Photographers for photographers

It is a strange notion for a lot of photographers to hire other photographers… or is that just me? I’ve started to look at things bigger and recognize it would be great to have a photo with my whole little family without the selfie angle. So, when we travel and have any special purpose I try to look to local photographers in the regions we’re visiting and hire them to do a session. Granted, I’ve only started doing this and it has certainly been a while since the last time with Alan Brandt Photography in Copenhagen, Denmark during our honeymoon.  The session with Alan was wonderful and he made the day - taking us to some different locations we wouldn’t have seen otherwise and produced some wonderful images (he also left his bag out and open - coming from Toronto that gave me heart palpitations). 

Another time when I booked, but had to cancel for recent global reasons was for some baby portraits for my daughter. Now, I’ve certainly made a few images of her, but I wanted someone who specializes in that style to make some images to produce something a bit different… 

Now, the next trip we’re excited to make images in my home town and likely in an area that although doesn’t have houses anymore is a spot where I lived and made some of the best memories and great friendships. Happy to say we’ve booked a session for the three of us with Abigail Rae Photographer. I love seeing how other people work, how it feels to be in front of the camera, how much more the ladies in my life listen to other photographers… and just enjoy the experience.

So, why not hire a photographer if you’re a photographer and make some memories.

Toronto Based Photographer - Road Trip Planning

Packing for a road trip to cover off a much needed vacation – travelling with wife and 3 year old daughter, combined with professional photography needs all in a VW GTI… will this be possible with no roof rack? I think so yes, the biggest thing in packing (learned from several adventures around the globe), is keeping things simple and editing your pack. 

To edit your packing there are some simple questions you can ask:
• Are there items you can simply buy when you get to your destination?
Small toiletries - this is even better if you’re flying and don’t need to take the bag out while going through security for scanning because of no liquids.

• What activities are you doing while travelling?
Can you pack multipurpose attire - I find casual hiking attire to be the best option, it is super light weight, rolls up nicely and suits lots of various venues - usually in black or grey for the trousers and simple tops - button downs or layered items for colder climates. If you get into high end technical gear, it typically looks a more hiking/climbing specific. 

If you’re flying, you  can wear your layers on the plane to keep the bag reduced. For our travel packs, we’ve updated from our awesome Deuter packs to 40L travel backpacks from TOPO Designs that really help keep our stuff organized and accessible. Our daughter luckily doesn’t need the same level of stuff we took for 3 weeks in Europe, making her packing a bit lighter and easier - thank goodness no stroller!

• For photography… Do you need all your lenses, lights, stands etc - or can you rent at the location or simply force yourself to use less?
I used to travel with more, but I opt for the later part of the question and force myself to work with less. The challenge gets you moving and thinking differently. For this trip, I will take a bit more than I would for a flying holiday, but that is because I have the luxury of driving (yeah - some luxury of 15 hours driving a single direction). I will still edit down what I would do for a local production and use a smaller light kit (Profoto B2, with a 3’ octa and a small light stand), my camera will be my trusty old 5diii with a 50mm 1.2 and 85mm 1.2 (portrait focus photography work), chargers, light trigger, tether kit and my 13” macbook pro for editing… It all fits into a single small backpack (except the stand and the octa). I’ll also have my pocket camera the Ricoh GRIII on hand for when we’re just enjoying our days with no photo obligations.

So when you’re packing for a vacation with a few photography obligations, there are several ways to go for various needs (ensure you can deliver on the photography needs but don’t overthink it). Over the years simple is better - less lugging & less worry but a lot more enjoyment and getting creative.

GTA Photographer - Revamp & Reset

For months, like everyone around the globe we’ve been dealing with the pandemic and what life looks like currently–old news. During this time REN has been incredibly busy in the day-to-day and hasn’t had time to really decompress and truly deal with life. Running after a rambunctious 3-year-old, keeping work on the upside and just trying to deal with isolation results in a revamp and reset of the website. 

For years, we’ve looked at my site and the backbone and it has been good. Squarespace is a wonderful platform, but about a year ago I stumbled on FORMAT - just after a renewal of the Squarespace platform… so, we waited.  Now, the migration and change is happening and although there is a bit of a learning curve, I’m getting there. We’re revamping and refocusing the content to People, Places & Things… hopefully we get out to make new images with people soon as we’re still cautious on our social world.

Why the change from what we see as one of the most popular CMS systems/hosts etc to a lesser known option? Just for that reason - more options. Format has some great options for operating a business that Squarespace just didn’t offer - although it catered to a lot, it was a lot of add-on costs or partner programs to work in the way we wanted to work. Throughout the pandemic one things we’ve tried to do is simplify and the migration to Format allows us to do just that.

So, what’s next as we build the new site and start populating some content? We hope to be making some great new images with people and a few new places more often. If you’re interested in a session, drop us a note and discuss what you’d like to make with us… we’re game for anything.



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