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The Continual Location Hunt

By Maggie Hood

Choosing a location for a portrait shoot can set the tone and dictate the whole outcome of a shoot. The right location will fit the desired mood, have great light, and create an environment where clients can relax. Few things are more frustrating than shooting in terrible light in a busy spot where subjects are distracted or feeling like they are being watched by bystanders. Discovering locations in your area that fit your style, have great light, and provide a relaxed environment is important for portrait photographers. In my experience, clients generally are open to the photographer’s suggestions on where to shoot and sometimes only give a location style preference (i.e rustic vs modern). Having a small bank of location ideas to share with clients makes it easier and allows you to produce solid, consistent results for your clients.

Look for Clean and Simple

By Dave Brosha

The longer you’re in photography, the more you train your eye to look for clean compositions and the more you think about what NOT to include in your images, rather than what to include. Most of us tend to include way too much in our images when we start photography, with no clear, concise point of interest of the subject.

A challenge you can give yourself in any situation – no matter what genre of photography you love shooting – is to ask, before pressing the shutter: What do I want to express with this image? Is it the emotion? The story? The contrast? Something specifically beautiful or powerful within the scene?

northern lights shimmer through cloudy skies and over a mountain range bordering a frozen lake

OFFBEAT Contributor Feature: Kahli Hindmarsh

We recently had a chance to catch up with OFFBEAT contributor and night, landscape, and adventure photographer, Kahli Hindmarsh, to find out more about her photography business, creative inspiration, and wisdom she’d like to share with new photographers. Originally from Australia, Kahli now resides in Canmore, Alberta, and, naturally, she can usually be found outdoors, exploring and searching for intriguing scenes in interesting light.

two old Volkswagon vans sit abandoned in a forest with the surrounding greenery seemingly swallowing them.

The Ongoing Guide to Getting Unstuck

By Kyle McDougall

For this article today, I figured I’d switch things up a little bit and write about a topic that I’ve become very familiar with throughout my career, and also one that I’m constantly trying to find new solutions for.

That is—how to get unstuck when you’re feeling burnout, lacking creativity, or even just getting bored.

sunset on stretch of beach in Prince Edward Island featuring a lone lighthouse on the point

OFFBEAT Contributor Feature: Stephen DesRoches

OFFBEAT recently had a chance to sit down with OFFBEAT contributor and Prince Edward Islander Stephen DesRoches to pick his brilliant photographer and web designer brain and learn more about his photo journey. Turns out, he is a fountain of knowledge and as down-to-earth as they come…

What are some tips that you would give to a beginner photographer?

Study but don’t compare. Ask questions but don’t copy. Think about why instead of how. Many will learn so much more simply by doing and practicing and we could all spend a little less time wishing we would have created the image we saw on social media. Find a good resource that teaches the basic principles of how the aperture relates to the shutter speed and then go out and create, and then create some more. Ignore the marketing and advertising promising new equipment will make you better and understand that all you really need is the motivation to actually create. Buy only to solve problems that you have self-identified. 

The Mobile Blind

By Colleen Gara

My favourite way to photograph wildlife is on foot, whether hiking or snowshoeing, or walking out to a quiet spot in the woods to sit and wait.

But sometimes, circumstances such as the proximity of the animal, type of animal, or weather can prevent me from venturing out too far. This is when my ‘mobile blind’ comes in super handy. A blind is a shelter (usually camouflaged) that is used to observe and photograph wildlife and often I will use my car as a type of blind, allowing me to photograph wildlife both safely and discreetly.

Finding Your Niche

By Lizzy Gadd

When I look at my work now, I admit I do feel very fortunate to have somehow fallen into this niche of ethereal self-portraiture/landscape mixtures that, I humbly also admit, I am kind of proud of.

It was a long process getting there. I don’t really know how it happened. But the moment I found it, it felt right. It’s what speaks to me, being able to express myself, and my love of nature, together. And so I’ve been doing exactly that for nine years now, and it still feels right.