photo techniques and technology


Cold Water Cowboys/Discovery


I’m really excited finally to be able to share with you all some photos from a recent promo shoot for a television show premiering Tuesday, February 25 at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT on Discovery.


Produced by Paperny Entertainment this 10-part series will follow the stories of six captains and their crew through the fishing season.

“Following six captains and their crews, Cold Water Cowboys ventures hundreds of kilometres offshore in the North Atlantic, facing swells as high as houses and icebergs the size of small cities. A time-honoured industry in the midst of an unprecedented sea of change, these captains are stubborn men who stuck to and survived this calamity by retooling and rebuilding the industry on new catches: crab, shrimp, turbot, herring, and mackerel. It’s a tough job – tough on the boats, tough on gear, tough on the human body – but these bred-in-the-bone fishermen will never trade their boats for boardrooms.”-Paperny Entertainment

Here are some of my photos and the crew introductions:

Richard Gillett

Richard Gillett

Richard Gillett

Richard Gillett

Richard Gillett – Midnight Shadow – Twillingate, Newfoundland

A fifth-generation fisherman, Richard Gillett has worked every fishing season since the age of 13. By 25, he’d lost his first boat to an iceberg the size of a house – thankful that he and his crew escaped with their lives. He lives for the first day of the season in April, and mourns the last fishing day in December.”-Paperny Entertainment

Richard is the personification of Newfoundlands warm heart. He’s such a friendly man, and incredibly enterprising. He was a pleasure to work with and I can’t wait to see him in his element!

Conway Caines -"Jackass cew"

Conway Caines -“Jackass cew”

Conway Caines

Conway Caines

Conway Caines

Conway Caines

“Conway and Rick Caines – Seadoo – Cow Head, Newfoundland

Rick Conway was ready to sell his boat 17 years ago – until son Conway returned to The Rock to join his dad in the family business. Though Rick is the skipper, Conway is clearly the boss of the ragtag crew of inexperienced drifters. After an accident with the boat last year, this season is make-it-or-break-it for the father/son duo.”-Paperny Entertainment

The hilarity and hi-jinks that ensue when Conway is around is at a whole other level. Just after the photo shoot Conway had a hilarious idea that left the film crew scrambling to get it on tape. Seeing as they did… there will be no spoilers here. Don’t let his potentially goofy looking so’ western fool you, Conway is a brilliant and passionate advocate for the fishing industry.

We spent two days with this crew as the weather was just not playing nice, by which I mean it was actually really quite nice out. The middle image was from the first day where there was not a cloud to be found. In order to properly convey the mood and the potentially very dangerous situation these guys get into for the job, we had to wait for more dramatic weather. Thank fully the next day gave us what we were waiting for.

Justin Bridger

Justin Bridger

CWC-boyd photography

What a mustache!

Justin Bridger – MJ Nadine – Carmanville, Newfoundland

Justin Bridger’s father, Guy, is a renowned fisherman who casts a long shadow. Recently retired, Guy has handed the day-to-day operations to his son. Aggressive and competitive, Justin is up for the job, but soon feels all the pressure of running the show, with few of the perks of captaining his own boat.” –Paperny Entertainment

Justin is definitely a bad-ass fisherman. He has a big boat, but also the skills to park it exactly where we asked. As for the second image… Just look at that mustachio! (How could I not share that!)

Paul Tiller

Paul Tiller

Paul Tiller – Justin & Jason II – Valleyfield, Newfoundland

Paul Tiller started fishing at 16 with a 20-foot speedboat, and has worked his way up from there. He maintains a family-like camaraderie aboard Justin & Jason II, and this remarkable brotherhood is the key to their success.” –Paperny Entertainment

Paul Tiller doesn’t know what kind of fame is about to hit him. Him and his crew were an incredibly friendly introduction for us as they were our first crew to shoot.

Donald Spence

Donald Spence

Donald Spence – K&N Enterprise – Port Aux Choix, Newfoundland

Donald Spence is competitive and unapologetic about doing whatever it takes to get the catch. He’s taken on a huge debt for his “new” 30-year-old boat, and is driven to get the vessel in the water and prove himself.” –Paperny Entertainment

Donald is definitely serious about fishing. We didn’t spend long with his crew but I’m sure we will get to see a lot of him through out the show.

Todd Young

Todd Young

Todd Young

Todd Young

Todd Young – Nicole Daniel – Woody Point, Newfoundland

Todd Young is a big man at sea, owning not only a massive boat, but also his own processing plant. Being your own fish buyer definitely has its advantages. Young is mostly after the money fish – mackerel. But he’s a risk-taker and has frequently torn his net on the sea floor and run aground in shoal waters.” –Paperny Entertainment

Todd is such a jolly and happy guy. “Okay Todd, now lets try for a more stern face”… and that’s when he would really start laughing. Todd’s main concern for the photo shoot was that all the fellas were there for the fun of it, and that his boy was there for the photos. (His son is just behind his left shoulder in the group shot).

photo (1)

This beautiful girl was my assistant for all these shoots. It was a lot of long hours and even more driving from one community to the next. She braved all the craziness from high winds and frigid temperatures to the crazy short notice and crazy schedule. She did an incredible job and I definitely couldn’t have done it all without her. She now just has to buckle down and grin and bear the craziness that is my life for all hers, as she is now my fiance. 😀 Lucky me I know! This photo was snapped on my phone as she was hiding behind a storage shed at one of the fish plants, holding down the lights from the fierce wind.

As you can see she’s holding a strip box and small octobox.  Almost all the lighting was done using these and Canon speed-lights. Often with a simple tree light setup for the groups and a one or two light setup for the individuals. 

I have recently had the great privilege of holding my first photo exhibit featuring my international work. I will share the images and their stories with you all as soon as I get them back from the grammar and spelling editor.


UK, Ireland, Russia, and Malawi

You can see more of my images at

It has been a long time since I blogged any of my international work. So this will be a bit of a catch up edition I guess. Some of the shooting I’ve done this last year has been very different then in previous years. I was also asked to do a lot of interviews, to get stories to go with the photos. I’d like to share some of them with you as well. This year I had the incredible fortune of working with Tearfund, an international humanitarian organization based out of London England.

First set I would like to share are some images from some recent trips to the UK, the first was for field work. Collecting samples for my masters, the other was just for travel sake. I extended a photo trip and did some travel in North Ireland and England.

1-This is from Craster, north EnglandUK 1

2- Whitby Abbey, EnglandUK 2

2-Hadrians Wall, EnglandUK 3

3-Stonehenge, EnglandUK 4

4-Big Ben, EnglandUK 5

5-Castlerock, Irelandireland-1

6-Dunseverick, Irelandireland-2

7-Giants Causeway, Irelandireland-3

8-Castlerock, Ireland

This sea bass fisherman waits by his rods for hours hoping for a bite.ireland-4

This next set is from my time in Malawi.

9-I was on site shooting a group of kids and they sang and danced, as we were cluing up I noticed this woman passing by. Duane Codrington managed to get a shot of us. (below)Malawi 1


10- This incredibly strong young girl, just 15 years old, was a victim of repeated rape. She was continuously brought out to the fields by a known assailant. She is now a part of a growing support network, shown standing behind her all wearing the “silent no more” tee shirt. Silent no more is a campaign to speak out against violence against women. You can sign a pledge here, 2

^If you for whatever reason feel compelled to steal any of my images, which I implore you not to do (I will take action take whatever action I can against you), please respect this image in particular and contact me before you duplicate/copy/manipulate or do anything with this image in particular.^

11- This young man prepares his food outside his house. It is very unusual to see a man preparing his own food. He is framed here by his cloths on the line. Malawi 3

12- During a house visit a minister prays for a very ill woman while a volunteer sits with her. Her sister sits in the shadows. Malawi 4

13- A young girl sits by her violently ill mother. Her father, who refused to take her and her mother to the hospital when they became ill, stole everything everything from the family leaving not even a bed mat for them to sleep on. Her brother Gilbert, age 12, dropped out of school to become the “man” man of the house. He does his best selling peanuts to provide whatever income he can to help his family. Mama Theresa and her organisation, Somebody Cares, after our house visit returned with some supplies and the funds needed to get Gilbert back in school. The woman in the background is a volunteer with Somebody Cares. Malawi 5

14- An expectant mother waits at a field clinic for delivery of her second child. Women from surrounding villages go to field hospitals late in their pregnancy so as to not deliver in the bush.  Malawi 6

15- A lab worker at a field hospital checks a blood sample for malaria.A scientist works on malaria tests.

16-An expectant mother (Ezira ) moments before her caesarian section.Ezira La Banda- An expectant mother waits moments before her cesarean section.

17- This woman is a part of Village savings loan group. The first group, Takumana 1, has 25 members, 19 women and 6 men. They save money between them and then loan it out within the group. The first group was trained by tearfund and then they trained the second group, Takumana 2.Malawi 9

18-  Kasaula Village Well 3- 18 meters depth. Constructed April 2010 by Assemblies of God Relief and Services (AGREDS).Kasaula Village- Well 3- 18 meters depth. Constructed April 2010

19- Chitera health centre- Government health clinic A young woman gets a small drop of blood taken for am HIV test. This is standard procedure for all pregnant women. The second image is when she hears her results.

Chitera health centre- Government health clinic<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Henry Mapeto Chitera health centre- Government health clinic<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> Yamikani Simoni

^The young women hears good news and wipes away a tear a relief.

Prior to travelling to Malawi I was working for a week in Russia. I was shooting for a program for recovering addicts. They have an intense program that begins at a farm where the addicts detox and through counselling attempting to regain control of their lives. After graduating the program their are optional follow up programs. One of which involves a work placement of sorts. One in particular is a plastic recycling plant.

20- Recovering addicts work in a plastic recycling plant. This man cuts up and sorts medical plastics and rubber for recycling. Recovering addicts work in a plastic recycling plant.

21- This vat is used to break down the plastics into small chips which are sold to factories which can use the pellets to make new products.Recovering addicts work in a plastic recycling plant.

22- This man, throughout my whole time in Russia, would be very helpful, and cooperative with this project. It was also great that his work station was by a big window and came complete with billowing steam. Recovering addicts work in a plastic recycling plant.

23- Vladimir – After his new home burned down he tried to live with other people but that didn’t work out and he turned to the streets.. While homeless he struggled with alcohol. He joined the centre September 4 2011.Russia 4

24-Nastya- She spent 6 years struggling with fast drugs/ heroin/ etc. and had several bad health issues related to that. After completing her own process, she came back as a volunteer to help other. She has been 2 years clean and in good health. Russia 5

25- Each person has assigned jobs at the centre. For some that involves caring for the livestock.Asbest Russia, Salvation Center

26- The centre has a fully capable lumber mill which they use to process fell trees into lumber for their facilities.
Asbest Russia, Salvation Center

27- A female volunteer prepares lunch for the patients and staff.Asbest Russia, Salvation Center

28- An integral part of the program, and Russian culture as a whole, is the Banya or Sauna. My experience with the Banya, was certainly an interesting one. I should preface the story by saying, I was the only one who spoke English, so an explanation on the process, which would have been very helpful, was not given. You start in a room adjacent to the one shown below. It’s a small change room, with a kitchen table in the middle. On the table are some bottles of kvass, (a russian drink similar to root beer), tomatoes, lettuce, rolled ham and other finger foods. When I entered the building (the 3rd picture down) there were 6-8 men sitting and eating, and another just joining in. Everyone is of course naked. The few men I came in with disrobe as well exchanging pleasantries. Nothing teaches you to look a man in the eyes like a Russian Banya. After some snacks I go into the room shown below to see the small pool being filled with a hose and buckets of water laid out on the bench with ladles. When I walked into the small sauna (second image) I was assaulted by the heat. I looked at the thermometer that read 80+ degrees Celsius and then started a timer on my watch so I wouldn’t stay in any more then 5 mins. I would like to add sitting on 80 degree wood… straight up uncomfortable. After my first 5 mins I step back into the room with the pool and notice the men going up to buckets and ladling the water over their heads to cool off. So I do the same. The first was too hot, then next was a bit cooler and the next a bit cooler still. So, extrapolating, I go to the bucket and pour it over my head. I should add I was getting some odd looks whilst trying the other buckets. This is because each man took a bucket from the pile and some cold water from the tap and then warmed the water with the boiling water in the last bucket until it was a temperature they were comfortable with. Each man had a bucket to himself. I of course didn’t figure this out until after I poured the bucket of boiling water over my head. After recovering amidst the laughter I returned to the sauna for another 5 min session. Towards the end most of the men returned to the room with the snacks and took some outside where we sat to cool off while getting eaten by flies.
Asbest Russia, Salvation Center

Asbest Russia, Salvation Center

Asbest Russia, Salvation Center

I’m brewing a blog of the effect a camera can have, how it changes things, and I don’t mean for the better. I’ve experienced it a lot in the past, people going after their photo without consideration for the effect on local peoples self worth. This can often have an ostracising effect, in particular when experienced repeatedly over a long time. I’m not sure exactly how I want to approach the issue, but hopefully it won’t be long before it’s in print form.

Darrin and Tarah Teaser




Stephen and Alex Teaser



Josh and Victoria Teaser


This brenizer portrait is 100 MP, shot at 85mm 1.2brenizer

(larger version)

Shawn and Natasha Teaser

Scott and Jessica- Teaser

Shane and Tesha- Teaser

Ever see a guy in a tux do this?


Nick and Krista

Ryan and Ashley

Here is a wedding from earlier the year.