One of my favourite types of photography is environmental portraits. What attracts me to this genre is capturing my client in their element, surrounded by where they live or what they do for work. I love the freedom, and the creativity of showcasing my subject in an area they feel the most comfortable in and getting away from a typical pose or smile.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing people over the last few months and up front I need to thank them for their time and their confidence in me to show them in a not-so-typical photograph.
Many of these photos were recently published in the February 2016 issue of Traction eRag which happened to be the first All-Women’s issue for the magazine itself and, I believe, in the dirt bike world period. The issue is nothing short of awesomeness as it represents women from all ages and skills getting down to the barebones and exposing their fears, success, excitement, bravery, skills, hardwork and dedication that it took to get them where they are today. Click Traction eRag Women’s Issue 2016 for the issue…it’s FREE but I do encourage you to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any future awesomeness. I am extremely pround and humbled to have been able to be a part of this special issue.
It’s always a hoot working with Desiree Ellis. She’s stylist, a make-up artist and a former IFBB competitor. So being in front of the camera doesn’t intimidate her and I have so little retouching to do both on and off the set. It’s almost like cheating! Desiree’s a talented artist guaranteed to make you look good. Check out her website for more info.
After years of posing in front of an audience Desiree’s hardest challenge was to let loose and give me a non-posed smile. And we got there!! I love this photo of Desiree above. It shows who she really is – an energetic and caring person who takes her job seriously and is tons of fun to hang around with!
The full length photo below was taken a few months ago after I had rented a couple of strip boxes, and big strobes for the weekend for a job that required it a few days later. Needing to practice with them and wanting to take advantage of my time with them I called up Desiree and placed the lights one on each side of her. I love how the light accentuates her curves in a soft way. I could totally get used to having a set of these light modifiers – they were so much fun to play around with and the creativity with them was sky high.
It was a mad dash to get from one location to the other before the sun faded but we did it!
After showing my client two very different and distinct backgrounds in West Vancouver we decided to go for it and hold the photo session in two separate locations one right after the other. This mother and daughter team rocked the scene with contagious laughter and smiles.
So why would I attempt to photograph them in two locations? Because I knew that both areas would suit them so why not give them the best of both worlds. Plus, there’s something special about Lighthouse Park and Whytecliff Park and their ability to put us all in a calm, serene, and content state. One is known for its edgy, craggy, sharp rocks and the other for it’s smooth, round ones.
The afternoon started at Lighthouse Park and as usual both offered spectacular backdrops. As the late November afternoon slipped away we made our way to Whytecliff and got really lucky as the sun dropped, first turning yellow, than orange and finally that sought after crimson. The colours were simply insane! It was worth staying late.
Let’s talk. If you like my style and you feel I am the photographer for you…send me an email and let’s plan something cool!!
Part II – The journey starts at the bike shop the day before the ride only to find out it had snowed at the top of the peak that morning.
And so it begins…early Sunday seven of us left at 8:30 to begin a rather long climb. Our goal was to reach the top of Granite Mountain where the rest of the party would be waiting for the ceremony. Included in that group was Tammie’s oldest sister Sherry and her husband Sheldon, the Wedding Commissioner and the rest of my camera equipment (thanks Sheldon!).
We slowly made our way uphill through gorgeous single track moving in and out of the pine scented forests. Fashionably late we arrived at Granite Mountain 45 minutes behind schedule (probably my fault as I wanted a few photos along the way and was a wee bit slow climbing). The ceremony was held on the platform of a small warming hut at the top of Red Mountain Ski Resort where the clouds blew in and out faster than you could say ‘I do’. I suspect it was a balmy 2 or 3 degrees Celsius.
The Wedding Commissioner, Roberta Post, began as Tammie and Mark stood opposite of her. I’m sure she was using the hut to shield her from the wind. Smart. The rest of us gathered around, cold yet warm. Every so often a cloud would lift revealing the layers of mountains below. In a few weeks time this area will become snow-covered leaving behind any trace we may have left. Yet this special day will live forever through stories and photos among friends and family.
The ceremony was without a doubt beautiful as the commissioner read the vows. We looked on as both Tammie and Marks’ smiles warmed our cold hands. And as if on queue the clouds lifted and a ray on sunshine fell on them both just before their kiss. Cheers and clapping erupted as we congratulated them on the beginning of their life journey together.
We took a few photos of the group and left fairly quickly to make the 1:30 pm Poker Ride cut-off time. At this point I believe we had covered the largest portion of climbing and looked forward to shorter, steeper, smaller climbs and fast downhills. The recent rains made for excellent trail conditions offering unrivaled uphill traction and stable corners.
Part of the attraction of a Poker Ride is the camaraderie and Revolution Cycles brought it out in full-force. With check-in points along the 36 km route riders drew cards, threw darts, played Trivial Pursuit, and belted out old TV shows songs for everyone to hear.
I would like to thank Revolution Cycles for a very well organized event. And for the cool t-shirts (in both men and women’s cut non-the-less)!! Maybe one day I’ll have another opportunity to tackle this ride. It was hard but not impossible and I’m super happy to have completed it….albeit in my own fashion.
Congratulations to Tammie and Mark for a wildly fun and successful day!! It was an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to photograph and share this special day with you.
If I’m going to shoot a wedding let it be this type. Thanks for allowing me creative freedom 🙂
…and by Anti-Wedding I mean that Tammie and Mark did not follow most wedding traditions which is why this wedding was THE most fun to photograph and attend.
A few months ago I found out that Tammie and Mark had plans to marry during the Seven Summits Poker Ride while climbing a ridiculous amount. The event, organized by Revolution Bikes, is an official IMBA ‘epic’ ride and hails out of Rossland, BC. And as the name suggests it covers seven peaks.
I knew Tammie would not have a typical wedding and I jumped at the chance to photograph it. My idea was to capture them before, during and after the wedding. I had already arranged an afternoon photo session Saturday which would ensure me that their white spandex cycling outfits would remain clean. Being unfamiliar with the area and having arrived late Friday night local Rossi residents and friends of the bride and groom, Tennille and Kelly, were instrumental helping me find a suitable location – I needed one that offered a simple, clean background that showcased Rossland. I knew I wanted a photo of the towns iconic main strip and also wanted to incorporate a large white pedestrian crosswalk into my final shot that I had seen earlier in the day (it reminded me of The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ cover album). I must also give a big thank you to Zabrina Nelson, of ‘Revival Boutique’ downtown Rossland for lending us the white umbrella. I saw the umbrella sitting on a shelf and couldn’t help myself with laughter. It was the perfect compliment to the wedding and it’s ‘anti-movement’.
Both are fun people and my goal was to provide a long lasting memory of the best day of their lives. I wanted to keep the photos simple but introduce an element of tradition in their non-traditional wedding, while keeping the overall feeling of the photos fun. Something which I hope they will cherish and not get bored looking at. I’m pretty sure I captured the mood and the personalities of them both and am super stoked at the results!!
I am deeply honoured to have been able to share this important day with Tammie and Mark. I love the idea of having a fun wedding that isn’t about formality, traditions and rigidness. It was clear that both the bride and groom, along with their friends and family enjoyed the day.
As for me … I never dreamed of photographing weddings but if they could all be this cool and I could have creative control than I could really get into it! So if you are planning some wild and extreme wedding…send me an email!
Stay tuned for Part II – bikes, snow, wind, cold, fun, laughter, marriage, single track, vistas, uphills and downhills for a not so typical wedding atop Granite Mountain. To be released real soon!!
I haven’t been this giddy about a wedding in a long time. It’s not that I didn’t like my own but this one was different. For starters, there was no groom. There wasn’t even a wedding. There was only one photographer, a make-up artist/hair stylist, a model and a wedding dress.
Desiree Ellis (make-up/hair stylist) and Sambrina Lawrence (model) met me for what turned out to be one of my most memorable photos sessions to date. Dressed in a wedding dress Sambrina bravely carried her train in her arms as she negotiated a steep, narrow rocky dirt path down to the waters edge.
After a small detour (I took a wrong turn) we settled on a nice rock and began shooting. The magic didn’t happen though until the party boats dropped by, and the liquid sunshine poured in.
I had been planning this session for a few months with Desiree and had originally thought about setting camp at Whyte Cliff Park. Checking with the marine forecast I realized my chosen spot was to be underwater for the time frame and date that had been selected. Re-booking the session was not an option so I worked around the tides and found another suitable location. The goal of the photo shoot was to highlight Desiree’s work.
My set-up was simple and appropriate – two lenses, a light, a voice controlled tripod and a reflector. I wanted a clean, energetic and bright shot that could be found in a haute-couture print ad that showcased Desiree’s make-up, and Sambrina’s refined look against deep blue-bird skies.
As we shot, on-lookers peered and party-boats danced and cheered on us from behind us. It was rather amusing and added to the excitement and buzz of a not-so-real wedding bridal shoot. To say the least it was a festive and productive afternoon that put all 3 of us in a superb mood. Simply said it was fun!!!
I love working with people that allow me creative freedom. I also enjoy the challenges that come with working on a live set unscripted by walls. Thank you Desiree and Sambrina for your professionalism. I am beyond stoked with my photos and had an awesome time!!
To better reflect my photography my web designer Karen Cowl of Stripe Graphics Ltd.and ‘behind-the-scenes’ super code guy Calvin Lim of Blue Comet Solutionscame up with a clean, modern design that is both simple to use and navigate. Plus, it’s mobile friendly.
My photography over the past few years has changed focus and I needed a website to better communicate that to clients. Take the self-guided tour and let me know what you think by sending me an email using the link found at the bottom of the page(s).
I’ve been busy over the last few weeks and have been holding back posting photos on a few of my recent photo shoots. I’ll be releasing a few over the next few weeks so check back for more. No more hiding…this is the new me and I hope you like it.
Thanks for stopping by and looking. And, don’t forget to find me on Facebook under Cecile Gambin Photography for really up-to-date news!
Today I had the pleasure of taking follow up photos for one of my clients who has been working hard at the gym as well as watching her diet over the past few months.
Comparing her photos from before the holidays to this session it’s evident that she is leaner. Congrats on your newly toned body! Work hard…reap the benefits.
My photo set up was similar to the previous session. My thought was to include identical poses so that a comparison could easily be made as well as introduce a few new ones. I kept the lighting identical but used only one backdrop this time around. The idea was to keep the photo simple so that the focus of the image remained on her and her hard work.
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