• Welcome to the Blog for Joel Yana Photography!

    My name is Joel Yana and I am a Lifestyle & Wedding photographer based out of Calgary. You can view a sample of my portfolio here.

    My main focus is on family lifestyle photography and new for 2011 I am now offering engagement sessions and wedding photography coverage.

    Check the blog frequently for updates and to view some of my recent work.

    Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!

Creatives Respecting Other Creatives – Personal

Some of my regular visitors are aware that I also maintain a non-photography based blog.  For the past seven months, I had put it aside to focus on the development of Joel Yana Photography.  Today I posted my thoughts on the need for creatives in one endeavour to respect the rights of other creatives who manifest their art in another endeavour.  Have a visit, and post a comment directly on my other blog if you have any thoughts or reactions.  It’s appreciated!

Cheers.

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Ixtapa Pacific – Vacation

I thought I’d share a personal post.  I mentioned in my previous post that we had vacationed in Ixtapa.  Ixtapa is located on Mexico’s Pacific coast and you access Ixtapa by flying into Zihuatanejo’s International Airport.  Ixtapa is a short cab ride from Zihua.  We were looking for a family friendly resort and ended up booking our stay with Club Med Ixtapa Pacific on the recommendation of some neighbourhood friends who had vacationed their previously.  And we were glad that we did.  The weather was perfect, the food was great, and our two young sons had a great time.  Club Mex Ixtapa definitely caters to families with young children.  We were sad that we had to leave!  When we got back to Calgary, it felt strange not to put a splash of freshly squeezed lime juice on everything I ate.

I thought I’d share a few iPhone snaps.  I smile when I look at the picture of my oldest son – it reminded me of how much fun he had, running around like a madman, sweating like crazy, interacting with the resort staff, and enjoying the ocean waves.  And for those of you wondering, yes, the resort does have a trapeze, and guests can take lessons and even participate in some of the shows!  We’ll definitely come back here again some day!

©Joel Yana Photography

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Roney Family – Calgary Family Photographer

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated my blog.  Meaghan and I took the boys off to Ixtapa, Mexico for a much needed vacation and so we were away for nearly half of January.  I left all of my heavy gear at home because I wanted to concentrate on relaxing with my family and not having to worry about lugging camera bodies and lenses with me along the trip and through customs.  But I do admit that when I saw some of the beaches, the sunsets, the amazing colors and beautiful architecture at our resort, a part of me regretted not bring at least one dSLR body and my 24-70 2.8 all purpose lens with me.  So I made do with our iPhones and our sluggish point and shoot.  I guess this means we’ll have to go back again next year!

But back to photography!  Here’s a studio shoot I completed recently.  Perry and Carly wanted a family shoot with little Sapphire shot with high key lighting.  Ask and you shall receive!  Here are several frames from our session.

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Happy New Year! – Calgary Family Photographer

First, I want to wish my clients, my friends, and my website visitors a very happy 2011!  It’s been several weeks since I’ve posted on my blog.  December was a very hectic month completing post-production on November client shoots, entertaining out-of-town relatives, getting back on my snowboard and enjoying the Rocky Mountains, and basically “unplugging” a little to spend some quality time with my extended family during the Christmas holidays.

2010 was a big year on many levels for me.  I left the corporate world after having spent nearly 17 years immersed in it, and entered my first year as a business owner.  It’s been scary but exhilarating all at the same time.  During 2010, I’ve met some fantastic couples and families and have been blessed to have the opportunity to create some great images for my clients.  2011 will continue to bring more exciting changes.

Wedding Coverage in 2011

I’m excited to announce that I will be expanding my photographic services to wedding coverage!  Please contact me for more information on my wedding coverage packages.

I’m a Member!  Professional Photographers of Canada

I was recently admitted as a Member (New Observer) of the Professional Photographers of Canada and will be starting the journey to seek accreditations in various areas of photography.  Kinda reminds me of my articling student days way back when I was training to receive my Chartered Accountant designation.

The PPOC’s website states that the PPOC is “…is a diversified group of creative artists dedicated to the highest standards in professional imaging.”  I firmly believe in continually honing my craft and so it’s great to be part of a professional association like the PPOC, to share ideas and learn from other members, and to have my prints evaluated by photographers who have spent decades in the profession.

The Emotional Impact of a Print

In my portraiture business, I’m also going to be moving away from digital files as my primary deliverable and focusing on creating some beautiful wall portraits for my clients.  I have the good fortune of working with a professional lab in Calgary to help me fulfill my print orders.  One of my good friends told me that the digital files he and his wife receive from a photographer typically stay in one place – on their computer.  Sure, they occasionally share the images on various social media, but other than that, the files go nowhere else.  We’ll see how he feels once he sees a large print of family framed and mounted on his wall.  I think it will change his mind as to the importance of a photograph.  People underestimate the emotional power of a beautiful print of their family mounted on their walls.  The best art isn’t necessarily a painting or a reprint thereof by a famous artist.  In my view the best “art” is an image that captures the emotional connection of a family.

Just before Christmas, my brother and his wife moved into their house.  Earlier in the fall, we were fortunate to spend some time capturing some fantastic images of them with their then-9 month old son at Fish Creek park.  I surprised them with a housewarming present that exists as a large framed print in their new living room.  It felt great to see my sister-in-law’s eyes well up when she saw the print, and I am so happy my present has helped to make their new place feel even more like home.

©Joel Yana Photography

To me, the greatest compliment is when a client tells me that they love the images from their session.  One of my clients got, in her words, “all choked up” when she saw an image I shot at her mother’s 65th birthday celebration.  Her mother never used to smile in pictures but I was able to get some images of her smile after she had undergone some dental work.  My client wrote me and said “It’s awesome!  And it might be the nicest photo I’ve EVER seen of my mom!  No, seriously.  Really.”  It’s feedback like this that reminds me why I love to photograph people!

I’ll end my first post of the year with some more images from 2010.  Due to time contraints and a busy life as a father of two little boys, I don’t get a chance to put up a full post of every shoot that I complete.  But here are a few images that made me smile as I looked back at them.

Happy 2011!

©Joel Yana Photography

©Joel Yana Photography

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Plainclothes Press – Calgary Wedding Photographer

I’ve decided to extend my photography services to wedding coverage in 2011.  I’m looking forward to it!  I’m currently working on my wedding photography product line offerings (eg. wedding albums, engagement books, etc) over and above my basic wedding coverage.  That said, it’s not unusual for couples to purchase digital files of images that may not have selected for inclusion in their album or as standalone prints.  Instead of transferring these purchased images on a generic CD, I wanted to ensure that the CD and case was an extension of the look of my brand – simplicity, with a fresh, clean look.

I was looking for a company that could offer short-run CD & DVD reproduction services.   Enter Plainclothes Press, a Saskatoon based business run by the awesome husband and wife team of Dean and Sheena Summach.  This friendly, down-to-earth couple has creativity in their blood.  It didn’t surprise me to learn that they are also musicians and that Sheena possessed some great design skills.  If you are looking for short-run CD/DVD reproduction services, Plainclothes Press is the company for you.  Great customer service and integrity.  Check out their blog entry here.  Their story and business philosophy really resonates with me.

Here’s an image of the super-jewel case designed by Sheena with an image from one of my client shoots as a centerpiece.  I love it!

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