What is Philately? It’s the study of stamps and postal history.
We met someone who is a ‘rock star’ in the world of stamps. Patrick Derible. He’s an increble artist who has created many beautiful stamps for the little French colony of Saint Pierre et Miquelon. If you’ve received one of our annual self promotion calendars then you will see Patrick for the month of March. We got Patrick’s name from a man named Fabrice, who was kind of our ‘yoda’ for our trip to St Pierre et Miquelon. (Yoda in that he guided us, but made sure we did the work ourselves.) Regardless he gave us the phone number and off we went.
Our writer travelling companion Elise telephoned Patrick, and using her skillful French, arranged for us to go to his house and photograph him. His workshop is located in his basement. It’s a large room loaded with art supplies. He had drawings scattered throughout the room. Some were finished drawings of stamps and some were stamps in progress. In fact, he just emailed us his latest stamp. It’s a drawing of The Shamrock, a trawler in the 1980’s, shown here.
Not only does he create highly sought after stamps, he’s also an incredible artist. Were were honoured when he gave us each a signed copy of his book Visage and Paysages (Faces and Landscapes). It was a great experience and pleasure to meet Patrick and learn about the world of Philately. So next time you see a Saint Pierre and Miquelon stamp you may know a little bit more about where it came from and who designed it.
If you want to read more about our trip, you can download our app or go to our website and click on the link. There you will find many more stories and photos of our trip to the wonderful Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
We recently got an email from someone named Sasa. She (turns out its a he) wanted to hire us for a photo project. He gave us his website info and after checking it out, we immediatly said yes.
Sasa makes masks (amongst other things). He designs them on the computer, then free hand cuts the masks out of various kinds of paper and attaches the pieces to the subjects faces… kind of X-men looking in a way.
Sasa is an ACAD grad and was visiting Calgary via Japan on his way to Belgrade. Regardless, he had time to do some photos and wanted to shoot some of his masks on location as opposed to in studio. We met for coffee and hit it off. It turns out he googled Alberta photographers and we showed up second behind a portrait photographer. We are glad he picked us! The masks kind of scream fashion but he was adamant that he didn’t want a fashion photographer. We are pretty glad of that too.
He gathered up some of his friend’s kids and we spent two days shooting in Fish Creek Park. The kids were very patient as Sasa attached the pieces one by one. We shot the boy against the tree first and noticed and loved how he placed his feet, the same for the blonde in the trees. Just some of the subtleties we noticed when picking the finals. We just found out they won an award in an international photography annual, but more on that in a future blog post.
For now, some behind the scenes stuff and the finals images.
If you have a Roth and Ramberg calendar then today is the day you will get introduced to a man named Gaston. As we were wandering the streets of Saint Pierre, a happy-go-lucky guy wandered over and offered us candy. Now, we all know not to accept candy from strangers, but in this case we’re glad we did! Gaston, as we deduced and later found out, is one of Saint Pierre’s more colourful characters. Very extroverted, very friendly and very willing to share a story or two. We weren’t able to photograph him right away, but we did schedule a time with him later the next day.
As we wandered into his living room we saw his shelf of trophies and awards for running. It seems Gaston loves to run, and for his age (somewhere in his 70’s), the guy looks awesome. He happily shared stories and photos of all his racing accomplishments. Fortunately for us he didn’t ask us if we wanted to train with him. There’s no way we would’ve stood a chance of keeping up.
After taking photos he invited us back the next day for a drink. When we arrived we were greeted with this note posted on his door.
We wandered in and shortly thereafter Gaston arrived with a nice bottle of red wine. We sat and laughed and enjoyed hearing his stories. If you make it to Saint Pierre et Miquelon, chances are you’ll run into Gaston and end up sharing a drink with him too.
Maybe not all strangers with candy are bad?
If you don’t have a Roth and Ramberg 2014 calendar, then send us an email and we’ll get you one. We still have a couple left. Also, if you want to read more about our adventures in Saint Pierre et Miquelon, download our app or read our magazine on your computer by clicking here.
Why don’t we do our own photoshop? Well, two reasons.
First - We just aren’t great at it and have no problem admitting it. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve always kept up with photoshop right from version 1.0, but after several years and several versions, we just haven’t had the time to maintain our level of skill.
Second - We pride ourselves on never saying “no”. In this business we have lots of requests for last minute photoshoots and even last second digital files. Sometimes both combined!! So how do we never say “no” and still provide clients with outstanding digital files? Easy… hire someone who IS great at photoshop!
Since our focus has always been shooting, we’ve had a fulltime photoshopper at the studio since digital photography started. The most recent whiz is a guy by the name of Geoff. He’s happy to do our photoshop, but he prefers to be in the background; so much so, that he doesn’t want to share his last name with the entire world. What he does do, is make our photos have just the right look for each project. If our clients request major compositing, no problem. His only issue, other than an extreme love of pie, is he’s a bit of a perfectionist. We kinda think that’s a good thing, so if he’s not 100 % happy then neither are we. In the end you consistently get print ready, high res digital files. Oh, and no headaches or complaints from the printers.
So if you need top notch photography with top notch photoshop then the crew at R&R can do it. And when you ask for the final file that afternoon, well, we can usually do that too.
Here’s a sample of a job we did for the talented people at Uppercut. The job required us to photograph Mount Alberta located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. We waited for a clear day and off we drove to Golden, BC to board a rented helicopter. The day was perfectly sunny, which was great for the mountain itself, but there were not many clouds in the sky and the goal was to isolate the mountain so it stood out a bit more. With guidance from Uppercut, Geoff built the surrounding area and vignetted the sky a little, giving it a more dramtic look overall.
The result is a great final shot. Check out the video of creating the final shot.
In July of 2013 we headed to France to photograph our 2014 calendar. You’re imagining us flying across the Atlantic to get there aren’t you? Well, France is closer than you think. In fact, it’s only 20km south of Newfoundland. That’s right, we went to the other France. The French islands called Saint Pierre et Miquelon. We met and photographed a bunch of wonderfully French locals who opened up their homes to us.
The calendars are in the mail and should be arriving very soon. If you can’t wait until they arrive you can go to our website and look at the photos now. And you can download the Roth and Ramberg app to see more photos and all the stories or view the online version.
We were thrilled to be chosen as one of the Top 200 Advertising Photographers (2014) by Lurzers Archive.
After submitting some photos, they chose one of our favorites. A photo we did for Travel Alberta last year! This particular photograph was shot from a helicopter and we were able to find just the right location before the sun went down. Below is the layout and photo they picked. Also some other photos from the same shoot.
A big thanks to Venture Communications and Travel Alberta for bringing us on this project. Thanks to John Halliday who provided awesome art direction.
Our good friends at Trigger were putting together a campaign for the Calgary Zoo. Every year the Zoo sets up an incredible display of 1.5 million Christmas Lights for all to come see. Zoolights, as it is called, is a very popular family event and it gathers thousands every December to the zoo. This year is more important than ever since the Calgary Zoo needs help raising money to repair damage they received in the devastating flood in June. So if you have time to go, Go!
On Halloween we photographed Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi for Macleans Magazine’s list of Canada’s most important people. Not only was it a treat to photograph him, but after the shoot he gave us some Halloween candy. His assistant was dressed in a tiger costume, which added to the ambiance. It was a fabulously collaborative experience.
Thanks Macleans Magazine for the opportunity to meet our great mayor. He might be #2 on your list, but he’s #1 on ours.
Jeff at Calder Bateman in Edmonton wanted to know if we could shoot some still life shots for the Edmonton Christmas Bureau. Of course we said yes! He sent over the sketches:
Fortunately for us Nicola Pringle (art director) is an incredible artist so all we had to provide was dishes and tablecloths. We just sat and watched her magic food skills. In the end, we got to be a part of some fun posters/billboards for a great cause.
We got an email from Kristen Thompson at ZGM. They were working on a campaign for Deerfoot Mall and needed some photos done. They sent over some sketches and we thought it would be a fun to do and luckily for us we got the job.
The job involved some interesting propping-workboots, antlers, Santa outfit, hardhat etc. We spent the next few days tracking down the props. The antlers we finally sourced and found in Vernon BC. They were unable to ship to Alberta without filling out the proper paperwork (learn something new) so we shipped them to Vancouver instead. We shot the boots and Santa shot in the Calgary office, and the antlers with hardhat in the Vancouver Office.
Our photoshop whizz, who prefers to be nameles, combined, tweaked and composited the photos. Below are the final posters.