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About a Local Profile

Photojournalist David Buzzard in Umlazi South Africa, 1996.
That’s me at work in the Umlazi Township, near Durban South Africa, circa 1996.

Squamish Chief reporter Jennifer Thuncher wrote this great profile on me for her ‘About a Local” column, so I thought I would share it here. I was ducking her on this for a while, as I’m actually pretty shy, but she did a great job. I thought it was important to mention some of the PTSD issues I dealt with after my time as a photographer in South Africa. It’s a common issue with journalists, and something that we as a profession tend not to deal wit that well.… Read the rest

Whistler Magazine Portraits

Canadian luge racer Reid Watts
Canadian luge racer Reid Watts at turn four of the Whistler Sliding Centre, which was clear of ice at the time of the photo.

One of my favourite regular jobs is the Whistler Magazine. It publishes both a summer and winter edition, and each takes about five or six weeks to get through. Lately, I’ve been specializing in Vancouver headshots, so this is a nice break from that. It’s a nice mix of editorial portraits and food photography, two things I love to do.

Apres Ski photo shoot at the Bearfoot Bistro.
Apres Ski photo shoot at the Bearfoot Bistro.

Caramba Whistler.
My friend Sarah Morden and her boyfriend did the modelling duty on this photo for a feature story on Whistler’s best pizza places.

Pemberton Potato Pizza at Whistler's Creekbread restaurant
Pemberton Potato Pizza at Whistler’s Creekbread restaurant.

Tech Stuff:
Pemberton Potato Pizza at Whistler's Creekbread restaurant
The behind the scenes view of the Creekbread shoot.
I walked into Creekbread, which is a local Whistler restaurant that specializes in wood fired pizza. They had this great looking iron caldron on a wood fired hearth that they use making the tomato pizza sauce. I took one look at it and knew that was the shot I wanted. It was a major operation to get the lighting into the kitchen without knocking anything over, … Read the rest

Squamish Business Portraits

Vancouver Business Headshots
Husband and wife co-owners Erin Copeland and Sean Tremblay of the Tall Tree Bakery, which won for Best Bakery.

I had a pretty interesting assignment the other day, photograph twenty business portraits to go with the Squamish Chief’s annual Reader’s Choice magazine. It’s a pretty big deal for the businesses, especially with so many new businesses in Squamish over the last few years. I only had three days to organize and photograph it all, and we were right in the middle of the wettest October ever recorded in Squamish, and if you know anything about Squamish, it’s that it’s already a really rainy place the best of times, which made it a pretty interesting couple of days of shooting.

I really wanted it to be more than a series of Squamish headshots, so I took a lot of effort to get a feel for the different businesses.

Chris Harper of OTP Performance.
Chris Harper of OTP Performance.

Chris from OTP is an old friend of mine. Twenty years ago when I was just starting out as a commercial photographer, and he was a young professional snowboarder, I took a photo of him that eventually ended up being used to represent cool snowboarders for the … Read the rest

Emerald and Alpine House Fires

Emerald Estates Fire
Whistler firefighters wait for water for their hoses as the house burns.
Saturday, I woke up suddenly at 6:30 in the morning. It took me a minute to realize that a fire truck had just gone past my bedroom with it’s lights and sirens going full blast. I jumped out of bed and tuned in my radio scanner to the fire department frequency, and found that there was a huge fire just around the corner from my house. Listening to radio scanners is a bit of an art, but that morning I could hear real alarm in the voices of the firefighters.

The temperature overnight had been below -20 degrees celsius, and it was still -17 or -18 outside. The nearby fire hydrants had frozen overnight, and the firefighters couldn’t get them to work. While they were dealing with the hydrants, I walked up to the side of the house. I met a friend of mine, fire captain Al Eaton, who was still waiting for water for his hose, and we just sat there for a minute watching the house burn. Another two fire fighters tried to get in through a side door, but the smoke in the house was … Read the rest

Whistler FAQ Magazine

Whistler FAQ Magazine. Harrison Stoker
Craft beer aficionado and co-founder of the Whistler Beer Festival, Harrison Stoker at the Whistler Brewery.

Whistler FAQ Magazine. Julia McCabe
Yoga instructor Jula McCabe.

Whistler FAQ Magazine. Tory Martindale
Four Seasons Resort and Sidecut Steak House Executive Chef Tory Martindale.

Whistler FAQ Magazine. Tess Klein
Artist and jewellery designer Tess Klein

This year I got the assignment to photograph the portraits for the insiders feature of the Whistler FAQ Magazine, which is the resort magazine published by the Pique Magazine. I love shooting editorial portraits, and when I get an assignment, I’m all over it.

Shoots like this take a lot of planning and preparation. The first thing I did was get FAQ Editor Alison Taylor to send me the story outlines for each of the subjects so I could get an idea of where to pose them. Tess Klein and Tory Martindale were easy, as they both worked out of venues at the Four Seasons. Harrison Stoker is kind of a guy around town, so I asked him what would would be a good location that summed what he does, and he suggested the Brewery.

I did a lot pre-visualization of what I wanted, but you also have to be able to think on your feet as well. The … Read the rest