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Whistler photographers earn honours at national competition

Meet the talent behind the lens and find out more about their wildly different styles 

Whistler was well represented at this year’s 2021 National Image Salon of the Professional Photographers of Canada. 

In total, three local photographers—Diane Hanna, Paul Wright, and Stephen Mayhew—had multiple images selected for the national exhibition. 

Pique caught up with them to highlight one of their winning images and find out more about their work. 

Diane Hanna 

“This shot represents our newfound freedom during the COVID-19 lockdown where we can get outside, be active and socialize. Free at last!”

Pique: What does it mean to you to have your photos selected for this exhibition?

Diane Hanna: It was an honour for my image to be chosen Best in Class by the Professional Photographers of Canada in the Conceptual Illustration category. To have my image in the exhibit is an accomplishment I’m proud of in my photographic journey.

Pique: Tell us a little bit about your approach to photography. How did you find your niche or style? 

DH: My first and foremost photographic endeavour focused on headshots, corporate branding and website content, which I’m still passionate about. When the COVID lockdown occurred, none of this was possible so I expanded my interest into more illustrative and creative techniques through wardrobe, makeup, lighting, styling and post digital production.  

Pique: Has Whistler influenced your photography at all? 

DH: Whistler has an extremely strong and supportive creative arts community. We are lucky to have Arts Whistler that has exhibits, education and helps promote local artists.

Pique: Whistler has so many talented photographers. What’s the key to standing out? 

DH: Whistler has so many world-class talented outdoor sport action and nature photographers. They capture their subjects in natural light and as the action happens.  

What sets me apart is the use of my studio, controlled light and environment.  I also offer makeup application and help my subject through coaching and wardrobe selection. All these elements combined highlight a personal photographic experience that gives my subjects unique and exceptional shots. 

On the creative side, I capture photos, both in studio and outdoors, combine them together, sometimes incorporating handcrafted textures and digitally edit them into the final image.

More at DianeHannaPhotography.com and Unhinged.photos.

 

Paul Wright

“This image is the cover of a 32-page album covering the Falkland Stampede over 10 years. It won the Best in Class Award for the best Feature Album and is now part of the Professional Photographers of Canada’s Loan Collection.

The images depict the heart and essence of the yearly event that spans three days. The town of Falkland punches far above its weight to stage this event. The town of several hundred swells to several thousand and it attracts international athletes. It is considered to be one of the remaining ‘authentic’ stampedes in Canada.”

Pique: What does it mean to you to have your photos selected for this exhibition?

PW: It is always an honour to have your work selected into the Salon of the Professional Photographers of Canada.

This particular class is that of an Album. This 32-page album was the result of a 10-year project, capturing the imagery of the Falkland Stampede. The album gives a feel of the stampede itself: from the rodeo events to the folks who follow the rodeo. Especially meaningful was being able to show the kids and the way their dreams are lived by attending the event.

The Album was also selected for the “Loan” collection, which means that it will be displayed across Canada.

Pique: Tell us a little bit about your approach to photography. How did you find your niche or style? 

PW: A photographer’s style is really an authentic reflection of who you are. I am attracted to images and situations that portray the reality of life. Often that is raw, peak action and often a display of the natural beauty that is around us.

Pique: Has Whistler influenced your photography at all? 

PW: Whistler has influenced my photography by encouraging me to remain youthful in my approach to this craft. The photographic community is encouraging and receptive to energy and one can feed off the vitality of our extremely accomplished photographic community. Now that I am in my 70s, it is refreshing to still be encouraged by the youthful talent about me.

Pique: Whistler has so many talented photographers. What’s the key to standing out? 

PW: Just being authentic. Being yourself is the key.

Find out more at wrightmoment.com or on Instagram at wrightmoment.

 

Stephen Mayhew

“Heavenly Bodies” 

“I named this after the two main subjects [which] are aptly named ‘Heavenly’: The Milky Way being the most stunning night time visual one will see in their lifetime and the church, “Church of the Good Shepherd” is also a place of worship. 

The shot was taken in the South Island of New Zealand on the shores of Lake Tekapo within the McKenzie Dark Sky Reserve. It has been known that with the perfect night and with the perfect atmosphere you could possibly see your shadow from the brilliance. The experience one witnesses from the intensity of the Galactic Center is overwhelming.”

Pique: What does it mean to you to have your photos selected for this exhibition?

SM: As a child the night sky fascinated me, and as I grew older, I developed skills to photograph my fascination. I wanted to capture the untarnished night sky and share these experiences with children young and old.

Having photographs selected is sincerely an honour to show the grandeur of the night sky.

Pique: Tell us a little bit about your approach to photography. How did you find your niche or style? 

SM: The driving force behind my desire to develop skills in photography has evolved from an innate sense of curiosity of nature.

Pique: Has Whistler influenced your photography at all? If so, how? 

SM: Living in the embrace of the Cascade Mountains has nurtured my intrigue and wonder for the natural world. This has added a subtle depth to my photography.

Pique: Whistler has so many talented photographers. What’s the key to standing out? 

SM: The ability to capture the essence of the subject, exposing a beauty which is greater than which can be seen on the surface.

Find out more at smayhewphotography.com