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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Entries in Alberta (5)


Recent work

Photo Randy Vanderveen A grizzly looks up from foraging for food along Highwy 40 north of the Cutbank River as it gorges itself in preparation for hibernation.

Here are is some photos from the past few months.

Photo Randy Vanderveen A police car parks momentarily along the promenade in front of the Tower of Belém near Lisbon, Portugal providing a quick glimpse at protection in Portugal's past and present.

Photo Randy Vanderveen An adult bald eagle harrasses an immature one in a field in the Fraser Valley.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Cattle graze in a pasture south of Abbotsford as the colours of fall form a background. Fall comes later to the Lower Mainland than it does in the Prairies. Photo Randy Vanderveen A batsman protects the wicket during a cricket tournament in Grande Prairie in early September.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Lisbon, Portugal is famous for its hills and street cars in the city centre.


Summer wages

Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 A freshly planted seedling remains behind Andrei Toma as he moves to the next spot. Planters will get paid a fee per tree and if soil or terrain conditions are difficult (i.e. very rocky or hard or a steep hill side), they will receive a premium per tree to compensate for the fact they will probably plant fewer trees than in more favourable conditions. I had the opportunity early last week to go with my friend Brett Henkel of Little Smokey Forestry Services Ltd. to document tree planters working.

Here are a few photos from the day.  One photo story will be running in the Peace Country Sun Aug. 15 and I hope another publication will be running a second different photo story in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading.

 Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Dylan McMahon heads out with a loaded a bag of seedlings after treeing up. Even on a relatively easy cut block, it is clearly evident that just getting from point A to point B can add to the physical work out planters get as dead fall and slash areas provide a seemingly never-ending obstacle course to contend with. Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Marta Pawluk, a veteran planter with Little Smokey Forestry Services Ltd., plants pine seedlings. The job is a physically gruelling one as planters work in all kinds of weather and rough terrain. While this area was relatively flat there was still plenty of slash and dead fall for planters to have to work through. Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Marta Pawlik trees up at cache site after emptying her bag. Smart planters will work so they aren't carrying a fully loaded bag too far to begin planting nor are walking back to tree caches for long distances empty as they get paid for each tree they plant. Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Freshly loaded seedlings in a planter's bag which will be strapped on and accessed continuously.Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Remy Lamotte, one of the 2014 rookie planters, straps on his bag after treeing up and heads out to plant. Maintaining a good ratio of veteran planters to new comers is important.Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Mandy Cummings, a tree planter with Little Smokey Forestry Services Ltd. walks toward the landing zone for a helicopter which will ferry her and crew members out to a cut block where she will plant between 3,000 and 4,000 trees before returning back to camp. Tree planting is almost a rite of passage for university and college students looking for summer wages that will help cover their tuition.Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 A helicopter with tree planters takes flight above slings filled with seedlings that will also have to be ferried out to cut blocks. While this site required an air lift other sites the planters will tackle over the course of the summer will be driven to in crew trucks or ATVs. Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Misty, a heeler, appears to want to get in on some of the action, carrying a stick past a sling filled with boxes of seedlings being loaded by Little Smokey Forestry Services Ltd. staff. Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Ed Smith holds a map showing the cut blocks that need to be planted. The cluster of lines on the top left of the map (facing reader) shows the rapid elevation drop from the boundary of one block into the Peace River Valley. Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Marta Pawluk, a veteran, plants a pine seedling. The blue ribbon behind her is dropped near where each seedling is planted. The flagging ribbon allows a quality control inspector to check her work but more importantly in green areas allows Pawluk to see where she has already planted so she and her fellow planters don't miss or double plant any areas. Photo Randy Vanderveen near BlueBerry Mountain, Alberta 2014-08-05 Dust from the rotor wash of a helicopter flies up as Morgan Schmidt hooks up a sling filled with seedlings to be cached in a cut block which will be planted. Each of the 25 boxes in the sling contain 360 lodgepole pine to be planted for Canfor.


Different looks

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta A farmer cuts down a hay crop west of the Grande Prairie airport.Last week I showed a couple of examples of how photos can look different by using a different lens.

This week there are two more examples of how to make photos stand out.

Above is a change of viewpoint. From above this field takes on an abstract look.

The second is example has two photos a before and after post-production. For editorial and documentary work the after photo is unusable because of the work done to it in post production like increasing the contrast and some heavy burning and dodging.

However for a print to hang on the wall the second looks much better.

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta The before photo of a combine working in a field.Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta The after photo which has more pop and visual impact would not be submitted for editorial or documentary work. It is fine for a print on a wall.


Spring wings

Photo Randy Vanderveen, near Wembley Alberta Swans wing their way across the South Peace sky on a beautiful spring afternoon. Swans, which have been back in the Peace Country for several weeks, always mark the arrival of spring up here for me. The trumpeters will soon begin to find an area to nest and raise their young, while the tunrdra swans will wing their way further north to their nesting grounds within a week or two.


A different point of view

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie Alberta Premier Alison Redford greets area residents during a campaign stop in Grande Prairie. April 14 as the media photographs the event.Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta Premier Alison Redford takes a shot as she tries her hand at wheelchair basketball during a campaign stop in Grande Prairie. All the candidates in the 2012 election are aware of the need for a full court press this week as they head to election day April 23. By going away from the other photographers a unique photo was captured.


I was reminded yesterday of one of the lessons I learned from Frank Shufletoski, my photojournalism instructor at SAIT.

That lesson is get away from the crowd and show the viewer something different.

It is a lesson many young photographers need to learn. It is always great to socialize with other photographers at an event but it isn't going to result in anything that looks different.

Sometimes it just means going where the spectators are instead of the sidelines. Othertimes it means taking a risk and shooting only from the end zone or with a wide angle lens when everyone else is using a telephoto.

But you need to do something to make your photos stand apart. Sometimes things won't work out but as long as you have a safe shot try something different.

Your viewers will appreciate it and so will your editors.


Setting out away from others is not limited to photography but also can be applied to all aspects of life — even politics. It takes guts to run for public office as you are putting yourself out there.

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Grande Prairie, Alberta Premier Alison Redford is flanked by Wayne Drysdale (on her left) and Everett McDonald during an announcement at a campaign stop in Grande Prairie.But at least if you run as a party candidate you have some support.

I find it quite interesting that Grande Prairie's two constituencies not only have candidates running for the traditional four parties but also two independents.

Andrew Muise, independent candidate for GP Smoky (left) and Anthony Barendregt, independent candidate GP WapitiPlease during this final week of campaigning treat all the candidates with respect whether or not you agree with them or their party and whether or not you plan on supporting them election day.

It is because they are participating we have a democracy.

And do your part April 23 and get out and vote, no matter who you support, the whole purpose of democracy is to give the people the opportunity to provide input into who governs them. So please participate.