Behind the Scenes: Makeshift Spa

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 3:26 PM Posted by Hikari Studio 0 comments

I'll let you guys in on a little not-so-secret secret I have stumbled upon as of late. When you take the photography community and help them out, treat them as your friends and family something interesting happens: They help you right back.

You begin to learn, you begin to move forward faster than the alternative. Day by day you find ways to build upon each other as a team and put together projects and ideas with the support of those around you, things that we all push towards but sometimes can't bring ourselves to create under our own strength. You spread the responsibility between people and with it you can create much more.

Through it all you learn so much. You gain a different perspective, a different style and a different view on all you do and it helps you gain so much. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, others help us realize those, others also help us build on those.

In the end, for me this sort of a project, like in the video, is a chance to learn. It is a chance to experiment and build a community. The image itself comes second, I find the knowledge from the experience and the people you meet to be of much greater value. We all get a lot out of it at the end of the day.

-Mariusz Sikorski
-Sandy Phimester

Makeup Artists
-Lydia Yapp
-Felicia Gow

-Becca L
-Angela H
-Hannah L

-Leroy Schulz

Shot on location @
Video shot and edited by Jason Fan @

Bit By Bit

A weakness of mine, personality wise, has for the longest time been interactions with people. Whether it be social awkwardness or self criticism it has for the longest time been an all too familiar challenge. The problem is I never thought of it as just that, a challenge.

It's a little ironic to push oneself into a position as a people photographer with that sort of mind frame. On the one hand it's helped me to be comfortable as a fly on the wall when shooting particular events but you can't run from it forever.

The past few months have been a rolling change in all of that. Having recently begun doing some work for a local modelling agency, i knew full well going into that it would put sometimes inexperienced models in front of me, with a limited time frame and a lengthy agenda of photos to crank out.

For a change, I took it as a challenge. Something to overcome. Bit by bit I have been doing so. The lesson in all of this, seek out your weak points and challenge them flat out. Turn your negatives into positives. You can surprise yourself some days.

Northern Lights In Alberta

Friday, January 7, 2011 5:41 PM Posted by Hikari Studio 0 comments

A quick preview from a recent outing to Elk Island Park with some friends for the sake of some more night photography. We ended up catching a small glimpse of the northern lights on the way home, pulled over into a side road and fired up the tripods and cameras. It ended up being a perfect night for it. No clouds in the sky and no moon to affect exposures.

More to come soon! I want to have a chance to talk about some of the items to consider in greater deal when going out for some of these shoots, even if I am a relative new comer to the whole process.

Snowy Evening with Mio

One of the friends I had met a while back was set to return home, to Japan, today. I wanted to spend the time and get a few shots of her before today arrived. I've always looked at these opportunities as just that, they are chances for me to work with friends, people who have a unique look and style and at the same time give them a chance to make some memories and record some of the experiences in their travels and times here.

It's win/win for everyone involved.

We ended up getting lucky that day. We had warm temperatures and a lot of interesting falling snow. An evening set was perfect. It gave me a chance to experiment with some speedlites, something I haven't done much of in the evening and set out to change this winter.

From a photographers perspective these situations can be a fun challenge. You tend to work with people who are not used to modeling. Beyond just giving you the chance to practice your technique it also lets you spend the time to refine guiding people for creating a comfortable working environment and helping them with such things as posing.

Working with people, you have to be able to create a comfortable situation and that involves being personable. Sure, you can snap away and get a bunch of shots but if you can see the discomfort in the person's body language then it tends to ruin any sort of magic you may have caught in the shots. I'm finding more and more that there is a huge amount of value in spending the time getting to know the people you're working with before even picking up the camera. It will show in the personality of your shots if you do so. It's not always easy and at times the situation or times limit how good we get to know a person but you roll with the punches and work with what you can in those situations.

This involves being a person, being a friend and creating confidence. You have to believe it though. Don't put on a fake show of interest, be interested in that person and be genuine and professional about it.

I do however want to take this to a more personal note and issue I've experienced recently. If in your personal life you are involved with an individual who gets easily jealous in your interactions with other individuals, it will effect your progress. There is a world of difference when you do not have to sweat and analyze every interaction you make with your subject in the fears of it being misinterpreted by others. Nothing will put a damper on your creativity faster.

Such situations prevented me from doing such shoots in the past. It wasn't worth the inevitable damage to my personal life, even though I've always been professional on my shoots.

I learned as of late that you end up sacrificing a lot more than just a few shots with friends though.

In the end, I had a chance to create some new memories with friends, both for them and for me and being a photographer aside, that's something I value greatly in my life, even more so when I know I may not get a chance to see them for a long time.


As an aside, it is not my intention to bring in personal matters onto this blog, there are however at times exceptions, especially when those exceptions can be a learning lesson for others. At the end of the day we all have different goals and values in life. Decide what's right for you, mine is just one experience of many.