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As a commercial and tourism photographer I’m always looking to stretch the parameters of creativity and impact.  Creating something powerful that has an emotional draw is what keeps me motivated to continue to stay fresh.

This particular ‘Ballerina Series’ shoot with Hailey was born out of my visual concept of pairing this unique landscape (as for most of the year this part of the river is inaccessible due to high water) at sunset with a dancer and pose that could create a feeling of freedom and celebration.

To do that I balanced the sunset light with artificial light on Hailey.  This means that my ambient light is taken of the scene in manual mode, set and then the intensity of artificial light is added and achieved.  What I was looking for here was the perfect balance in light, and that took some adjusting.  But as always, it’s a process until I feel I have it exactly as I want it.  In a situation like this I never front light the subject as it removes the mystique from the shoot and looks substandard to the beautiful backdrop.  I’m looking to achieve a lighting direction that seems as if the sunset is lighting the side of the dancer; where in reality without artificial light Hailey would be almost completely black..

Of course Hailey did a wonderful job adapting to posing and what was and wasn’t working.  During a shoot with time constraints like a sunset you’re pressured a bit to make the most of the light so we were both happy to come out of it with a pose that fit the vision.  This shoot was made possible from having previous knowledge of the area.  Very rarely do I go into a situation like this with no idea what I will find when I get there!

Happy shooting.  To see more of my work go to my portfolio here


From very early on, Kamloops-based photographer Kelly Funk has utilized the environment - both natural and urban - to accentuate the strengths of his professional photographic career, forming a unique, fresh perspective and high-end product.