I’ve been working hard for this over the past few months and am beyond STOKED!!! The criteria – 10 images of 10 different dogs in 10 different situations. Four of the images must have been made indoors, 4 others outdoors and the last 2 were of my choice. I was judged for creativity, composition, lighting, technique, subject matter, presentation, story telling, centre of interest, style and colour balance. That’s a lot but when you’re representing the PPOC and want to be a top notch photographer this is what is expected.
I know I’m all giddy but this is a HUGE deal to me. This is THE highest standard in professional imaging. I now get to proudly display PPOC on my website and represent them. I take this seriously and aim to produce strong, technically correct and emotional photos that have impact and meaning.
As many of you know a few years ago I used to race downhill mountain bikes. While I rode at breakneck speeds I had no issues doing this in front of everybody. The final time on the scoreboard was absolute. I knew where I stood. Photography, however, has taken me outside my comfort zone. I put my heart into my photos and hope that people like them and not laugh at my work or ideas. Unlike racing, exhibiting my photos is really nerve racking. In essence, I’m putting my inner me out there for all to see. Submitting for accreditation in front of Canada’s best photographers was hard for me.
I cannot thank my husband David and my children enough. They put up with me going out at all hours and working long nights and often days making sure each photo was worthy of being submitted. David – thank you for putting up with me during this time. I also could not have done this without all the special furry friends (and their non-furry owners). Thank you Paul Johnson Desiree Ellis Lalena Desautels Robin Banks Chetti Pece Amy Siddaway and the others who are not on the net.
This is Laird. He’s a 20 year old stallion and he’s majestic.
Recently, I had the opportunity to take photos of a few horses. I loved every minute of it for several reasons:
Like most girls, I always wanted a horse. But, growing up in an inner-city Toronto neighborhood that wasn’t going to happen. I did ask my grandfather in France to get a horse instead of all the cows he kept on the farm. But, that didn’t work either. Probably because the tractor had already replaced his horse a long time ago and, most likely, because I was only there for 3 weeks.
It was a challenge. Horses, unlike mountain bikes or motorcycles, have a mind of their own and they are 1500+ lbs of pure muscle.
But, I like a challenge. I had already envisioned the type of photo I wanted to create and capture. I purposely chose a black background for Laird because, well, he’s black, and I thought that suited him, but also because he exudes confidence. With minimal detail in the photo I found it was a colour he could pull off largely because of his personality.
I am quite comfortable taking photos of 2-wheeled machines and used that experience to help me take photos of these 4-legged creatures (gasp! How dare I compare a horse to a bike). In all honesty though, in the world of photography, horses and bikes really aren’t that different. Many of the same photographic principles (technique, composition, lens choice) apply. I knew what lens would make him look his best and where to place the strobes to highlight and give depth to his coat. I also understood where I should aim the camera to compliment him.
I will be the first to admit that taking photos of bikes is far easier than taking photos of horses. Horses don’t perk their ears forward on demand, nor do they turn their neck when asked. And, at the slightest hint of fear or the unknown those ears go back fast and their nostrils flare which doesn’t make for flattering photos. While there are tricks (and, we used them all) patience is key for a successful, and safe, portrait.
Luckily, for me…I like horses and I have patience. As did the handler and co-owner of Laird, Candice. A mighty big thank you to her for her assistance handling her horse, and her endless supply of carrots and mints while I worked the camera and the flash.
I would love to have the opportunity to work with your horse. If you would be interested in a photo session please feel free to contact me so we can talk about what you can expect, how long it will take, prices and what type of photo you are after.
Meet Zayne Heyes. He’s just turned nineteen and his future is bright with cycling. Formerly a XC ski racer, Zayne turned his attention to cycling only a few months ago in October 2013. Pumped with passion and his dislike for waxing skis Zayne has found that both track and road cycling fuel his competitive spirit and need to excel.
Quickly working his way up the ranks at the Burnaby Velodrome Zayne spends time riding both his road and track bikes to push him ahead of his competitors. He is coached and races for TaG – former cycling Olympians Leslie Tomlinson and Gina Grain.
I was stoked to set up the studio for Zane because I had never shot a roadie before! Hahaha…spoken like a true mountain biker and a downhiller at that! Jokes aside though it was a treat to photograph Zayne – his enthusiasm and ability to listen to directions made my job easy. Plus, he’s got a wicked carbon fiber bike and matching weave on his TaG jersey. At first I had thought about doing some black & white work but after seeing the bike and jersey combo I knew instantly the look I was after. My goal for the photoshoot was to give Zayne ample photos to use for potential sponsors.
I am really happy with how the photo shoot turned out. Next up are a few action shots of Zayne in the velodrome. I will be honest though…being in a velodrome scares me because I know I will want to try riding a track bike and I know I will want to pursue it. Which scares me because then I will have to buy a bike and some how I know my husband will give me an evil look. But my answer to that is ‘what’s another bike in the mix…you can never have too many!’
Cecile Gambin Photography is open, taking bookings and is practicing COVID-19 safety measures during this unprecedented time.