Profiles in Photography

A series of short profiles of photographers, old and new, whose photographic art, creativity and passion is a source of constant inspiration.
This is an on going project and is featured in the monthly newsletters sent out to members.
The newest addition will be added to the top of the list as new profiles available.
Each name in blue is a link to view the additional images associated with the photographer's profile.
To view the images for all of the photographers below use this link.

Updated January 22, 2022

Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”  Elliott Erwitt

“You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.” – Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt was born to be a photojournalist and street photographer. He was an observer and a storyteller who never failed to find the humanity and humour in the world around him. 

Born in Paris in 1928 to Russian parents, Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the US, via France, with his family in 1939. He developed an interest in photography and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with photography at Los Angeles City College. In 1951, he was drafted for military service and served as a photographer in a unit of the Army Signal Corps in Germany and France.

While in New York, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, the former head of the Farm Security Administration. Stryker initially hired Erwitt to work for the Standard Oil Company, where he was building up a photographic library for the company, and subsequently commissioned him to undertake a project documenting the city of Pittsburgh.

In 1953, Erwitt was invited to join the famous photojournalist co-operative of Magnum Photos and worked as a freelance photographer for Collier’s, Look, LIFE, Holiday and other news outlets in that golden period for illustrated magazines.  In the late 1960s, Erwitt served as Magnum’s president. Erwitt became known for benevolent irony, and for a humanistic sensibility in the spirit of Magnum. Never one to take himself too seriously, he says “I’m not a serious photographer like many of my contemporaries. That is to say, I am serious about not being serious.”

There have been many major exhibits of his work and he has produced numerous books including six featuring his fascination and love of dogs.

In the 1970s, his main interest turned to film and he produced several notable documentaries in the1980s eighteen comedy films for HBO. Now, in his 90’s he is still photographing and still photographing for assignments and for himself.

For those wanting to be photojournalists, he says “I wasn’t imposing my presence on anyone,..which is very important for a would-be journalist. I stayed back. Always let people be themselves.”.
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Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon

It’s not a stretch to say that Richard Avedon was one of the most well-known fashion and portrait photographers in history. 

For anyone who remembers the (1957) film “Funny Face” starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, you might remember Astaire’s character, fashion photographer Dick Avery, which was based on a fictional telling of Richard Avedon’s life.

Later in his career, and even while he was continuing to do fashion work, which he still loved, his portraiture continued to evolve and his unadorned and stark portraits from that period brought out the reality of his subjects like few had done before.  “I’ve worked out a series of no’s” he said. “No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no’s force me to the “yes.” I have a white background. I have the person I’m interested in and the thing that happens between us.”

He served in the Merchant Marines as Photographer’s Mate Second Class during WWII taking ID photos. In 1944, after two years of service, 21-year-old Avedon left to find work as a free-lance photographer, initially creating fashion images and studying with art director Alexey Brodovitch at the Design Laboratory of the New School for Social Research. His talent was obvious and two years later his photographs were appearing in Harper’s Bazaar. In 1960 he left Harper’s Bazaar for Vogue, soon to become their head photographer. During the 60’s he was also doing portraiture of well-known political and culturally significant figures. He was starting to find in portraiture a creative outlet for himself that was not readily evident in his fashion work.  He says, “There’s always been a separation between fashion and what I call my “deeper” work. Fashion is where I make my living. I’m not knocking it. It’s a pleasure to make a living that way. It’s pleasure, and then there’s the deeper pleasure of doing my portraits. It’s not important what I consider myself to be, but I consider myself to be a portrait photographer.”

His commercial as well as his more personal portrait work was prodigious. Although he still did very creative fashion work for such as Christian Dior, New Yorker Magazine and others, he also worked in the studio with an 8x10 camera, producing black and white portraits for commissions, exhibitions, and books. His portraits displayed a distinguishing stark quality, normally shot against a plain white background using simple lighting to bring the viewers’ attention completely onto the subject.

His last big project, a tour through the American West, using his 8x10 camera, photographing hundreds of working class people in his simple and straightforward studio set up he produced a series of powerful portraits for an exhibit and book.

He died in 2004 while on assignment in San Antonio for the New Yorker magazine. He was 81 years old.

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Sarah Lee

SARAH LEE

Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Sarah grew up as a long-distance competitive swimmer, water polo player and an avid surfer. She bought her first camera at age 15, and quickly became as attached to her viewfinder as she was to the sea.
“My aim in making photos is to capture and accentuate the beauty in what surrounds me. Photography to me is a mode of visual problem solving and a way to perpetuate the stoke, whether it be above the surface or below.

Sarah’s photos have appeared on the home page of National Geographic, Instagram, CNN, and in magazines from Cosmopolitan to the covers of The Surfer’s Journal and Standup Journal as well as clients such as Pelican, Axxe wetsuits and H&M. She’s also appeared in magazines like Marie Claire who featured a behind-the-scenes look at her fashion shoot for an Italian designer. As well as selling prints of her work, she also does numerous portrait sessions, usually “water-based”. Her images have a distinct style that’s also recognized on social media where she has tens of thousands of followers.

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Chris Collacott

Chris Collacott

Chris Collacott is a Vancouver based, multi-award-winning photographer who specialises in ultra-high detail fine art images. His work is presented in dozens of galleries across Western Canada and his client list is as diverse as the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Tourism, Mercedes Benz, numerous magazines and many more. He also sells very large prints to corporate and commercial clients and private collectors around the world.

He stitches dozens of individual images together to create a final image, often more than a gigabit in size. This system creates extremely high detail and allows for complete control over every portion of the image.

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Jamie Heiden

Jamie Heiden

“Once upon a time in a land far, far away there was a little house that lived down a gravel lane. The big oak protected it, the fence post would make it laugh, and the porch swing loved it dearly. Then one day…….”

Jamie Heiden is a photographer who loves both the act of photographing her chosen subject and transforming them from her imagination into charming and creative stories.

The titles she gives her enchanting images are as almost as important to her as the images themselves. She loves the journey that words allow us to travel, so for her, there is something about the combination of words and pictures that completes the process, but she’s not a writer and cannot offer this journey with words alone. She takes pictures and they are her stories.

Previously her work involved many different techniques from hand-tinting her film-based black and white film images, using polaroid and watercolour paper, infrared film, SX-70 film, push processing to enhance and build grain for effect and anything else to give her final image. These days most work is done on the computer which allows for almost infinite possibilities.

She gets the most satisfaction out of taking a picture. But when she sits down at her computer, the beginnings unfold. Most of her finished images contain multiple photographic layers. Dodging, burning, boosting contrast and adjusting exposure, all tasks once performed in her darkroom are now tools she has at her fingertips using the computer. What might have taken hours in the darkroom can be done and then undone in half the time, not necessarily making the completed process any shorter but allowing for ten times the amount of experimenting within.

She sells her work online as well as in the many annual fairs that happen in her area. She has won many, many awards for her charming images. Jamie Heiden 1Jamie Heiden 1

Larry Burrows

Larry Burrows

Born in London, Larry Burrows began working in that city's press in 1942, first in the art department of the Daily Express before moving on to the darkrooms of the Keystone photography agency and LIFE magazine. By 1961, Burrows moved on to be a staff photographer for LIFE. He covered every type of story, from a Brigitte Bardot news conference to devasting cyclones in Pakistan and coverage of JFK, but he was mostly called on as a war photojournalist. He photographed conflicts in Lebanon, Iraq, Congo, and Cyprus but his work in Vietnam is where he cemented his reputation as someone who was able to truly bring the reality of war home. Burrows knew that to tell the story of what the soldiers in combat were experiencing, he had to be with the soldiers: he flew with aircrews during combat missions and stayed at the front lines with the GIs during enemy fire.

Although his images are often hard to look at, they are not just random grab shots of the scene, they are deliberate and thought out. He carefully planned for his photographs; selecting the imagery, setting, and composition based on his observations of the battlefront. Although his method may seem counter-intuitive for war photography, he captured many of the most effective and poignant images of the Vietnam war. 

He won numerous awards for his work including 1967 Magazine Photographer of the Year and 1967 British Press Picture of the Year.

In 1971, he was killed (together with four other photographers) when the helicopter they were on was shot down during a mission in Laos. He was 44.


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Sarah Gardner - UK

Sarah Gardner

Graduating with a BA degree in Fine arts in 1994 Sarah went on to work in marketing and sales with some of the top UK advertising agencies such as Ogilvy One and Abbot Meads Vickers (AMV).

She left advertising in 2003 for homelife, caring for a new and growing family but in 2008 she started to get back into photography and learning the skills of digital work. She started photographing weddings and portraits in her own newly formed business but before long her art training and the excitement of digital design came into play and her business took a turn when she started designing and producing a unique range of digital textures, which she marketed through her newly formed business; Art Beyond The Lens.  The US company Focal Press took notice of her work and commissioned her to write a “How to” book about her work, detailing the process.

Her work has grown since then and she continues to offer digital textures, actions, and filters through her very successful company. Her list of clients includes Better Homes and Gardens, Peony and Sage, The English Home, RachelRay, Abacus Cards, Clare Maddicott and The Suffolk Nest among others.

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Daisy Gilardini - Vancouver BC

Daisy Gilardini - Vancouver BC

Vancouver based photographer Daisy Gilardini is a nature photographer with a passion for conservation and a great interest in wildlife, particularly bears. Her specialty is photographing in polar regions. She has been a serious photographer since 1989, but over the last 20 years of polar exploration she has joined more than 80 expeditions to Antarctica and the Artic; once skiing the final degree to the North Pole.

She started to take photography seriously following a trip to India in 1989. Since then, she has visited more than 70 countries, camera in hand. She fell in love with Antarctica during her first trip there in 1997. She has since devoted most of her time to photographing the Polar Regions. In 20 years of polar exploration, she has joined more than 80 expeditions to both Antarctica and the Arctic. Among her accomplishments, she has skied the final degree to the North Pole.

Her love of bears has meant travelling extensively in the Great Bear Rainforest, Alaska and into the high Artic documenting them. She has many magazine credits including National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, Outdoor Photography, BBC Wildlife and more. She has also worked with Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund and is currently a photographer in residence with Canadian Geographic. She has many awards for her work including BBC Wildlife photographer of the Year, Travel Photographer of the Year and more. She is also an ambassador for Nikon, Lowepro, Gitzo, Sandisk and Western Digital. In 2018 she was nominated as Greenpeace Antarctic Ambassador. 

She is passionate about conservation and the natural environment and this passion is a large part of what drives her work.  She states, “As conservation photographers, it is our duty to capture the beauty of places and species at risk and raise awareness through the universal power of the images we capture. While science provides the data necessary to explain issues and propose solutions, photography symbolizes these issues. Science is the brain, while photography is the heart. We need both to reach people’s hearts and minds in order to move them to action. For Nature, and for us”

Daisy Gilardini - Vancouver BC Website

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Dr Harbin King - Vernon BC 1931 - 2020

Dr Harbin King - Vernon BC

Dr.Harbin King was a long-time member of the Vernon Photography Club.

He was a dedicated doctor who was highly respected by his colleagues, patients and the community.

A skilled photographer, Harbin was truly a photographic artist and his work naturally reflected his personality; peaceful, quiet, and thoughtful.

Sadly, Harbin passed away on November 16, 2020; he was 89 years old and he will be missed.

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Henri Cartier-Bresson August 22, 1908 - August 03,2004

Henri Cartier-Bresson 1908 - 2004

“A photograph is neither taken nor seized by force. It offers itself up. It is the photo that takes you. One must not take photos.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Thinking should be done before and after, not during photographing.”- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French artist and photographer who was arguably one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century and certainly one of the most significant photojournalists. He served in the French army photographic unit during WWII and after being captured and held as a prisoner of war for three years, he escaped and joined the French underground for the remainder of the war.

Together with legendary war photographer Robert Capa and three other photographer colleagues, he co-founded Magnum Photos in 1947; he initiated modern photojournalism. Although not overly concerned with the technical side of photography, he used the new compact 35mm Leica and 50mm standard lens to capture the essence of the human experience. He traveled the world, creating some of the most powerful photojournalistic images seen. He coined the term “the decisive moment” and spent most of his photographic career capturing it. He retired from photography in 1975 and returned to his love of art, creating fine art drawings for the remainder of his life.

Henri Catier Bresson (1)Henri Catier Bresson (1)

 

Pete Turner May 1934 - September 2017

Pete Turner 1934 - 2017

“Looking at photographs, like taking them, can be joyful, sensuous pleasure. Looking at photographs of quality can only increase that pleasure."

– Pete Turner – American Photographer

Pete Turner was known for creating strong colour images on film, often stark with simple but always powerful compositions. He spent a lot of time travelling the world and produced many books and fine art images as well as highly successful commercial images. He also produced over 100 album covers for a wide variety of music styles.

His original style, strong compositions, sense of colour and technique all inspired, influenced and was copied by generations of photographers. Pete Turner was voted one of the top 20 most influential photographers of all time by the photo trade publication PDN.

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Walker Evans November 1903 - April 1975

Walker Evans

“The secret of photography, is the camera takes on the character and personality of the handler."

– Walker Evans – American Photographer – Photojournalist -

“Walker Evans was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. His elegant, crystal-clear photographs and articulate publications have inspired several generations of artists. For fifty years, from the late 1920s to the early 1970s, Evans recorded the American scene with the nuance of a poet and the precision of a surgeon, creating an encyclopedic visual catalogue of modern America in the making”.  From the Department of Photography - Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.

 

Walker Evans (2)Walker Evans (2) Bill Brandt 1904-1983

Bill Brandt  1904 – 1983

A British photographer, Brandt had travelled to Vienna where he found an interest in photography when he joined a studio there. In England, he met and became friends with Ezra Pound who introduced him to Man Ray, who he studied and worked with. He was heavily influenced by him as well as by André Kertész and Eugéne Arget. The influence of the surrealists became very apparent in his later images of distorted nudes and landscapes.

Bill Brandt is regarded as one of the most important photographers of the 20th century. Although he is best known for his surrealist influenced nudes and his photos of London during the Blitz, he produced important work in social documentary, landscape, nude and portraits throughout his five-decade career. He was a visual poet as well as a visual historian and with an artist’s perception, although his images preserve a world that has long disappeared, they still have the power to tell a relevant story. 

This quote of Brandt’s would seem to apply to all photographers, no matter their preferred genre.

“The photographer must first have seen his subject or some aspect of his subject as something transcending the ordinary. It is part of the photographer’s job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep with him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveller who enters a strange country… they carry within themselves a sense of wonder”. Bill Brandt.

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Clyde Butcher

Clyde Butcher

Born in 1941 Clyde Butcher is a landscape photographer based in Florida. Although he was interested in photography ever since he discovered the work of Ansel Adams, he graduated from college as an architect. He incorporated photography in his architecture work and was passionate about his photography and eventually left architecture when he discovered he could make more income from his photography.

 

Just as skilled at darkroom work as photography, he still mostly shoots in film although he does digital work as well. Using a variety of medium and large format cameras including his huge 11”x14” view camera, he has spent decades capturing the beauty of his beloved Everglades as well as many other inspiring landscapes across the US and around the world. Like a great many nature and landscape photographers, he is a staunch conservationist and has many recognitions and awards for his work in this field.
More info is on his website

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Paul Ernest

Paul Ernest

Paul began a career in Advertising Design in 1993 after gaining his BFA at the University of North Texas, however, he found his real passion in telling stories through his photography. He is a portrait photographer based in Dallas, Texas. Although, like most portrait studios, his work includes the bread-and-butter fare of weddings, and family portraits, he has also become renowned for his outstanding and timeless storytelling fine art illustration images.

Although these evocative images appear to be skillfully lit and posed photographs, which they definitely are, they also involve a large amount of very skilled Photoshop and compositing work.  Using multiple images and layers these illustration images are excellent examples of highly skilled creative pre and post-production.

Using a warm palette, texture, and a passion for telling stories of inspiration, growth, nostalgia and healing he has created collections of work that are in demand as fine art illustration pieces.

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Paul Nicklen

Paul Nicklen

Paul was born in 1968 in Tisdale Saskatchewan.
Paul Nicklen, is a multi-award-winning Canadian photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist.  A passionate environmentalist, in addition to being one of the world’s most acclaimed nature photographers and an assignment photographer for National Geographic, Nicklen is a sought-after speaker, a TED Talks speaker, an author, and National Geographic Fellow. In the past two decades, Paul has collaborated with scientists, filmmakers, conservationists, and explorers to create awareness and inspire action for global issues like climate change. In 2014, together with his partner Cristina Mittermeier, he co-founded Sea Legacy, a non-profit organization that uses visual storytelling and photography to further the cause of ocean conservation.

Nicklen’s images have won over 30 of the highest awards given to any photographer in his field, including the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the prestigious World Press Photo for Photojournalism. He is also recognized by the conservation community and has been awarded many honors for his environmental and conservation work including an Honorary P.H.D. at the University of Victoria for the impact his photography has had on climate change. He has written several books including Seasons of the Arctic, Bear, Spirit of the Wild, Polar Obsession and his newest monograph, Born to Ice.

https://www.instagram.com/paulnicklen
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Mark Mawson

Mark Mawson

Mark Mawson is a multi-award winning commercial photographer based in the UK. He has operated a very successful commercial studio for over 30 years producing quality marketing and commercial images and has developed a niche specialty. He specializes in fluid photography and he has gained amazing expertise in this genre. His photography has taken him all over the world and, besides his fine art prints, he has worked with clients as diverse as Fujitsu, Starbucks, Sherwin Williams, Nestle, Prada, Calvin Klein, Omega, Nike, and many more. His specialty work includes any and all liquids including underwater shoots, but his “flow” images, in particular, are fascinating and evocative.

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Bastien Rui

Bastein Rui

Bastein Rui is a professional fine art nature photographer from France:

He can be found both on Instagram and Facebook.

Bastein Rui (1)Bastein Rui (1)
Adrian Sommeling

Adrian Sommeling

Adrian Sommeling is a conceptual photographer and digital designer based in the Netherlands. His amazing photoshop composites are a testament to his creativity and his storytelling is almost cinematic in style. Apart from his many commercial assignments, online tutorials and classes, Adrian is one of the most in-demand speakers in the world for digital compositing and travels extensively giving workshops. He has been featured in many print and online articles over the past 15-20 years. More of his work can be found on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. His tutorials can be found on his website.

Adrian Sommeling (1)Adrian Sommeling (1)
Fan Ho

Fan Ho - 1931- 2016

Fan Ho was a prodigious and self-taught street photographer in the 1950’s and early 1960’s. He won innumerable awards throughout his career and was named one of the world's top 10 photographers between 1958 and 1965 by The Photographic Society of America.
Born in China in 1931, as a young teen he started to document the street life he saw around him. In the early 1960’s he became very interested in cinema and went on to enjoy a successful career directing, producing, and acting in many films. After his retirement, he returned to still photography, having many successful gallery shows and publications of his earlier work. He died in the USA in 2016.

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Tim McKenna

Tim McKenna

Tim McKenna is an Australian who was raised in France and has lived and worked in Tahiti for the past 20 years as an adventure-style photographer and videographer. He is known for his outstanding surf and ski photography, but his work also extends to Fashion, Tourism, Underwater, and a great deal of other commercial work including operating a specialised production company for film and video.

His extensive client list includes such diverse companies as Patagonia, Roxy, Quicksilver, Apple, Red Bull, Sony, Billabong, Samsung and many others.  He also sells fine art prints through galleries and online.

His job has sometimes been described as a dream job in paradise: it would be difficult to argue with that description.

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Kikiii Yuyan

Kiliii Yuyan

Kiliii Yuyan is a photographer and filmmaker based in Seattle but much of the year he can be found across the circumpolar Arctic on various projects. His specialty is working in the polar regions of the world, and he has worked on many National Geographic assignments as well as many other publications. His award-winning photographs have been part of numerous exhibitions around the world. He is a member of Indigenous Photograph and Diversify Photo, both of which are communities and networks of visual professionals promoting, and inspiring indigenous photographers. His public talks inspire other about photography, indigenous perspectives, relationship with the land and the revitalization of northern indigenous culture.

Kiliii Yuyan (5)Kiliii Yuyan (5)
Michael Kahn

Michael Kahn

Born in 1960, Michael Kahn has lived in Pennsylvania all his life, however his family summered on the coasts of Maine and North Carolina, where his love of sailing developed. Michael learned the art of photography and darkroom work when he apprenticed in a portrait studio and later in a commercial advertising studio. He furthered his career by shooting magazine and other commercial work. His love of traditional black and white film photography remained and in 1990 he published a book of black and white photographs of the Brandywine River in Southeastern Pennsylvania. His first sailing image was of a small boat on a foggy day in the mid 1990’s in the Adirondacks, and it was this image that inspired him to launch his career as a nautical photographer. Sticking with a Hasselblad film camera and traditional darkroom work, he produces rich toned, almost luminous silver gelatin prints that are exhibited in galleries and private collections around the world. His stunning prints of yachts and sailboats are reminiscent of images from the famous Beken of Cowes Studios on the Isle of Wight.

Michael Kahn (2)Michael Kahn (2)