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Alph Leydon chats with Mark Laurie

12 AN INVERTER-VIEW WITH ROBERT BRAY An interview with Robert Bray, by Trent Ernst


Find out all about the 2018 Canadian Imaging Conference

22 STUDIO PORTRAIT ACCREDITATION Jackie Standing’s Studio Portrait Accreditation


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MaryEllen Nealis’ Fantasy Illustration Accreditation

30 MY PPOC page 22

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message from the chair

Hello fellow photographers! GALLERIE is the premier magazine for professional photographers across Canada. Each issue features award-winning images, editorial information, technical and feature articles, advertising, and member services. All photographers are welcome to view the digital versions on our website.

I hope everyone is having a great winter so far. The early part of the year is a time to slow down, reflect on the past year, and plan on goals for the year to come. For me it is a time to assess where I am and where I’d like to be in a year’s time in all areas of my life.

Gallerie is published three times annually; February (on-line issue) June/July (print and on-line) October (on-line issue)

I thought I’d share some tips and inspiration on how to beat the winter blahs or just get out of a creative rut. When we first fall in love with photography we experience that ‘high’ of all the newness of it all. Obsessively researching the best gear and gadgets, photographing anything and everything just for the pure joy of it! Like all new relationships that ‘new’ feeling tends to fade over time and sometimes we find ourselves doing the same old same old, shooting the same things, the same ways. It can be hard to keep that ‘spark’ alive especially for those of us who are full-time working photographers. Perhaps spend an hour writing down some personal assignments that appeal to you. Nothing intimidating or complex, just simple things that you can try that you perhaps haven’t before. Schedule a time in your calendar to actually DO it! •D  ust off that tripod (if you are an anti tripod person like me), bundle up, and go outside…at NIGHT, in the winter and try some pretty night winter scenes. • Abstract or Macro. Try some super close up photography of things around your house, or even food in your fridge. Think in terms of shape and geometry! • Team up with a make-up artist, hair stylist, model and perhaps a local clothing store or florist and collaborate. I did this a few times and it was just so good to work together with like-minded creatives. No expectations for the outcome. Just time to play doing what each of us loves to do best! • If you are new to photography, turn that dial off of Auto and play with Aperture and Shutter priority, or Manual exposures. See how changing apertures affects your images. • Take that flash off your camera and learn how creative you can be with adding gels for special effects. • Learn some new post-processing techniques. Equally important is updating your business plan, website, social media, and


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Louise Vessey, MPA, SPA, F/ PPOC Atlantic, PPOC National Chair marketing. Winter is a great time to do that in the warmth of your office! In any case, I hope you are all beating the January blahs and enjoying some cozy quiet days inside pouring through your strongest images in preparation for Image Competition 2019! I look forward to being blown away. Don’t forget about the World Photographic Cup! Entry submission dates will be announced soon. PPOC is honoured to be hosting the World Photographic Cup awards during our special 50th Anniversary Convention in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2020. Use this as inspiration and set a goal to create your best work this year! How great would it feel to be a finalist and become a part of a strong Team Canada WPC submission and then take the stage to accept your World Photographic Cup awards with friends and colleagues! Mark your calendars for Saskatoon, April 2428, 2020. Help us to welcome and host the WPC delegates from around the globe as only we Canadians can do! Of course this year’s Canadian Imaging 2019 will be here before we know it! I really look forward to see everyone at Nationals year after year. There’s a fantastic lineup of presenters and as always, being able to see and speak to our Commercial Partners, the presenters, and like-minded photographer friends in person is far better than just communicating through a screen! If you see me please stop and say hello! I hope to see you there! Sincerely, Louise Vessey MPA SPA PPOC Chairperson

SUBSCRIPTION All PPOC members receive the printed issue directly to their doorstep. On-line issues are available to all photographers. To be added to our email mailing list please contact the PPOC office ( indicating your province of residence. Additional printed copies of Gallerie are $6.95, plus postage. Please contact the the PPOC Office. SUBMISSIONS Articles and member stories are welcome, please submit them to the editor for consideration. ADVERTISING One single advertising package will secure your ad space in all three issues for the year. Double Page Spread


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International Photographer, Speaker, Writer and H Man of Action

OW DO YOU have a woman agree to pose nude for your camera?

You ask Mark Laurie!

His passion is shooting women… NUDE. And he makes no apologies for it… It is an area of photography few male or for that matter, female photographers would have the confidence or the expertise to undertake… but Mark Laurie has both…

By Alph Leydon, CPA

There is nothing pornographic about what Mark does, nor does he shroud his nudes in dim light, soft focus or black and white. His images, most often are strong, bold depictions of his nude subjects honouring the beauty of



the human form and their inner spirit. In his book ‘REVELATIONS’ some of Mark’s clients recount their experiences of personal empowerment and are effusive and passionate in their praise of his work…

Laurie’s mission statement; “To create images that express a woman’s inner and outer beauty and provide an experiential environment that enlarges the boldness of a woman’s soul.”

“Wow! I never realized how much a session like this could change how I look at myself. How much fun, how liberating! Every woman should do this at least once in her lifetime.” Krista Conrad

He is open-minded, and action driven, a future thinker. In his career he has often been ahead of the curve. He’s articulate and direct, confidant and honest, a straight-shooter with an easy-going disposition and the ability to immediately put a person at ease. He’s a conversationalist. He’s the consummate salesman… in the best way possible… He believes in himself, in his work and in the experience and product he delivers to his clients. He has studied widely and honed his craft over decades. He is a nationally and internationally awarded professional.

“My heart has been uplifted, as is my confidence. I am a woman of feeling and beauty and Mark reminded me through beautiful photos of just that. I am so proud of myself and my photos!” Amy McKay “Thank you for making me feel so beautiful, on the inside and outside. You have such a gift for bringing out what needs to come out of the people you photograph. I feel blessed by this experience.” Shannon McIntosh


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Laurie teaches extensively in England and Canada and in 2008 he launched his ‘Revealing Venus’ Nude & Glamour Photography Workshops which he

operates annually in different venues around the world. Photographers of all skill levels gather for one-on-one instruction with the award-winning photographer, and for unique opportunities to photograph nude models and have the resulting images published in one of Laurie’s books. The ‘Revealing Venus’ workshops continue to date. “Trust and belief are at the core of every session. Our subjects must trust us and we cannot ignore the fragility of their image of self. They are vulnerable to our lens.” Mark Laurie Laurie’s better half, the love of his life, his rock, his wife, his business partner… It was 1975 and he was twenty years old. Mark had Jan Howells in his sights long before he ever knew about photography. One day she mentioned her interest in taking a workshop course in photography; without hesitation Mark extolled

his love of photography, so Jan suggested they perhaps enroll in the course together. Mark was in… He confided in me that if Jan had suggested a knitting course, he would have loved that too. The workshop was a half hour away and Jan had the car, so they travelled together. Their relationship blossomed quickly and on September 13th, 1975 they married. Every seven years they celebrate on Friday the 13th… no superstitions here… In the early years Laurie worked in the recreation industry and later as a realtor with a high degree of success… remember he is the consummate salesman! But he did not enjoy the work. Borrowing Jan’s camera, he took up photography as a hobby to escape the drudgery of the realty world. In time he found his passion in photography, however it would not pay the bills, so Jan to the rescue once again. For several years she worked tirelessly at a job she did not enjoy supporting Mark in his new business, until one day he had grown it to the point that the studio provided sufficient income for her to quit. Jan is no slouch and there was no way she was going to sit home while Mark was having all the fun. She took over hair and makeup at the studio and worked with their clients in preparation for the camera. She then studied photographic retouching and became an awarded retoucher in those analog days when the work was done with negatives, transparencies, photographic dyes, a paint brush and the final print. The work was timeconsuming and tedious. It took talent and patience in large measure. What added to the challenge is that they were regularly producing 40in x 50in prints, at a time when 8x10’s were thought of as large! Operating out of their home studio, a first in the business at that time, they were a team and they were doing it their way… True to form, Laurie is not only an artist, but he also has a strong head for the marketing and business side of the equation. An absolute necessity he has believed strongly in throughout his career and one he reiterates with conviction today.

“Your passion for the art of photography will develop your skills in that area quickly, but in order to sell your work and run a successful business you must understand marketing and how to structure and run your business financially. Without that knowledge you will always be at the mercy of others.” Mark Laurie. It was 1980 and he named the studio Wiser Wizard Photography because, he felt, it was quirky enough to be remembered. He advertised his ‘Nude Photography’ business by taking half page ads in the Yellow Pages and two-page full colour spreads in a local magazine which featured 8 to 10 images that were just within the boundaries of acceptable for print in a mass media publication. With the commitment of a two-page spread the magazine provided a half page written editorial piece at no additional cost. Laurie took this opportunity to write the piece about himself and his business, but he wrote it in ‘third person’ and provided it to the editor to print; what we refer to today as an ‘advertorial’. Again, Laurie demonstrated that he was ahead of the curve. The bookings flowed in and the business began to flourish. Laurie is far from being a one-trick pony however, and he has taken his artistic and technical talents to the outer limits… literally… three of his images are aboard the NASA Voyager III time capsule. Back on Earth, in addition to nude, boudoir, and glamour photography, Laurie also does pre-natal and family work, celebrity and charity events and commercial and wildlife shoots. Laurie holds a Master of Photography Degree, Master of Photographic Arts (10th bar), Service of Photographic Arts and a PPOC Fellowship. He also holds the highest British award: A Fellow in the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. He has been honoured with four International Photographer of the Year Awards and was awarded PPOC Portrait Photographer of the Year in 2017. He holds 64 Best in Class and First in Class Awards – Provincially, Nationally and Internationally

– including the prestigious Fuji Master Print and Kodak Photographic Excellence Awards, and the World Photographic Print Competition - Best in Nudes B&W category. He has also served as a National and International Accredited Print Show Judge for over thirty years. And as if that was not enough, he is also the author and photographer of two fine-art photography books entitled ‘Nude in Paradise’ and ‘Revealing Venus’. In 1984, Laurie joined the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) by way of his local Alberta branch. He began teaching nationally that same year, and internationally the following year. Laurie had worked with computers since the 1980’s, dabbling in image manipulation and writing code for programs and databases. His innovation and creativity pushed photographic conventions, and by 1989 he was a pioneer in digital art photography. Always on the front edge of photographic change, Laurie was digitally altering his images before the advent of Adobe Photoshop. In 1994 Laurie won the first ever Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) Award for a digital image. In 1987 Laurie and his photography techniques were the subjects of a yearlong clinical study which observed how Laurie’s work was notably different from mainstream portrait photography, and statistically how those differences resulted in more positive psychological and lifestyle benefits for his subjects. Among other things the study discovered was that his photography sessions were catalysts of positive change in his clients’ lives. The PPOC Fellowship Award – F/ PPOC To date, there has been a total of six PPOC Fellowships awarded in the history of the Association. I asked Laurie as to why, in his opinion, there are so few. He confided that in part the Fellowship is not widely publicized within the rank and file of the PPOC; there is the possible fear

of failure some members may have and also that some may not be confidant with writing a 6,500 to 7,000-word thesis. To this last challenge he offers the idea of having a professional writer work with the applicant to help develop their ideas and have them committed to text. A sound way to move forward no doubt. The PPOC fellowship program’s main objective is to allow accomplished members to share their knowledge with the general membership while providing technical and administrative education. This award represents the highest level of achievement within PPOC. To be eligible the photographer must be an active member of PPOC for a minimum of 10

consecutive years. They must also hold an MPA degree with a minimum of two bars (either to their MPA or SPA) The applicant is required to submit a 6,500 to a 7,000-word thesis of a technical, educational or administrative subject. They must also provide 15 Salon quality digital images, to be accepted by a panel of nationally qualified judges. Laurie’s thesis, The Power of Personal Portraiture… “Seeks to identify the most effective way for photographers to enrich relationships with clients, create more powerful, resonating imagery and increase monetary return as professionals.”

In it Laurie examines the psychological impact portraiture can have on the subject, their self-image and confidence. He explores the tenets of ‘Phototherapy’ and introduces the findings of Judy Weiser, Phototherapy Centre founder and professional photographer. Laurie takes a deep dive into the work of Dr. Robert J. Brown and presents his ‘Interpretive Portraiture Technique’ as an approach to provide an elevated experience and a superior product to the client, whilst at the same time allowing greater expression of craft and overall satisfaction for the photographer. The net result is an increase in earned income and a more satisfied client.




The message… ‘Never give up’ Growing up Laurie always had a penchant for exploring his creative side in a variety of ways. When he was just seventeen, he took to writing poetry… enough to fill a small book in fact. As he explains it, the fact that he had never published this work was a loose thread in his life. With the advent of self-publication, he acted and in 2008 published the 52-page book entitled ‘Pages of Man’. We all have loose threads, perhaps this can be a wakeup call for us to take action.

Laurie is well-read and has studied the work of such luminaries as William Henry Fox Talbot, Dr. Hugh Diamond, Cheney Johnston, Annie Liebowitz, Dr. K. Anders Ericsson and Susan Sontag, among others. He has leveraged learnings from each and melded them into his own approach, style and formula for success. He presents his knowledge and insights for all to explore in his thesis. It would be time well spent, for anyone involved in or interested in this genre of photography, whether novice or advanced, to delve into this presentation from this Internationally acclaimed Master of Photography. “ We are answerable for more than simply technically good photographs. We have opportunities and can expand possibilities by tapping into the needs of our clients. Given this mindset, our own growth – as individuals, as artists – becomes endemic, exciting.” Mark Laurie Life Lessons – ‘Action speaks louder than words!’, ‘Never give up!’… there

are many, we’ve all heard them from our parents; most of us ignore them, Laurie lives by them. He is a Man of Action after all, and that is why he has accomplished so much. Laurie has been awarded thirty-seven photography Accreditations to date, making him one of the most Accredited photographers in the world. He is the only photographer in North America to be Accredited in five different categories. When people hear this, they immediately conclude that he aced all Accreditations on the first try. However, nothing could be further from the truth, but Laurie has no fear of failure, nor does he give up. What’s more, he has continued to push out-of-the-box and he has studied long and hard many different genres of photography to achieve professional accreditation in them. They each add to his accumulated knowledge and skill base. It took him four attempts to achieve his Accreditation in Jewelry Photography.

His advice today for others wanting to establish meaningful and financially rewarding careers in photography… “Believe in yourself, be bold and follow your love. Study and learn the techniques of communication and of educating your clients. Know how to speak to people and find comfort with sales. Most importantly, do all that you can to understand the business side of photography; how to structure and manage your business and how to successfully go to market.” Mark Laurie M a r k L a u r i e ’s w o r k m a y b e viewed on the studio website






N AN UNREMARKABLE commercial space on the fringes of Edmonton, amidst the Geotechnical companies, bottle depots and Oil and Gas Industrial Valve supplies, a rather remarkable photographer has set up shop.

Robert Bray has been a working photographer since graduating from the photography program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in 1979. These days, he’s back at NAIT, teaching part-time while running his business full time.


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By Trent Ernst

“I took the program because I thought it would be an easy way to make a living,” says Bray. “I say that with a laugh now, because as you know, it’s not an easy way to make a living. But photography wasn’t a passion, back then. I thought it was fun, but I didn’t have a passion for it.” And for the first ten years, he admits, he wasn’t very good at it. “I couldn’t see light, and I would just take pictures. But as time went on ... there was a time when a light bulb went on and I could see the way light was playing on things, and the love started to grow and it started to become a passion, but I didn’t get into it because I had a passion for it, but it grew and I have a passion for it now. It’s kind of the reverse of what happens, which is kind of odd.” Bray has carved out a niche photographing politicians, sports celebrities and well-known businesspeople around Edmonton. This, he says, was a deliberate choice. “One of my biggest things I tell photographers is to not give your work away. We all

have to make a living. Our product is important to our clients. We provide something that’s important in their lives. We should be compensated for that. Just giving it away? You can’t stay in business like that.” He says while the low cost, high volume photographers (school and sports photographers) can make a decent living, and the high-end photographers can make a decent living, the midrange photography market is nearly impossible to make money at. “There’s a race to the bottom. The people in the middle are all fighting for the same dollar. And because they need to distinguish themselves, they drop their prices. The problem with that is enough people say ‘I’ll do your family photos for $100 and give you the files’, it becomes what photographers do. In the public’s eyes, it becomes what we expect from photographers.” Bray says one of the secrets to his success is the work he puts into building a rapport with the client. “When customers contact us, we book a design consultation. There is no cost to it. It’s not for me, it needs to be about the client. We can design ideas together: explore options, find a location that has meaning to the client that’s not just the park that I go to. We’ll

talk about clothing, what works, what doesn’t work. We’ll talk about pricing in detail so they know what’s available. It takes about half an hour.” This first meeting is important, and he doesn’t do any sessions without it. “We can get a better image if we have taken the time to talk. And when they see the finished image, they feel like they’re part of the process. They’ve helped decide where to go and what to wear. And because they’ve come in, we’ve had a chance to expose them to what we really do.” The next step is the session. Learning to see the light, he says, was his big revelation, and when he truly became passionate about photography. He tries to find natural light that’s flattering to the face without bringing artificial lights in. “I use a lot of subtractive lights: overhead branches, banks of trees to create shadows. I do a lot of stuff where the subjects are a long way from the camera. You just can’t use reflectors and flashes. They’ll get in the shot. You just have to wait until the light is right.” A week or so after the session, Bray brings the customers back WINTER 2019  GALLERIE MAGAZINE 


to his studio, which, despite being in an industrial area, is well appointed and comfortable. Bray uses ProSelect to project the images on a screen. Sometimes, he’ll do a home design in the client’s home to shoot the space to use ProSelect’s room view feature, but many times the clients will send him photos of their home.  This is an important step, he says, because he believes that the print has to fit the wall. “Not that I’m a salesperson, I’m not. I just want to get to the right size. If it’s a budget thing, tell me. If it’s not a budget thing and you’re buying the wrong size for that wall, I’m going to tell you. I’ll say ‘you don’t have to get a bigger portrait, but for this wall you do. If you want to stick with this size—due to budget or whatever—let’s find a different spot.’ Clients like when you’re honest with them.” If a client can’t decide, Bray will pack up his projector and go to the client’s home and project the image directly onto the wall. “They see it at the right size. And they can’t say ‘I’ve got to go home and think about it,’ because we’re already at home, and they can’t say ‘I need to go look at my walls,’ because we’re already looking at the wall.” Bray does most of his own printing, which allows him to produce the images the way he wants, though not all of his stuff is inhouse. One of the specialty products he offers is mixed media


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artwork, which is done by a friend who lives in Florida. The clients come back to the studio to pick out the frame, and then to pick up the final artwork. By this time, Bray will have seen the client six times, sometimes more. “What we do is based on our connection with the client. The in-person sales thing is so critical. It’s not uncommon for photographers just starting out to book a session via Facebook. You show up at the park for an hour for the shoot. Then you put the photos up on an online gallery. They’ve only seen the client for one hour during the shoot. That’s it. I don’t know how you create any rapport like that.” But it’s not all business. Bray does personal projects to get his name out and stretch his artistic legs. “I did something called the Artist Project: Faces of Innocence, where we photographed kids in the studio, black and white. We called up our clients and their friends and told them we’re doing an artist project, and asked them if they would honour us with letting us photograph their child. The idea is to create something that’s good enough for me, that’s also something they want. That’s reaching out marketing. It’s not passive. You have to pick up the phone.  “Most of my clients are smart. They know that somewhere down the road, I’m hoping they’ll buy something. Should they want something, sure, but I make it pretty clear that this isn’t a way to sell anything.”

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By Chelsea Jones, CPA Images By Sébastien Lavallée, MPA


s always, the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) annual conference, Canadian Imaging, impressed, inspired, and intrigued. In 2018, this took place in Richmond, British Columbia from May 4 to May 9, 2018. Mother nature, feeling guilty about what she did to all of Canada over the winter, was nice enough to read the conference itinerary and provide us with sunny skies and beautiful lighting for the sessions, workshops, and socialization. WINTER 2019  GALLERIE MAGAZINE 


Vancouver and area are a fantastic, unique, culturally rich, and beautiful part of the world to travel. This was apparent from the moment I stepped out of the airport and inhaled the fresh blossoms; Alberta sure doesn’t smell like that this time of year… From the fruitful bouquet of Okanagan wine to the fresh plethora of seafood and sushi options available, this part of Canada is a foodies dream come true. If you are feeling lucky, the location of the conference in the River Rock Casino Resort was the place for you. Some fellow photographers flirted with betting on the NHL playoffs, which were a buzz in the Curve lounge. Day one allowed attendees to engage in a Photo Safari with Brian K. Smith, learn posing for newborns with Stephanie Robin, or attend the 2 day Judging Clinic. All choices offered valuable learning experiences. Brian engaged everyone in the sights and sounds of the heart of Van City, which included Lonsdale Quay, Gastown, Granville Bridge & Island. Enjoying the coastal culture, nature, architecture, and sights that only Vancouver can offer is definitely a highlight of attending the conference. Stephanie Robin empowered us to give the

best client experience possible, which adds value to what we do, and pays dividend. Kent Wong ran a fantastic judging clinic that focused on a new criteria for judging. Images will be judged by Vision, Impact, Creativity, and Technical aspects. Three newly minted judges emerged after the 2 days with other veteran judges now updated on the new criteria. The speaker line-up for the 2018 conference was bigger and better than previous conferences! To kick it off on Saturday, Karen Lee, Rebecca Coleman, Melissa Welsh, and Stephanie Robin were among the photographers who provided us with valuable lessons on marketing, pricing, in-person sales, and social media smarts. These women know how to provide high-end photographic experiences to their clients and recognize their value. The information they shared was informative, important, and incredibly valuable to all professional photographers regardless of the genre one practices. The part of photography where we aren’t clicking the shutter is what will make or break a business. This

education and information is what makes the PPOC an imperative membership for any professional photographer in Canada. To help photographers, this information must be shared from a Canadian perspective; this is difficult to get outside from the in-person education and mentorship that this conference provides every year. In particular, Melissa Welsh’s presentation resonated with me; I left her session with a list of tangible and immediate changes I was going to make to my business strategies the second I arrived home. Nikki Harrison’s renowned photographic art has always been one of my personal favorites of Canadian photographic artists. It was amazing to hear her speak in person on branding and marketing strategies, lighting, styling, and how she presents her art. Her images exhibit such beauty in smooth, flowing design – although she is able to create moodier images as well. Her personal story, which is what motivates her to create and engage in her art, is a heartfelt, authentic story of resilience that clearly helps her engage and connect with her clientele. Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography was definitely a highlight of the conference with her endless energy, enthusiasm, fireengine red hair, and clear passion for canine photography. Her unique and identifiable imaging style is recognized the world over, and she was so excited to tell us her story of how she got to where she is today – which includes a television show on Nat Geo Wild called Pupparazzi. She has such a big heart and has helped countless canines and animal rescue organizations with her amazing photographic work. She also engaged those attending the conference at meals and at the tradeshow which was awesome; I love it when those I look up to as photographic celebrities end up being really nice people! 15/10, would bring to Canadian Imaging again (if you are a dog person with social media, you get the reference). Our own PPOC photographers Robert Bray, Sébastien Lavallee, Greg Blue, J. B. Sallenger, and others also presented incredibly informative and inspiring presentations. This is a testament to the depth of


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knowledge and experience we have within our organization. This year’s gala had an ambiance like none other. We mixed and mingled in a real theater with red suede seats and a light-up sign at the entrance advertising our event! I felt like a celebrity engaging with fellow well-dressed photographers on the red carpet eating the delicious appetizers and desserts. It was inspiring to sit in a theater and view fellow photographers have their images displayed on the big screens as they walked across the stage to accept their awards, designations, and accolades. As always, this evening proved to be a highlight of the conference reminding us of the incredible company and talent we were sitting amongst and providing inspiration for future photographic endeavors. I have now been to a few Canadian Imaging conferences. Although the educational opportunities and speakers are always top notch, I find the thing I am the most excited about is the camaraderie I experience. I have met so many PPOC members from across the country and I find myself unable to contain

my excitement even as I sit here writing this article at the prospect of seeing them this year. The relationships and mentorships that transpire at these gatherings are so incredibly valuable – something that can only be attained by meeting with fellow photographers in person. I used to be very shy when it came to PPOC events but this great group of people has helped me in so many ways and brought me WAY out of my shell. This article only scratches the surface of what there is to offer at Canadian Imaging. I haven’t even mentioned the tradeshow, image critique, portfolio review, Welcome Reception, Accreditation judging, Hospitality Suite, or 80s Rockstar Fun Night with a live band (I dressed up as Freddie Mercury, moustache and all)! It doesn’t matter if you are attending for work, play, or both, Canadian Imaging has your interests covered! A huge thank you to those at PPOC Head Office and all the volunteers who made Canadian Imaging 2018 a great success. It takes so much planning, coordinating, writing, networking, and collaboration before

the conference even starts, never mind the countless hours of running around during the actual event. As a PPOC member, I am extremely grateful! In 2017, the time zone was not on my side; but past year, in 2018, I actually summoned the energy to hang out at the Hospitality Suite for one of the evenings. I am still in envy at how our veteran photographers are able to volunteer, attend sessions from morning until evening, and then go out to party! This is yet another skill I aim to learn from the best! This year, Canadian Imaging 2019 will take place in Montreal, QC from April 26 to 30, 2019. This is the 50th Canadian Imaging Conference so you know it is going to be big! The schedule is confirmed and the roster of international speakers include Jerry Ghionis, Christian Lalonde, Julia Anna Gospodarou, and more! Our home grown PPOC heroes of photography will include Claude Brazeau, and Marc Bailey among others. I can’t wait to see what is in store! See you there!



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A C C R E D I TAT I O N Jackie Standing • Studio Portrait Accreditation


was sitting in my doctor’s office looking through some magazines, wasting time, as I waited for my name to be called. I came across some amazing imagery that caught my eye. I had just gotten my first DSLR camera, and was very intrigued how these images were put together.  The attention to detail was so on-point and as an amateur photographer, I wouldn’t even know where to start when it came to creating something like that!  At the bottom of the page, the artist was, of course, credited, but what caught my eye, was not so much the name of the artist, but what came before it.   The


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word “ACCREDITED PHOTOGRAPHER” was the prefix in the title. Whatever that was?! But it sounded cool and obviously he knew what he was doing and had to have some credentials when it came to photography as these images were gorgeous.  Fast forward, years later, as I was diving deeper into the photography world,  I was invited to a PPOC meeting in my hometown which consisted of other photographer professionals.  I was very intimated, but excited to hear about what the Professional Photographers of Canada was all about.  And from there I heard that word again- “ACCREDITED”.   To become an accredited photographer in the PPOC,  I learned from that first meeting, was quite the process!  First, finding a category that I felt confident enough in to submit images was my first challenge. This first particular category I had chosen (Couples Portrait), needed to have 10 different couples from 10 different photo sessions in 10

different locations showing 10 different poses. These images needed to have enough variety in my submission, where it showed creativity AND technical ability. Also locations needed to show both indoor and outdoor pressure right?!  Ha! wrong! Pressure - lots of pressure!! A panel of accredited, award winning & master photographers would be judging these?! How would I ever pull this off?  It took 4 submissions, some frustrated tears, and thick skin to pick myself back up and try again. Each submission I could see my work get better, and FINALLY the email came where all 10 images were accepted!  I’m telling you - that first Accreditation is like no other feeling, especially after rising above all of the rejection emails that came prior.  So many times, I thought to pack it up...but I didn’t. I wouldn’t.  I took all the judges’ comments from all my submissions with humbled acceptance and applied each criticism to each session I would shoot going forward.  My next accreditation I only got 3 rejected submissions! That was a little better than the first one.  Maybe I was starting to finally apply what I was learning.  My next submission had only 1 rejected submission before it was accepted and each time it became a little easier to choose images; posing my clients was almost like breathing - I barely had to think about it. During each session if something looked off, the judges comments would come to mind.   By my 4th submission, I finally got through on the first try, and couldn’t have been more happy with the direction my work had taken.   Most recently, this last October, I received my 5th Accreditation in



the category of “Studio Portrait”, and as I watched the accreditation judging I was completely floored when they scored my submission as not only all 10 “Accepted”, but with a score of “Excellence”!   As excited as I was in my seat, listening to my score, I couldn’t help but reflect back to that doctor’s office, while looking through that magazine seeing those words “Accredited Photographer”, beneath those beautiful images.  The lighting, the posing, and the feeling to the images all made sense now.  I had finally reached the destination of becoming an Accredited Professional Photographer - and then this quote quickly came to mind,  “Excellence is not a destination; it is a continuous journey that never ends”  - Brian Tracy I can’t wait to see where the next leg in this crazy journey takes me! Cheers! Jackie is the owner and primary photographer of StandOut Photography Studio, located in Lethbridge, Alberta.  She has been a member of the PPOC since 2011 and holds 5 Accreditations in different portrait categories; Couples Portrait, Newborn Portrait, Children’s Portrait, Environmental Portrait and Studio Portrait. In 2015 she received Alberta’s Best in Class Wedding Portrait and recently had all 4 images accepted into the National Image Salon and was runnerup for Alberta’s 2018 Portrait Photographer of the Year. She has been photographing weddings, newborns and family milestones professionally for over ten years. Jackie is creative to her core and loves to try new things, which means she’s constantly learning, growing, and refining her craft.  When she’s not behind a camera, she loves to travel and to experience new adventures with her favourite people! 


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A C C R E D I TAT I O N MaryEllen Nealis, MPA • Fantasy Illustration


hen you decide to create a creative compilation, there are many things that may be required in the process. I begin by brainstorming, coming up with different and creative ideas, collecting images that I may need. This may continue on for quite a while. Your mind is constantly thinking and envisioning what the end product might look like. My inspirations are from many sources, including music, my surroundings, poetry, art styles


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such as Cartoon, Anime, Contemporary, Modern, Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism, Photo Realism, etc. . My next step would be photographing my subjects, whether it’s a model or just outside photographing nature, it could be just about anything whatever takes my eye - the sky is the limit. I like to photograph at different times of the day to get different variations of light. It may take awhile to get all my photos collected for my image. After I have my folder finalized with all my collected images, I then lay down the foundation of the composite, preparing my images following retouching if needed. I create a background layer. This is essential for setting the scene and mood. It is very important to work in various layers and save in PSD. This

ensures that I save all of the layers. Layers can be blended by using various opacity, blending mode and layer adjustments. Layer masks are very useful when wanting to create an effect on different parts of the images. As I create my design it is imperative to save often, this will help if I want to go back to my previous version. As I go through this process, I question whether this is the results I am looking for. It can take hours getting all of my images blended the way I envision for the final product. Often I start in one direction; only to find my mind takes me in a different direction. When you’re doing a Fantasy Illustration, keep an open mind and your final product will probably be vastly different than you initially visualized. When transforming images into a work of art, use the “rules of composition”. Don’t forget - you can break the rules. The objective is to convey a mood, an idea, a feeling. The subject is no more than a vehicle which carries the idea you want to express. Lighting control is also a very important part of the image because your shadows and highlights in each image need to look like they come from the same photo shoot. Lighting sets the mood or feeling; bright and airy or dark and gloomy. What is it you want your viewer to be drawn to? Design is crucial in the planning of my Fantasy Illustration.



Leading the viewer’s eye through the image keeps them visually engaged to explore, giving them hints of the meaning of your work. When I create an image it is not important whether they like the image or find the image pleasant or unpleasant. It is much more important that the image is thought-provoking. I like to get people to look at an image just to get their reaction to see if it holds their attention and get their comments. Analyzing all elements of your image is very important. Fantasy Illustration, images that portray a subject in a surreal or make-believe environment. There are many things to consider, including impact, creativity, style, presentation, colour balance, centre of interest, lighting, subject matter, image file quality, technique,and last, but not least, storytelling and imagination. Thats what will draw attention to your work and make it stand out.

Master of Photographic Arts, MaryEllen Nealis combines a rich knowledge of her craft with a genuine appreciation for the special moments in the lives of her clients. MaryEllen has a long history of service to Atlantic and the PPOC community. She has also received her Fellowship 2008 for Atlantic PPOC and received her Seventh Bar from the PPOC in 2018.


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joined the PPOC with the hope of exploring and developing my lifelong passion for photography. As a designer and Creative Director in the exhibition industry my career path has always been closely aligned with image making, graphics and photography. I’ve been shooting since age eleven and the advent of digital image making has addressed my control freak nature, giving me total freedom over my creative vision; capture to print. I attended my first PPOC meeting in April 2014 as an ‘Observer’ member and came away feeling I had learnt something new and knowing there was so much more to discover. It took me some time to get to know the many facets of the PPOC and to discover the full depth and breadth of what this organization has to offer. In those early days, as I learned about Accreditation, I had the opportunity to attend Accreditation Reviews in Burlington and London, Ontario in person. So, for a full day I sat in a dimly lit room and watched the process of Accreditation judging. I found this enormously helpful as it truly gave me a sense of what the judges are looking for in a professional image. This set me on a path of personal discovery and learning. PPOC has several initiatives to help and guide members with their journey and in particular attaining Accreditation. One of these is the Pre-Accreditation Review (currently on temporary hold). Another is the one-on-one Mentorship Program. These programs I believe are some of the most valuable services available, they have certainly helped me. I sent my first set of images, which


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my ppoc

I was considering for Accreditation in the ‘Travel Illustration’ category, to Pre-Accreditation Review and received back a detailed report outlining strengths and weaknesses in each image along with points for improvement. Through this process I also connected with a mentor who has provided exceptional insight and critiques of my work both then and since. It can be difficult to critique one’s own work objectively since we are emotionally attached to it. Having a mentor who is an MPA and who has years of judging experience to critique and provide comment on one’s work, in a constructive and objective manner, fast tracks the learning experience exponentially. I subsequently received my first Accreditation in Travel Illustration earning me the right to become a full Accredited member of PPOC, with all the benefits it offers. I was very proud when my Accreditation was later published in the Fall 2015 issue of Gallerie magazine. I have since received Accreditations in Pictorial/Scenic, Botanical and Fine Art and I am currently working on submissions in the categories of Wild Animals, Nature and Food Photography. Craftsman of Photographic Arts (CPA) and Master of Photographic Arts (MPA) are two primary designations I have had in my sights since the beginning. They require the achievement of Merits in two categories; Print Merits and Service Merits. These are acquired by successful Accreditation submissions; having images Accepted at the National Image Salon; participation in further education workshops or programs and by volunteer service in the organization and community. The path to achieving these designations

encourages participation and goal setting; constant exploration and learning. And the honing of one’s knowledge, craftsmanship and artistry. I was honored to receive my CPA at Canadian Imaging 2018, our National Convention held in Richmond, BC. My hope is to achieve my MPA in the not too distant future. The National Image Salon, also known as the National Image Competition is a primary focus for any member seeking advanced designations, since Print Merits are earned for all Accepted images. I have entered four images (the maximum allowable) into every National Salon since I first became Accredited. I’m pleased to say that my images over the years have scored Accepted, Merit, Excellence, Best in Class, a Judges Choice and a Loan Collection. One image was chosen to represent our Canadian Team at The World Photographic Cup. With what I have learnt through PPOC I have entered International image competitions in Australia, Europe and the USA and have been awarded with Merit, Silver, Gold, Best in Class, an Honorable Mention and most recently in Professional Photographers of America (PPA) annual International Photography Competition (IPC) my images received two Merit’s and a Loan Collection award. As a result, my images are now starting to hang as large prints in private and corporate collections across the continent. None of this would have been possible without my involvement in PPOC. I have been blessed that I have been able to attend every Canadian Imaging Convention since I joined PPOC. These conventions are a

PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS OF CANADA (PPOC) is a diversified group of creative artists dedicated to the highest standards in professional imaging. We welcome photographers of all genres to join our community of dedicated professionals. PPOC offers photographers a way to rise to professional status. Educational opportunities, networking, direct member benefits and the ability to earn awards and designations will assist in your potential for growth and economic improvement. Did you know you can become a member of Canada’s oldest and most recognized professional photography association for as little as $25 monthly (plus tax)? Observer membership will entitle you to discounted pricing on educational events, access to a peer network upon whose knowledge you can draw, preferred rates with many of our industry partners, critiques of your imagery, and will open the door for you to submit for Accreditation in your chosen photographic field(s). You can even sign up for a Mentor to help you get the most out of your PPOC membership! Once you’ve achieved your Accreditation, you’ll be able to upgrade to full ‘PPOC Accredited Photographer’ membership status, and will be listed on our ‘Search for a Photographer’ feature on our website. You can promote yourself using the PPOC Logo and will also be eligible to vie for prestigious awards in National Image Competition, and to work toward earning the designations of Craftsman of Photographic Arts (CPA), Master of Photographic Arts (MPA), and Service of Photographic Arts (SPA). Are you ready to take your photographic career to the next level? Become recognized as a member of PPOC, stand out from the crowd, and take advantage of the benefits of membership! Create an Observer membership profile by following the links to join at, and activate that membership with payment in full online, or by contacting us by phone at (888) 643-PPOC (7762) to set up a convenient monthly payment plan using your VISA or MasterCard. Apply TODAY! Contact 1-888-643-PPOC (7762) Phone: 519-537-2555 Mailing address: 209 Light St. Woodstock, ON N4S 6H6 Canada


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real eye opener and an incredible learning experience. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and network with some awesome people. Some are career photographers whose work is recognized globally and who have been members of PPOC for thirty to forty years. Others are new photographers starting out in their careers. The Workshops and Presentations offered are excellent and are relevant to a broad spectrum of photographic genre. The accompanying Trade Show offers a one-stop-shop of all things photographic. Then there is the Annual Awards Banquet which is truly the crowning event of the National Conference. I’ve found it to be a touch intimidating and enormously inspiring to say the least. You get to see a mind-boggling array of incredible images, as the winning images from the National Image Competition are presented. I enjoy getting involved but currently carry a heavy and erratic travel schedule so I write for Gallerie magazine when I can. In recent months I’ve taken on the role of Secretary/

Treasurer of our Central Ontario branch and hope to do what I can to move things forward. We are currently looking for a Chair and Vice Chair to complete our branch committee… any takers? For new members and for existing members alike, who want to grow in their careers I recommend highly to set goals, attend Accreditation Judging sessions (in person whenever possible) become Accredited, get involved, come out to meetings, volunteer. Connect with fellow members through your branch and regional FaceBook pages. Above all, attend Canadian Imaging, our National Convention; this year it’s in Montreal, April 26-30. You only get out what you put in… or as the old adage goes… Don’t expect heat until you split the wood and start the fire… It’s been an awesome journey and I feel like it’s only just begun. A big THANK YOU to all the people who work so hard to make our PPOC such an exceptional and supportive organization.

Alph Leydon, CPA Alph is a career veteran of the Exhibit and Event Industry. He is currently EVP and a Creative Director at one of Canada’s largest experiential agencies. In his photographic pursuits he enjoys Scenic, Travel and Fine Art genres and is always exploring new avenues. Many of his images have been awarded Internationally. Alph lives in Toronto with his wife Linda. They have three daughters and two granddaughters.



concept to cover


y inspiration for this image was from one of the many Street Art Instagram accounts I follow. Although I myself have zero talent for it, I really love the colour, clarity, texture, and distortion that can be created by street artists. One such image was by Gum Shoe Art; which depicted a pair of legs donning Jimmy Choos and stepping in a big wad of bright pink bubble gum on the side of a building. This imagery reminded me of my early 20’s when I would be walking to my vehicle after a waitressing shift at a seedy bar which is one of the jobs I had to pay my university tuition. I was a terrible waitress so most shifts were pretty rough nights, but something like stepping in a pothole, pile of snow, or gum with your already sore, high heel clad feet, was just the first-world problem that would really take the cake. My unfinished basement, which my husband has made into a rugged gym space, would service as an indoor location where I could control light and not have to contend with the wind and rain. This would provide the gritty setting I needed. I required a massive wad of gum, and I certainly did not have enough time or muscular endurance in my jaw to chew that much on my own. As I also have a career where I provide rehabilitation for hand injuries, I knew that the flourescent pink Theraputty I provide to patients for physical rehab would be perfect. The oiliness of the Theraputty would also add interesting light dynamics and specular highlights. This oiliness also added a challenge; it would not stick to the bottom of the shoe. I ended up using doublesided tape on the bottom of the shoe to get the putty to stick to it. I asked my model to bring black boots, but she also brought pink pumps she was planning to wear on a date after the photo shoot. After playing with the black boots as per my original vision, I felt that the result lacked the impact I desired. I asked her to try the pose with the pink heels she had brought. The colour harmony was improved with these heels. Unfortunately for my model, they did challenge her balance a little more as she had to stand on one foot as I very carefully positioned the Theraputty into a formation that I felt provided the desired look. The viscosity of the Theraputty is such that it does not stay in the same position for very long and gravity pulls it down into a viscous blob in a matter of seconds. I had to set it, grab my camera, quickly press the shutter, then go back to the putty to re-position. I found hand-holding the camera was the best way to achieve this. I spent a great deal of time placing the props so they would not distract from the main subject but still contribute to a story. Imagine my husband’s surprise when he walked into his basement gym and saw myself and a model with the contents of our garbage can


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and recycle bin spewed all over the floor. Luckily, he has learned by now not to ask questions. When designing my lighting, I wanted the quality to be harsh, and resemble the shadows and colour temperature one may see in a back alley with street lights. I experimented with more fill for the shadows, but decided this looked more contrived than I desired. Eventually, I settled on a 4 foot rectangular softbox on a strobe roughly 3 feet off the ground and 4 feet away from the subject. High about the model and to the right, I had a speedlight without modifiers. I wanted a bit of a distorted image that would hopefully increase the 3D aspect. I used my Canon 7D and an old 18-55mm f 5.6 kit lens at 18mm at close range to my subject to achieve this. Inspired by the concrete and texture, I utilized Lightroom to adjust colour and density as well as increase clarity. I used Photoshop for some skin retouching, hue adjustment, and

to remove some of the specular highlights in the glass bottles that I had not noticed in camera. I chose to add a heavy blue hue to the image as it offset the luminous pink of the Theraputty well, while reminding me of moonlight. The end result appeared heavily contrived, however it reminded me of the original graffiti art I was attempting to pay tribute to. I was elated when my mentor told me this image could have potential to be accepted in a provincial salon as my original goal was just to enjoy a creative project that was outside my usual photography. The original name of the image was, “Sticky Situation,” however after entering it in the 2017 Alberta Provincial Salon I felt this title did not provide enough context to the vision I originally had especially for the Editorial class. I then titled it, “Rough Night on the Job,” knowing that this would evoke storytelling and impact in the viewer, while still being a throwback to my own personal experience. I guess there are worse things to step in! Chelsea Jones, CPA

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Profile for Professional Photographers of Canada

2019 Winter Edition of Gallerie Magazine - English  

The official publication of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC).

2019 Winter Edition of Gallerie Magazine - English  

The official publication of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC).

Profile for ppoc