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!

ROCK-ON!!!

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 🙂

Double non Genre by JR Krauss

I created and designed a CD cover and booklet top to bottom and side to side along with my friend Jason Dack. What a rush and experience it was. Woot!!

With it’s edgy guitar playing and smooth lyrics this album feels right on a long road trip or when I’m home with a really good sound system. It’s Canadiana – a music genre coined to reflect Canada’s diverse cultures and music. It’s fun, bright, catchy, romantic, honest and rockish with hints of country and jazz.

I met the man behind the tracks, Randy Krauss, a few years ago taking photos of a motorcycle event in Calgary. I did a bit of work for him afterwards putting together a really cool poster of his Norton 850 Commando. A beautiful bike! But, that’s another story.

© Cecile Gambin Photography
Bob Christy – Track 2 ‘Crows Road’ (L) and Randy Krauss (R) with his wicked Dusenberg Guitar.

Randy reached out to me early summer to see if I would be interested in creating a CD cover and inside booklet from start to finish. I would head up the entire operation. OMG! YES!! 

I spent a few weeks listening to the tracks and studied the title before I did anything else. Since I was on vacation it felt right to sit down by the dock with a Kracken n’ Coke to listen, think, feel and refine my ideas.

I contacted my friend Jason Dack, a fellow photographer and graphic artist, whom I knew enjoyed music and would appreciate working on this project. Together, we hashed out ideas and eventually created several images and layout options for Randy to choose from.

Once the layout was chosen my next step was to find a suitable duplication services company. I eventually chose Sask Media. Don, the owner, was instrumental in a timely production and was there the entire way answering emails on weekends, late at night etc.

© Cecile Gambin Photography
We used a combination of stock images as well as those I took from both an informal and formal photo sessions with Randy. We wanted the photos to reflect the songs and the vibe of the music.
© Cecile Gambin Photography

A large part of the success is that I understood what Randy wanted and was after. Take the cover for example, Randy a retired pilot, often saw dark, looming clouds while coming in for a landing in his native Southern Alberta. And, his explanation of how he remembered his mother in the song ‘Ella and Her Fella’ as a young boy had me in tears. The production of a CD is more than just putting photos together – it’s essential to get the vibe right and have the images tell a story that coincides with the songs, and the artist.

© Cecile Gambin Photography
© Cecile Gambin Photography

I could go on about how Jason and I put this together but it’s rather nerdy, and techy. It’s suffice to say that I couldn’t have done this without Jason’s savy Illustrator and graphic arts skill set. We met a lot of good people along the way, and had fun working and creating this project. Smart writing, talented musicians, recording gurus, photographers and graphic artists pulled together to create a very strong album.

You can find Double non Genre on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Deezer and CD Baby. Or, click here for the full album. For the best experience grab a drink, sit back, crank it up and don’t be afraid to sing or play your favourite air-instrument.

Naming Ceremony

It was both a privilege and an honour to be asked to take photos for a naming ceremony for the Skawahlook First Nations.

It was also great timing that my youngest son and myself just came back from a 1 night, 2 day stay at an outdoor education center just a few days before where we just had our own naming ceremony. I was a parent volunteer with his class and we slept in a log house with the biggest roaring fire .

While I am not comparing the ceremony of a grade 4 class to this one I understand the importance and the significance of receiving a name. After the day I went home and told of my experience to my son and compared notes.





Outlaw Run and Reprobates!

At Traction eRag we don’t do things the normal way. We meet strange characters, do strange things, are largely unprincipled and, generally have lots of fun. That’s why we’re called reprobates.

Traction’s latest adventure was The Outlaw Run which took riders from the four corners of the world to Kamloops, BC. I was fortunate enough to ride with the group from the third week. I saw old friends from a previous Traction adventure – Woods Runners – and, made new friends. And, the riding…first class just like the meals. We rode alpine to desert trails. Fast and flowy to tech and sketch with lots of support in between. Can’t wait for next years adventure!

Please visit my gallery for photos. Also, if you are interested in a book let me know. I can customize one for you. Email me for details.

Here are the links to the photos:

Tuesday, September 17: https://order.cecilegambin.com/p460559921

Wednesday, September 18: https://order.cecilegambin.com/p982477647

Thank you!!

Riding up to 8700 feet my weapon of choice was my 2007 Gas Gas TXT Pro for it’s light-weight, nimbleness and ease of riding up and over these boulders with my load.
It was cold. And, at one point we had sideways snow. The weather conditions added to the dramatic, and stark beauty of the alpine.
And, this is why I carry a big, heavy backpack full of camera gear. It’s for photos like this. A perfect day for me is riding, taking photos and being with friends. Bliss. Rider: Kevan Bernards

Family Trips – Camera Phones or DSLRs?

I did it again. I decided to forego my DSLR for my iPhone 7+ during a recent back country trip with my family.

My 55 litre backpack was stuffed with the usual back country necessities – food, fuel, sleeping bag, tent, and extra socks. Quite literally, I didn’t have the room for my Nikon beast. I’d have to buy a bigger backpack. The hike itself is touted as one of Garibaldi’s Provincial Parks toughest climbs – a 7 km hike with over 1200 + meters of climbing over rocks, roots, ridiculously steep climbs and a 500 meter scramble at the end.

I realized that the only people who will see my photos will be my family, and you via my blog. Most likely, these photos won’t be published so I really didn’t need the bulk and the weight of my DSLR. I decided that having a lighter backpack, and spending less time getting the camera out of it and ultimately upsetting (enraging?) my boys outweighed the benefits of a cumbersome camera.

It’s important for me to have memories of our trip and the camera phone is the perfect tool. I can record short videos, take photos as well as panoramic shots and it’s quick and easy to take out and use. I found I took more photos than I would have with the DSLR tucked away in my backpack. Plus, there’s the added bonus of charging one phone versus a phone and a camera, so my portable power pack lasted that much longer.

Most of my photos will be printed in a 4×6, 4×10 and 5×7 format and put into a family album. I may use a few photos for a potential future article. As long as they aren’t printed too large or zoomed in too much the camera phone pics will work perfectly well. If I was on assignment for a client by all means I would have bought a larger backpack and clipped my DSLR onto my packs shoulder strap for easy access. But, it wasn’t a photo session. It was a good old fashion family trip.

Did I miss my DSLR? Yes and no. I did miss it on our last morning before the descent. The light had a surreal quality to it and I would have loved to have my Nikon for fine detail, range dynamics and shutter speed and aperture options. However, when I think of the climb up and the tough downhill that was ahead of us I’m glad I chose my iPhone for weight, speed and ease of use. 

All in all, the camera phone did a great job. It’s all I need for my intended use.  The photos are perfectly fine for my family to view on a computer or in a printed album.

As for the trip…it was one of our most memorable. It was definitely a challenge but the hike up was worth the hard work. The weather cooperated despite the clouds constantly blowing in and out. More importantly, it didn’t rain! The look on my boys faces when they saw and touched the glacier, and realizing its age, was priceless.

Signing of Letter of Understanding

Chief Maureen Champman with the Honourable Carolyn Bennett

Yesterday, I once again had the privilege to not only attend but also to photograph an historic event held close to Hope, BC. that saw the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and the Tiyt Tribe sign a Letter of Understanding.

I was asked to photograph the event by the Skawahlook community which took place in a Chawathil First Nation community centre not far from Hope, BC. The focus of my photos was to capture the full event.

Honourable Carolyn Bennett with Sq’Ewa:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation members Chief Maureen Chapman and Debra Schneider
Siyá:m Shane James Shxw’ōwhámel First Nation
Gift Exchange

Skawahlook First Nation

I am honoured to have been asked to take photos for the Sq’ewa:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation conference that was held over the weekend of August 10, 2019.

It was a special weekend for a variety of First Nation members as they convened for a day full of talks, activities, and family fun just outside Agassiz, BC.

The conference was held in a beautiful wooden cedar hall with warm tones. There was a mixture of natural, incandescent, and fluorescent light which made for some challenging lighting. To top it off there was a screen projector – the type with a colour wheel that spins around throwing out some interesting colours on the screen when I took photos. A high shutter speed will stop the motion of the colours being displayed on the screen so I would get a green screen or a red one etc. To counteract this I had to adjust my shutter speed to match the speed of the spin. I took a few custom white balances around the room as well and took photos at various angles to help minimize this rainbow of colours.

I was hesistant to use flash mainly because I did not want to interrupt the speakers and the work flow when the groups were collaborating. This meant I had to bump up my ISO fairly high and choose my lenses accordingly. I did not want to get in the speakers way nor the audiences so I shot with my f 2.8, 70-200mm but this also meant that I had less light coming into the lens. I chose my f 2.8, 24-70mm for when I could get closer and not interrupt. This lens also gave me a lot more light to work with.

While the morning was reserved for work and meetings the afternoon became more lively for families with children. Soaking in the late afternoon sun the kids, and parents alike, jumped, slid and ate ice cream after a traditional dinner of salmon and bannock. 

Thank you to the Sq’ewa:lxw for allowing me to be there. You made me feel very welcome and I very much enjoyed my day working, and getting to know you.

Cats are Not Dogs

Except for Bengals. They are, cat-dogs.

More boisterous than other felines these mini-leopards run, jump, explore, play in water, and then run and jump some more. Which makes photographing them interesting, fun and real test in patience and skills.

Meet Casper. He’s a 5 month old Bengal who is unusually timid. Probably because he was the runt of his litter and confidence is a struggle for him. Photographing him was a bit more difficult over other cats and dogs I’ve worked with but with some patience and a few tricks up my sleeve I was able to get him to relax enough to show his sweet side.

Before I take photos of animals I meet with their owners to get a sense of their pets personality. That’s what I’m interested in. I want to capture what makes them them – their uniqueness, their quirks, their grimaces, their furry smile and their thoughts. The fun, and the pure awesomeness that went with having them by my side day in and day out. That’s how I would want to remember my pet.

I try not to keep the animal longer than needed. I realise they have more important things to do in their lives like eat and play. Sometimes a photo session can last 30 minutes or longer than an hour. Whatever the case, I don’t rush it. I’m flexible and work with you and your pet.

For inquiries or to book a photo session please contact me via email or phone. You can find my coordinates on my contact page. Thanks!