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 Rwanda (11)


Journey of the heart

 Photo Randy Vanderveen Muranzi, Rwanda A pair of friends in a rural area of northern Rwanda. Relationships are a huge part of the Rwandan culture.

It has been quite a stretch between posts.

My wife Cheryl and I returned the first of February from a three month mission trip to Rwanda which for me was broken up with a week long trip to both Lebanon and Kenya.

This was a trip of the heart for both of us. The first time we went to Rwanda in 2008 we knew we wanted to go back, which we did in 2009. When we were there in 2009 we knew we wanted to go back for an extended period of time which we had the opportunity to do from November 2015 through January of this year.

It was the people we had met those first trips that drew us back and now after three months we both feel like Rwanda is a second home and we will have to return again although that is in God's timing.

Relationships are a huge part of Rwandan culture — and as I also discovered in Lebanese and Kenyan culture too.

Sometimes I think we have really lost a valuable part of our society thanks to our busyness, technology, social media and privacy.

The entire Bible is written based on relationships. And yet often we — and I am guilty of this too — don't want to invest the time and effort in building relationships with others.

It is sad because a thousand Facebook friends can never even come close to one real friend that you know on a personal level through spending time talking and doing things with.

Perhaps with all the blessings we have in Canada and North America, we are sometimes blind to the blessings that the developing world has that we have chosen to ignore.

Here are a just a few photos from our time overseas. If anyone is interested in seeing more photos we will be doing a presentation at McLaurin Baptist (in Gateway south of the Casino) March 17 at 7 pm. If you can't make it there just contact either Cheryl or I and we can probably get together with you in the coming months.

Photo: Randy Vanderveen Butaka, Rwanda Literacy class graduation at Butaka church which included two classes Butaka and Kabatwa, Tuesday Nov. 25/15.Photo Randy Vanderveen Kirehe District, Rwanda A pair of boys with their wooden bike.Photo Randy Vanderveen Kirehe District, Rwanda Naayumujinya Jean harvests climbing beans, pulls them off their poles and moves them to the front yard of his home so they can be set up to dry. The green beans are picked off to be set aside to allow them more time to ripen and dry.Photo Randy Vanderveen A young girl listens to her father talk, This family, refugees from Syria, has been out of Syria for two years living in the back of a stable with a tarp tent as one of the rooms. Photo Randy Vanderveen Lebanon An elderly woman in a refugee camp. Photo Randy Vanderveen A Syrian refugee with a flower behind his ear. Photo Randy Vanderveen A Muslim man works his prayer beads behind his back. Photo Randy Vanderveen Maiani, Kenya 2016-01-18 Mary has successfully started a small shop in her community thanks to the lessons learned and loan provided by a micro-loan finance project of CBM and ABC.Photo Randy Vanderveen Machakos, Kenya 2016-01-18 Serah Kaickye Mumo photographed outside her home in Machakos. Photo Randy Vanderveen Nairobi, Kenya A Muslim woman in Nairobi Kenya. There is a high population of Somalis like this woman in the poorer areas of Nairobi in addition to refugee camps in northern Kenya.


Making the Words Make Sense

Photo Randy Vanderveen, Functional literacy makes a huge difference in life whether a person is in Canada or around the world. International Literacy Day is Sept. 8. Make sure you enable your children, grandchildren, nephews, neices and siblings to gain the literacy skills needed for life.


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


Recent Work and Remembrance

Here is some recent work.Photo Randy Vanderveen Debolt, Alberta 3/19/2014 Pussy willows are beginning to show themselves along the rural roads throughout the South Peace as spring arrived with a cold whimper in the Peace Country.

 Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2014-03-24 A bald eagle spreads its wings as it takes off from its perch on a poplar tree and heads out across a clear blue early spring sky in the South Peace.

Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2014-03-24 Deer gather for a morning feed in a field southwest of Grande Prairie. Farmers across the Prairies lose a portion of their crops and feed each year to wildlife and an Alberta survey is trying to determine a dollar value on those losses.Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 2014-03-25 A rail spike sits above grade on a section of railway west of Grande Prairie. Photo Randy Vanderveen Grande Prairie, Alberta 3/19/2014 A hot air balloon pilot lifts and lowers his aircraft for practice in the Grande Prairie sky as Prairie Sunrise Towers and the city are seen in the background. The hot air balloon season is just around the corner as mornings and evenings become milder.

•••Photo Randy Vanderveen The 1994 Genocide memorial for the Kinazi Sector in southern Rwanda. Hundreds of genocide memorials are set up across the nation with a national one in Kigali.

On a more serious and darker note, April marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide.

The country has seen a lot of healing and forgiving over the past two decades but unfortunately the rest of the world doesn't seem to have learned any lessons.

Currently there are a number of countries that are on the threshold of genocide experiencing mass murders because of religion or ethnic backgrounds including South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

One would have thought that the expression "Never Again" would mean NEVER but we as humans never learn.

Keep Rwanda and her people in your prayers this month as they remember and try to continue to heal from this nightmare in the nation's history. Pray that the other nations on the verge of genocide would stand down and their citizens would instead stand up for their relatives, neighbours and friends being persecuted and killed.

 Photo Randy Vanderveen A memorial plaque outside the Rwandan National Genocide Memorial in Kigali .



Seeing the big picture

Photo Randy Vanderveen, near the Smoky River west of Debolt , Alberta A bull elk pauses near the safety of some trees while it surveys its surroundings in early September.In order to make it through hunting season and through life, animals have to be wary and check things out prior to rushing across a clearing.

This elk is a prime example watching from the relative safety of the trees.

We need to be a little more that way, not jumping into things without looking. There is nothing wrong about being spontaneous, however, it can be tempered with common sense too.

On a more photographic-related note, it is sometimes also good to capture the big picture.

With wildlife especially, it is often a temptation to use long lenses, close proximity and cropping to bring photos into what almost looks like a portrait.

While that is good once in awhile, you lose the context of the animal in its natural habitat and how it relates to its environment.

Think of the photos you take of your family. While it is nice to have some close portraits of them, it is also nice to show your friends and loved ones doing what they enjoy, relating with each other and life.


Photo Randy Vanderveen, Lake Kivu, Kibuye, Rwanda A fisherman checks his net for damage as a second man paddles them into shore.Christmas is just over two months away and once November hits North Americans will be hit with a barrage of flyers, commercials and point of purchase displays urging them to buy.

If you want to do something a little different this year, why not look at donating money or time through Samaritan's Purse, World Vision, Canadian Baptist Ministries, the Salvation Army or some other worthwhile organization this season.

It is an opportunity to help give to those in your own city and province or around the world and it both the money and the time are greatly appreciated during this time when the world's economy is still very tight.


Recently I had someone ask if I could post some extra information about the photos included in the blog.

I will try to remember to do so. Here it is for this week.

Photo information

Photo of Elk- lens 200mm aperture f 2.8 shutter 1/500

Photo Fishermen- lens 135 with 1.4 converter, aperture 7.1 shutter speed- 1/640

Photo Muskrat (facebook) lens 200, aperture f2.8, shutter speed 1/125