Artist Feature: J. Randy Krauss

That Gal Wears Black

New single release date June 3, 2023.

Double non Genre

CD Cover + Insert


A self-titled album cover.

Over the past few years I have been working with musician J. Randy Krauss on a variety of projects ranging from CD Covers to Posters to a full-blown CD Cover + Insert. See my post on his album ‘Double non Genre’ that my friend Jason Dack and myself created a while back with the sweetest insert (super proud of what we created)! Just like the good old days of sitting on the floor, listening to music while reading the album inside covers and leaflets.

Randy’s latest albums and singles are smoooooth and Canadian! His jazzy notes combined with hints of country remind me of what a good whiskey should drink like: smooth and gets better with age.

I had the priveledge of listening to the single ‘That Gal Wears Black’ ahead of its release date to help me design the CD Cover. The image itself has a cool story that begs to be told – it was created by one of Randy’s high school shop teachers in the early 70’s for Randy’s old band. That’s one cool cat to draw a poster for his student! I had Randy go to a professional scanner so he could send the digital file to me. It was faded, ripped in the corners, and had pencil and tape marks. I cleaned it up in Photoshop allowing me to continue with the design process. The poster was originally black and white but I changed the white to a cream colour and the black to a dark grey. I felt this suited the song better as it created wamer tones oozing with slickness.

The single ‘That Gal Wears Black’ releases June 3, 2023. This is one song you won’t want to miss!!

Hailing from Calgary Randy has produced several albums and his latest single ‘Walkin’ in Saskatoon’ is a rich and a romantically feel-good piece. Click here for a quick listen.

You can find Randy’s music on Spotify and on Apple Music.

Rascally Rabbits

It’s been busy at Cool Cat Photography. Big live fluffy rabbits with floppy ears. Real life sized Gunds!

Working with the rabbits was nothing short of fun. I set up my tables, paper and lights and they didn’t listen to cues, sniffed, ate, and kept wanting to hop away. LOL! But, you just can’t get mad at them. Waaay too cute and funny! So, I worked at their pace like I do with all my animal clients. The pets dictate the session. I just provide the equipment and the skills to take fun, family portaits!

Cats, dogs, horses, and now rabbits. Interested in photos of your furry friend? I’d love to hear from you.

Climbing Fears

As I dangled over the edge my mind said yes and my body said no. Or, was it the other way around? All I know was when I was asked to walk backwards into the void I found my voice and it firmly said ‘nope…not happening’!

I was proud of myself for somewhat hanging over the upper part of that ledge right below the tree in the above photo and taking photos. I wasn’t super comfortable at first but the more I hung around the better it got. Afterall, I was in a harness and securely tied off so I knew I wasn’t going to fall. The problem was my mind didn’t believe me. It was a total mindphuck!

And, then it was time to move and I knew, onto bigger and scarier things. Yelp!

My friends Jasmine and Marie-Eve took me on a short climbing expedition. Armed with my camera and several lenses I took on the challenge. While I didn’t achieve rapel down (the 100 meter drop, the jagged rocks below and the cold, torrential waters did it in for me) I am proud of the photos I took from where I was.

My friends made climbing look easy and that gave me an false sense of ‘easey peasey, I can do this’ attitude. Ha! I was so wrong. I think I would have mustered my fears had I have started on an easier, and shorter pitch but, I think Marie-Eve was getting back at me for taking her on a black diamond mountain bike trail littered with skinny’s and drops (and, it was only her second time on a mtb). Serves me right. Payback is a bitch! LOL!!

I learned a lot in the few hours we had and had tons of FUN (except for the part where I couldn’t see my feet). I’d love to have the experience again! I just need a bit more warmup time before the big drop into nothingness!

Merci les filles!!!

HNY 2022

WOW! I cannot believe an entire year went by and not one post by me. Let’s just say 2021 flew by…at least it did for me.

A HUGE thank-you to DNV Fire Fighters who came to the rescue!

First, and foremost, COVID-19 threw a wrench in my photography business. Like many, I have a mortgage, and a family. Common sense told me that I needed to take a step back from photography as it wasn’t making financial sense. In 2020 I ‘lost’ my job as a ‘Teacher on Call’ (a substitute) when schools closed down and an online model became available. This was also the time where my husband began working from home due to COVID and my studio now became his office. At the end of 2020 and into 2021, I had the oportunity to be regularly employed. Today I am an elementary school teacher-librarian and I absolutely LOVE the position. It offers me a creative outlet, I see kids learning and I get to read books to them!!! Well, it’s a little bit more detailed than that but, the point is, I’m happy where I am today.

So, why did my year fly by?

In April, I went for a ride with my husband and youngest on a mountain bike trail I’ve ridden many times. However, I messed up bad. Real bad. We had to call Emergency Services to haul me off the mountain. I ended up with a broken tibia-plateau, and messed up ligaments and cartilage to my right knee. I was bed-ridden for a month as I could not move. The first two weeks my leg was straight out as I was in a full-cast. After that, I was able to move around a bit using crutches. I took the time off work to heal. I had LOTS of time on my hand and lots of time to think about things. One such thought was towards my photography business and equipment. My gear sat in my camera bag and it sat unused for over a year. I contemplated selling it. But, I could not bear to do it. I love my camera too much and I am not ready to let go of photography.

Fast forward a few months. I am back at school as the Teacher-Librarian and still loving it. I have also accepted that photography has been put on the sideburner for a while. I am not stopping as I will always be a photographer. But, I just don’t have the time, or money to actively market myself to re-start my business. I will pursue it again in the future. But, right now COVID makes everything uncertain.

In short, Cecile Gambin Photography and Cool Cat Photography are NOT closed. But, I am not marketing myself. If you would like a photography session please let me know and I will be there for you. I love photography and it’s creative process too much to just drop it.

Thank you to all my past and current clients for helping me become the photographer I am today!!

Art Reproduction

Artist: Moira Elliot. For this piece I needed to rake my lights so that I could keep dimension that Moira painted.

There are some seriously talented artists on the North Shore.

I had the pleasure to work with two artists over the past few weeks reproducing their original work into a digital file.

While some may think it’s an easy job and all they need to do is come in, take a picture and leave this cannot be further from the truth. Take for example Moira Elliott‘s piece above. Moira has a lot of dimension in her pieces and I needed to keep that 3D look. I achieved this with lights taking care to achieve the correct shadow. Colour balance is also necessary so that there is colours are accurate. On the camera side, I center the painting with my lens to avoid distortion. Choosing the correct lens is very important for accuracy while reducing the risks of distortion. Finally, there’s post-production. I try and minimize the amount of time behind the computer by spending my time in front of the camera getting it right the first time however, there is always some sort of post-production which can be anywhere from 1- 4 hours.

Many of the artists I have worked with need correct imaging for galleries, websites, or simply to print. The good folks at Opus Fine Arts in North Vancouver do an amazing job at printing and have a wide assortment of fine art papers to choose from.

Artist: Kristen Walters. I just love the creativity Kristen took from nature. For this piece I needed to carefully cut-out the salmon, keeping the lines, texture etc. in line with the artists vision and clean up the file in post-production.

If you are in need of a digital print for your image contact me so we can discuss.

Add a bit of Bling to your Face Mask

Adding bling to your face mask is a sure way of getting you to wear them (more). But, finding the right photo isn’t as easy as you think.

Not all photos are made to go on a mask. You need to consider colour, composition, sharpness, contrast and the quality (resolution) of the photo as well as the type of printing and the material it will be printed on.

Lucky for my kids, I’m a pet photographer and they were able to choose their favourite photo of our cats so that I could order their very own face masks. The verdict? They LOVE them. Letting them choose the photo was key as it gave them control over their masks and they are proud to show off their furry friend. Perfect for school and getting them to wear them.

I used a local printer. The masks are made with a stretchy material and slip on easily over the ears for a comfy, secure fit. They come in 3 sizes – small, medium and large. I ordered a large for my husband and it fits him great. For myself and the kids I ordered a medium . It fits me perfectly. However, the mask is a tad loose on both my boys. I think I’m going to reorder another set for them (with different photos for the fun of it) in the small size. My kids are aged 10 and 13.

If you are interested in customizing your face masks with a photo of your dog, cat, fish, horse or other animal let me know. I’d love to take a photo of them indoors or outdoors (don’t worry, I am practicing Covid-19 rules). Pay for the photo session and I’ll throw in a mask for free with your choice of photo. Not only will you end up with a kickass mask you’ll also have high-end photos that you can use for custom prints, wall-art, albums or a coffee table book.

$49.99 – gets you a short photo session, you choose the photo or I can help you and, a mask. I’d love to hear from you!!


Rainy Days & Mountain Bikes

I needed a rainy day to help me clear off my desk. I admit to taking advantage of the recent stretch of sunny weather we’ve had. It felt good to get out and camp, hike, and ride with my family. Just getting out of the house and not worrying about where and when my next client will come in felt good. It was good for the soul as they say.

I’m hoping photography will pick up within the next few months as routines slowly fall back into place after a world-wide Covid-19 shutdown. Fall and winter are my favourite times to take photos. Inclement weather…what’s that?

I’m available for action shots, portraits (both indoors and out), product, event and animal photography. Contact me for more info.

Welcome to Cool Cat Photography!

Cecile Gambin Photography (CGP) is going through a cool change. Thanks in part to Covid-19 with some new-found time, I have decided to refocus my brand and split my CGP website in two. CGP will remain as is, concentrating on people, action, editorial and event photography. However, my animals side of photography will now have it’s own website:

Cool Cat Photography

I love animals and have always had cats and dogs even though I’m allergic to them. Pet photography is something I really enjoy doing and I am fortunate to be able to meet some really cool furry friends and their owners.

By creating a new website that’s 100% focused on animals I am able to showcase all the glorious, kooky fur-babies without distraction from my other photography. It was time to give the fur-balls their own website.

I chose the name Cool Cat to represent my photos – modern, striking, and colourful – much like when the term is used to describe a hip, and cool jazz guitar player. While I have no business playing the guitar in front of a crowd I do appreciate the connotation and the image that the words ‘cool cat’ evoke. And, I just like the words. Can you dig it?

I hope you’ll take a cruise through this website and, perhaps, take the time to leave a comment on this blog. As always, please feel free to share Cool Cat Photography and let your friends know about me. A referral is the best form of flattery.

As a thank you I’d like to offer you a 10% discount for future booking sessions (just let me know at the time of the booking).

Pandemic restrictions are slowly being lifted across the country. While these are in place, I will be taking outdoor sessions only, shooting with a long lens and keeping my social distance.

© Cecile Gambin Photography

The real deal – Sour Dough Photo Session

© Cecile Gambin Photography

My mouth watered as I walked into the kitchen carrying in my photography gear. Sixteen home-made sour dough breads. Warm, and deliciously yummy looking. Have you ever smelled bread baking?

Oh sooooo…good!

COVID-19 UPDATE: I took these photos back in spring and have held onto them to coincide with Chef Zayne’s launch. But then Covid-19 happened. Rest assured that Chef Zayne is a one-man operation and follows the recommendation for increased sanitation and hygiene practice to insure a safe and clean product.

I set up my equipment and together with Chef Zayne from Sour Dough Breads, spent the next few hours composing, slicing, creating, taking photos and yes, tasting the goods.

This was my first time photographing food and I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed it. It tapped into my creative side. Presenting food and dishes for photography is not as easy as it looks. It needs to be fresh and tasty looking, healthy, and nutritious. We eat with our eyes and my photos need to reflect that.

My goal for the photo shoot was to provide Chef Zayne with usable photos for his website and social media to help him launch his bread-making business. I wanted the bread to convey freshness and mouth-watering goodness. His clients need to know know that he makes these bread the traditional way. I achieved this through a combination of different lens, natural light as well as studio lights to give me a professional, polished look yet keeping the photos natural looking.

© Cecile Gambin Photography
© Cecile Gambin Photography
© Cecile Gambin Photography
© Cecile Gambin Photography
© Cecile Gambin Photography
© Cecile Gambin Photography
© Cecile Gambin Photography

If you are interested in the most yummiest sour dough bread click on Sour Bros Bread. Zayne delivers twice a week through North Vancouver and Vancouver.

If you are interested in having me come and photograph your food, whether it’s for a restaurant, a bakery or a coffee shop, contact me and let’s talk!


The legends have spoken and the bands have answered.

The energy level was nothing short of high last night at The Blueshore Financial Theatre located at Capilano University. The crowd cheered and rocked-on as bands took over the stage one after another for a spectacular two hour show that would have us hear songs from rock legends such as David Bowie, Queen, Mötley Crüe, Guns n’ Roses, Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, Prince and more.

Thanks to Deep Cove Music for organizing an amazing band program for kids to play, learn, and cooperate as a band. I know my son and his band mates, The Mop Dogs, are loving this opportunity.

Enough said, here are a few photos to wet your whistle for next years show!

Photos remain copyright of your friendly neighborhood photographer. I would rather give, than you take without permission. Just ask please 🙂