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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Lessons from nature

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta A baby American coot swims in Crystal Lake.

It is hard to believe it has been almost a week since I posted already. I have to say people that post to blogs on a daily basis definitely have to be dedicated to the process.

While I was out looking for photos this past week a couple of reminders came up as a result of the subjects I shot over the course of the week. First don't go out with pre-conceived ideas. (I am talking about photos for journalism, landscape or nature shots or just to exercise your eye and shutter finger— if you are shooting portraits, a wedding or even a commercial shot for an annual report you better have some notion of what you are going to shoot — that is what your clients are paying you for.) I know this from when I worked at the newspaper. It rarely works out. Either you have this great plan of how photos from an event should look and event ends up a dud or you are skeptical of how things will work out and they turn out fantastic.

The shot of the baby coot is an example of this. I actually went out to shoot swans — but they must have slept in. While not as cute as cygnets, the young coots are definitely eye-catching in their own ugly way. This stage doesn't last very long. A week from now they will be all grey and will have lost that wigged-out look.

Be adaptable when you go out taking photos. It makes things a lot less stressful.

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie. Alberta A line of goslings head out with an adult to feed in Crystal Lake. A second adult was following the young birds to keep everyone in line and safe.

Second don't always follow the leader. This is something that was drilled into me when in school and the geese reminded me of this. While it is great to converse with other photographers and compare notes if you get away from the others when shooting you will have a different angle on things. It may not be better but it will provide a different look to your photos than everyone else has.

This works when travelling too. Don't take the same photo from the same location as the post cards. Try a different angle of view, a different time of day, a different season of the year and even a different lens. Who knows maybe your "different view" will become the iconic view that people begin to remember over the usual photo.

Finally look around. While deer do this to remain safe from predators it never hurts to get in the habit as a photographer. Sometimes the best angle is behind you — the reaction to what is going on in front of you. Take your viewer away from the usual and give them something to remember.

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta A mule deer surveys it surroundings while grazing in a canola field in full bloom east of Grande Prairie.



A new  beginning

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Saskatoon Island Provincial Park - A vandalized sign near the boat launch at Saskatoon Island Provincial Park west of Grande Prairie, Alberta reduces the authority of the traffic control device.

With the introduction of a new look to the website, I thought I would try my hand at blogging.
I know, cyber-space is filled with blogs which really don't mean anything, but I thought perhaps it would be incentive to me to keep updating this site — adding a picture a week— or something similar.
Bear with me as I work through this and get a weekly pattern down. I am hoping that readers, clients and visitors to my website will stop in to see what is up on a semi-regular basis.It has been a relatively quiet July but I am expecting that things will get a little busier as August rolls around.
I will post again by next week, thanks for taking the time to check things out.


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