Category Archives: studio

A Day at the Paul Howard Studio

A week ago I got to participate in a fantastic day of creative collaboration at Paul Howard‘s studio in Red Deer. Paul is quite simply a great guy. His love of photography and life is wonderfully infectious. There was no set plan for the day. Paul just opened his studio and let the mix of photographers, models and ideas play out. The shoots which I find the most enjoyable are the ones where everybody brings something to the mix. The final images are a team effort. Somebody plants the seed of an idea. Then someone else adds a twist. Someone shares equipment to make it happen and so on. The final product is a layering of ideas. Thanks Paul for a great day!

Model: Sacha Warder

_PC12999-Edit-Edit-Edit© Peter Carroll

_PC13047-Edit-Edit-2-Edit© Peter Carroll

Model: Jennalee Maundrell

_PC13114-Edit-Edit© Peter Carroll

_PC13140© Peter Carroll

_PC13163-Edit© Peter Carroll

Model: Whitney Shayne Lobreau

_PC12783-Edit© Peter Carroll

_PC12763-Edit-Edit© Peter Carroll

Photo shoots should be fun!

_PC12757-Edit© Peter Carroll

Registration Open for “Portrait Lighting Essentials” Workshop Series

Registration is now open for the “Portrait Lighting Essentials” workshop Wayne Simpson Photography and Peter Carroll Photography are running Aug. 16th in Kitchener ON.

This will be hands-on learning workshop intended for beginner to intermediate shooters. Do you find the concepts of lighting intimidating and the gear options bewildering? Let Wayne and Pete simplify the world of portrait lighting for you. Come join two enthusiastic instructors for a fun day focused on the goal of expanding your technical skills and your creative vision in portrait photography.

Space for the workshop will be limited to 12 people so that we have good instructor/participant and participant/model ratios. This will be a hands-on workshop with the goal of expanding your technical skills and your creative vision in portrait photography.

Itinerary: The workshop will start at 9am and we will wrap up the final shoot around 5pm

Morning session

Portfolio slideshows with “stories behind the image” commentary
Presentation on the basic concepts of lighting
10 min break
Headshot demo showcasing the various types of lighting

Afternoon session

Creative shoot demo
Creative lighting shoot #1 with models
10 min break
Creative lighting shoot #2 with models

Cost:   $249 (+Tax)

Tickets for the Aug. 16th workshop in Kitchener are being sold through Eventbrite. Click here to link to the event page.


Lighting Workshops

Exciting portrait workshop announcements are in the works! I’m teaming up with Wayne Simpson Photography this summer to teach some lighting workshops. We’re looking forward to sharing our knowledge of how to use lighting in creative portrait photography.

Now that we have our amazing venue confirmed, I can share that the first workshop will be in Kitchener, ON on August 16, 2015! Details to come in the next couple of weeks!

Fencer - Light Trace© Peter Carroll


Last Friday I had the pleasure of photographing a young lady who I have photographed every year for the last 4 years. The collaboration started back in January 2011 with a fencing themed photo shoot on white seamless. Since then I have done a “Meet the Beatles” themed shoot with her and her family. We have done a long exposure light trace shoot where we used pen lights and birthday sparklers to put a little twist on the typical fencer portrait. We have shot an aviation themed family portrait in a hanger at the Edmonton international airport. She is a pleasure to work with and the shoots are always so much fun.

Time flies and now the young lady will soon be graduating high school. With the prom dress already bought she wanted to have a trial run with the hairdresser and get some portraits done the same day. So on Friday the whole family came over to our place for pizza, some laughs and some photographs. Here’s what we came up with this time…

This is a 4 light set up. Main light is Elinchrom Ranger through a 60cm Lightrein octo softbox on a boom high camera centre pointed down on the model. One speedlight through a Lastolite Easybox putting some light on the black paper background. One speedlight camera right as fill bounced off of a silver reflector disc. One speedlight camera left and behind in the background pointed at the model for rim lighting. All lights except for the fill were controlled by the PocketWizard i-TTL system (MiniTT1, AC3, FlexTT5, and Power ST4). The fill was controlled by the good ol’ PocketWizard Plus II and leg power (walking back and forth to manually adjust the power).

_PC19653-Edit-Edit-Edit© Peter Carroll

A speedlight was placed in the background of the set pointing at the model for a little light flare to give a paparazzi/glamour feel to the portraits.

_PC19651-Edit© Peter Carroll

_PC19629-Edit-Edit-Edit© Peter Carroll


Here’s a little sample of what I got up to in 2014…

This capture is from a trip to Ireland in 2011 but the processing is new this year. I challenged myself to explore the black and white side of photography more in 2014…


On a trip down to Cypress Hills, Alberta, to prepare for a fun storytelling in photography workshop I co-lead in September I stopped in at Dinosaur Provincial Park and photographed sunset on the Badlands Trail…


In August, I had the pleasure of photographing the band Tess and the D’linquint for their new album Autumn. The image on the right was used by the album’s graphic designer for the cover…
Album Shoot 3


While on the way to photograph Jasper in January I pulled off the Yellowhead Highway to make a phone call and saw this scene…


Mount Chephren in all it’s glory from Lower Waterfowl Lake from a shoot along the Icefields Parkway in November…


I love the fact that Canada has four distinct seasons. I’d hate to wake up to relatively the same weather everyday. I feel as a photographer the changing seasons help me appreciate light and as a person the different seasons help me appreciate time.


I’ll let Van Morrison speak about this next one…

“hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…”

~ Van Morrison



I love winter the way Clavin and Hobbes loved winter…



Corporate headshots became a bigger part of my photography business this past year…


This last photograph I made back in May at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. I think it’s a fitting photograph to finish off the samples of work I got up to in 2014 because, like in this image, there were times this year when I didn’t know which way was up. It’s been my most successful year to date both creatively and financially in photography but outside of photography it’s been a roller coaster ride with wonderful highs and heart breaking lows. Thanks go out to all my family and friends who were there, with personal messages and true support, when I needed them earlier this year when my son was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and recently with the death of my mother in law. It’s the human condition but with life experience comes a deeper appreciation for the words – be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.


I’ll end this post with some thoughts about the state of photography in 2014. For more of my thoughts on this subject I refer you to an article, titled Stay On The Bus, which I wrote earlier this year for The Camera Store in Calgary. I look at photography in 2014 and I think of Charles Dicken’s opening sentence to his novel A Tale of Two Cities… “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” I believe there is some absolutely amazing photography being created these days. Every day I am in awe at the creativity of the work and the quality of the stories being told. There are also, unfortunately, some disturbing trends in photography. When I am asked by photographers for some personal advice, I share the following – create for yourself and tell the world your stories, not somebody else’s. Trust your gut. Create from within. Connect with the world around you. Observe. Respond. Bring you to your work. Who cares what photographs are trending on Facebook or 500px or whatever the latest social media site is. Who cares how many “followers” you have or how many “likes” you get on your posts. Live your art by the wise words of Arline Feynman, wife of the great man and physicist Richard Feynman. When Richard seemed preoccupied with his colleagues’ opinions about his work, Arline would say to him, “What do you care what other people think?” Indeed. For deeper insight into these subjects I suggest you read the writing of Guy Tal (Hear No Evil, Forget Vision, The Meaning of Success). If you don’t already follow Guy’s writing I urge you to add Guy Tal’s Photography Journal to your reading list for 2015.

Cheers to Jim Goldstein for his annual “Your Best Photos From _____ ” project. As we climb our own creative mountains it’s important every now and then to stop and enjoy the view.  Every year I so enjoy looking through all the wonderful contributions to the project. Thanks Jim.

Here are links to my previous year in review posts – 2013, 2012, 2011

So here’s to life experiences to date, the battles and the triumphs ahead in 2015 and all the photographs made along the way. See ya after the New Year!

Tess and the D’linquint Album Shoot

Back in August I had the pleasure of shooting an album cover for the band Tess and the D’linquint. I recently attended their wonderful CD launch concert at The Club in Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre (love those funky chandeliers!). Now that the CD is officially launched and available on iTunes, I can share the photography from the project.

The album is titled Autumn and the theme is relationship challenges and the phases relationships go through. I met with the musicians prior to the shoot to discuss what messages they wanted the album photography to convey. From those discussions, we determined that discordant posing was going to be the cornerstone of the shoot. I really enjoy working on these types of projects because interesting work comes from collaboration. Collaboration sometimes takes your work in directions you unlikely would have gone on your own. I always start initial discussions with clients asking what ideas they have for the project. As I listen to clients describe their vision I get a good sense of what concepts they are set on and what areas they are open to suggestions. I then bring my shooting style and ideas to the discussion. From there we can throw the best ideas against the wall and see what sticks. Planning is good as it focusses everybody during a shoot but as the saying goes in the military – a plan is just a point from which to deviate. There always needs to be a dash of spontaneity on a shoot too. The shot that eventually was chosen for the album cover was made up on set. Here’s a little sample of the Tess and the D’linquint “Autumn” album shoot session…

Thanks to the Photographer’s Studio for the rental space for the shoot.

_PC17888© Peter Carroll

_PC17975© Peter Carroll

_PC18118-Edit-2-6(cleaned)© Peter Carroll

_PC18075- Monitor Resolution© Peter Carroll

The actual album cover…

The CD party release poster…

Westin Hotel Corporate Headshots

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting corporate headshots for 16 employees of the Westin hotel in Edmonton. The friendliness and professionalism of everyone involved in the shoot made my job easy. A company’s greatest asset is its people. The Westin hotel in Edmonton has the excellent reputation it does for superior service because of its people. Here are a few sample portraits from the session…

Westin 1© Peter Carroll

Westin 2© Peter Carroll

Westin 3© Peter Carroll

Westin 4© Peter Carroll

My Favourite 11 of 2011

Here are my favourite 11 of my own work from 2011. Personal favourites of one’s own work are always tainted by the stories behind the images. You the viewer judge the images on only what you see and that’s really how images should be judged but I like looking back over the year and remembering all the stories that went into the recent additions to my body of work.

Here’s to a creative 2012 for all of us!

Cheers and see you on the other side of the New Year.


All images are protected by copyright, no use of any image shall be granted without the written permission from Peter Carroll.

Meet the Family

I had a fun shoot on the weekend with a family who wanted a family portrait that was “different”. They wanted something other than the standard everyday group shot. They left what exactly “different” was up to me. Whenever I am taking portraits I try my best to include props or themes that mean something to the people being photographed. Over the course of a few days I pondered different ideas for the shoot but nothing really popped into my head. Then, as I was playing Bejeweled one day (Don’t ask me how my brain works. My wife gave up trying to figure it out years ago!), it hit me – The Beatles! I knew the youngest daughter loved the Beatles. I always liked Robert Freeman’s Meet the Beatles album cover so I pitched the family the idea of using the side lit theme for their portrait. It definitely qualified as different and the inspiration for the shoot meant something to them. They loved the idea. Here’s the final result plus two samples of the individual portraits that I layered in Photoshop. For the version which they are including in their Christmas card this year I tracked down a Beatles font and inluded their family name with a pin stripe graphic detail under the four images.

 © Peter Carroll

 © Peter Carroll

 © Peter Carroll