a week in Drumheller with my crazy family

my welcome home email today

From Kate's best friend:

Kate is not doing well. She is in a lot of pain, on oxygen, getting shocked often and not mobile. If a donor heart is not found, she currently has a few days to a week left. Please pray. Ang

back, rested, working like mad...

I am back from a fantastic reunion with my bestest friend in the whole wide world T from the t.dot and my gloriously relaxing Drumheller holiday (I left the laptop behind and actually took a "for real life" as Serejane would put it break) and have SO MUCH to share! For now, a little more patience is required, but rest assured the next week will be jam-packed with some very cool funky wonderful pictures of some very cool funky wonderful people, places, and things (and yoga, too!) Check back tomorrow for the firs installment...

Much love,


update on Kate

I've been asked for an update, and so, I thought I'd post a brief one.  

(See Kate?  Everyone loves you!  MUAH~~~!)

Kate is still exercising one of her 99 lives.  However, she is still in need of prayer, now more than ever, as a donor has not yet been found, and the window of being an eligible recipient closes as her health deteriorates.  Please continue to pray for her, and her beautiful children, and her amazing (and pretty good-looking) husband, as well as her extended family of relatives and dear friends who are still holding onto HOPE.  Send kind thoughts, send strength, and above all send love.

I love you, Kate, and look forward to catching up with you soon.

where are you?

OK - so you can all stop emailing me, I'm not dead... just busy.  I'm on holidays, chillin' out with my family, visiting friends, paddling my canoe, catching up on some books, and taking care of some outstanding projects around the house.  Check back next Monday for a whole pile of updates - lakes, babies, dinosaurs, weddings, yoga, and more!!!  Until then, everyone enjoy the week!

Much love,


Talking in Loud Whispers: Making the Connection

In the Workshops we've often discussed how important it is to make a connection with your subject in order to create the best possible images.  For me, the greatest joy in taking pictures is the process, not the end product - when the pictures I have mean something to me as well as the viewer the process transcends from being a pretty picture to being a shared experience.  

Whether you are photographing people, places, or things, there are ways of making that connection that will make your experience of taking the picture deeper and stronger, lending a sense of power and intensity that allow the people we share our images with to see them on an emotional as well as artistic level.

The first Talking in Loud Whispers discussion group will be taking place from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. immediately following the DLS Crash Course on August 10, 2008.  Everyone is welcome.  As this is a discussion group and not a presentation or lecture, I invite everyone to come with questions and suggestions, and willing to share their own experiences taking connected' pictures.

Cost is $5 per participant.  Coffee and snacks will be provided.  Please email h dot walls at shaw dot ca to sign up.

DLS Crash Course - August 10, 2008

A repeat of the much-requested DLS Crash Course is running on August 10, 2008.  If you are interested in this intensive basic training, please send an email to h dot walls at shaw do ca.  There are only a couple of spaces left, so sign up soon!

What will I know after the DLS workshops?

I got an email inquiry about the DLS workshops and figured that this was a great question, and worthy of a blogging.

Depending on whether you engage in the series, the Weekender, or the Crash Course, what you walk away with will vary.  There are write-ups about each Workshop explaining the subject in detail, but summarily here is what you will walk away from the Workshops:

1) a solid and practical understanding of how your camera works to create an exposure, how the settings on your camera affect the image, and how to manually adjust your camera's settings to achieve the image you want;
2) a detailed understanding of vocabulary usually used when discussing photography such as depth of field, composition, contrast, exposure, saturation, and more, and how to manipulate these things in-camera;
3) a general overview of some tried and true practices for composing pictures, taking group and individual portraits, and self-correcting weakly composed or poorly exposed images.
4) hands-on practice with a variety of metering techniques as well as a demonstration of some artificial or controlled lighting such as flashes, strobes, and continuous lighting;
5) access to field trips, discussion groups, and ongoing live support; and
6) develop a network of fellow shutterbugs who are able to share resources, information, and your passion for shooting.

Other special workshops cover things specific to wedding photography, setting up and operating as a business, common basic Photoshop techniques, and old-fashioned techniques for creating textures and special effects without having to digitally manipulate your images during post-processing.

New or special workshops are added from time to time as well, designed by the people who request them, and private tutoring is also available.

I hope this gives a good outline of what your expectations of the Workshops are all about, and look forward to adding some fresh new faces to our wonderful family of workshoppers!

bereavement photos

T wants to know: Is it ok to take photograph's at a memorial? There is family that will not be able to make it and I think ti would be nice to share photo's of the day with them, also I want it for myself. If it is ok to do so what kind of shots do you or don't you reccomend? Also can you offer any tips for taking photo's during a scattering of the ashes on water?

For what it's worth, people feeling weird or icky about photos taken at memorials or funerals is a North American thing. I know my German relations all make a big deal out of taking pictures of everything from the dead body in the casket to family photos to the party after, then package them up in cards and mail them to all the relatives who were unable to be present.

This is my personal take on it. I took a tonne of pictures when my Daddy died. I took pictures of us planning, hanging out, crying, laughing, driving, playing, sighing, sleeping - you name it. For me it was a coping mechanism - a way to remain productive and focussed - and one which now brings me great peace as I am able to walk through my father's death at a pace I can comfortably deal with. I smile, laugh, and cry when I look back through them, and wouldn't trade them for all the tea in China.

It's different for everyone, though. If YOU want to take pictures, take photos of things you want to remember. The casket, the flowers, any mementos that may be present; family and friends; the location of the ceremony and what the weather was like. I don't take photos during the memorial service itself unless asked, but you may want to, depending on who is speaking. If it was a distant relative's funeral, I would want to take into consideration the feelings of other people there, but since this is your parent, I don't think you should have to ask or care what anyone else thinks.

As far as pictures of the ashes being scattered (which I must point out is actually illegal in some places and I do not advocate this practice without the proper authorities being contacted for local laws) what I would suggest is deciding who is doing the scattering and who is doing the picture taking ahead of time, as you probably won't be able to do both. You will likely want a picture taken from the water beside the dock or boat, as well as one from further away, which might require other people being asked to take pictures, too. Take into consideration things like wind which might need to be factored in - 'scattering' may need to be more of a gentle dunking or people could end up with facefuls of ash. If you can't actually get pictures of the ashes scattering or being dispursed, pictures of the location, the day of travel, local scenery, etc. can be just as important, as they not only illustrate the surroundings of your loved one's final resting place, but also document the events leading up to and following, which can often be an adventure all by themselves. When we buried my Daddy's ashes, we went for lunch at the local greasy spoon before, and out smashing bottles afterwards, and it was a perfect day for us. Since you're making quite a trip, I imagine you could take a whole lot of interesting pictures before and after.

And, just as a side note, if you are taking your camera out on watercraft, you should consider bringing along something watertight or water-resistant and buoyant (a 4L ice cream pail would do in a pinch) to transport your camera.

hot hot hot!

When I did K & C's session a few weeks ago (remember the LOVE graffiti pics?) the bride-to-be mentioned that her friends were planning a pin-up themed stagette party for her. My curiosity instantly piqued and I asked if she'd be interested in having me come and snap a few pictures. What ended up transpiring though was a full-on thigh-high, telephone-wielding, struttin', posin', and blowing kisses to the camera, topped off with a limo ride to a special location for a crazy group photo where the poor, innocent ladies got honked at and heckled by the locals... you can see why - simply gorgeous! Thanks to ALL OF YOU for such a fun and wild night!!!

The gorgeous bride-to-be. K - may your wedding next weekend be at least as much fun as your stagette!!!

See more here - watch for the full set in early August!!!


It seems like just yesterday I photographed C & J-L's wedding, and here I am doing one-year pictures for thier son! I can't believe how fast he's grown - he is absolutely perfect, Mom & Dad, and anytime you need a baby squisher you know you can call us, right? Please?

We spent a lunch hour at Kinsmen with Avery while he went for his first swing on a tire swing, his first time playing in the sand, and his first ride down a slide - first the wee baby one by himself, and then the BIG HUGE LONG one with Mom and Dad! Thnaks for bringing me the baby. I like it better when we visit at the park - I don't have to share Avery with the other ladies in the office HA!

many faces of D & E

I often get asked, "You took lots of pictures - how do you pick just a few?" Well, I do have a method for culling the collection, starting with ones where the people are blinking or making weird faces, ones where one of the kids bolted into (or out of) the frame, ones where there are too many too similar and you only need one, etc. Unfortunately you get a few stinkers like this session, which I couldn't find ANY unusable or tossable pictures, ESPECIALLY the goofy ones, and so I ended up with WAY more than I should... but, it isn't hard to see why, is it?

To really experience the full range of expressions these two little facial contortionists can muster, see the rest of the album here:

Workshop July 13, 2007

We had a couple last-minute cancellations and as such have a couple of spots available.  If anyone's interested in attending, please email me at h dot walls at shaw dot ca and I will put your name on the list!

the final big huge announcement!!!

So, you all waited ever so patiently, and here it is on a Monday night, the last of my big news:

Hope Walls Photography and ticdesign are now pleased to offer FREE COVERAGE of destination weddings!!! You cover expenses, we'll cover you as your own personal paparazzi!!! Coverage is highly subject to availability, so please contact us well in advance to book.

Considering a destination wedding and not sure where to start? Contact us at h dot walls at shaw dot ca and we'll offer some suggestions!!!

happy Canada Day!!!

This year's fireworks pictures have been brought to you courtesy of Hope, the lensbaby, and Lisa, whose suggestion of a maple leaf was just what the Dr. ordered...

The Legislative grounds like you've never seen them before... Pretty cool, eh?