Breaking New Ground

My goal this year with photography is to make pictures with a purpose, to aim to tell a story with each image and not simply post a photo for the sake of keeping my posting quota up.

breaking new ground

The opportunity to walk out the door and start shooting here in Ottawa isn’t nearly as present as it was when I lived in Toronto, and that is one of the few things that has bothered me since making the move out here. With that said, I have decided to change my focus and “retrain” my mind’s eye. I have made it a goal to seek out specific opportunities and work on focused projects that I have laid out for 2015. Some projects I will keep under tight wraps until they begin to take shape in the form of real photographs, but one of those projects is to properly document my children.

I likely won’t share many of those images on this site, but I hope to capture a collection of images that they can look at years from now and feel the moment well after it has left their memories. I like to think of it as being a National Geographic photographer making images and documenting lives for a really long article. Perhaps I need a super wide angle lens and get right up in their faces to achieve the true NG feel.

The image above is one such image. This is my little guy’s second time on cross country skiis, and it’s clear that he truly loves it. Winters here are long and cold, but the good thing about Ottawa is that the locals embrace the outdoors no matter what the temperature is, and I want my boys to grow up with that same mentality. I’m really excited about this year and the plans I have. I just hope that the right combination of hard work, luck and timing help to make my goals a reality.




  1. It’s a nice shot and I hope he had fun in the snow. My son isn’t comfortable in the snow yet, but hopefully he’ll be later this winter or the next one.

    I’m struggling with the same as you: “The opportunity to walk out the door and start shooting”.
    It was much better in our old neighborhood. Now I have to go somewhere to take photos, but before I could just go out the door. Actually I didn’t even have to leave the house: I could shoot cityscapes and train photography right out the window.

    1. Your old location sounds pretty awesome, but I’m sure your new one is better for raising children… as is mine. It just means that we have to plan appropriately and think about our shooting more than we maybe had to before.

  2. That is a truly lovely shot. There’s so much action and emotion and just joy in it.

    I am into photography precisely so I can do the best job possible of documenting my kids’ lives, our travels, our experiences as a family. I am hopeful they will one day look back at my photo archive and be glad I did so.

  3. One thing I’d like to see from you is some landscape shots with the same processing style as you do to your city photos. I like the more low key de-saturated look you give to them. I think a change in scenery may give you a different look at things and open up new possibilities. Good luck! Looking forward to what you come up with! 🙂

  4. Shane, I applaud the direction you want to go this year! I’m still struggling to find my photographic voice, one that will give me my purpose this year. I’m excited to see your year unfold. This photo of your son is an awesome beginning. The joy on his face, the feel of the moving skis – you’ve definitely captured a wonderful moment, for him AND you. Happy New Year!

  5. A lovely image, and I enjoyed reading about your goals. A great photo of your child will certainly help you to make your memories so much more detailed, rounder, and less likely to turn into a misty haze, where you are struggle to remember how it really was. My attic is stacked high with my past experiences, relationships, and travels. Each and every image evokes a feeling of some description. Even if it only to remind me of what a trying day it was! My girls are grown ups now, but they both enjoy the tales of their childhood, backed up with the photographic evidence. I’ve been a social photographer all my working life, and it is as exciting now as it ever was. Enjoy!! 🙂

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