d put in those categories as well – rather, the shots in this gallery are the ones that carry the strongest emotional impact for me. Memories of good times with good friends in special places.

For the first year in my skiing life, I spent more days (way more as it turns out) walking up than riding lifts. If we’re counting, the total number of runs skied would be far south of my annual average but quality-wise, there is no comparison. Thats not to say I didn’t have good days this season with the aid of mechanized up-hill transport. Along with being my biggest backcountry year, 2011 also marked my first days heliskiing. Here is where you can see those shots from RK Heli. But, while awesome in its own right, touring for your turns is its own kinda magic. You can talk about the snow, the lack of others tracks, the stunning beauty and solitude of the mountains free of resorts and lifts… the satisfaction of earning one’s turns and looking down on a line just a few thigh-burning hours prior you had spotted from a distance, sleeping in a warm hut that comparatively few people know about… freezing in a tent with your dog because said hut is packed with families (how rad will those kids be in a couple years)! It all adds up but really, its the experiences you have with the people you’re with that sticks.

These shots are reminders of good times and I hope, inspiration to get out – whatever season it is – and get after it. Our minds get crowded and its easy to get caught up in the distractions of life but, if nothing else, I hope these shots remind you, me and whomever else may stumble upon them that there is a big wild world out there… and you don’t need a lift ticket to ski it.


For more ski photos from B.C., (including some fine pics of yours truly) check out my buddy Sterling’s blog. He’s the guy in like all of my ski shots, BTW!

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Downhill Skateboard Photography | Britannia bombing with Pat Switzer

Sliding pavementFresh off a successful season on the Euro circuit, my bud Pat Switzer is back in town rounding out his studies at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Luckily for me, the mechanical engineering student was on spring break and jonesing for a skate!

We had been talking about heading out on a photo mission up Highway 99 (better known as the road to Whistler than a skateboarding destination) for years. The stars finally aligned this March and we headed for the hills! Our team on this day trip was Pat (AKA the talent), his girlfriend Tamara – also a budding longboarder – visiting from Switzerland, me and the dog piled into our mutual friend Sterling’s fun mobile and off we went.

Our mission was to scout some lines around the coastal hamlet of Britannia Beach and of course to get some photos. The shots were for Pat’s newest sponsor, Patagonia so we were looking for dramatic vistas and some gnarly corners that would showcase Pat freeriding in his new duds.

More details to come… but for now, here is a selection from our day!




Sliding pavement

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North Vancouver Family Portraits | Christine+Caireen

My last photo shoot of 2010 came at T-minus 12 hours to ball drop here on the West Coast and it was a beauty of a day. Cold and crisp, frost on the ground and clear skies with the sun hanging low in the sky casting this amazing warm light at forgiving angles – perfect for a mid-day shoot in the woods of North Vancouver.

I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Christine before… last January actually… with her family at Ambleside Park in North Van. This time around, we were commemorating a visit from C’s oldest friend Caireen who made the trip over from the UK to spend the Holidays here in B.C. Our location was C’s home which backs onto the forest and that sunlight spilling through the trees into the backyard made for some really pretty photos, if I don’t say so myself:)

Below are some of the photos from New Years Day 2010/11, as well as few of my faves from that shoot a year ago. How the time flies!

-Happy New Years!

Oh, and while we’re dipping back into the archives, I just rediscovered this little slideshow I put together using images from our shoot last January. Its been some time since I used Animoto… but I think I’ll break it back out for the New Year, especially for family shoots where their extensive (and often exclusive) music library really hits home:) Enjoy!

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CBC Photojournalism | The Tsawwassen First Nation’s road to independence

At long last! The First Nations: Mapping the Future feature I worked on for CBC is finally up and live on the site.  My contribution (detailed in the blog post below) focused on the Tsawwassen First Nation’s – aka the TFN’s – post-treaty development as the first urban first nation to break free of the Indian Act and emerge as self-governing entity. Big thanks to TFN Chief Kim Baird for her time on this piece.

Here are the YouTube embeds featured in the piece. See the whole interactive feature on CBCnews.ca by following the link above.

The Long Road to Self Government:

Training For a Better Future:

Transforming the Land:



The founding documents of a new nation

I’m in the midst of an assignment for the CBC photographing and interviewing members of the Tsawwassen First Nation – the first urban First Nation in B.C. to settle treaty negotiations and emerge with its own government. The Tsawwassen segment, once I’m done in the field, is intended to be part of a series of stories on Canadian First Nations that have gone through the treaty process. The feature is meant to mark a point in time – a historic milestone really – from which point the future is unknown. For the 420 or so members of the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) and their chief,

The Chief, at home in her office

Kim Baird, their people’s centuries old struggle with the Indian Act came to an end on April 3, 2009 – the date their treaty came into affect after 20 years of negotiations led by Chief Baird. Soon after the TFN’s newly formed Legislature sat for the first time and now, just over a year later, ground has been broken on a $9-Million infrastructure program that will see, if all goes as planned, the construction of a massive container yard intended to service the nearby super tanker port, commercial development, houses and condos. In short, the financial foundation for the TFN’s future. Its an exciting time and a great assignment.

Soon the fields and muddy roads in these photographs will be paved and built up but for now, or on the evening I took these photos anyway, the TFN’s land was quiet. There were few people on the streets – save for construction crews and there was a real stillness about the place, like even the ground knew things would never be the same again. It will be interesting to see how the physical and cultural landscape of the TFN changes over the next little while and I hope to be back there often enough to document that change.

Here’s what it looks like now…

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New Westminster Wedding Photography | Gallbraith Manor Wedding

Just working through proofs for a wedding album for our family/clients, Tom + Carol. They were married this summer at New Westminster’s Gallbraith Manor – a beautiful old heritage home cica 1892. In keeping with the period feel of the venue, I was aiming to re-create some of that ‘vibe’ in their album pages. The backgrounds for the pages are fuzzed out and cropped detail images taken on the wedding day – close-ups of the flowers, wall paper… the cake. Stuff with nice texture! I then adorned the pages with some nifty little grunge scrolls from the Graphic Authority to complete the look. Hopefully they like it!

Here’s a sneak peak:

*Oh, and the black pages are supposed to be there… just part of the album layout. I should also mention, this will be a Kingston flush mount album with a burgundy leather, cameo cover featuring a photo from the wedding day. 12 inches by 12 inches square. Its going to be one gorgeous book! Guaranteed for life, BTW…

Here we go:

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