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Using Art To Connect With Yourself

By Joel Robison

A few weeks ago I had one of the most profound and touching moments of my photography career. I was invited to speak (via Zoom) with two classes from my former elementary school and share my journey of photography and creativity and how I use it to talk about mental health. I was nervous to say the least, I’d never spoken to kids about my work or about mental health and I wasn’t sure how deep to go, how to approach it and make it accessible. I shouldn’t have worried at all.

In the presentation I shared with them my own photography story, how I sat in the same rooms they’re sitting in now and dreamed of being an artist, how I sometimes felt silly for wanting to do a job that wasn’t really “a job” by the definitions set in front of us. I explained to them where my ideas come from and how I use my work to express myself, both the good times and good feelings and the times when I’m feeling scared or sad or worried. I watched the gallery of little masked faces nodding and giving thumbs up as I talked.

Creative Ingredients

Words and Images by Maggie Hood

If any of you are like me, one of the best parts of the holiday season is the baked goods. Cookies, squares, and cakes provide that nostalgic feeling and send you back in time to the first time you ate that beloved sweet treat. My grandmother used to make the most amazing molasses cookies and every time I ate one, it transported me back to when I was 4 years old in her kitchen. Even then, she was baking them from memory, the recipe forever engrained in her mind. She knew that the recipe was always a hit and that it worked every time. She had all these amazing recipes in which when she combined the ingredients, something amazing was created.

Inspiration For A New Year

Without a doubt 2020 took us all by surprise and on a ride we never anticipated. We’ve learned a lot, especially about our own resiliency as creatives, artists and business owners in an ever-changing world. As we turn the calendar to a new year, we wanted to explore the possibilities that lie on the horizon ahead. So, we asked our OFFBEAT Contributors the same question:

In Defence of the Generalists

Words and Images by Dave Brosha

As far as photography terms goes, the word generalist is about as unsexy as it comes. Professional Adventure Photographer: now that’s a label with some real-life “ooh” and “aah” factor. Boudoir Photographer: instant visions of scantily-clad people very comfortable in their skin. Even Industrial Photographer brings visions of football-field size shiny processing plants, being able to wear a safety harness while shooting off some elevated platform or heading into the deeps of the Earth, photographing underground mining with a hard hat and a cap-lamp. That’s some cool photography, right there. Right?

OFFBEAT Contributor Feature: CURTIS JONES

All images by Curtis.

“My favourite images are often created on the edge of discomfort.”

OFFBEAT recently had a chance to catch up with OFFBEAT Contributor, Curtis Jones. Always entertaining and inspiring, Curtis fills us in on his relationship with photography, his tips for beginners, overcoming challenges, how to get out of creative ruts, and more!

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.

A Guide to Family Photography for the Introverted Photographer

By Ashley Soeder

In past articles, my focus has been on photographing moments within my own home. People I am familiar with, in spaces I know, in areas I can move and manipulate to my liking. Although I don’t take on a huge amount of client sessions it is still something that I feel not only passionate about but something that has helped me grow as a photographer in ways I can’t quite get from shooting solely personal work. Client family photography work is the thing for me that almost ended before it even really started. A self-proclaimed introvert, socially awkward, observing in the background. My idea of a family photographer was someone the exact opposite of all those things. 

“Client work isn’t for me. I’m not very good at it. It brings unnecessary stress into my life. I’m not doing it. My focus will be on personal work, and I’m okay with that” – Ashley circa 2018

6 Tips for Stronger Seascapes

By Curtis Jones

Your skin tingles with the almost imperceptible drop in temperature as you step out from the forest canopy. A low growl rises on a damp wind alluding to something powerful, something primal just out of view. With every step, you feel anticipation building in your chest, mirroring the energy of the waves formed miles off the coast. Gulls surf turquoise surges, pitching with each new push; taking flight just long enough to wait out the biggest of rollers, before settling back down for another set. Somewhere on the horizon, a storm is building. You know, even before the brooding clouds move in, you can smell the change in the air. Breaking over a low rise you catch the first glimpse of your saltwater quarry. With the sun hanging low, yellow light dances over the dark undulating water, giving it the appearance of liquid gold. The sea has many tales to tell, what will yours be?

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?

14 Tips for Capturing Beautiful Sunrises/Sunsets

by Kahli Hindmarsh

There’s nothing better than seeing the sky explode with a colourful sunrise and knowing it was worth getting out of bed early for. But a lot of the time it can feel like a bit of a gamble, will it or won’t it light up. As fun as it is losing hours of sleep, driving to the location only to be met with dull/overcast conditions… there are some pretty reliable tricks you can use to ensure you get it right, more often.