Lights, camera…no action!

Lisa, producer

Lisa, producer

To get some more unique photographic opportunities, I recently joined the Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission to get in on some the action. I also have a secret goal (shhhh!) of becoming a  Director of Photography, (DOP) for something epic one day, but for now, I’m prepared to do some grunt work to help earn my way up through the industry’s rankings. And as luck would have it, I got a call within just a couple of days of joining the film commission for a last minute job over Easter to capture some behind the scene stills for a new series that’s set to air in September of this year. Speaking of secrets, I can’t speak too much to about who was shot or the name of the show until its debut, but here’s a nice candid shot of one of the show’s producers, Lisa, who was keeping a watchful eye on the action happening outside the bay window. She was also multitasking as she was sitting in for me to test some lighting options for one of the shots to be taken in case of bad weather. But luckily, the weather cooperated beautifully, not to mention the actors were given a quick break from their shoot just before the golden hour came into play. So once I had the official go-ahead, I was only given a handful of minutes to capture a couple of group shots of the cast and crew, as well as a few pairings of the show’s actors, all with Victoria’s beautiful gorge as the set’s main background. That said, the young actors were extremely mature and professional and kicked into gear to help make the most of our very limited window of time together. All in all, I can’t wait to share a few shots from that evening on my social channels and on this site later this year!

Walking the Walk

Walk this way

Walking the Walk

I had the pleasure of checking out a two day BCtech Summit in Vancouver last week. It was quite amazing seeing so many tech brains coming together to strut their stuff. With speeches from Tesla‘s JB Straubel to exhibits that allowed you dissect a dog through virtual reality,  there was definitely something for everyone. But with two days of being at any convention, you need to take a break from it all, so that’s exactly what I did! And since I’ve only visited Vancouver only a couple of times, I decided to grab my camera and hit the streets to see what I could find. Lucky for me, I had already heard of Granville Island, a tiny little  island with a bunch of character in the heart of downtown Vancouver, so it was the first place I hit on my list. And with so much character going for the island with a handful of restaurants, cafes, and artsy stores, it also happens to be the perfect setting for Emily Carr University of Art and Design, founded by none other than Emily Carr herself in 1925. In this featured blog shot, we see one of the students existing class and walking down one island’s alleyways. It was the building’s raw metallic siding in combination of the yellow pops of colour found on the lampposts that first caught my attention, so I pulled out my camera to find the most interesting angle. But wouldn’t you know it, people kept on walking out of the building each time I was about to press my shutter button. So, eventually I gave up on trying to capture the raw architecture on its own, and created the “distractions” into the opportunity that you see in this photo. A person that looks like they’re walking towards the light at the end of the tunnel, a classic metaphor of hope when the journey looks long and tiresome. With that, I wish all the students at the university a bright and successful future ahead. You can do it!

How to Prepare for a Professional Head Shot.

JackFlash opens its garage doors

JackFlash Studios – Victoria

Let’s face it, with a giant lens and a bunch of lights pointing your direction, getting a portrait of yourself can be somewhat nerve-racking. But with many years of experience of putting people at ease in front of a camera, most of my clients don’t tend to take very long to loosen up and be themselves.

But for some, preparation is key to feeling as good on the inside as you do on the outside. That said, here are a few tips that will help you feel more prepared for your photo shoot.

1. Clothes
Instead of scrambling last-minute before your shoot, pick out the outfit you intend to wear at least a day before your scheduled shoot. Most head shots are from the mid-chest and up and the shirt is the most important item, so make sure its clean and crisp, preferably no bright colours, no large logos or loud patterns. For full-body shots, bring a couple of pairs of pants and shoes to choose from at the shoot.

2. Skin
If you can, drink plenty of water the week before the shoot to help keep your skin plump, smooth and clear. Eat healthy and avoid fried and salty foods. Get plenty of sleep and avoid long exposures to the sun. If you plan on getting a facial, it’s best to do so at least a week in advance.

3. Hair
Choose a hair style and/or have your hair cut a week or two in advance, as fresh cuts can sometimes look harsh.

4. Facial hair
Trim, pluck and/or choose a style of facial hair in advance. As bleaching your skin can irritate skin, and plucking can leave red marks, make sure you do so a couple of days in advance.

5. Teeth
Avoid any drinks or food that might stain your teeth on the day of your shoot.

6. Nails
There might be a few poses that could expose your hands in the final shot so ensure your nails and nail beds are trim and tidy and looking their best. For women, try choosing a neutral skin tone polish, or clear coat so your nails don’t distract the attention from your face.

7. Peace-of-mind
Take the stress out of your shoot by arriving a few minutes ahead of schedule so you can collect yourself should you get lost, or be stuck in traffic. If you know you will be traveling in rush hour, plan for it. Have the photographer’s address and phone number plugged into your phone and use GPS if you are unfamiliar with the area.

And that’s all you have to “worry” about. The rest is up to me, your photographer, where I will do everything to make sure you are comfortable so I can capture the authentic, wonderful you.

See you soon!

Mo press for JackFlash Photography

Free photo shoot for Movember

Times Colonist – Victoria, BC

With just one Mo day to Movember, Jack Adamson of JackFlash Photography is preparing his follicles and camera gear in anticipation for the Movember Foundation’s big month to raise money in order to help keep our fathers, brothers, sons and friends from dying too young. And lucky for JackFlash, our portrait giveaway (celebrating the heroic acts and donations from fellow mustache growers/wearers) was recently picked up by the local newspaper, the Times Colonist! With that huge vote of confidence, together with the support of the VIATEC Community, printing from the good folks at Island Business Print Group and local barber shops such as Victory Barber, and Brother’s Barbershop for distributing the promotional postcards further, JackFlash has done rather well so far, with over $300 donated to date, which is already 10% of our targeted goal! Knock on wood, we’re hoping that momentum carries the drive for donations going throughout the entire month of November, so we can ALL make a difference in the health and wellbeing of the men in our lives. Want to be a hero too? No prombem, it’s just this easy… mobro.co/jackflashcares

Buddhist, Calgary

Peace

Buddhism is very near to my heart as my wife and I had our martial blessings performed by three monks back in Thailand, all under the ever watchful eye of “The Big Buddha“. Lucky for us, the gigantic monument was only halfway built at the time and we literally had the opportunity to be part of the Big Buddha as large marble slabs where offered up for donation which allowed us to inscribe wishes for ourselves and our families. It was a truly unforgettable morning as we gathered and presented our traditional food offerings for our three monks, who later chanted blessings in our name. To be perfectly honest, it was rather uncomfortable at the beginning of the ceremony as we knelt before the monks on a hard marble floor which had pins and needles running up and down our legs for the first few minutes. But not long after that, we got lost in the mesmerizing chants and the discomfort quickly vanished. At the end of the ceremony, our foreheads wear dabbed in three strokes of gold paste, a symbol of our union. That said, we where over the moon when we learned a Buddhist community was moving into our neighborhood with the goal of transforming an old Craftsman house into a place of worship. Needless to say, I found an opportunity to photograph one of the superiors of the house of worship and asked him to stop by my studio for a free session. With only a sentence or two of instruction from me, my special model nailed his pose and look within 5 mins of the portrait session, only to get up, give a quick blessing then leave the studio, somewhat ignoring my words of gratitude. And as you might see by the results of this photograph, I was truly blessed that day.

Capturing Innocence

Cute girl looks off camera

“C” is for Contemplation

Kids are awesome. They’ll say and do what they want, when they want. No filters included. At the same time, when you’re able to manage and win the little ones over, special things begin to happen in front of the camera’s lens, as seen in a recent shoot for this cutie pie, and her sister. At the beginning of the shoot, the high energy ginger managed to go from confused, to happy, to grumpy, to looking wise and contemplative…all in about 1.5 seconds flat. Which meant I had to take a deep breath, take my camera off the tripod, hope the lighting could would keep up with the little circle sprinter, and truly focus on my subject like I’ve not done before. What I quickly learned was to watch for subtle signs of body language and facial expressions to help me anticipate the one and a half year old’s next move, and never letting go of that trigger. Lucky for me, there was some involvement from the girl’s mother who volunteered to be the official human bubble blowing machine, which in return was cause for great celebration and a whole lot of fun for the girls. With this incredible experience, I’m going to take my photography services to the next challenging level and offer professional portraits to children and their families here at the new JackFlash Victoria studio. I’ll also be offering those services to a nearby childcare centre at a 20% discount (for a limited time only), so be on the lookout for that promotion if you happen to be in the View Royal part of Victoria, BC.

All You Need Is Love

Sitting on Victoria BC's gorge water way

True Love

Since slowly transitioning over to photography from my successful advertising career, I’ve seen my industry finally embrace the LGBTQ community to the point where it’s now become a bit of a trend. Well I say, “better late than never” as the world continues to see all sorts of global brands jumping on the bandwagon of ‘acceptance’.  Trending or not, it brings me great happiness to see the world growing up in that respect, and that more and more people out there are slowly becoming more comfortable to be in their own skins, and no longer feeling the shame that once came with their displays of love and affection towards one another. With that, here’s a candid photo I took of two of my closest friends sitting by The Gorge along Victoria’s inner harbour a few years ago. Little did I know at that time that these two where about to announce there love to the world, and where planning to come back to the Island to get married up in Tofino a few months later! Unfortunately for me, I was just tinkering with photography at the time, and I wasn’t able to offer my photography services to them, which would’ve been the ultimate wedding gift. That said, with a couple of solid years of photography now under my belt, I’m hoping to not only build my reputation as a top engagement and wedding photographer here on Vancouver Island, but to also to specialize my portfolio of work around the LGBTQ community one day. To help speed up that dream and turn it into reality a little faster, I’m currently offering discounted rates to the colourful LGBTQ community to help capture their special day of union. So let’s start the conversation and discuss your photographic expectations today at: jackflash.photography/#connect

Mandolove

The melody of fine love

Mandolove

When two soulmates join hands in marriage, you want to honour their union with something special that symbolizes their love. In this case, my father in-law designed and built this wedding gift for Catherine and Matt, using an old mandoline to set the stage for their magical day. Inside the mandoline stand the bride and groom (and their children)  on center stage with a built in light above then that help to highlight their love. Below the stage, a short poem crafted by my mother in-law reads, “On the stage of memories and dreams, where eagles praise the afternoon sun, husband and wife join hands, make a perfect circle, a whole note filled with the laughter of children.” Above the couple is a beautiful inlay of an eagle, and above that features the bride and groom’s names on both sides of the tuning keys. In fact, if you take a real close look at everything on the mandoline, you’ll notice that there are so many well thought out and creative visual stories that come into play that you’ll be sure to notice something special each time you look at the masterpiece. Beauty aside, I found this “pack shot” of sorts to be an interesting  project to put all the studio lighting techniques I’ve learned to date to the ultimate test. And a test it was, given all the depths and coinciding shadows of the art piece. In the end, taking multiple exposures and blending them together became the best solution to help highlight all the wonderful features found on the mandoline, but giving key elements ways to shine in their own balanced sort of way. All in all, I have a new appreciation for pack shot photography, and I look forward to shooting the next challenge that tests all that I’ve learned to date. Until then, I wish Catherine and Matt eternal happiness and I look forward to seeing them make beautiful music together.

JackFlash Opens in Victoria, BC!

JackFlash opens its garage doors

Now open for business!

As of this week, JackFlash Photography has officially opened its (garage) doors here in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. With a fresh lick of white paint (OK, four coats of white paint) floor to ceiling, and an old-school hand-painted logo, the studio can’t wait for its first set of clients to walk in its doors…and you guessed it, strike a pose! Actually, we already have an interesting set of characters lined up for some creative studio portraits in the coming weeks (stay tuned!), but as you can tell by the portfolio of work, Jack Adamson isn’t just limited to professional studio photography. Instead, Jack would like to keep his options open for various photographic opportunities such as engagements, weddings, events, and soon hopes to focus (pardon the pun) his efforts on capturing some genuine moments in time for families and children. Maybe even new borns? In the meantime, there’s plenty to keep us busy here in Victoria, including exploring more of this wonderful island…like driving up island to jaw dropping Tofino…or going for a bike ride along the Galloping Goose…or paddle boarding along the Gorge Waterway…or nursing a cold pint of Hoyne at one of Victoria’s many fine establishments, or…etc. I think you get the drift 😉 That said, it’s been a move eight years in the making, but we’ve finally decided to take the plunge and make a real go of it here, and we couldn’t be more excited!!! So thanks for having us Victoria, we hope to add to your vibrance and character by capturing you, your inhabitants and your visitors in authentic, memorable ways.

 

 

May the Force of Marriage Be With You!

almost done!

May the Force Be With You

There are weddings. And then there are epic weddings that are out of this world, literally. Take this wonderful moment for example. The recent wedding between Sofee and Sumeet who chose to get married at Hatley Castle on the grounds of Royal Roads College in Victoria BC. where they had a subtle Star Wars theme, with R2D2 witnessing the marathon wedding. And by marathon, we’re talking four wonderful occasions wrapped up into one wedding event. First was the Henna gathering, where the ladies on both sides of the family got together to paint their hands with mehndi and turmeric, which gets squeezed out of cone-shaped tubes and illustrates beautiful dark stained patterns on both sides of the hands and wrists, and is supposed to “awaken the inner light”. Next up was celebrating the groom at an event where the bride is not even allowed to see photos before the big wedding day. On this night, the groom walked into the hall after a traditional Indian buffet dinner surrounded by four people that carried posts that support a beautifully patterned cloth that cloaks the groom as he walked up to the stage. Once on stage, the groom sat down as various family stepped onto the stage and slapped on paste onto the grooms forehead and face, not to mention stuffing money into the groom’s pockets for good luck and prosperity. After all that, the dance floor was saturated with colour as people dressed in tradition Indian clothing let rip to all sorts of DJ’d music, which also featured people whacking a wooden board with a stick until the board broke, and moving a large crown-like head piece from one head to the next. All this, and the wedding had not even begun! The following day, set on the grounds of Hatley Castle, and surrounded by a mature and beautifully maintained garden, the couple was surrounded by hundreds of family members who witnessed the pouring and mixing of sands, before the vows where exchanged. And later that evening is where everyone finally got to let there hair down and celebrate the union of the young couple, with yet another epic stage setting which looked like something you’d see in the God Father, where the couple ate, drank and watched the families before them honour their union with speeches, and you guessed it, more dance. That all begin said, congratulations Sofee and Sumeet. We all wish you many years of love and happiness as you continue to grow your family and love.