Indiegogo Campaign featured on CTV News

Edmonton Pet Photographer on CTV News

Local reporter Des Melenka came and did an interview on the limited print sale of one of the poker dog shots.

My dog Samantha swallowed a squeak toy and it got lodged in her intestines. She required surgery to remove the blockage and save her life. I am a professional pet photographer and recently did a shoot inspired by the famous Coolidge painting of dogs playing poker. I am selling a limited run of signed prints to pay the medical bills from her veterinary care.

See the CTV News story

Click here to see the campaign or contribute!

Best Friends Animal Society Trip

My Trip to Best Friends

I took a few days out of my recent trip to WPPI in Las Vegas to drive to Kanab, Utah and visit Best Friends Animal Society, one of the largest animal rescue / sanctuary organizations in the world. You may recognize them from the popular television show Dogtown on the  National Geographic channel.

This was a life changing experience for me. It really set home for me the difference between rescue and sanctuary. The ability to do amazing things for animals is truly awe inspiring. The available resources that Best Friends offers can restore ones’ faith in humankind. The sanctuary finds homes for over 600 dogs a year on average, and dogs are only a small part of what Best Friends does!

 

 

I spent the first day cleaning dishes and parrot cages in their Parrot Gardens.

 

008 008-2 008-3

After lunch I spent the afternoon with my host and friend Haven, who is a caretaker in Dogtown. We took several dogs out for walks and I took photos of them for the Sanctuary…

008-7 008 008-5

 

 

 

 

008-2 008-3 008-4 008-6

 

 

 

 

The second day, Haven was on a day off and he took his entire day driving me around the entire sanctuary. We visited every area of Best Friends:

Dogtown

008008-2

 

Cat World

008-4 008-3 008-2 008

 

 

 

 

Bunny House

008-2 008

Angel’s Overlook / Angel’s Rest

Best Friends has two areas dedicated to the remains of those that have passed over the Rainbow Bridge. The energy of these places are something that words can not possible describe properly.

008 008-5 008-4 008-3 008-2

 

 

 

 

If you ever get the opportunity to volunteer at Best Friends, please do so. It will enrich your life.

My 2015 WPPI Experience

My 2015 WPPI Experience

I recently attended the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Conference and Trade Show in Las Vegas. It is a week long “spring break” for professional photographers. Thousands of photographers from all over the world converge to take part in workshops, classes, shootouts, photowalks, geek talk, gear drool and maybe a little partying….

My focus this year was to learn more of the business side of things. My goal is to take my fledgeling business to the next level and have it provide for my family. I specifically wanted to look at studio management software, backdrop and prop companies, and possible constant light studio solutions. Studio management – there were 5 or 6 companies there, but to be honest the trade show is just too busy to really dive into this really well. Back  drop and prop companies- I took home some awesome catalogs and when finances permit I will be adding some cool options to the studio. Still not convinced constant light will work for the subjects I shoot. I may rent a system to test the performance.

 

I will have to take some time to name drop a little here. My amazingly talented friend Renee Robyn was actually speaking this year! She spoke several times at the Smug Mug booth, and had her very own first ( but not last) platform class!! If you have not seen her work you need to click here. Renee is partly responsible for me picking up a camera.

IMG_2152

I got to attend a workshop with  Nino Batista, an incredible fashion photographer and excellent photography teacher. We had two world class models and worked on mixing ambient light with strobes. Here is an image of mine from the workshop:

008

I also entered three prints into the WPPI 16×20 print competition this year. I entered the pets category and I am THRILLED to announce my first ever Silver Honors of Excellence awards – 2 of my 3 images were scored at the silver level and were on display for the entire trade show to see!008-3 008-2 008

 

Walking around the trade show floor, I came around a corner to find one of my favorite suppliers. Simply Color Lab has been amazing to me. Their products are top notch and the customer service is just fantastic! I got to talk to the CEO and COO and they both recognized my name and were very happy to meet me (blush). Then Adam, the CEO turned me around the corner to show me something that I still get goosebumps about, they used one of my images as part of their trade show exhibit! I am humbled and honored.

IMG_2141

 

I have some amazing friends that push me and believe in my work. They go above and beyond introducing me to people and networking me with industry big wigs. I was introduced to the awesome folks at SLR Lounge, who just did a feature on my Poker Dogs shoot, and look for another feature on my work as a whole with them coming soon! If you are into photography at all, sign up – they have a plethora of amazing tutorials, tips, articles etc on photography – and its FREE!! www.SLRlounge.com.

 

All in all some amazing connections were made and I am so excited to see what the next year brings!!!!

 

Staying Ahead in a Growing Market

Staying Ahead in a Growing Market

This spring will mark 4 years ago that I picked up my first digital SLR camera. I was quite instantly hooked. I would spend countless hours out with my camera, taking photos of everything and anything. I am sure I annoyed everyone on my social media with a plethora of images and posts. I would stay up until wee hours of the morning reading photography articles and tutorials. I attended seminars, conferences, photowalks anything to try to learn. I did it all – landscapes, macro, flowers, fashion, weddings etc etc etc…..

After about a year I thought I was pretty good (little did I know how untrue that was) so I hung a shingle out on Facebook and started a website like so many other digital photographers. I thought to myself “hey people are willing to pay!” I quickly found myself bobbing up and down in a sea of mediocrity. I was unsure if how to set myself apart or what it was that made me any different than the thousands of other people just as passionate as myself about photography. So many of the successful photographers that I heard speak about making a viable business in photography talk about finding a niche.

“Find the thing you love to do, then find a way to make money at it”

About two years ago I took some random photos at a local dog park while walking my own dogs. BINGO. I found it! or rather it found me! Just like that! The reactions of my friends and fans was instantaneous – my pet photography was born.

Over the next few months I started from scratch – redesigned website, business cards, the whole shebang. I have not once looked back and I can honestly say that

I LOVE LOVE LOVE doing pet photography!!

It is my passion, my calling, maybe even my obsession. I would go as far as to say I am probably far too sensitive about my art.

The last year or so, pet photography has been gaining in popularity and it has become somewhat of a trendy thing for new photographers to get into. I now find a lot more ads and social media pages for local photographers trying to do pet photography. I am very much in favor of quality competition. Competition drives innovation and growth. It should also create market equality and stabilization. I found myself at a crossroads recently as one of the local photographers has actually gone out of their way to undermine my relationships with some local rescue groups that I had relationships with in the past.

So this brings me to the purpose of this long winded blog post (sorry!)

How do I set myself apart? What is it I do that is special??

First of all pet photography is NOT EASY. I think that some may see it as an easy dollar. That is not the case. If you are not prepared to get peed on, clean up poop, and sweep your studio daily it is not for you! Extreme patience is required with some animals. Sometimes it can take an hour just to get a couple good shots.

I am an animal person. When I say that – I do not just like animals – I relate to them, I probably prefer them to humans in many ways. I have a way with animals (dogs in particular) that I can not explain nor teach. I have always been able to connect with animals on some instinctual level. I believe this is what sets my work apart. One of the most frequent compliments that I hear when people talk to me about my art is the connection they feel when they look at my images. This is the single most thing that drive me to improve. I have a box of kleenex in my office because very often clients cry happy tears when they see the images of their fur babies.

I secretly love making my clients cry.

I am a print artist. What inspires me is putting large artwork in my clients’ homes. Images that will make them smile when they are having a bad day. Pieces that guests in their home will be inspired by. The look on my clients faces when they see their pet’s personality forever captured.

I feel forever connect to my clients in some way. Perhaps this is creepy, but it is part of who I am. I pour my soul into my work. When a client brings home a large canvas and sends me a photo of it hanging in their home, I can not help but feel immense pride.

The bottom line is I am going to focus less and less on what others are doing and just keep pushing myself to improve and do my thing.

In the two years my little home business has grown steadily and I am so very humbled and honored with each and every new milestone and I love my clients so much. I can now call myself a mediocre photographer aspiring to become excellent. I am so excited to see what comes next!

PS – I needed to get this out there, not only for people to understand me a little more, but as some sort of catharsis for myself. I have allowed the actions of others to dictate my emotions far too much in the past.It is my hope putting this out there in printed form is that beginning of change for me.

2015 Furever Friends Calendars Now On Sale!

2015 Furever Friends Calendars Now On Sale!

2015 Calendar FB Cover

 

This stunning 12 month calendar is a huge 12″ x 18″ and is conveniently coil bound with a hanger. $5 from every calendar sold is being donated directly to the http://www.abtaskforce.org/

The Alberta Spay Neuter Task Force (ASNTF) is a registered charity that provides onsite proactive, community based pet wellness clinics for communities that are experiencing pet overpopulation issues.  Our primary goal is to improve the health and well being of the dogs and cats in the community and to reduce human health issues that have resulted from pet overpopulation

Our volunteer based organization has the ability to set up MASH type surgical units to spay and neuter hundreds of animals over one weekend. The clinics provide veterinary care for dogs and cats including spaying and neutering, vaccinating, and parasite treatments that would not otherwise be available to these communities.

The Calendar is available for cash purchases at the following locations:

See Spot Run Doggy Daycare    –   7715 69St NW

Companion and Friends Doggy Daycare  –   5537 97 St NW

Doggy Style Deli  – 15131 Stony Plain Road

Credit card and email transfer purchases can be made by contacting me directly via email at darcy@darcyevansphotogaphy.com

Darcy Evans Photography to be Featured at RAW Showcase

Darcy Evans Photography gets Featured at RAW Showcase

I was contacted to be part of an amazing event put on by an organization called RAWartists.  They search out local artists in all sorts of media such as photography, visual art, musicians, performance art, and more. They love my work and are giving me gallery space to put some of my images!!!! I am so excited!

This will be an evening of visual entertainment with performances and displays from amazingly talented local artists. Tickets are only $20!!!!! Please purchase your tickets under my link so that it tracks back to my profile as there is a contest for the artist that sells the most tickets!!! I can’t wait to see you all there!

artist_flyer_de2bfe589dab46ea80a403d420aa7549

Sigma 120-300 f2.8 OS Sport Lens Test and Review

Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 Test and Review

pphoto_s_120_300_28_012_vertical

Today I was given the opportunity to try out the new Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 Sport lens. On first opening the bag that is included with purchase, first impression is WOW. This lens is put together incredibly well. Focus and zoom rings are very smooth and easy to access. This lens is HEAVY. Very heavy. After 2 hours of hand holding I was definitely feeling it. Most people will want a monopod or tripod with this lens.

Sigma 120-300 test-11

I shoot a lot of dog agility so very fast moving small objects. I currently use the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS ii and I find I am usually putting an extender on to get that extra reach. The trouble is losing that stop of light can result in a lot of soft images due to the speed of the subjects. I wanted to put this lens through its paces as I can not afford both lenses in my kit, so I would be deciding between the two lenses. Going “offbrand” does make me a little nervous, but Sigma’s new quality control and manufacturing processes are well documented all over the internet.

Overall I was fairly impressed. My “hit ratio” was a little lower than normal, but I think that was due to me having to get used to the extra weight and reach. By the second hour I think I was back up to my normal success rate. I shoot mostly in AI Servo mode with single focus point so I need the lens to focus quickly and accurately. This lens was provided by my local Sigma rep to try so I have no idea if any of the settings were changed or not. With my own copy of this lens I would do a calibration test. This is a series of images fired off – the first shot is a little soft, but then the lens targeted right in and the rest of the sequence is very sharp. Shot at 300mm from about 100 feet away.

Sigma 120-300 test-1

The optional USB dock from Sigma is very affordable and allows several customizable features in the lens. This would be invaluable for what I shoot. Being able to customize things like focal ranges and focus “styles” are wonderful inventions from Sigma. Well played folks!!!

Here are more shots from today, please scroll through to the bottom for a special surprise!

After I left the dog park and said goodbye to my friends, I was driving along the highway and to my great surprise a small family of deer!!! I pulled over and grabbed the Sigma!! They were about 500 feet away so this shot was at 300mm, cropped to 100% to show the image sharpness – pretty impressive!!!

Sigma 120-300 test-1-3

These next shots I threw on a Canon 2x extender so this is shot at a WHOPPING 600mm and again cropped to 100%

Sigma 120-300 test-27 Sigma 120-300 test-28

Overall I am leaning towards selling my beloved 70-200 for this monster performer. I am very impressed. Now to go to the gym so I can lift this thing!!

 

Edmonton Pet Photographer Art Display at Local Veterinary Clinic

Crestwood Vet Clinic Uses Local Artist for Art Display

Prestigious Crestwood Veterinary Hospital  has changed all the artwork adorning the walls of the Clinic over to artwork from local artist Darcy Evans Photography. Images of the staff’s personal pets were taken of the course of a couple months in preparation for the huge project. “Darcy has been absolutely fabulous” says Penny one of the managers of the clinic. “Having photographs of our own babies up in the walls is such a morale booster, every day I get to see my fur monsters on the walls at work” says one of the several staff that were part of the project.

Having these images up provides a consistent look and feel throughout the clients experience during their visit to the clinic. I was thrilled to see the final images up and on the walls. Here are some images of the finished project:

Crestwood Display-26 Crestwood Display-25 Crestwood Display-23 Crestwood Display-22 Crestwood Display-20 Crestwood Display-17 Crestwood Display-16 Crestwood Display-15 Crestwood Display-14 Crestwood Display-11 Crestwood Display-9 Crestwood Display-7 Crestwood Display-5 Crestwood Display-4 Crestwood Display-3 Crestwood Display-1

Rescue Adoption Portrait Program

Announcing the Free Adoption Portrait Program!

We are thrilled to announce our adoption portrait program here at Darcy Evans Photography. Any animal rescue organization can arrange to bring an adoptable animal to the studio for a FREE mini session. The rescue will receive 2-3 watermarked digital images for use online anywhere they would like to advertise the animal. The rescue will also receive a $50 coupon to include in the adoption package of the animal!

Adoption Flyer

Here are examples of the first few animals to take advantage of this offer:

 

Meet Laverne. She is a beautiful older girl that would make a fantastic first pet for a family. She is wonderful around children and loves to cuddle. She is available through Duke and Duchess Animal Rescue.
Adoptable Laverne

 

 

Meet Brutus. He is around 2 years old and we do not know much about his history. I fell in love with this sweet gentle soul. In fact if I did not have 2 dogs already he would have stayed! Brutus is available through Duke and Duchess Animal Rescue.

 

Adoptable Brutus

 

 

This awesome little girl is Missy. She is an older dog who is just a sweet lovable pup. She needs to find a home where she is the only dog, as she does not like other canines, but LOVES humans. She is available through Rescue For Life.

 

Adoptable Missy

 

Click to see more of my pet portrait work.

Subscribe to my Blog to see weekly adoptable animal posts!!!