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 entire Whistler-Blackcomb Whistler Creek development. It was on billboards and life-size point of sale displays all over Vancouver, which both of thought was pretty surreal. We’ve been friends ever since, and his reaction to winning for Best Motorsport Equipment for the eighth time says it all.

Vancouver Business Headshots
Knotty Burl owner Karina Leveque with DJ Peter Wright.

This was actually the first photo I did on this shoot, as I was passing though Squamish on my way home to Whistler about 11:00 at night, and rolled in for the shot. People who run night clubs don’t gennerally don’t keep bankers hours. The Knotty Burl took it for Best Place to Party.

Food & Beverage manager Kellie Zimmer and sales manager Anne MacKenzie, of the Sea to Sky Gondola.
Food & Beverage manager Kellie Zimmer and sales manager Anne MacKenzie, of the Sea to Sky Gondola.

I was going to photograph Sea to Sky Gondola general Manager Kirby Brown, who’s another old friend of mine, but he decided he’d been in the paper too many times this year (I photographed him two or three times already), so we grabbed Kellie and Anne for this shot. Despite a massive rain storm, I thought it turned out pretty well. The Sea to Sky Gondola took it for Best place for Wedding Reception, Best Server(Kyley Rossre), Most Romantic Picnic Spot, Most Unique Place for First Date.

Tech Stuff
I used a very simple lighting set up, a Nikon SB-910 flash bounced into a photo umbrella for every shot I did. I really love the automated Nikon flash system, this is the kind of job it really comes into it’s own. For larger Squamish headshots jobs, I’d use my studio strobes, but all of the subject were running busy operations, and I was going from place to place on foot, so it really worked out well.

I used one of my trusty Nikon D3’s and a 24-70mm lens for everything, usually on the wide side of the zoom to set the subjects into their businesses.