About Randy Vanderveen

 Grande Prairie Alberta photographer Randy Vanderveen is an award-winning photographer with two decades of experience. Editorial photography, commercial photography, institutional photography, aerial photography, documentary and humanitarian photography — whatever your photographic needs are in the Peace River Country of northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia or beyond I can help. The right licensing package can make custom photography affordable and extremely effective whether you are a national corporation, a local business or a non-profit or NGO. I would like to sit down and talk with you about how I can meet your photographic needs. Call (780) 897- 6478 or email me for a quote on a job or licensing fees for photos. Feel free to check out the weekly Viewfinder blog.



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Planning and accidents

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta A hover fly heads toward the brightly coloured blossoms of a fireweed south of Grande Prairie. The insects resemble bees and wasps.

There is a saying that sometimes you are good and sometimes you are lucky.

Being prepared can certainly provide the foundation of good photos but at other times it is just a happy accident that makes the difference.

The first two photos of the insects demonstrate this. The first was to be a photo of the blossoms of the fireweed highlighted by the sunshine with the background in deep shadow thanks to the forest behind the plant (see A Different Look). The hover fly flying into the frame was a pure accident. Once it was in the frame I made several photos to capitalize on its appearance.

The second photo was an intentional one of the wasp in the flower but it inadvertently knocked off an older blossom which is falling in the lower left corner of the frame — again a happy accident makes all the difference in the photo.

 Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta A wasp knocks an older flower to the ground as it goes looking for food in the blossoms of fireweed south of Grande Prairie. The wasp population is quite high this summer — the result of warm and dry conditions.

The remaining three photographs are from some recent work.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Bezanson Alberta The steeple and cross on the Bezanson Community Church is surrounded by a threatening-looking sky — the precursor to a rain storm that moved through the area Monday morning. Most places in Alberta are welcoming rain which is needed for crops, and water sources.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Sexsmith, Alberta A collapsing farm building is surrounded by the bright yellow blossoms of a canola field as rain clouds build in the northwest. Old farm buildings are subject to the elements and will eventually succumb to the wind and weather if they aren't maintained. Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta A farmer just east of the southern Grande Praririe city limits takes advantage of a warm summer morning to rake up his hay crop. If the weather holds haying in the South Peace should be finished in a week.


A Different Look

Here is some recent work where most of the photos have a different look or technique to draw in the viewer.

Photo; Randy Vanderveen A horse and rider streak past the fence at the Evergreen Park providing a look of speed — the result of a slow shutter speed and panning.

Photo Randy Vanderveen The first of two photographs of a grass hopper. This one takes advantage of its reflection in the windshield of a car. Photo Randy Vanderveen This second photo implies damage caused by grasshoppers as the insect had moved closer to a large area of the windshield damaged previously by a rock.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Taking a close up, like this prickly pear bloom, can give the photo a different point of view. Photo Randy Vanderveen The similar colors of a butterfly and tiger lily highlight this photo. Photo Randy Vanderveen Isolating the subject of your photo by changing the backgrround or your depth of field can draw the attention of your audience. Photo Randy Vanderveen Not all of your photographs have to be sharp from front to back. In this photo the shape of the pumpjack out of focus in the rear is enough to identify it. Photo Randy Vanderveen Finally humour is one way of catching your audience's attention.



Here and there

Photo Randy Vanderveen Musanze District, Rwanda 2015-05-23 A young girl with an onion sack hat, The youngster was attending a Children of Hope meeting.(a support group for children affected by HIV/AIDS)

Here are some recent photos from both Rwanda and here in the Peace.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Nyarusange, Rwanda 2015-05-16 A young man with his wooden bike near Nyarusange, Huye District, RwandaPhoto Randy Vanderveen Musanze District, Rwanda 2015-05-27 A mother and child enjoy a few moments ignoring their surroundings intent on each other in an adult literacy class.

 Photo Randy Vanderveen Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda 2015-05-27 A man picks tea leaves at a plantation in the Nyungwe Forest National Park. Photo Randy Vanderveen Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda Northern Double-collared Sunbird Cinnyris reichenow

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-06-17 A prickly pear cactus bloom adds a splash of colour to the plant in Kleskun Hills Park. The recent rain has helped wild flowers bloom in the Peace Country.Photo Randy Vanderveen Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda 2015-05-27 colobus monkey


The Remnant

It’s 70 years since the end of World War II and as we prepare to celebrate seven decades since VE Day, May 8, I wanted to commemorate the service of those men and women.
The years slip by rapidly and the young men and women who signed up to serve are now in their late 80s and 90s,
 I wanted to ensure they were honoured and to let them know their service was appreciated.. I talked to 11 veterans, there may be a veteran who lives in Grande Prairie and was not interviewed — please don’t take this as a slight — every effort was taken to contact everyone I was told was a World War II vet, to find out their memories of the end of the war. Since I conducted the interviews and took photo, one of the vets –Josephine Fulks –  has passed away. And that is why this project was undertaken to recognize these vets now – so they know they were appreciated.
In addition to this blog entry, there will be a story in the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune and a display is set up at the Grande Prairie museum.
Please take this as a snap shot and a way of honouring all of you men and women who served in World War II. As a son of Dutch immigrants I thank you all.
For those interested in having a commemorative  copy of the display at the museum, a book mirroring the display can be ordered by emailing me.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-11 Bill Gorrie, 93, displays a medal he recently received from the French government along with several other veterans in the Grande Prairie, area. Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-11 Bill Gorrie, 93, attached to Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps Crossed D Day +1 Normandy into Germany spent a year in Holland after the warPhoto Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-11 Bill Bessent served as a Flying Officer in Bomber Command at end of war.Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-12 Dick Beairsto, Flying Officer.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-18 Tom Funnell, 90, Lance Corporal in Royal Canadian Army in Germany on VE Day.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-17 Lester Reber, army Ordnance 93

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-17 Max Henning, Flying Officer, 226 Squadron

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-17 George Kusyk, 92, Tank Operator

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-13 Josephine Fulks, Petty Officer, Royal Canadian Navy, Post Office in London at end of war.Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-12 Don Matlock, Craftsman, Engineering corps driver, in England when war ended. Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-18 Ray Pollock, 90, Private in army Loyal Edmonton Regiment in Netherlands on VE Day.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2015-02-13 Fred Dobbyn, 92, Sergeant Army Hussars



Photo Randy Vanderveen Kakwa, Alberta 2015-03-22 A pair of rigs work side by side at a well site just west of Highway 40 north of the Kakwa River. The area between the Kakwa and Cutbank Rivers is extremely busy right now with gas exploration and pipelines.

Here is some work from the past couple of weeks. Two photos serve as a reminder if you are planning on taking architecture photos twilight or pre-dawn works the best when the ambient light of the sky and the artificial lights match in intensity. It also provides a beautiful blue sky whether it has been cloudy all day or sunny.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta The exterior of McLaurin Baptist Church's new building in the Gateway Power Centre in west Grande Prairie. The church has been meeting in the new facility for a couple of months and welcomes both visitors who are curious or those looking for a church home. Services are 10:15 am Sundays. Photo Rady Vanderveen Mount Robson, British Columbia A snow-covered Mount Robson stands like a stark sentinel against a clear evening sky in mid-March, Photo Randy Vanderveen Bezanson, Alberta 2015-03-24 A herd of elk cross a road and fence line on the Adam Ranch south of Bezanson. The large animals are becoming a nuisance in the South Peace, along the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies and the Suffield area as they gather in large numbers stealing feed for livestock and damaging fences. Hunters have not been able to control the rapidly growing population of elk resulting in two rural municipalties requesting an increase in elk quotas for hunters to help alleviate the wildlife problem.