Archive for 'General'


Yes, it’s that time of year again, with Thanksgiving around the corner, Scouts at the shops selling apples, freezers filled with local produce for winter, bellies filled with the most incredible sweet corn, pumpkins ripe in the fields, combines going like the clackers to get the harvest off the field before it rains or frosts, leaves turning a multitude of vibrant fall colours and the evening sun casting an incredible warm glow across fields, on trees, hills and barns.

I love this time of year in Canada.  Mornings crisp.  Days still warm.  Cool to sleep at night.  Mosquitos a faint buzzing memory of spring and summer.

As a photographer, the opportunities are endless and oh so fleeting.  Every day is different from the last as the first early turning trees go first, seemingly on by themselves, then a few more trees have a bit of colour.  Next thing you know there are trees without any leaves on them standing side by side with trees which are still green.  Bam, a hint of yellow and orange appears across the hills and down the streets.  Next day, it looks like the world is on fire (well, if you live in oak and maple country, anyway) with leaves fire red, glowing orange, and school bus yellow. Then, what’s this, snow?  Hmmm, you might think I’m jumping the gun on the snow whilst September is still on the calendar, but my good friend Marisa noted on facebook that it was snowing at the EKATI Diamond Mine today.  And so as a photographer, every day is an opportunity for a different photograph, even standing in the same place each time.

Dad and I have been out scouting for just such colour and opportunities.  Driving around the Horseshoe Valley area.  Went up to the cottage yesterday to fetch one of the boats home and took the back route home looking for whatever there might be to see.  The trees at the lake weren’t in their full glory yet, though the early sugar maple at Perkis’ cottage was already fully fire red.  Another week perhaps.

And that, I suppose, brings me to my point today.  If you are thinking about fall portraits for your family, there is still time to get organised, but don’t wait much longer.  Those leaves will be piled deeep on our lawns before we know it.


Earlier this year, a photographer friend of mine, Sabrina Henry, posted an interview with me on her blog “the chronicles of learning photography”.  I rather kept the interview a bit quiet as it was letting the cat out of the bag a bit.  Several months prior to this article coming out Jen and I had come to the conclusion that we needed to make a change in our lives and that living in Roxby really wasn’t working for us anymore.  We hadn’t quiet decided what the change was going to be, when it would come or just where we might end up, but we did have a pretty good idea.  We hadn’t made any irreversible decisions so broadcasting this feature wasn’t something we could do at the time.

Regardless, when Sabrina asked me to answer a few questions she did warn me that I didn’t get a choice of questions and that I had to choose just one image to go with the interview post.  Arg.  At first I thought it would be a hard choice, but in the end it was pretty easy to choose this image from the Schubert’s family portrait session.  This image one of my favourite family portraits.  It was taken last winter in the Outback near Roxby Downs when the desert had exploded into massive bloom for the first time in decades.  The Schuberts were surrounded with wild parsnips and had a fabulous time exploring the flower-covered dunes while I captured these precious moments for them.  I love how this image portrays just how close Kara and Jay are with their children.

Now that we have launched Houlden Studios, I felt it was fitting that we bring this interview showcase at Sabrina’s blog out to the forefront again.  Check it out here.


All in all, a pretty exciting day for me today.  For the last couple weeks since finalising our identity package with Chad and his awesome creative graphic design team at Rhubarb Media I have been working pretty hard at laying out the website design, choosing images, formating, tweaking, curating, starting over, redesigning, etc etc. You get the idea. It’s been quite a challenge to get there.

Just when I thought I had a really good start on things, I sent my links over to my really good friend Pamela for some feedback.  Pamela, a fine art black and white portrait photographer who specialises in real life documentary photography, actually deserves a blog post of own, so maybe we’ll do that in the near future, eh?  Sorry, as I was saying, Pamela really helped me simplify the website design and then provided some awesome feedback that really helped me curate my collection of imagery to what you see now at our website.  And as if that wasn’t enough, I solicited feedback from a group of people with whom I’ve been studying business techniques with all summer and had a whole heap of more tweaking to do today.  Funny, when I went to bed last night, I really did think I would wake up in the morning and hit the publish button. Wrong!  It did go up today though, phew.

In reviewing my work from the past year to choose the best images for our website, it really struck me how my style has developed this past year.  I started out presenting almost all of my portraits in a vertical orientation with a few being presented square.  As the year progressed, I started embracing a horizontal format and eventually progressing to the ultra-wide aspect imagery you see predominately on the website.  I’m really excited about this format because, for me, it has incredible impact.  I just love the way an image looks and feels when displayed really wide like this.

Right!  Well, I really just want to say “PHEW!” out loud to the world that our website had been released into the wild.

Take care.