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–of paybacks.

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!

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

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’ve grown your mustache to support the fight against prostate cancer, we think you’re a superhero. So we’d like to reward you with a professional photo shoot–a $275 value–in 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–once everyone has had a chance to grow out their staches–and 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 😉 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.

Doggone Special

dog portrait

Nova

There’s something special that happens when you connect with an animal the first time you both meet. For me, it was the time I first made eye contact with my current four-legged friend, Lucy. My wife and I passed many litters of pups that were up for adoption at our local animal shelter before we finally came across a rambunctious litter of mixed-labrador pups in pen 31. They were having so much fun together that they didn’t even notice us glaring into their pen, except for one. That was the moment Alley (named because she was found in an alley) locked onto my eyes, ignoring all the commotion around her, luring me in further for a one-on-one visit. And that was that…there was no turning back. Alley (later named Lucy) joined our pack and began living “a dog’s life” with us. And who can blame over-protective fur parents such as myself. You just want to give your pet the very best of everything! From food, to exercise, to toys and even her luxurious sleeping arrangement, that comes with a view of course. Pets bring us so much joy, teach us a lot about patience (a lot!) and most of all, they give us their loyalty and unconditional love, no matter what the circumstance. And knowing there are many people out their just like me, I decided it was time for JackFlash to offer pet photography in the very near future. So whether its in a park, or in studio, pet owners in Victoria and across Vancouver Island will now have a better option when it comes to capturing authentic moment in time for their pets, and have something really beautiful to hold onto for many years to come. In this shot, we have a good friend’s dog named Nova who I captured last summer in the fields behind their house. Nova was “getting on with his life” and they wanted to preserve his strong character before his health started to slip. So with just a half an hour spent letting their dogs wander around the open field, I took this one shot of Nova looking off into the horizon, which really seemed to capture his true essence. Strong, proud, but always having room for a little fun. If you’d like to have some memories captured of your special pet, feel free to reach out and learn more about JackFlash’s special introductory offer today.

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.

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.