Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

What is a Binner? Giving back to help others

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Helping in the community

Late last year, I was asked to shoot and direct a PSA for the as a public awareness video and fundraiser. I was contacted by longtime friends and collaborators on many projects, Mark Busse and Johnathon Strebly, who were leading the HCMA team helping the Binnersproject with this campaign. Working with lead designer Bonnie Retief and project architect Alexandra Kenyon, we set out to ask the question “What is a Binner?”

This was a very personal experience, the impact that shooting the video had on me was profound and moving . The project participants that we interviewed all had stories of challenges and life experiences that placed them in the DTES. Not the life that I know and can only imagine what life had been like for them as they spoke in front of the camera. Now their involvement with the Binners project led by cofounders, Anna Godefroy and Gabby Korcheva has brought some dignity, pride and purpose to their lives. People can make a difference in the community if you get involved.

“I am always grateful for skilled creative professionals like Rick who generously find time in their often crazy schedules to help produce media with meaning and impact.”           Mark Busse – Director of TILT Curiosity Labs

“Rick was able to capture the true essence of our Universal Cart Initiative, as well as connect with the binners we work with. In the filming process, he was attentive and professional with the interviewees, and the final video was light, meaningful, and the message clear. He was wonderful to work with!” —                                                                Anna Godefroy – Director, Binners Project

I have always believed in the importance of community and not for profit work, offering my time and skills to help others and hopefully make a difference somewhere. The BinnersProject  is one working concept that really does make a visible and big difference to people in the city that I have always called home.


Client: HCMA / Tilt for

Creative Direction: Mark Busse/Johnathon Strebly

Project Architect: Alexandra Kenyon

Senior Designer: Bonnie Retief

Director/DP: Rick Etkin

2nd Camera: Jonathan Bell-Etkin

Editor: Alec Richardson


Petcurean Go! Dogs and Cats!

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Petcurean Go! Packaging and Campaign

Petcurean Go! Packaging

Dogs, cats, kittens, puppies, sounds like the ideal talent for a photography project. As a complete dog lover, when a client says I want to talk about a shoot that has all of the above as subjects for an integrated campaign and packaging, you just say yes.

Last year I was approached by Matthew Clark of Subplot Design Inc. to produce a new series of animal portraits for their long-time client, Petcurean Pet Nutrition to use on packaging and promotion of their Go! Brand. Matthew had previously commissioned me to shoot their own Subplot portraits in black and white and then saw a photo on Instagram of my family pup, Shotgun, that was done as a lens test. Both of these were heading in the right direction for the look and feel needed for their project. The Petcurean brand is well-defined and the quality of the images, like their brand, is premium.

Leap forward almost a year and I can finally share the results of some of the fun we had. The clients helped with talent casting and I assembled a fantastic crew to make it all a success. Added to lots of planning and preproduction for one prelight day and then 2 days of fun with cats and dogs, we created the chemistry for great things to happen.

Matthew Clark, Founder and Creative Director of Subplot Design, “They say never work with pets or kids. Well, I have done both, sometimes together. And when it came time to photograph dramatic portraits of 10 dogs and 5 cats in 2 days, with a mix of amateur and professional pet models, with all the organization and creative talent required, who did I call? Rick Etkin

I have worked with Rick for over 25 years and he is the perfect combination of big-shoot-production-organization-experience with creative-detailed-obsessive photography.” said Matthew.

“And he’s nice, which actually counts for a lot in this business.”

Claire Jensen, Creative Services Director for Petcurean said I’ve been on many photoshoots throughout my career and I can confidently say that the GO! SOLUTIONS shoot that Rick organized and shot was by far one of the best.

The studio was beautiful and spacious, the crew was professional, welcoming, down to earth and fun loving. The food? Where do I begin. How many photoshoots are you on where the photographer bakes homemade bread the night before and brings it to the set for the crew and clients to enjoy for breakfast!?

Aside from the environment that was created for us, the talent and expertise that Rick and his team displayed was clear from the onset. Our end result was high quality images that will carry our brand to a new level on packaging. The images were exactly what we briefed on, and we couldn’t be happier.

If you get the chance to partner with Rick on a project, don’t miss it!

Despite the warning to never work with animals, with the extraordinary talent of Pawsabilities owner, Paul Jasper, the animal trainer working animal magic with the owners of the featured animals, the shoot was a total success with so many image choices for Petcurean.

I am pretty sure everyone worked with smiles on their faces for the entire 3 days. Dog licks and snuggles were being given freely, kitten cuteness was at 11. Who could ask for more?

The Clients:

Client: Subplot Design for Petcurean Pet Nutrition

Design and Creative Direction Matthew Clarke

Project Writing by Pete Pallet

Final digital post was by Matthew at Subplot. 

The Crew:

Co-ordinator Lucie Lareau;

1st assist @_JayDelaney_

Digital and assist @KevinLanthier

3rd assist, PA and BTS photographer @lkbelletkin

Craft and catering by Tina Mohns.

The Technical:

The images are being used in multi platforms and media, from the packages to trade show display walls down to Instagam posts. The packaging is printed with black ink on silver foil. Hard edge light and contrast were needed and everything had to be shot against black duvateen. With all of the 15 four-footed talent, it was essential to stop all action, shoot fast and produce sharp huge files. This was accomplished using profoto A10s and nikon D850 with sigma Art 85mm for most of the session.

To see more images visit

#Profoto #profotoA10 #nikond850 #sigmaart85mm #nikon24-120 #petfood #dogportraits #catportraits #packaging #advertising #germanShephard #catactors #studiophotography #vancouver #BTS #betterwhenyoutether @subplotdesign @petcurean @stage6studio @beauphotostore @tethertools

Subplot’s Superheros Portrait Session

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Subplot Portriats

Roy White and Matthew Clark Subplot  Partners

What can you say when a top Canadian design team asks you to do their portraits for their promotional and profiles? Knowing their standards are extraordinarily high, their clients’ are super-stars and I have known them forever, I was genuinely flattered and said sure…

For those that know Subplot’s partners Matthew Clark and Roy White, serious turns to hysterical pretty fast and they wanted to capture something that reflected their personalities. I think we succeeded and given the creative was to work with a superhero look, I expect it will get some comments as they roll them out.

In Matthew’s words:

“Rick really makes our vision come to life – and then some! He is collaborative, inventive, and is technically perfect. And to get that with a bunch of designers as his subject-matter, well that’s a miracle. But we are so amazingly impressed and happy with our portraits. We’ve never looked so good!”

Subplot -Matthew Clark

Matthew Clark

Roy White

Subplot Design's Creative Team

Subplot Design’s Creative Team

About Subplot

Creative Certainty (tm)

Deductive, decisive, pragmatic, didactic, methodical, empirical, clear-eyed,
fresh-faced, eyebrow-furrowing, poetic, alchemic, chimeric, grenade-throwing, mind-blowing, rule-breaking, breathtaking, kick-at-sacred-cows, maybe-not-what-you-expected-but-for-sure-what-you-need brand design.

assistant: Ehsan Mahdizadeh final digital post: Matthew Clark

Community and Creativity

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Tina Mohns

Tina Mohns

There are many connections that you can make as a photographer, some random, some from assignments, others through community. I have always been an advocate for community, even an activist. This has brought me on many adventures, along with some detours but almost always leading me to people with similar ideas and beliefs on the way.

Pennylane Shen

Pennylane Shen

I have directed my work to my passion, creating “Imagery That Stirs” for myself and for clients. With most of my community work, although it is related to creativity I don’t often get to indulge my passion and profession as a photographer with camera in hand.

Olivia Sari-Goerlach

Olivia Sari-Goerlach

When the opportunity does come up, I jump in lens first. One of those opportunities is being part of the great international arts organization, Slideluck, whose irresistible mandate is “building community through food and art’. Along with co-director Tina Mohns, I have involved other influential people with community interests to help and then placed them in front of my camera so we have a consistent series of portraits of the great people who are the jury and team that is behind the event.

Matthew Clark

Matthew Clark

It was both a chance to recognize the people, that without their help, this event could not happen and for me to have more than an organizational role in Slideluck Vancouver.

Johnathon Vaughn-Strebly

Johnathon Vaughn-Strebly

The jury are all accomplished creatives in the design and art community with extraordinarily high standards, international reputations, community leaders, activists, educators and more. Each has pretty lofty expectations and deserves more than just a passport headshot. The organizing team are all photographers with certain expectations as well so the bar was set high to begin with.

Hope Morris

Hope Morris

We all had a great time during the shoot and I hope you agree the results speak for themselves.

Avalon Mott

Avalon Mott

More about the jury

Slideluck Vancouver lV

Imagery That Stirs – my new website

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016


Imagery that stirs

For the last few months I have been working on a what has been, a labour of love and I am really pleased to be able to finally share my new completely redesigned and updated website to showcase my images!

Photography has been a means of expression, and a source of art and commerce in my life for almost as long as I can remember. I cherish being able to tell stories and communicate ideas and thoughts through imagery.

I have always sought an emotional response to my images, personal or assignment related. To create imagery that stirs …memories, desires, compassion, involvement, fun, or other connections with the viewer.

People inspire me. Children and those who better our world inspire me. The quality of light and how it plays in the beauty of art and nature inspires me. I am always inspired by the creative ways in which people communicate.

As a social and active person, I have enjoyed meeting and interacting with many people who have contributed to making my life much fuller and richer. It is only natural that my images reflect things important in my life; people doing things in interesting places.

I call Vancouver my home, but you may find me working wherever my skills are required. Check out the galleries  “Places I Have Wandered” and “Italy” to see where I have had the privilege to shoot.  “Plantlife” and “Concrete Jungle” are the first of my return to the personal vision and art of the beauty around us.

I hope you will check out the site and would love to hear any feedback. Of course, if you see something that you like and I could help you with your image needs, give me a call!

Portraits of an Artist

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

I recently had the great privilege of being commissioned to work with Backun Musical Services, makers of some of the finest woodwind products in the world, based here in Burnaby B.C.. One of their artists, Eugene Mondie, is currently the Assistant Principal and Eb Clarinetist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.. Eugene had come to Vancouver to meet with Backun for some custom work on his clarinet and to do a publicity photo shoot for them, which is where I came in. This image is one of my favourites of the session with both the artist and the instrument looking their best.

Portrait by Rick Etkin of Eugene Mondie for @backunmusical with ‪#‎BackunArtists‬

Portrait by Rick Etkin of Eugene Mondie for @backunmusical with ‪#‎BackunArtists‬

Shape, Shadow, Light and Form

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

This is the start of a new personal photographic series that I have been working on recently.

It is inspired in many ways by classic  black and white photographic technique, a series that explores the world around me. All of these subjects were discovered while out walking in areas of Vancouver and were photographed using only natural available light. The images feature the beauty in the shape, shadow, light and form in nature.

I hope you enjoy the series online and eventually on the walls of a gallery.


All images were created with my iphone 4s. For some people a smartphone is a toy, a tool for others and for me, another means to allow creative and artistic expression.
(all images ©rick etkin 2015 and not for reproduction without written permission)

The Importance of Freedom of Expression

Thursday, January 8th, 2015


The morning of January 7th will be remembered for the horrible actions of a group that thought that a Sword is more powerful than a Pen. The massacre of 12 people in Paris in an attempt to silence free thought and expression, will not be accepted by those who believe in democratic and free speech.

All over the world, people gathered in silent vigil to show that we will not bow to this horrible attack. There will be no fear, there will be no silencing of free expression, nor the freedom of press. For those that use terror to control their own people and try to control those who do not follow their beliefs, they have accomplished the opposite. Yesterday’s actions have angered most of the world and proved that we cannot be silenced.

In the age of social media and the internet, more is shared, faster and wider than ever. We know what people are thinking all over the world in an blink of an eye and a click of a mouse. I found out about the Vancouver Vigil via social media and knew that I needed to attend. The horror of the events in Paris struck me very deeply and I wished to show both my respect and defiance by attending.

When I arrived, I was struck by the cross section of people already there, from children to seniors and all walks of life. The silence was overpowering and the signs and pens held by the crowd said volumes.

I chose to record and share what I saw. I am not a photojournalist but felt compelled to document and tell some of the story and feeling of the Vancouver Vigil. This is part of my stand against what happened…

The pen is mightier than the sword will ever be.

"Je Suis Charlie' Slient Vigil at Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

“Je Suis Charlie’ Slient Vigil at Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

"Je Suis Charlie' Slient Vigil at Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

“Je Suis Charlie’ Slient Vigil at Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

"Je Suis Charlie' Silent Vigil on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

“Je Suis Charlie’ Silent Vigil on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

"Je Suis Charlie' Silent Vigil on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

“Je Suis Charlie’ Silent Vigil on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

"Je Suis Charlie' Silent Vigil on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

“Je Suis Charlie’ Silent Vigil on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

"Je Suis Charlie' Slient Vigil at Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

“Je Suis Charlie’ Slient Vigil at Vancouver Art Gallery Jan 7 2014

Shooting for The National Geographic Society

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

National Geographic event In British Columbia, Mulling the Role of Natural Gas in a Sustainable Energy Future

National Geographic event In British Columbia, Mulling the Role of Natural Gas in a Sustainable Energy Future

    My First National Geographic Society Assignment

At one point in every photographers career you will dream of shooting for the National Geographic Society.

As an organization, the mission of the National Geographic Society is to inspire people to care about the planet. Throughout its 126-year history, it has encouraged conservation of natural resources and raised public awareness of the importance of natural places, the plants and wildlife that inhabit them and the environmental problems that threaten them. The Society also encourages stewardship of the planet through research and exploration, and through education. Through their many media and communication channels, they reach an astounding 500 million people every month.

So you can imagine my response when a friend and client called and left a message asking if I would be interested in shooting for National Geographic. Like a very fast shutter speed with no delay of course I said yes!

The Society has been hosting a series of workshops and think-tanks around the world on the issues of energy and the future called “The Great Energy Challenge” and Vancouver became a focus for a very timely discussion about natural gas and its role in the world’s energy future. The event, held just prior to the Globe2014 conference on the environment brought many industry ( Andy Calitz, Paul Jeakins) and environmental leaders ( Wade Davis, Mark Brownstein, Ellis Ross) along with academics and other stakeholders into one room, to discuss the future of natural gas and how it impacts on the environment, economies, and our way of life.

The Great Energy Challenge - A National Geographic Initiative in Partnership with Shell

I was asked by the National Geographic organizing team to attend and photograph the discussions for use on their blog, printed reports and communication pieces. It may not be what most people would think of me shooting and although it wasn’t for the Magazine with months in the arctic waiting for perfect light and polar bears, it was my first assignment for National Geographic and it is already online with my credit as photographer. It is very thought provoking to read and worth checking out.The Great Energy Challenge - A National Geographic Initiative in Partnership with Shell

I felt extremely fortunate to be able to part of this important dialogue about energy and would like to think that there are other National Geographic assignments in my future, time will tell.

National Geographic event In British Columbia, Mulling the Role of Natural Gas in a Sustainable Energy Future

National Geographic event In British Columbia, Mulling the Role of Natural Gas in a Sustainable Energy Future

Going Green for Veggie Day in BC

Friday, February 14th, 2014

A fun day shooting with Lamarque Films and Relevention Marketing for BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association’s new BC Veggie Day campaign set to launch March 1st. I worked on the print and web campaign alongside the film production crew.

It was a perfect combination of location, light and propping that made every shot look fantastic. The temperature was a chilly -7 at the start of our outdoor session and was much warmer with about 90% humidity inside the beautiful greenhouses of Windset Farms.

With people and food and great locations, no doubt this is “imagery that stirs”

BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day


BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day


BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day


BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day

BC Veggie Day

Something New, But Really Just a Full Circle.

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Long lost Diploma

Full Circle

It seems funny how we can move forward, do new things, have new unfamiliar directions and end up going in a full circle. On Monday of this week, I began teaching one course on Professional Practices with Langara College in their Continuing Studies Photographic Department. This is the first full semester of classes I have taught. I have done many one-off lectures and talks for many schools and groups around Vancouver but not ever a full course.
It is a natural progression for me, I have always believed in sharing knowledge, protecting photographers rights, have been deeply involved in community and giving back or paying it forward when I could.

My experience has been both rewarding and at times trying, as is the life of the self employed. We all ride the roller coaster and photography lends itself very well to that. Being asked to teach about Professional Practices to a class of 29 gives me time to reflect on just what does make this business work and how perhaps I can help them avoid some of the mistakes that I have learned from.

As I prepared for the class I wondered how I was going to introduce myself and give them some insight into my experience. I thought about how interesting it was to be teaching in a classroom literally just down the hall from where I studied photography from 1976-1978. Many things have changed but there is still a real familiar feel to being there.

In my introduction to the class, I spoke about my Olympic experiences and goals as a child. How in 1976, I had just returned from Montreal and started my student life at Langara. Many years later, I ended up achieving my goal of involvement in the Olympics working at Vancouver 2010. I was also able to include Langara students, staff and other alumni in work and volunteer positions at the Games in the Press Operations Department. This led to me being recognized by Langara as an Outstanding Alumnus and a chance to give a speech to the 2010 graduating class. I talked about my roots at Langara and how I had come full circle then and here I am again 4 years later teaching a course starting on the eve of the 2014 Games.

All of these have been an important series of events for me, but what really brought things all together was a phone call I received the very next day after my first class. A colleague and past studio mate, Robert Earnest called and said he had a box of my “stuff”. He did not say what it was, except that it had come from our old studio that we left over 12 years ago. I did not know that he had maintained the darkroom and now he was clearing it out.

Robert came by with the box and I opened it with a tremendous amount of curiosity. What I found, was something that brought the full circle right back to the beginning. Along with film reels and tanks, lenses and darkroom accessories there was my College Diploma from Langara. It is yellowed and fragile, the glass long since broken but the diploma is in one piece. How ironic that this long forgotten piece of my photographic education and history shows up now, just as I begin teaching at Langara.

Eyes open – seeing the opportunities

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

ricketkin_bridgeAs a photographer, I’m always be on the lookout for creative possibilities to make images. Photographs that stand out and get attention even if they are in places where cliches happen and everyone has a camera.

The freedom of the smartphone has made a huge difference in what I shoot for fun. My iPhone is always with me so I am enjoying the chance to shoot and post different more personal visions of the world.

Today’s posts are from the last couple of weeks. To see more check out my instagram

BC Ferries - Gray November day

BC Ferries – Gray November day

November Rains

November Rains

The Bigtop in Vancouver for Cavalia

The Bigtop in Vancouver for Cavalia

Exploring gets the attention of #explorecanada

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013


While out on a photo exploration and day off last weekend, I photographed this peaceful scene at Cultus Lake in the Fraser Valley. It was shot with my iphone and adjusted slightly and posted on my instagram account. With the tag #explorecanada, it was discovered by their team at the Canadian Tourism Commision, included on their featured weekly roundup IG page and viewed and liked by over 2800 people!

Thanksgiving for all reasons!

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Thanksgiving comes in all shapes and sizes,
For all reasons and beliefs,
For family and friends, support and health,
For whatever you have to be thankful for,
Hopefully you’ll have the best of all
for you this weekend
Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving comes in all shapes and sizes for all reasons

Thanksgiving comes in all shapes and sizes for all reasons

Creative Test Shoot – Available Light in a beautiful space

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Last week I had the opportunity to do a creative test for an upcoming project that will give me creative freedom to shoot beautiful story telling images, action, moments and emotion.

Jamie Swirling Leopard Dress

Jamie full length.
Jamie full length.

Jamie leopard dress swirl

Jamie leopard dress swirl

These images came from the first session of a full day of fun shooting with a great production team and group of people in front of the camera. This space had the most amazing available light for shooting. I hope I can get back there to shoot again soon.

I will post more  of the images from the other sessions over the next few days. Keep tuned to this space for more about the contract, I hope to know the outcome soon.

A very special thanks to Jonathan, Lindsay, Ellen and all the talent for making this possible in an incredibly short period of time!

Well Known Vancouver Domes

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

BC Place at twilight

BC Place at twilight

Queen Elizabeth Park Vancouver

Queen Elizabeth Park Vancouver

Vancouver's most frequently seen dome

Vancouver’s most frequently seen dome


Three of Vancouver’s most famous domes photographed in one night last week. A little bit of iphonography fun!

Photohaus Mobileography 2013 Gallery Show

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

geometrics photography by rick etkin, all rights reserved copyright 2012

Iphoneography geometrics photography by rick etkin, all rights reserved copyright 2012

So pleased to be included in this year’s photohaus mobileography show. It’s great to feel recognized for the fun I have had creating iphone based images over the past year. Proving that the best camera is the one you have with you, I have shot more freely and more personally that I have for some time.

I am honoured to have a total of 9 pieces made up of 18 of my images on display in the gallery. The opening is tomorrow (Friday 26th at 7pm) and is open to the public. Come out and see how creative photographers make use of cameras that come with a phone and a computer!

The show is up until August 17th


All about the Light

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Reaching for Saturn at the Illuminares Lantern Festival- Its all about the light

Reaching for Saturn at the Illuminares Lantern Festival- It’s all about the light

All of my life I have followed, observed, marvelled, designed and created light. My life as a photographer would be impossible without the ability to see light differently than others. This image is from the Public Dreams Illuminares Lantern Festival in Trout Lake shows how inspiring light can be.

The theme of the 25th Anniversary Festival was “25 Light Years” a journey through space at light-speed past the planets. This sculpture of Saturn was on that journey and inspired my idea to take this photograph.

Recent Work

Monday, July 15th, 2013

Lifestyle image - Home Mechanic

Lifestyle image – Home Mechanic

Returning To My Roots

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

After a seemingly extended absence from the world of actual image creation, filling my time with producing events,  nonprofit leadership, the corporate world, arts connections, software training, instagram and social media, I need to remind the world I really am a photographer first and foremost.

To get back into the minds of my clients (who must have wondered where I’ve been), I will be doing even more social media, promotion and getting my work back into view everywhere!

I’m already online at,  instagram and on facebook. Not to mention twitter  @ricketkin and on  So now I’m integrating all of this to get some great followers and creating valuable and exciting content that will be noticed.

Oh right, and of course in between all of the marketing I will be shooting, creating, producing and make a living!

Jason Loutitt Ultramarathoner

From a series of portraits I’ve started about interesting people

Ah the life of a photographer.

Works of Personal Photographic Discovery

Monday, August 20th, 2012

After a rather extended non-blogging period, I have returned to my writing and posting, updating my website and adding images that don’t really belong anywhere else other than facebook or instagram (#rick_etkin) but I wanted to share more than the short bursts allowed in those forums.

Discoveries - personal iphonography Ikea Lamps
Discoveries – personal iphonography
Ikea Lamps

I have immensely enjoyed creating and capturing images with my iphone that I might not have taken with my Lumix, Nikon or other heavy pro gear that I have the occasion to use. “The best camera you have is the one that you have with you”…(chase jarvis and many others). It appears I have taken that to heart and find myself shooting constantly and I have amassed a large library of images from my travel, walking, discoveries and day to day visual observations.

Getty Museum Los Angeles - iphonography
discoveries – travel iphonography
Stainless Steel Bowls - Commercial Kitchen iphonography
discoveries – personal iphonography

The reaction to my personal work has been very strong, positive and encouraging and I am happy to begin sharing some of this with more people in the very public world of the internet.

Feedback and comments are truly welcome.

Watch this space for regular updates! ( I promise)

GDC and CAPIC present a post Olympic Showdown

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Devo fans at the Whistler Medals Plaza during the Vancouver 2010 Games

Devo fans at the Whistler Medals Plaza during the Vancouver 2010 Games

FRIDAY 7-10pm, November 26th, 2010 at EMILY CARR UNIVERSITY OF ART + DESIGN

Join us for this special evening celebrating still
images and moments from the 2010 Winter
Olympic Games by two of Vancouver’s prominent
commercial photographers, John Lee and Rick Etkin.

Learn behind the scenes stories and the commitment required to
capture Canada’s historical spirit of the games.


The Society of Graphic Designers/BC Chapter welcome you

to an ‘Olympic Photo Showdown:Lee vs Etkin’on Friday, November 26th, 2007.

Each special guest will showcase select images from
their award-winning portfolio of behind-the-scenes
Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic photographs while
sharing stories about each special moment captured.

After the presentations, a short Q&A period will be
available to the audience with a social reception to follow

Winnipeg Presentation – My Personal Games Experience

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Click for video
A very quick look at my games experience – an excerpt from the presentation.

A short but successful trip to Winnipeg. Thanks to my host Ron Weston, Superintendent of the St James-Assiniboia School District (and a former volunteer in press operations at the Whistler Media Centre during the Olympics) I was able to share my experience of the Games with photography and art teachers from the district..

The participants of the presentation wearing the latest in photo ID

The multi image extravaganza covered the steps through my time at VANOC and the role that I played and how it related to the photography that was seen around the world. It starts with the destination (an amazing collection of photos from the Games) and then changes to the journey of how the photos came into existence. Many thank yous to the photographers who allowed me to share their work!

The talk included insightful peeks behind the scenes of the photographers at work. There were great portraits of my colleagues, who made the experience so great, and views of some of the planning that it took to accomplish all of the success. The participants gained a lot clearer idea of what was involved in my role at the Games.

The instructors were there to see something that they have not experienced in photography and then discuss ways to help motivate their students to explore and enjoy photography in school and beyond. I believe that the day was a success the teachers had lots to talk about after.

I would be happy to share the presentation with others that are interested, send me an email  for more details.

Some sites around Winnipeg which had record rains a couple of days earlier.

Heavy rains raised river levels in Manitoba past flood stage and made this walkway at The Forks impassible.

Stairs to an underwater walkway at The Forks

The Palm Lounge at The Fort Garry. Not a bad place to spend time on tech support to sort out software problem. Good java and jazz found here.

Next Stop – Winnipeg to talk about my experience at the Games

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Here it is late on Friday the 28th and I am still working on my presentation for the photography instructors in Winnipeg. Only about 50 hours till I am on the plane and not really keen on making changes that late!

Its going together very well and I have been getting image contributions from photographers from all over including this one from Australian Christopher Dobie which clearly shows my professionalism during the games. In fact he emailed the image to my photo supervisor at Creekside saying the following:

“I must lodge one complaint though. There was an obvious amateur photographer getting in everyone’s way. I have attached a photo of him. If you recognize him, can you make sure he is banned from all future events.”

Working at Creekside
Photo Manager at Creekside ( me “the amateur”) caught working behind the scenes at the Paralypmic Alpine. Photo by Christopher Dobie

I am already feeling the repercussions of this, even though I was clearly shooting the photographers at work in front of me. It is hard to defend against photographic evidence 😉

Next assignment Siberia or is that Sochi?

CAPIC Vancouver Portfolio Speed Review-the review

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

2nd annual portfolio speed review - capic vancouver

Images from the Portfolio Speed Review at Vancouver Photo Workshop- May 25th CAPIC Vancouver

The following is an excerpt from the review that I wrote about the CAPIC event on the 25th. In my role as Chapter President, I was the MC and host of the Speed Reviews. Aside from almost losing my voice as the “end of session” alarm, it was quite inspiring to see the interaction between the participants and reviewers and great to peek over shoulders to see the portfolios. Really great work being created in Vancouver. Next time my book is going to be in for the reviews!

Thanks to all of the nearly 60 people involved.

The 2nd CAPIC Vancouver Portfolio Speed Reviews

Without doubt, one of the most successful and rewarding events that CAPIC Vancouver has put together! There was a fantastic turnout of reviewers representing the best design houses and advertising agencies in the city including Cossette, Karacters, Emdoublyou Design, and Hangar 18. This was matched by a real cross-section of photographers showing their best work. According to the reviewers, there were some stunning world class quality portfolios being shown.

Reviewers repeatedly noted that artists that they had seen last year, had taken and acted on their advice to greatly improve the overall impact and quality of their books. This was a clear indication to them of the value of the event . The designers all felt that this was time well spent. Meeting new talent, reacquainting themselves with others and being part of the community was worth every minute.

Each of the artists felt the quality of the reviews. Although five minutes often felt like only two, it created a focused and intense session which was truly like speed dating ( for those who have done that) after which they hoped that could lead to follow-up meetings and potential work.

There is no other comparable business environment that brings so many artists and buyers together to meet.

The event committee, volunteers and board members all worked hard to organize this event that saw virtually every participant in the reviews having their portfolio seen and commented on by every one of the 12 reviewers. To everyone’s real appreciation, that exceeded all expectations. A giant thank you to all of the reviewers for staying on to finish!

Comments and Quotes from the evening

It really was a fabulous evening. It was exhausting, but extremely rewarding.
The reviews are a great opportunity for us to offer some guidance on how to get the most impact from a well designed portfolio presentation.
Vida Jurcic – Hangar 18

It was a pleasure. Overall I found the night very organized and quality of work shown to be quite high.
A shame not one illustrators showed up. Local reps should be slapped for not encouraging their clients to attend. 🙁
Thank you again for inviting us to participate,
Mark Busse – Industrial Brand Creative

Thanks for having me last night, it was my pleasure.
Calvin Ho  Vancouver  MacLaren McCann

“Good to see some new younger talent, not sure how you attract this and even getting some of the more established shooters to attend.”
James Bateman – Karacters Design Group

“Thanks for the opportunity to present my work to a variety of art directors in an atmosphere that is both relaxed and analytical. It has been invaluable to my development as a photographer.”
Leanna Rathkelly – Whistler

“If you need a reason to join CAPIC, it is the Portfolio Speed Review. A must attend event for both professionals and amateurs.”
Pooya Nabei -  Pooya Nabei Photography

No question that this event would sell out very quickly next time. It is truly worth the cost of admission and even a better when you are a member. Make sure you express your interest early to insure a seat at the next event. (TBD)

A special thank you to all of our sponsors; without their support these events could not take place.

Rick Etkin

Chapter President

CAPIC Vancouver

What is keeping me busy these days?

Friday, May 21st, 2010

What is keeping me busy these days?

closing ceremonies

Inflatable moose, part of "Made in Canada" at Vancouver 2010 Closing Ceremonies

Just when I thought I could get back to do what I love the most by shooting as much as I can, there seems to be a thousand deadlines for other important things that all need to be done first.


Before launching an email announcing this blog, I have had to update my website with my new work, juggle placement, run colour tests, revamp my portfolio, and decide on the cover for a new print portfolio. I also have worked on building networks and reconnecting with many people since the games, including attending the Capalino University IDEA Grad Show, The 2010 GDC Graphex Awards Night, and the Langara College Photography Grad show. Of course there were also CAPIC board meetings and the Langara Photography Program Advisory Board meetings, which I sit on.

Yaletown Sunset

View of downtown Vancouver from Granville Island - Yaletown at twilight


Next week (May 25th) is CAPIC’s Portfolio Speed Review, where I am the reviewer contact person and  will be the MC. We have a great panel of reviewers from Vancouver’s top AD agencies and design firms. Cossette, Emdoubleyou Design, Hangar 18, Karacters, Rethink and others, for a total of 18 creative reviewers. I am really looking forward to hearing the comments and getting feedback from both the reviewers and the artists involved.

Kudos to the CAPIC Board and volunteers who have helped make this a reality. A review of the event will be posted after its over.


On top of the smaller items above, I have been asked to make a four hour presentation, on June 1st, to Winnipeg School District instructors, about my experience at the Olympics and on how to inspire students in photography. This all came about during the Olympics, as one of the Volunteer Press Assistants at the Whistler Media Centre (Ron Weston) was the Superintendant of the School system for Winnipeg. He was writing a daily blog for the students and teachers back home, and included some photo related information that I passed on. There were some great collections of 2010 photography at the Denver Post blog that was a big hit with the students (and almost anyone who sees them). The next day Ron approached me thinking that what I was doing was interesting enough to invite me to speak.

So now I am in the middle of writing and creating a multimedia extravaganza that hopefully might get shown in more than Winnipeg.  It’s been great doing research on other photographers’ blogs to see what the results of all the planning that went into the Games’ Photo Services. I will post a link to an excerpt from the presentation when it’s done.

If you have a group that may be interested in seeing part of the finished presentation, let me know!


At the same time as everything else, I am trying to edit my hard drive full of games images into a meaningful collection of my memories of the experience.

Devotees with blue Devo hats

" Devotees" Fans of Devo at Whistler Medals Plaza during the Games- wearing the trademark Devo hat in "Games Blue"

I have had many requests from people to see the “inside” of the Games, so I am making it a priority along with an online gallery linked to my website. Watch this blog for the announcement of the completion of my book.


Lastly, there is the ten minute keynote speaker address that I am writing to present to a potential audience of 500 people, on June 3rd. You will have to wait before I can let you know what this is all about. Come back after June 4th.

28 Years later…BC Place roof comes down

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

BC Place roof comes down

The start of deflation of BC Place Roof May 4 2010

Today I stood and watched the roof of BC Place Stadium, deflate for the last time. The stadium was  home of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the BC Lions, The Whitecaps, countless concerts, trade shows and film productions.

It was about 28 years ago, when the view was very different, that I stood inside as the inflatable roof was raised, I won’t say it seemed like yesterday but  it really was something that was important to me at the time…. A few months later, I shot an exterior image from the South shore of False Creek.  My photograph became the official poster for the opening of BC Place. I tried to find it in my archives, but haven’t located it yet, thus is the case with film and print archives, searching through digital archives is so much easier.

BC Place Roof halfway deflated on May 4 2010

Bc Place roof all gone

The roof is completely deflated - May 4th 2010 about 11:40 in the morning

It only took about an hour in the sunshine for the roof to come down and change the skyline of the city. A new retractable roof will be in place in about 18 months and the stadium will reopen and once again change the skyline of Vancouver.

These photos were taken from the Eastern Shore of False Creek near the Telus World of Science. There was a very patient crowd taking in the moment. A few photographers were in attendance including one of Vancouver’s true veterans, Andy Clark.

Andy Clark

Andy Clark captures BC place roof deflation on May 4 2010

Oddly enough, a Bollywood film was being shot on the seawall to the south of where I watched. Interesting to hear “Action” and “Cut”in Hindi

The Games End…A Blog Begins

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

The Torch reaches Whistler Village to a welcome of thousands of cheering fans

It has been an experience that I will remember forever. For those that didn’t know of my contract with the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, I have spent the last eighteen months as Supervisor of Photo Services for the Mountains in Press Operations. I started in October 2008  and worked inside the Games until late March. In that time I worked closely with my two colleagues, Nick Didlick – Photo Manager and Alain-Pierre Hovasse – my city equivalent (more about them later) with a photo team that eventually reached over thirty managers and supervisors and over two hundred volunteers. That was just our photo operations team, the whole press team reached over five hundred people and the Games more than twenty thousand.

In 2009 I was the Photo Manager at eight World Cups in the Whistler area and helped with the planning for all of the photo positions, infrastructure and technology that would be required for the 740 photographers accredited to the Games. During the Olympics, I oversaw the photography operations for The Whistler Media Centre and Whistler Medals Plaza as Venue Photo Manager. My work expanded for the Paralympics as I was also the Venue Photo Manager for alpine racing at Whistler Creekside.

I was often working in the best, most exciting places at the Games. You can only imagine what it was like to be standing at the lip of the Large Hill Ski jump at Whistler Olympic park as the competitors launched into space at 100kph or at the Whistler Sliding Centre with a Luge blasting by at over 150hph. Blink and they were gone, but the sound and memories will never fade.

My plans were to start this blog before the Games began and share some of my experiences and photos as it happened. The best laid plans often take a left turn as there simply weren’t enough hours in the day, and since there were maybe only 3 days off from Mid January until  the end of the Paralympics I had to shift my priorities.

Photographers at whistler Creekside

Waiting in a snowstorm for the Medals ceremonies at Whistler Creekside / 2010 Paralympics

I am now gathering my thoughts and images to share, hoping that I can give you a small insider’s taste of what it was like to be involved in the largest event in the world in a role that played on all of my experience as a photographer, producer, manager, planner, film-maker and scheduler….

More to come.