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.

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 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:

Wednesday, September 18:

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

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.