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*We continue to follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.*

Kate redefines the “Big Chill”

Our Kate seems to have garnered a bit of attention with her journey. Just before Christmas a reporter from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) contacted us and wanted to know more. In our eyes Kate has always been a “Star” but now a few more people can appreciate her.

The first installment read like this – Travelling Photographer ‘brought to tears’ watching northern kids grow up and had a lot of fun pictures in it.

This version actually is a little video of what Heirloom Portraits does and has Kate’s voice telling the story – One travelling school photographer describes watching northern kids grow up

When all is said and done, Kate is still on the road (or ice highway, if you like) and has a few photos for us from Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

Pond Inlet is a small, predominantly Inuit community in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada, located in northern Baffin Island. Pond Inlet was named in 1818 by explorer John Ross for John Pond, an English astronomer. Wikipedia. As of the 2016 census, the population was 1,617, an increase of 4.4% from 2011. – Wikipedia

 

Welcome to Pond Inlet, NU

Was lucky to see this as the next day it snowed to never be seen again this year by me.

A harvested Narwhal

… another cruise ship

It’s easy to see why there are cruise ships around when you can see icebergs and spectacular sunsets like these.

I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to Kate’s next stop. See you there.

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*We continue to follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.*

Now, where were we? Ah yes, Clyde River, Nunavut.

Clyde River is an Inuit hamlet located on the shore of Baffin Island’s Patricia Bay, off Clyde Inlet, an arm of Davis Strait in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut Canada. It lies in the Baffin Mountains which in turn form part of the Arctic Cordillera mountain range. – Wikipedia

Clyde River in the Inuktituk language is Kanngiqtugaapik (Nice Little Inlet). It is also known as the “Gateway to the Fiords”. Here is Kate’s Clyde River…

Town in the background — at Clyde River, Nunavut.

In love with the view here.

Still in love with the view

This very small town provided Kate with some of her most memorable moments. There was extremely diversified subject matter, including

boats of many colours.

Magnificent giant bones.

Bowhead Whale Bone

Ribs of the Bowhead Whale

Part one of Bowhead Whale (head)

Part two of Bowhead Whale (body/ribs)  *(this part attaches to the head with those two black spots of part one photo)

Part three of Bowhead Whale (tail) — at Clyde River, Nunavut.

The next discovery was a first for Kate.

Polar Bear tracks (not so recent ones)

More Polar Bear tracks (more recent)….

Then we found him & followed him! NANUQ!!!! (my first)

NANUQ!!!! (my first)

NANUQ!!!! (my first)
*jumping over the waves*

There were a few other white furry surprises for Kate.

Pupppppppppies! Will be sled dogs next year.

I wanted to take this one home. Just too cute.

There were icebergs a plenty.

So many Icebergs in the distance – This is what the tundra looks like for anyone curious.

Lots of Icebergs

And the inevitable…

Of course there is an Inukshuk and I have a photo with it. What’s not to expect?

Town in the background

I think it is safe to say that this is one visit to Clyde River that Kate won’t soon forget.

Community of Clyde River from the hill across the pond.

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*We continue to follow Heirloom Portraits Photographer Katelyn Krueger in Northern Canada through her pictures and thoughts.*

We have all been somewhere that we feel a connection with. A place you might even feel instantly at home, like you belong there.  Somewhere you will go back to  over and over again. Of course, the people who live there contribute a lot to that sense.  Personally I have found a couple of places like that. One is Las Vegas and the other is Glenlea, Manitoba (I know, opposite ends of the spectrum).  Rankin Inlet is that place for Kate. As soon as she lands I receive a message from her, “I am in my happy place.” (It’s on my bucket list)

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Rankin Inlet

“Rankin Inlet is an Inuit hamlet on Kudlulik Peninsula in Nunavut, Canada. Located on the northwestern Hudson Bay, between Chesterfield Inlet and Arviat, it’s the regional centre for the Kivalliq Region. In the 1995 Nunavut capital plebiscite, Iqaluit defeated Rankin Inlet to become territorial capital of Nunavut.” Wikipedia

Kate’s first comment on her first image pretty much sums it up.

Welcome Home! — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

The Big Dipper!!! NICE

Don’t think this turned out too bad using my cell phone. — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Love its reflection. — in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

The annual photo with my favourite Inukshuk.

You can tell the star of the show was the “Northern Lights” this trip with Kate’s favourite Inukshuk playing a very strong supporting roll.

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Part of my job working for Heirloom Portraits is to scout for new photographers. Working as a photographer for Heirloom is one of the coolest jobs on the planet. Literally. It envelops all meanings for cool.

The ad for the job reads like this…

“Are you looking for adventure? Do you live to photograph? Our Photographers visit towns and experience travel that the average Canadian will never get to enjoy. Every day is a new and interesting experience.”

Job Title: Travelling Mobile Family and School Photographer
Location: Northern Canada including Ontario, Manitoba, Nunavut, North West Territories, Labrador, etc.”

It’s not an easy job. Photography skills are involved (although plenty applied that had none). It involves a lot of travel to remote areas in Canada. You are away from home for long periods of time (no you cannot make it home for visitations on the weekend). Your accommodations will not be 5 star hotels (because they do not exist in these remote areas). It is usually cold. You will probably be snowed in at one point or another. It is the kind of job that you either love and never want to give up or you find out pretty quickly that it’s not for you.

Heirloom is an amazing company to work for and the people who work there are a remarkable team. Our photographers know that although they may be out there on their own, the team is just a phone call/text/message away. It’s really kind of tricky to explain to you what our photographers experience. I listen to the stories and look at the photos and I am alway in awe (and a whole lot jealous). As our 2018-2019 season has just begun, I thought it would be interesting to see Northern Canada through the eyes of one of our photographers.

Say “Hello” To Photographer Kate

Kate is now in her 5th year with Heirloom. In my opinion she was born for this job. So, I asked her a few questions…

Me: When we first hired you, what was it that made you think you would like to do this job?

“I have always loved going to new places or even returning to the same places. Travelling in general is exciting to me. Photography was something I have always loved. So to find a job where I am travelling and doing photography, it’s a dream come true.”

Me: What is it about the job that makes you want to keep doing it?

“I still love travelling and I still love photography. The connections I make with the people in each community keep me wanting to come back. I have seen children grow from babies and are now in Kindergarten. I have become “Aunty” to some of them in a few different communities. Why would I want to give that up?”

My plan is to share Kate’s season with you through her pictures and her thoughts. Her first stop was Baker Lake, Nunavut.

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Baker Lake, Nunavut 

This is where Baker Lake, Nunavut is in Canada. GoogleMaps

According to Wikipedia, Baker Lake is a hamlet in the Kivalliq Region, in Nunavut on mainland Canada. Located 320 km inland from Hudson Bay, it is near the nation’s geographical centre, and is notable for being the Canadian Arctic’s sole inland community. The hamlet is located at the mouth of the Thelon River on the shores of Baker Lake.

Here is Kate’s Baker Lake…

Welcome to Baker Lake, NU — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

The Airport In Baker Lake, Nunavut

The town

Made friends with a Siksik — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

He liked getting his picture taken… — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

It’s hard being a model so he needed some food. — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

 

In Baker Lake, Nunavut.

This is one way to transport myself and gear to a new school – in a grocery truck! A great way to start a morning, with bananas — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

Apparently I’m funny. The kids all wanted me to have a picture so this is what we got!  🙂  — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

 

Sandhill Cranes

In Baker Lake, Nunavut.

I have been visiting Baker Lake now for four years and this is the first time I made it to the Inukshuk. Every year I’d say I will get there. I finally did it!  — in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

I hope you will enjoy seeing more of Northern Canada through Kate’s eyes in future posts.

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It has been a long time since I earned a living as a photographer. I went to College to study it. I bought equipment, equipment and more equipment. I loved it! My fondest memories of photography were spent in the dark room creating “my magic”. Along the way life happened and my path changed as I moved into television. My professional gear became TV cameras and studios. My old gear became just that…old and was either sold or given away.

My love of photography started the first time I saw the work of Yousuf Karsh. You may not recognize the name but I will guarantee you, you have seen his work. His stunning black and white portraits of John F. Kennedy, Einstein, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Grace Kelly, Castro, Picasso, Audrey Hepburn …yes, this list continues seemingly endlessly, have been seen around the world.

The Work of Yousuf Karsh

My love of photography  was encouraged and nurtured along the way by a local Niagara Falls photographer, Wayne Farrar.  I knew Wayne, his wife Mary, his son Donald and his daughter Carol as a family from the time I was a little girl.  We were members of the same church family so I saw them frequently. When Wayne discovered my interest in photography he took me under his wing and continued to be one of my strongest influences and supporters until the day he passed away in September of 2001.  Wayne was well known in Niagara for his aerial photography and his photographs of the big ships coming through the canal liftlocks that are part of the St. Lawrence Seaway. In fact, one of  Waynes photographs was featured on a Canadian stamp. Every time I would stop by Wayne’s studio there was one photo I would always ask to see.  It was not one taken by him. It was a photo of him. It was a photo of him with Yousuf Karsh.  It always fascinated me that these two men who had so much influence in my life had met and were in this photo together.

These days it seems photos are everywhere. Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, etc. and any number of Photo/Photographer blogs.  All this visual stimulation has made me long to photograph again. Believe me when I tell you, I never thought I would see the day that I did not own a camera any longer.  Recently, one of the Photographer/Bloggers  I follow has inspired me.  Otto von Münchow is one of the most talented and gifted photographers I am aware of. His work is brilliant! Recently in his blog, Münchow’s Creative Photo Blog, has talked about “Skills versus Creativity”, “It’s What’s Inside That Matters”, “craft vs the heart”, and he talks about how “mistakes” can sometimes be “a blessing in disguise”.  Otto doesn’t believe the photo is a result of the kind of camera you are using, or the professional training you have or if the lighting is accurate. All of these things can contribute to a good or even great photograph, but ultimately it is what the user sees and feels and how they can make that translate.

The other day I was admiring some colours in a restaurant. Just something about them made me feel happy and excited. My phone (not an iPhone) was sitting there beside me so I decided, just for fun, to start seeing what I could do with the camera app. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying my phone can actually replace a camera. But, I had fun and it felt good to take some photos again.

So just for fun…

I really liked the colours and the textures I was able to catch. It surprised me.

Like I said, I like colour. I respond to colour emotionally. Above are a couple of pieces of artwork in my home. The colours came out really well, but I have some issues with reflections and glare. They all seem soft but they aren’t. The top one is a batik and it is very waxy. The middle one is a pastel that my niece Ashlee did when she was a little girl. The bottom one has always fascinated me so I think that it is kind of kool that I can see myself staring at it…as I often do.

The following pictures were taken with a different “phone” (still not an iPhone).

These pieces are the work of another artist in the family, Stephen. He does brilliant work but I’m not sure these captured it.

These are photo ops that would have been missed had I not had a … phone. It was a very cold and dreary day in Niagara Falls and I do believe that was captured along with some pretty acceptable detail. The plant is a Trillium. The Trillium is the official flower of Ontario, Canada and it is an endangered and protected plant. You are not allowed to pick Trilliums if you see one, and I myself have not seen one since I was a little girl hiking as a Brownie.  I found this Trillium recently in North Oshawa.

I am having trouble capturing little ones with the “phone”. They move pretty quick and so far most of these photos have been blurry. The top one was kind enough to patiently pose for me. In the bottom one there were two more children, twins, that I never did mange to capture, but fortunately their older sister stopped to check me out. I don’t care how I got these…I love these two pictures.

Thank you Yousuf, thank you Wayne, and thank you Otto. I had some fun and I got to take some pictures.

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There it is again.
During a call home, my husband let me know that he had mentioned (yet again) to someone that they should read my blog. My Paul has to be my biggest fan. He is encouraging, he is proud and (sometimes to my great discomfort) he is a totally unbiased, harsh editor. But he often recommends my musings to people.

This is the part that snapped my head back a bit…
“I told her you were usually funnier, but …”
Excuse me? Was he apologizing for me? Yes, it was an innocent comment not meant with any kind of malice. However, the only thing that caused him to narrowly miss being locked out when he got home and having to deal with the wrath of “M” when he finally got in was that it wasn’t the first time I had heard it. In fact, truth be told, I myself recently wrote a comment to someone that said they might enjoy some of my previous posts more. (The nerve of me!)

Upon further review I have to admit, I have had a pretty sobering and somber year of blogging. Understandably so, as I had a pretty sobering and somber year. Let’s see, there was death, disease, job loss, and let’s not forgot moving far enough away that homesickness is now my best friend. But enough is enough. When people start making excuses for you not being amusing any more there is an indication that some witty repartee is in order. It is definitely time to lighten up.

I decided to search for some inspiration, where else but the internet. It has been a while since I have actively searched out new blogs to read. There are several that I follow and read faithfully. One of my first is still one of my favourites. Writer Dad  by Sean Platt (and now his wife Cindy posts as well). When I first read “Wrapping the Morning Glories”  it effected me so much that I knew I would be reading this man’s work in a big way for the rest of my life. He did not disappoint. He has gone on to write several books in a very wide range, including Children’s books — Syllable Soup (which I read even though I don’t have kids), Four Seasons, an intricately woven novel of how people effect each other, A horror novel, Available Darkness, (which I devoured) and a thriller serial series, Yesterday’s Gone (which I can never get enough of). Both of these were written with his writing partner, David Wright. Sean has also written “how to” books such as, Writing Online, and 100 Blog Post Ideas That Work. This guy can make me laugh, cry and want to sleep with the light on. How versatile is that? Yeah, I’m his number 1 fan, but not in a creepy, Kathy Bates/Misery kind of way.

I got lost. That’s right, I got lost in the internet. I have spent countless hours searching out new blogs, reading new blogs and loving new blogs! I made a point of reading at least two posts from each blog I found to give them a fair chance. Then there were the ones I couldn’t stop reading. The ones that I felt compelled to read post after post because … well, I just couldn’t stop. Here are a few:
Verena Fischer loves to Tango. In fact she has a blog about just that, Te quiero tango!  However, it is her other blog that I found through this one that has me captivated. Experiments In Experience (one day at a time). With Experiments in Experience Verena has made a commitment to take photos every day and share one of them on this blog. She is a gifted photographer who is able to make every day scenes into art, and the words she chooses to share only enhance the image. I love seeing her surroundings through her eyes … every day.

Lesley Carter is the Queen of Adventure and has the blog to prove it! Lesley Carter – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences  has me holding my breath and my heart at the same time as I read each exciting adventure one after another. Whether it is bungee jumping, rock climbing, caving, white water rafting , paragliding, swimming with beluga whales or sky diving, Lesley takes you along for the ride as she tells her tales with all the shock and awe she experiences. All accompanied by the most stunning photographs. I have been living vicariously through her since I discovered her blog…well, maybe not the part where she flew through the air on a trapeze in her wedding gown.

Java Girl says she blogs about random things in her daily life or anything that catches her eye at the moment. What caught my eye were the things she found interesting enough to make it to her blog, Java Girl’s Life  She hooked me in with Race You To The Bottom Of the Pool  (seriously, stop reading right now and check out the shots of this place … just don’t forget to come back). She kept me fascinated with her Magical Little Hotel in Chile and had me browsing through her archives with Some Cool Sand Sculptures  and Jason Taylor’s Underwater Sculptures . She is clever, witty, charming, emotional and really hard to stop reading.

Linda Jeffers Photography Blog struck a personal note with her stunning post A Photo Shoot of Women Experiencing Hair Loss As A Result Of Chemotherapy. Been there done that and wish someone had thought of this sooner.

Perhaps my favourite new blog is that of  Otto von Münchow. I got caught up on one of his websites (both are worth having a look at,  Otto von Münchow & Blue Hour Photo Workshops) checking out his portfolio when I stumbled onto his blog, Munchow’s Creative Photo Blog. His visuals are stunningly striking and quite frankly often take my breath away. However, the accompanying story with the insight into the photographs is gripping.

I know that is more than a few, but I guarantee each and every one is worth your checking them out. Hopefully they can inspire you the way they have inspired me. I would love to know what you think of them.
Oh, and I promise to lighten up a little.

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FRAMED DUCK copyAt a recent Toastmaster meeting it was pointed out that the lovely town that I live in has a relocation program for geese. Seriously, the Town of Oakville has a “Geese Relocation Program”. Forms are filled out, Town Staff gets involved and there are lots of rules and regulations on how to go about this. Apparently, there are people and businesses that actually make a living relocating geese. There were many suggestions that evening on “alternative” solutions (some included stuffing) and better ways to spend our tax dollars. I kept my mouth shut as the conversation brought to mind a couple of times that I ran afoul of some of our fine feathered friends.

While driving to work one day, along the QEW from Oakville to Burlington… a drive that in another world (one that would not include the always backed up QEW) would take 12 minutes, I was brought to a standstill just short of my exit. I could see the police vehicles across the full stretch of the highway and down the off ramp, lights flashing. This did not bode well. As always, I immediately got my patience in check, said a little prayer for whoever was involved in the certain crash, and thanked God once again that it was not me. Time does not fly by as you sit and wait these things out. I was able to make some calls to get things going at work as my car slowly crept forward onto the off ramp. “Ok, I’m on the ramp now and I don’t see any crash, so it must have been cleared away, I won’t be long now…
Are you freaking kidding me!?”
Needless, to say the person on the other end of the phone was a little taken aback at my break from protocol. There in front of me with a police vehicle on both sides and one behind was a family of ducks being escorted across the highway and down the ramp. When I relayed this information to my place of employment, they questioned the time of day being a “little early” for whatever I was on. After assuring them that I was clean and sober and disconnecting I called the local radio station to report the traffic situation. After they stopped laughing they put me on the air where I was able to give a waddle by very slow waddle report of the feathered convoy with the police escort for the next 20 minutes. Turns out that day must have been the day all the ducks decided to “get to the other side” because there were reports of these police encounters all day long. I’ll bet those police officers never thought they would be writing up duck reports when they graduated police academy.

Years ago when I was still making a living as a photographer I was sent on assignment to a farm in a rather remote area. I love shooting outdoors and was looking forward to the flower and fauna shots ahead of me. Appointments were always scheduled through head office in Toronto. Our assignment sheets would have the name, address, the nature of the shoot, specific things to look for, etc. If there was any kind of safety issue it was always noted big and bold and red. Farms in remote areas often have guard dogs, swamps or sink holes that can all be treacherous so I read my summary sheet carefully. Seeing no danger warnings I exited my vehicle and started to unload my equipment for the day from my trunk. These were the days before digital – nothing was small. As I draped myself with cameras, lights, lenses and tripods to trek into the site I felt a pain in my ankle. Thinking I had simply bumped into a stump or stone, I continued to take steps toward the doorway of the building. Again a pain at my ankle, again, again…both ankles were screaming out in agony now. I stumbled, but caught myself with visions of thousands of dollars worth of equipment crashing to the ground. The pain was excruciating. Something was hammering away at my ankles. There was a blur of activity as hands reached out to help me and I saw feathers floating in the air. Panicked voices…”You were supposed to wait in your car till we came and got you. We told the lady on the phone, make sure she stays in her car till we get there. She has to stay in the car, we have an attack duck. We’re so sorry. Let me take that. Here, we’ll help you inside”…
“Wait a minute, wait just one darn minute there, did you say you have…you have an attack what?”
“We have an attack duck.” “You have an attack duck. Of course you do. Who doesn’t have an attack DUCK?” After the trip to the emergency ward, the wrapping, the icing, the crutches and the prescribed pain killers I called my office. “Is there anything you forgot to tell me about that assignment today.” “No, you had all the information. I bet you had a great time, they had a really good sense of humour on the phone.”
“What do you mean?”
“They had us going trying to convince us that they had an ‘attack duck’. Can you imagine?” Well, as a matter of fact, City Girl, I can! I hung up and put my poor bruised and swollen ankles up on a pillow.

Duck, duck, goose…it’s all gone to the birds!

-30-

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