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Saturday morning I decided to go check out some of the action at Exhibition Park where ARFC was holding an Alumni day with a full slate of games taking place. It was a mostly dry chilly freakishly windy day!  Sadly I had other commitments on the day so was only able to watch and photography the Ladies game against Nanaimo.  Their opponents arrived with just 12 players so game was forfeit and they played each other 12 on 12 just for fun.  ARFC got off to a slow start but by second half they seemed to be able to score at will!!

It is well known around Abbotsford that I have a huge passion for sports photography but not many people realize I shoot many other things like Weddings, Portraits, and on and on.  So if you find yourself in need of a photographer drop me a line and lets see if we can work together.

Okay so I have been sucking huge at blogging on any kind of regular schedule!  Hopefully this is the start of a more regular blogging activity!

So what have I been up to since my last blog almost a year ago.  So many shoots since then to even try to cover so let’s just talk about what I have done so far this year!!

Early on this year we got an unexpected wonderfully sunny day on a Saturday!  Not wanting to waste our good luck Jo and I called up our Niece, Brooke, to join us for a drive to Golden ears Park so we could have a walk along the shores of Alouette Lake.  We had a great time as did many other people we saw as we wandered.  Scenery was amazing and the lake was so calm.

Late last Friday afternoon I received a Facebook message from my good friend Bill Mueller, who coaches basketball at Robert Bateman Secondary , about a game they were hosting versus crosstown rival Rick Hansen Secondary.  As I had nothing else planned I headed out to shoot the action.  Sadly the home team got soundly thrashed and it was obvious why Hansen is the defending Provincial Champs!!

Woke up Saturday morning to a brilliant blue sky and crispy temps.  As I had planned to shoot UFV’s first ever Women’s Rugby Sevens home tourney I was overjoyed with the weather.  Got my workout in then had some breaky and packed the gear I would need for the day of high intensity USport!!  It was a great event and UFV won their first ever game .  Should mention this team is in just their second season ever and are playing teams from much bigger school who have been at it much longer.  Although they earned just the one win, they never quit, and even with dwindling numbers due to a couple of serious injuries they for sure had the respect of all their opponents!!

 

I was very lucky this past weekend to be allowed to photograph this years Vancouver Sevens from field level at BC Place. It is beyond exciting to be that close to this kind of action. Remember we are talking about the best 16 Men’s Rugby Sevens Teams in THE WORLD!!  They are all fast fit and furious and hungry for the wins.  The extra part of the show is in the stands! The fans (all 38,00 0 who attended each day) are awesome.  Many come dressed in crazy costumes and are energy filled and cheer their guts out for every team.  Of course they cheer loudest for Canada and Fiji the two local faves!!  This event is special to me for another reason as well  One of the stand out players on Team Canada played football for me when I use to coach High School Football and this event is the only time I get to see him in action LIVE!! He did not disappoint as he score 3 trys during the tourney.  In the end our Home Team did not walk away with any hardware but they took extra long in their walk around the stadium after being eliminated. Looked like anyone wanting a picture or autograph got just what they wanted from their fave player!! I am already looking forward to next years event.

 

 

Hey my picture is on the cover of What’s on!! Thanks to my good friend and fellow Photographer Jean Konda-Witte , I was once again given the opportunity to help out with promo photos for the Fraser Valley Stage‘s production of Hello Dolly which is playing Feb. 23 – March 4. Must say again that actors are becoming my fave people to shoot they are always just so in to it and make my job behind the camera so easy. Jean has done a great job marketing this show and I have loved the way she used my images. We even got some exposure on the big digital sign on Sumas Way!!  I am looking forward to attending the show!!

Some weeks ago a friend of mine, Jean Konde-Witte, asked me to help her out with a studio shoot as she does not have a space large enough.  Large was important because the shoot was for the cast of the Fraser Valley Stage’s production of “The Christmas Survival Guide”.

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 The shots we would take would be used for advertising purposes both in print and social media.  It was a hot night in my studio space and shooting actors adorned in sweaters, hats and flannel onesies was a tad unpleasant but the cast was amazing and we all had a ball.

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 Just from this shoot alone I have no doubt this play with be hilarious and am sorry I will not be in town to attend the show myself. If you are looking for a night out that is sure to be a hoot get tickets now before they are sold out.

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Finally here is a sample of the finished advertising product.

 

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This past weekend I covered the last stop on the Toronto Wolfpack’s world recruiting tour. wolfpack-tryouts-2016-6355 The Toronto Wolfpack is a professional Rugby League team dedicated to progressing through the English Rugby Football League’s (RFL) ranks, from League 1 to the Super League. They are Canada’s first professional Rugby team, and the world’s first transatlantic major professional sports team. wolfpack-tryouts-2016-6344No surprise they picked our little berg of Abbotsford for their west coast tryout location. British Columbia has been a hot bed of rugby action for decades what with Rugby Union, Rugby Sevens, and Rugby League teams all over the province.  Our High School, Community, and University Programs have over the years produced many International Level players.  The players trying out for a spot with the Wolfpack included locals as well as players from many parts of the USA and some were even as young as 17.   wolfpack-tryouts-2016-6630I have been around and have participated in contact sport for many years and I have never seen anything as intense and high energy as this work out was.  After the team hopefuls ran through several ball handling drills they moved on to some very hard hitting tackling drills.  Next was a high octane…….. non stop action……. live scrimmage which left several players bloodied but still smiling. wolfpack-tryouts-2016-8843After handshakes all around the players cleaned up and joined the Coach and managers of the Wolfpack at the Townhall for a bite to eat and a couple pints because come on what goes better with rugby than a pint or two of frosty beer!! Now all await the word on whether or not they will be joining the Pack in TO!! wolfpack-tryouts-2016-8277

When I heard the World Rugby 7’s Tour was coming to Vancouver this year I knew I had to be there!  Instead of buying tickets I applied for a Media Pass so I could watch and photography the entire event from field level at BC Place.  Soon I was notified that because I do not work for a publication it was very unlikely I would be granted a pass.  That bit of info bummed me out but I kept on asking anyone officially connected if they could help me.  A few scant days prior to the first kick off I got the email……I was in!!!

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On opening day I arrived early so that I could get the lay of the land, any instructions the powers that be had for us, and to meet the other eager shooters.  We were shuttled into the “Pitch” and told where we could shoot from and then we started getting our gear ready.  I felt a little out of place as some of the photogs there had some very special gear to work with!!  No matter I was ready to shoot the biggest event in my life.

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Thousands of fans began arriving, which I am told is odd for the early morning games, but Vancouver was eager to witness every minute of play by the best players in the world. Sixteen teams from 16 nations would be partaking in 46 fast moving action packed games!! One thing that totally amazed me was how every one of those games started and ended on time!  The sellout crowd of over 35,000 screaming fans were on their feet cheering non-stop.  It was amazing standing on the pitch as every one of those fans was up on their feet singing Sweet Caroline and the top of their lungs with joy in their hearts.

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Team Canada played well winning 5 of their 6 games.  They advanced to the Bowl Final and faced off against Team France in a back and forth barn burner of a game that was decided with a convert kick with no time left on the clock. Canada was victorious and the crowd went wild!!!  So glad to have been there to witness the spectacle and am sure gonna do my best to be back next year.

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Once again this year I was fortunate enough get the gig of being the Official Photographer for the BC Boys AA and AAA rugby championships which are held at the end of May right here in Abbotsford at Exhibition Park.2015-BCs--4  It is a 3 day tourney that features 48 games and often has 4 games happening at the same time.2015-BCs-2646  The job of photographing all this games is very challenging and I must admit pretty darn exhausting.  This year the bronze medal was won by Yale Secondary from right here in Abbotsford which in fact makes them the Public School Champions as once again the Gold and Silver medals went to Shawnigan Lake and St, Georges.  It was sunny and warm from start to finish and the action was intense throughout.  Once again a good time was had by all and I am already looking forward to covering it again in 2016.

 

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If you would like to see all the images from the tourney just click this link.

Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure of providing a photo booth for the grads of Robert Bateman Secondary at their annual Grad Luau! I have had the honour of coaching and overseeing the football program at RBSS for the past 5 years.  Have found it to be an excellent school full of great kids and run by amazing staff.  I have watched and coached some of the students since they were 7 years old and was pumped to be part of one of their grad events!  Was able to capture some fun images and dine on some fine BBQ while having a bunch of laughs with people I truly care about.  Guess my point is it was a “Great Night”!  Here are a few images from the photo booth and you you want to see all the shots check out my Flickr Page.

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Last weekend it was my pleasure to be the Official Photographer of the BC High School Boys Rugby Sevens Championship Tourney!  The weather was excellent with mostly sunny skies and zero rain.  The action was fast and furious and when the dust all settled St. Georges was the victor with Shawnigan Lake taking second and our very own Yale High School rounding out the top 3 in the Province.  It was a great event and all the players represented their schools very well with their intense play and terrific sportsmanship!!

 

 

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All images from the day cane be found here 2015 Rugby Sevens.