2018 Best Squamish Photos

Some of my favourite photos that I’ve shot this year for the Squamish Chief newspaper.

Liesel Petersen in front of her 1976 28 foot Argosy travel trailer that she's converted into a tiny home for her, her daughter Tenly White, and boyfriend Allen Edwards.
Liesel Petersen in front of her 1976 28 foot Argosy travel trailer that she’s converted into a tiny home for her, her daughter Tenly White, and boyfriend Allen Edwards. This was for a story on Squamish residents moving into tiny homes, RV’s, and vans to beat the soaring Squamish rents.

Squamish MMA fighter Jamey-Lyn Horth at the Sound Martial Arts.
Squamish MMA fighter Jamey-Lyn Horth at the Sound Martial Arts Studio.

Brenda Doherty with a photo of her daughter Steffanie Lawrence, who died of an accidental fentanyl overdose Jan 22nd, 2018.
Brenda Doherty with a photo of her fifteen year old daughter Steffanie Lawrence, who had died of an accidental fentanyl overdose┬áin January. This was one of the saddest photos I’ve taken in years.

A memorial jump for base jumper Mike Racicot.

Graham Harvey and Phil Moessinger embrace after a memorial jump for base jumper Mike Racicot.
Graham Harvey and Phil Moessinger embrace after a memorial jump for Squamish base jumper Mike Racicot, who had died during a jump in Switzerland in July.

Tuba player Nathan Barrett of tiny Islands plays at the memorial service for Squamish climber Marc-Andre Leclerc.
Tuba player Nathan Barrett of Tiny Islands plays at the memorial service for Squamish climber Marc-Andre Leclerc. Leclerc and climbing partner Ryan Johnson disappeared after climbing a new alpine route in the Mendenhall Towers near Juneau, Alaska. Squamish Chief reporter Haley Richie had covered the formal part of the memorial, as I had a job in Vancouver. As I was driving through Squamish on my way home to Whistler that evening, I could see a big party at Junction Park in downtown Squamish from the highway. Driving over, I found several hundred people having a huge party for Leclerc.

I’ve had to cover three memorials for young people who have died before their time this year. It’s one of the toughest stories for a journalist, but you don’t get to choose the stories you have to cover, especially in a community as small as Squamish.

Climber Spencer Norris has an audience during a dyno climbing clinic at the Arc'tryx Climbing Academy.
Climber Spencer Norris has an audience during a dyno climbing clinic at the Arc’tryx Climbing Academy.

Clara Buttermen and Zoe Moos at the Blessed Coast Festival.
Clara Buttermen and Zoe Moos at the Blessed Coast Festival.

Drag Queens Peach Cobblah, Rose Butch, and Isolde N. Barron at Back Country Brewing for the Squamish Pride event.
Drag Queens Peach Cobblah, Rose Butch, and Isolde N. Barron at Back Country Brewing for the Squamish Pride Day event.

The Van City Stunters stunt riding show performs at the Squamish Motorcycle Rally.
The Van City Stunters stunt riding show performs at the Squamish Motorcycle Rally.

Squamish goldsmith Martin Vseticka in his working museum workshop. Some of the equipment is over 100 years old.
Squamish goldsmith Martin Vseticka in his working museum workshop. Some of the equipment is over 100 years old.

The Pepe's Father/Daughter Dance to support the Howe Sound Women's Centre.
The Pepe’s Father/Daughter Dance to support the Howe Sound Women’s Centre.

Los Angeles natives Phanny Hoeum and Tina Nguyen cross the suspension bridge on the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola.
Los Angeles tourists Phanny Hoeum and Tina Nguyen cross the suspension bridge on the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola. Phanny and Tina got a great souvenir of their trip to Canada, a Squamish newspaper with their pictures on the front cover.

Jill Dunnigan and her daughter Allison Smart take an evening stroll on the Sea to Sky Gondola suspension bridge.
Jill Dunnigan and her daughter Allison Smart take an evening stroll on the Sea to Sky Gondola suspension bridge.

Tech Stuff
The portrait of Brenda Doherty, the mother of Stephanie, the young girl who had died of the fentanyl overdose, was one of the most difficult photos I’ve had to take since I came back to work as a photojournalist. Squamish chief editor Jennifer Thuncher has been writing about Stephanie’s story for a few months and had gotten to know Brenda. While she had been open about Jennifer’s reporting, she hadn’t wanted to have her picture taken until the week of this story. It took about a week of co-ordinating to get a time for me to come over to Brenda’s house, and it turned out the only time we could do it was right in the middle of the Chief’s Christmas party. I went to the first part of the party, then quietly excused myself and went to Brenda’s house and got the portrait. When I got back to the party, I headed straight for the bar (and don’t really drink anymore), where the bar tender asked me if I wanted a double. “Oh yeah” was all could think to say.

All the portraits were shot with off camera flash to one degree or another. With the shot of Jamey-Lyn Horth, the lady MMA fighter, I was using a brand new strobe made by a Chinese company called Godox. The AD200 unit I used is slightly bigger than a regular Nikon speed light, but about three stops more powerful, and has a very short duration time for freezing action. This was actually the first time I’d used it for an assignment, and I have to say it worked phenomenally well.