roth and ramberg in Applied Arts Photography Annual 2014

We are happy to share that we have three entries in this years Applied Arts Photography Annual. Two of those entries were in categories we had never won in before.

First up: Complete Calendar

We’ve entered this one a few times over the years, but never walked away with a final placing. This year we did win with our trip to St Pierre and Miquelon. Where is that you ask? Well if you are from the East Coast of Canada you may know about some tiny islands about 30 miles off the coast of Southern Newfoundland. Its a French colony and it is called St. Pierre and Miquelon. There you will find wonderful people, colorful houses, great French wine and food, and a place where very few speak English. Below are some of the people we met on our trip. If you want a copy of our calendar please send us an email, if you want to read more about our trip to St. Pierre, including an entire magazine of stories and photos then download our free app or click here to read it. The people that made this project happen. Writer: Elise Russell  Designer: Sue McGillivray Printer: Kallen Printing Client:Roth and Ramberg





Second category Editorial:

First time entering and first time winning! This was from a series of photographs of a married couple who had both survived the holocaust. Listening to their stories was to say the least, incredibly moving. It was one of those photoshoots that reminds you that our little problems in life are in fact quite minuscule. An incredibly strong women who along with her husband talk as much as they can about the Holocaust. The reason they do is so that it will never ever happen again. If you look close you can see her tattoo with her number given to her at the concentration camp. The client for this project was Mount Royal University and the Art Director Michal Waissmann.


Last up Advertising.

Now we have been in this category before but this time we were extremely proud and happy to have one of our photos from a series we shot at a horse ranch in Southern Alberta. The client was Travel Alberta and this particular image has won many awards internationally as well. We are proud of the fact the only photoshop done on the image was just for color and curves, nothing manipulated or rearranged, rather just Alberta in its natural beauty.  Agency: Venture Communications Art Director: John Halliday


roth and ramberg in the kitchen

It’s May and it’s a brand new month. If you have a Roth and Ramberg calendar then today you would be viewing a man named Bernard.

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Bernard lives in a tiny community called Miquelon. It’s part of a group of small islands just off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The islands, St Pierre and Miquelon, are owned by France thus- French speaking, 220 voltage and Euro for currency, so needless to say, it was a bit “foreign” to us. The people here are extremely warm and friendly and have no troubles inviting you into their homes.

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We met Bernard thru his daughter Patricia. Long story short, she became our tour guide in Miquelon for our few days there. We arrived at Bernard’s house and were greeted with an amazing smile and friendly face. A face so good we had to photograph it of course.


Elise Russell, our writing companion on our trip was stellar. She dug deep into her French lessons and was able to translate and instruct Bernard what we were wanting him to do. He played his violin for us and we just enjoyed the moment. A definite charmer; he was one of many on our visit to Miquelon that made us feel welcome. If you want a copy of our calendar, there are a few left, just send us an email. If you want to read more about our entire trip to St Pierre and Miquelon, you can download our free app and read the behind the scenes magazine OR click here and you can view the magazine on your desktop.

roth and ramberg and their toys

We’re not big on the latest toys that come out in the camera world. What we are big on is taking great quality photos and having the proper gear to allow us to do the best job possible. Over the years, we’ve manged to gather the photo gear that doesn’t hold us back while we work.

The first digitial cameras that came out were, well… awful. As photographers, we bought some of those early digital cameras to keep on top of technology, knowing full well that the future was digital. The files were small and the skin tones horrible. You could look at a magazine and tell that it was not shot with film. Although it was great technology, it sadly lowered the standards to the point where “good enough” was acceptable. We have been shooting medium format cameras since we started in the business, Hasselblad cameras in particular. Why? Well, it was the best! We would shoot polaroids and wait the two minutes to see the lighting or composition, etc. It was a bit of along process compared to now but it was important to “see” what we were shooting. When we were satisfied with the polaroid, we shot rolls and rolls of film until we knew we got the shot.

When Hasseblad brought out their first digital camera (22 megapixel) we jumped on it. Great skin tones, big file size for the time, and the ability to shoot instantly to a laptop. We could see when we “got” the shot and so could the client. At the time, it was the best by far and although it cost a lot of money, we felt that being professionals we had to have what we felt was the best camera for the job. Over the years as the technology changed we’ve jumped from 22 to 39 to 50 to 60 megapixels. We recently downsized just a little. We still have our 60 megapixel but now we also have the new Hasselblad H5D (50 megapixel).


It cost more than some new vehicles but we felt it was worth the cost. What’s great about this camera is that it uses a new sensor that allows us to shoot in lower lighting situations, and although most of the time it’s not necessary, sometimes it’s critical. We have a Canon system that does an excellent job in low light, but the downside for us is it just doesn’t shoot to the laptop quick enough and the file size is smaller.

It all starts with a large-size sensor that allows us to capture incredible detail and range of colors. We especially prefer the skin tones that it delivers. With all that information, it just gives a smoother, more natural looking skin tone, compared to other smaller format cameras.


Since we almost always shoot tethered to our laptop, we use a piece of software called Phocus. What’s great about the Phocus software is it’s extremely quick, easy to use and allows layouts to be put overtop while shooting. Best of all, it can send low res jpegs to anyone on set who has an iPhone, or iPad. That means the art director, client, stylist and makeup artist can all watch the photos come in on their device at the same time and can view each photo as we shoot.




The nerds in us love the fact that we can change exposure and shoot right from our iPhone. This allows for easy and faster set up when needed.


So as far as “toys” go, we have quite a few. From lighting to cameras to computers, we prefer to get the best available products that allow us to do the best job possible, and after all, that’s what you want from a professional photographer.

roth and ramberg and another day in France


Roth and Ramberg and another perfect day in France.

Every year, for the past 21 years, we’ve produced a self-promotional calendar for our clients and future clients. This year we took a trip to a little piece of France off the coast of Canada. It’s a French colony named St Pierre and Miquelon.


Well if you travel to St Pierre and Miquelon as we did, you obviously have to make the trek to Miquelon itself! The best way, and perhaps the only way, is by ferry service from St Pierre.


After talking with the tourist information office we found the ferry schedules and planned our 2-day trip. When asking about a place to stay they offered up l’Auberge de I’lle. The owner, Patricia, was to pick us up at the ferry drop off in Langlade and would take us on a guided tour back to Miquelon, including a picnic by the beach.  As far as hospitality goes, people here are off the charts!!


We boarded our ferry for an hour long ride along the coast to Langlade. A beautiful ride of course, even a few whales thrown in for good measure. It gave Elise (our writer friend) an hour without having to speak any French, and she seemed to enjoy the quiet as much as we did.

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As we approached our destination we all begin to realize there was no dock. It seems the ferry service included a zodiac ride to the shore, complete with all the passengers helping to unload the luggage. Lucky for us because we think we had the most luggage of all.

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We met our host Patricia who spoke very little English. Elise again jumped into action and began the tough job of translating for us. Patricia took us on a walking tour of the area which included a little coffee and dessert with a view of the ocean. Soon after we climbed into her truck and made the drive to Miquelon. If you look at the map this cluster of islands is referred to as an archipelago. St Pierre and Miquelon is named after the two of the three main islands-the third island is Langlade. It’s connected to the south of Miquelon by a 10 km sandy strip. There aren’t any permanent residents on Langlade, just a smattering of brightly colored summer cottages.


We stop along the way to see some wild horses, eat some hand picked berries, chase some seals, take photos and of course have a picnic. If that’s not enough we also stop at a farm and meet a man named Thierry.

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Thierry and his English speaking dog head out to check on the sheep so we follow along…a bit like sheep ourselves. Thierry and his wife left the city of Saint Pierre to pursue a quieter existence on Miquelon. They raise sheeps for wool and ducks to produce some incredible foie gras.

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After the awesome tour is over, we make the short drive into Miquelon and to our new home for a couple of nights.

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The sun is beginning to set and we ask our host if she can think of someone who owns some horses (since they seem to populate both islands) that might be interested in having their photo taken.

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A few minutes later we are driving toward the opposite end of town and meet a young woman named Laura. We spend the rest of the evening talking and taking photos of Laura and her horses. Laura leaves the island for school but was home for the summer to work at the local musuem and be with her horses. She has three in total Calypso, Lily Rose, and Pegase. A lovely young woman who still keeps in touch with us via Facebook.

Another perfect day in France.If you would like a copy of our calendar send us an email.


If you want to read more about our trip download our free app and magazine OR go to this link and read it on your computer.


roth and ramberg meet a rock star from the philately world

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.

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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.

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roth and ramberg meet a man named Sasa

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. 








roth and ramberg take candy from strangers

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.

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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.

Dale and Michele

roth and ramberg and why they don't do photoshop

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.

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roth and ramberg and the other france

Bonne année!

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.

If you don’t get a calendar in the mail, just email us at and we’ll send you one.

A bientøt,

Dale and Michele

roth and ramberg in Archives top Advertising Photographers 2014

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. 

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A big thanks to Venture Communications and Travel Alberta for bringing us on this project. Thanks to John Halliday who provided awesome art direction.