“There’s no such thing as bad light, only misunderstood light.” Don McCullin
I believe there’s no bad situation either – not even harsh sun, dark rooms, not enough space to move around, rainstorms, people who don’t want to be photographed, unflattering color casts, and countless other things most photographers find a distraction.
I prefer to see all those challenges as wicked-awesome opportunity to take super, artsy photos for my clients… the kind of pictures they could get excited to hang on their wall.
Embracing tricky situations also gave me the chance to learn and experiment. And along the way I figured out a whack-ton of shortcuts and nifty hacks to make art in any light, and in any situation. And best of all? You can apply these hacks and techniques to pretty much any genre of photography.
Plus, it’s just plain old fun to dork out with your camera and take photos that are a little bit weird and different.
In 2014 I was ranked #3 in the country by the Professional Photographers of Canada, plus I have placed three times in the top 10 with the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers, and my photos have won 22 Lifetime Fearless Awards. My nature work placed as a finalist in both the Nature's Best photography competition and the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
I also have a master’s degree in journalism from Carleton University which was a great background for learning how to tell visual stories. I somehow went from that to working as a marketing manager in high tech, but then I became so completely addicted to photography that I quit my ladder-climbing-cubicle-career to attend the Western Academy of Photography.
While at Western, I won the award for best overall student, and I became a faculty member in 2008.
I taught the wedding course; and during the last class of every year, we strung up Christmas lights in the studio and had a dance party. That way everyone had a chance to practice their flash -- and their dance -- techniques. I think photography is fun. And learning about photography should be fun.
Derek isn't just a handsome face: He's the videographer, editor and producer of Get Crafty Photographers! He's also a pretty incredible photographer himself AND, he's also my husband. You can view Derek's Instagram at @dmohninger.