Vancouver Snow Day

We don’t get many snow days in Vancouver, but when we do the city explodes with photos of the wonderful white stuff.

This morning while walking Junior at the park, I took the following photo before all the snow was washed away in the later rain that is expected.

Vancouver Snow Day

So if you can, get out there and take your photos now before the regular Vancouver rain starts and washes all the loveliness away. And by all means, take it easy out there as the sidewalks and roads are slippery.


Where Has Time Gone?

It’s hard to believe the summer is almost at an end. Where has time gone?

I’ve been so busy these past few months that I’ve had little time to post on here, let alone use Twitter or Facebook as I used to use them. I might not have been posting, but I have been listening in and reading to what my peeps have been up to. Yeah call me a stalker :).

I’ve spent most of the summer busy taking a couple of courses. Yup I was back at school, learning old and new things.

Since I’ve been away from the social media scene, due to a new career move, I thought I needed to get back into it and so I decided it was best to take a social media marketing course offered at UBC Robson. The course itself was strictly online, and though I’m used to taking courses in a class environment and wasn’t sure how it would work, the course proved to be interesting enough to keep my interest.

During the class we learned step by step how to create a marketing strategy for an organization. I took on the challenge of creating one for a restaurant, though they didn’t know I was doing it. I understood most of what was required, but it was nice to have the step by step process laid out and it made more sense at the end of the day. I’m proud to say that at the end of the course I got a 89%. It wasn’t the 95% I was hoping at the beginning as I didn’t do well on one assignment, but that is how we learn, and we move forward.

Sadly the next available course isn’t being offered until the fall. So I decided to take on another course I’ve always wanted to take – I took an Adobe Photoshop course also at UBC Robson. I felt I was losing some of my creative side. I felt I needed something to challenge me more and since I’ve always loved photography it was the perfect fit.

Now this course was offered in class and we got to work on Macs – Yippie!! I got to learn so much and had so much fun learning along the way. You can see some of projects below to see how I improved during the short 5 weeks.

Welcome to Gustavo

Mystic Elephant

And this was my final project. I’ve yet to get graded on it, but I’m happy with the results.


I had so much fun that I decided to take on the next Photoshop level and add Adobe Illustrator to the mix. So starting September 30th until November 30th, I’ll be a busy boy. I’ll be growing my creative side and who knows where this might lead!

I haven’t had the chance to travel as much I would have liked and work has been really busy lately. I’m hoping I’ll be able to change that soon.

So hopefully I won’t take this long to write my next blog 🙂

Printing a Couple of my Photos

So I’ve been wanting to get a couple of my photos printed, but I’m having a hard time choosing which two of them I’ll get done. The prints will be 11 x 15 and will be hung up on the pillars between our windows that span our living room and dinning room.

I’ve figured out where I’ll get them printed at thanks to my interweb connections. I’m torn between the following 4 photos.

AGO 16 AGO 12

Buenos Aires 2011 - Day 7 -   30 Recoleta  27

What do you guys think would work best? With so many photos to choose from it’s hard to pick just a few.

Do You Have a Photo Strategy?

We’ve all heard the famous line that a photo speaks a thousand words. Using a photo can greatly enhanced your written story, but do you have a photo strategy to go along with your communications strategy? At a recent IABC Conference, Suzanne Salvo shared some of her insights to help communicators enhance their stories by using photos, but not just any photo, a well-crafted photo. Communicators need to think more visually when crafting their stories and a photo only takes about 2 seconds to tell its story, but does it match your communications message?

Below are some her highlighted tips you can use when you are thinking of including a photo with your communications.

Photo Tips

  1. Do your research. Mine your companies Vision and Mission statement for keywords. Also look at the Corporate Culture and mine what the company thinks is important to them. Keep these words handy when composing the photo to make sure your photo represents these keywords.
  2. Add a human element to your photo. If you are showcasing a product, add a hand holding the object, or maybe a face behind the product. It’s not about shooting the product, but the results from the product.
  3. Don’t be afraid of the close up. Close ups can amplify the feeling you are trying to portray
  4. Take a photo and look at it, where does your eye wonder to first? If it’s not telling your story or highlighting what you would like, retake the photo differently.
  5. Don’t be afraid to shoot off the horizontal. Tilting your camera just slightly can give your image a larger impact.
  6. Colour is important. Our eyes are drawn to bold colours. Red has a big impact when surround by green. Don’t be afraid to lose colour and only highlight the product in a specific colour by de-saturating the image. Don’t forget that colour could represent the company’s culture, if their corporate colours are blue, shoot with more blue.
  7. If shooting a wide shot, the background should enhance what is happening closer to the camera for bigger impact.
  8. Avoid giving people props. Usually they will feel out of place and unnatural. We’ve all seen those CEO with shovel shots or worse those “I just got an award”  or “here is a cheque” shots.
  9. Avoid shooting the shoes, unless you are highlighting the shoes.
  10. Avoid using a flash if you can. Use reflectors if possible to bounce light to add for a more dramatic effect. Natural lighting can help with emotional connection.

Above all just have fun. Taking photos are meant to be fun and if everyone is having a great time your photos will reflect a truer picture and you won’t be stressed out about it.