Emma On Ice

Portraits , January 15, 2016

Emma originally came to me over the holidays for (high school) Graduation Portrait retakes (yes, I do those #shamelesspromotion), and I quickly realized that her busy schedule was going to make booking an appointment quite a challenge!  I understood that Emma is a particularly accomplished young lady, not only in arena of academics but also in the hockey arena (#seewhatIdidthere).  Emma’s accomplishments as an exceptional student, a multi-sport athlete and a community volunteer haven’t gone unnoticed.  This young lady, as charming as she is humble, deserved an environmental portrait in a setting as cool as she is.

So we met at the Antigonish Arena between a school skate and a hockey game.

– I want to take this time to thank Bud MacInnis, the manager at the arena for being so generous with his time; this shoot would not have been possible without his co-operation and patience. –

We started off with a freshly flooded rink.  Emma was very patient as I shuffled like a penguin around the ice while she mocked a face-off and went through a few stops and slap-shots.  Often there’s a tendency to shoot female portrait subjects from a higher perspective.  I think it reflects cultural norms about gender and femininity.  I could tell right away that Emma was a giant among her peers and a warm spark of a personality, so I opted to shoot from a bit below her for many of the shots to depict her as the empowered young person that she is.  We generally used a studio strobe and three foot light modifier (octobox) in the front, with another studio strobe behind her, and two speed-lights as kickers on either side.

Eventually we were faced with the option of getting run over by a Zamboni or moving on to the bleachers.  We opted to head for the stands, and a few images later we had 15 minutes left to rock out in the dressing room before Emma had to get back to school.  I was quietly appreciating the prospective irony of photographing this ace student for so long that she missed her classes and had to drop out of school.

I digress.

I pleaded with Emma (who, like I, was partially freezing at this point) to knock out just a few more frames behind the arena in her civilian attire so we could capture her everyday, regular-self.  She agreed and we got a few more great images with interesting textures and a beautiful mid-winter’s day sky in the background.

All told, my shoot with Emma was the most fun I had all week.  I look forward to our graduation portrait shoot next week, and wish her all the luck in the future.










































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