The Banker

Dan poses in studio

The Banker

They say money talks. But for me, it’s my photography that does most of the talking, (a thousand words to be more precise ūüėČ ¬†And on this occasion, I thought I’d try out a new lighting technique on a financial advisor I recently met, who also came from the banking world as my subject. Daniel was awesome to work with who managed to strike up various, non typical studio poses for me as I got really up close and personal with him to be able to capture the slightly distorted look¬†from his hands, to his head with a wide angle lens. I really enjoy how this turned out because the large hands gives the audience a sense of Dan’s ¬†power, all combined with the very¬†confident look on his face. Makes you kind of feel that you’re in good hands with this financial advisor ūüėČ Which leads me to the lighting technique that was inspired by my latest and greatest photography idle, Platon. I learned of Platon on a Netfilx documentary series, “Abstract” that focuses on techniques adapted by some of the worlds finest artists of various disciplines. Besides the lighting technique, I also learned the importance of really getting to know your subject before the shoot and during to be able to capture the¬†subjects authentic selves, because that’s when you can capture their authentic souls. Another thing I learned from Platon was not to go into a shoot with the main goal of coming out with a great shot. Instead, a photographer should put more emphasis and excitement of really getting to know a new person. And with the likes of Obama, to George Clooney, to some of the best advertising photography I’ve seen to date, you know this guy means business. With that, I had that in mind before picking up the camera and setting up the lights, I was on a mission to get to know, and capture the real Daniel in an authentic and memorable way.

 

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!

Queen Mother

Queen mother is in the house.

Queen Mother

A couple of years ago, I¬†thought I gave my mum¬†the biggest, and best surprise for her birthday by shipping myself over to my hometown, Toronto. Once I landed, I took a cab from the airport to my grandmother’s nursing home where I knew mum would¬†be visiting that day. Once I spotted¬†her sitting in the home’s lobby, I pulled out my phone and gave mum¬†a ‘long-distance’ call. Snickering to myself, I found it quite entertaining that I was having a conversation with my very own mother who at the time did not realize that her son¬†was standing¬†directly above her. Eventually, I took my phone from my ear and started taking photos of mum¬†as she continued the conversation with me. I must say, it¬†was quite the treat¬†to¬†see mum’s¬†face go from a blank stare to a state of confusion as she thought to herself, “why is this strange young man taking random photos of me?” That’s when I decided it was time to drop¬†the bomb and wish mum¬†a happy birthday. It was a stunt that I thought would be unbeatable and go down into birthday surprise history.¬†But that reign ended last week with mum somehow one-upping me! Yup, together with my wife, the¬†dynamic duo planned and executed the ultimate¬†birthday surprise. The sneaky pair somehow timed my mum’s arrival to land just one hour before my wife’s plane landed¬†from a conference that she attended in LA. And after greeting¬†my wife at arrivals, we¬†walked into the airport’s¬†restaurant to grab a quick bite¬†before the drive home. And wouldn’t you know it, out of the corner of my eye , I noticed that there was a ‘strange’ woman taking candid photos of me. Eventually I made my way to the woman who was hiding¬†half her face behind her¬†tablet camera to¬†ask her what she was up to. As I neared, I¬†realized that this strange woman was actually my mother¬†giving her son some well timed¬†payback.¬†With that, I decided that¬†it would be a good time to give mum a different kind of payback, one that she could hold onto for years to come. A portrait fit for a queen‚Äďof paybacks.

Standing Tall in the Face of Fear

Woman raises her hand in unity over equality #PussyHatProject

Fight the Power

On January 20th, a new president was sworn into the oval office. The following day on January 21st, millions of people around the world joined over 600 peaceful protests and marches in support of women’s rights. The movement was called the PussyHat Project which had a large variety of people, mostly women, dawning pink pussy hats (essentially, pointy cat ears crocheted onto pink toques) in protest of what the new misogynistic government stood for. At the end of the day, the protests were seen as a success as public malls around the world were flooded, not just the in Washington, unifying the effort visually with a sea of pink hats. In Victoria BC, women’s voices were heard just as loud and proud at Centennial Square. This one¬†particular shot was from behind¬†one of the speakers rallying the day’s protesters before the its march. As luck would have it, I just happened to be walking behind the woman at just the right time just before¬†she rose her hand in the air, at the end of her speech.¬†I knew the moment I snapped this shot that the photograph¬†would be very pleasing to the eye, with the light blue coat and complimentary pink pussy hat. But I literally had no idea how powerful the image¬†was until I uploaded it to my computer a few hours later. It was then that I saw what was really captured. A moment of strength¬†and unity which was reinforced¬†by the faceless, blurred-out protesters in the distance who cheered the speaker on before she left the stage. The march went on throughout the streets, with the protesters supported by both men and children alike. It was a day that Victoria, and the world stood tall, while standing up for women’s basic rights in the year 2017.

Curious Minds

what's on the other side?

Curious Minds

Last fall, I had the pleasure of (eventually) snapping some candid shots of a few pre-schoolers running around Little Friends Daycare, a local favourite here in Victoria BC, and set within a picturesque church setting. The assignment was more of a personal challenge for me to see if I could even keep up with the rambunctious little rascals to begin with. And, for the most part, I did keep up, but the real challenge I later found out was just trying to go stealth in order to capture those authentic, candid photographs that the daycare had requested for their promotional efforts. And yes, you would think that a six-foot-four photographer would naturally stand out out like a sore thumb when trying to go un-noticed around a bunch of three foot nothing munchkins. But the real reason that stealth-mode was not an option was that toddlers seem to have invisible radar dishes mounted on top of their little heads, because no matter what tree or jungle gym I tried to hide behind, there seemed to be no way of steering all those curious eyes away from my camera’s lens. That all being said, with a little luck and a lot of patience, the kids eventually grew bored of the strange giant lurking about their playground…and that’s when the magic officially began! In this particular shot, I managed to capture a few of the pre-schoolers peering over a fence with great intensity. To be honest, I had no idea what they were looking at, or for, but in the end that really didn’t really matter. It was the genuine moment of innocent curiosity that I was after, which made for a fun and interesting shot, capturing some of the daycare’s essence. So if you happen to have a photographic challenge, and you like what you’ve seen on the rest of this site so far, feel free to reach out to Jack of JackFlash Photography for a free and competitive estimate for your special assignment.

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!

Batman would not be Batman, without the support of this guy

robin and batman

Robin and Batman

To date, Jack of JackFlash Photography has managed to¬†get a good start on donations for this year’s¬†Movember fundraising efforts to help stop men dying to young, and is hoping that as the mustaches start coming in, so will the rest of the donations!

That said,¬†Jack would¬†like to take this time to acknowledge the generous support he’s received so far from the local community as he searches for Mo donations from local mustashe bearing heroes, and their donations, all Movember long.

With that in mind, he’d like to thank Tessa at VIATEC for being the first onboard to¬†back and promote¬†his¬†Movember fundraising efforts. He’d also like¬†to thank Nikki and the owners of Island Business Print Group, Chris and Lorne, for donating their printing services, and even sharing the Movember messaging over the company’s¬†social channels. He’d like to thank the local barber shops for¬†helping him¬†distribute the hundreds of promotional postcards to their clients, including the owners of Victory Barber¬†and Brothers’ Barbershop. Lastly, Jack would¬†like to thank Richard Watts at the Times Colonist, Y.A.M. Magazine¬†and local brand architect, Doug Brown for helping spread the word even further!

Needless to say, Jack would be nowhere with his fundraising efforts without the heroic support of the above mentioned. So thanks for being our Robin everyone!

But wait, there’s Mo!¬†JackFlash is just getting started¬†and will be opening¬†the¬†campaign to local businesses later this weekend…stay tuned!

FREE* Photo Shoot for Victoria’s Superheroes!

photo credit: Movember Foundation Canada

photo credit: Movember Foundation Canada

Jack of JackFlash Photography is now calling¬†beautiful Victoria, BC…”home”.

And in gratitude for all the¬†opportunities that this wonderful community has generously provided to date, JackFlash Studios has¬†thought of a neat way to¬†give back…

*If you‚Äôve grown your mustache to support the fight against prostate cancer, we think you‚Äôre a superhero. So¬†we‚Äôd like to reward you with a professional photo shoot‚Äďa $275 value‚Äďin exchange for a $75+ donation towards the Movember Foundation.

Book your session today with jack@jackflash.photography and ask how you can support the cause too, even if you cannot grow a mustache:)

And if you live too far from Victoria to attend your photo shoot, you can still contribute to a great cause by donating directly to: mobro.co/jackflashcares

Portrait sessions will begin closer to the end of November‚Äďonce everyone has had a chance to grow out their staches‚Äďand will continue for as long as it takes to capture as many generous participants as possible.¬†**Please note that the offer is limited to the first 50 people, (or at the discretion of JackFlash Photography) and will be officially running from October 24th –¬†November 30th, 2016.

A little more about The Movember Foundation: Growing a mustache for the month of November is a show of support for The Movember Foundation. The Movember Foundation is committed to addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. In 13 years The Foundation has funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world. By 2030, the goal of The Movember Foundation is to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. More information about the foundation can be found at: ca.movember.com

Thanks so much for your participation and making a difference in men’s lives. I look forward to capturing your mustache (fake or real) in all it’s glory!

batman¬†mustache photo credit –¬†braun

You’ve Got Mail!

Canada Post

You’ve Got¬†Smiles!

Meet Dawn. She is a rather special postal worker for Canada Post, who¬†not only delivered mail to Victoria’s downtown core, but as you can see, also delivered plenty of smiles along the way. You see, each and every day, we would be entertained by Dawn’s vitality for life, who often brightened our days with eventful stories, not to mention all the¬†fun accessories that she would add to her postal uniform…such as her candy cane patterned socks, and maple leaf scarf we see¬†in this studio portrait. Although I hadn’t been on Dawn’s route for too long before¬†Canada Post made some changes to her route, but I heard this red and white getup was one of her tamer outfits, as she really liked to push the envelope (pardon the pun) when it came to dressing up and in turn lighting up peoples faces around the city. One of her best outfits I hear was¬†Cruella de Vil of Disney’s “101 Dalmatians”. But sadly it all came to an end a few months ago,¬†which meant¬†receiving mail was no longer an event to look forward too. (The next postal worker just delivered the mail…can you imagine ūüėČ Lucky for me, Dawn had agreed to spending some time with me the other day in order to help me capture the personality that the office¬†grew to appreciate over the years. With that, I wish Dawn all the best on her new route/journey, and I’m happy that more people around Victoria get to share in her positive energy, through the simple act of delivering the mail, with a story and a smile.