Onion Lake Powwow | Traditional Dancer

Dragon Hare Studios – This past weekend, we had the honor of attending the Onion Lake Cree Nation Powwow.  One of our September couples are Powwow dancers and they invited us to attend!  I can honestly say, I have never before experienced such a deep and rich tribute to one’s culture.  It was incredible, beautiful, amazing, inspiring and so much more than I can even assign words for!

Onion Lake Powwow, Dragon Hare Studios

This Powwow was a competition but in between competitive levels, family’s were honored in “specials”.  I found these especially beautiful!  The first one we witnessed was a tribute to a dancer who had passed away.  I was so moved as I watched his family walk slowly around the circle that was lined with dancers.  As the procession moved along, the dancers joined the family to honor them.  As they completed the circle, the elders turned and greeted each dancer.  Then the family was asked to start the dance and after a while, the remaining dancers were asked to join.  It was powerful and very moving. As someone who has lost a very close loved one, it was exceptionally moving for me to see the honor these people held for their loved one. It had been four years since they lost him, but he was alive in their hearts and very much a part of this dance. Such a beautiful moment cherishing a loved one!  I wish I had some way like this to honor my brother and all his life stood for because I think it would give my grief a focus or outlet instead of just being held inside.

Onion Lake Powwow, Dragon Hare Studios

The second special we witnessed was to honor a young man.  At the Powwow, there are different categories based on age.  This young man was moving from a youth category into an adult category and his family chose to honor him with a special.  Again, the family walked slowly around the circle and then the young man danced on his own before being joined by the 70+ dancers who lined the circle and were in his new age category.  Our groom danced in this special but this time, I wasn’t just a spectator on a bleacher many feet away!  This time I was able to sit on the edge of the circle and photograph him!

Onion Lake Powwow, Dragon Hare Studios

It was truly incredible!  The regalia was so beautiful and each dancer was so uniquely different!  I couldn’t decide on a favorite as each outfit was so detailed and different! Tyler’s vest was hand beaded by his soon to be wife and the detail was exquisite! He had such presence that made it easy to photograph his pride in who he is!

The Onion Lake Powwow had more than 400 dancers attending and if you would like to share in this rich celebration of culture, Frog Lake Powwow is taking place in late August!  It was more than just dancers in a circle, it was a celebration of a rich culture full of appreciation for family and life!

Onion Lake Powwow, Dragon Hare Studios

Vermilion Wedding Photographer Canola | Two Types of Photographers

Dragon Hare Studios – We live in an incredible world, full of light, shadow and details.  I love to incorporate that into my photography and work hard to ensure it’s evident in every portrait we put our name on!

When someone says but “you just push a button”, I have to smile and say that is the very last thing I do.  Before I even photograph a couple on their wedding day, I know how I am going to pose them for their body types.  Did you know everyone has one side of their face that is larger than the other?  Look at your passport photo – the reason you hate it is because the lighting and pose combination over emphasizes this fact.  If your nose isn’t perfectly centered or one eye is offset from the other, your passport photo will show it.  Posing reduces this effect!  I have yet to meet a single woman that wants the camera to add 20lbs to her figure or over emphasize the size of her thighs or arms and the camera will do this in every image so I combat that with posing.


A “push the button” type portrait:

Vermilion Wedding Photographer, Vermilion Wedding Photography, Dragon Hare


Before I even go out on a wedding day, I know the power outputs of my flashes at various settings.  Is it middle of the day with no clouds?  I know what my flashes need to be set on to overpower that sun.  Partly cloudy or overcast?  Then the flashes are set differently.  By using flashes, it allows me to show the detail in our amazing prairie sky, and more importantly, it allows me to show every minute detail on the amazing gown you are wearing.  You spend a lot of time and money on those details, they should be evident in your wedding  or grad portrait!

The last thing I do before “pushing the button” is to know how you are feeling.  Do you need to relax so you can smile naturally, or are you comfortable and just need a quiet direction to find your smile?

There are two types of photographers – those that simply “push the button” and create an image that looks just like the next person that pushes the button.  And then, there are those that look for the light, shadow and detail and puts to use the tools of this trade to ensure every part of the portrait is exposed properly!

You are not like everybody else.  You are unique, beautiful, strong, and perfect just the way you are.  While it would be far easier for me to just “push the button”, I think you are worth more than that.  You are extraordinary and you deserve an extraordinary portrait of your special day.  Dragon Hare would love to do that for you.  Call us at 780.853.4277 to begin planning your portraits today!


The portrait you deserve:vermilion-wedding-photographer-canola-dhs1

Vermilion Lloydminster Grad Photographer | Why Settle for Ordinary?

Dragon Hare Studios – I am currently teaching a photography class and I issued my students a challenge that I want to extend to you!  I asked my students to go to google images and type in “wedding portraits” or “grad portraits”.  Look at the first 50 images and ask yourself if any of them stand out to you?  One or two?  Or, do they all look similar in style, feel?  What surprises me every time I do this, is that every photograph you see in that google search is created by a different photographer!

How can it be that 50 different images, created by 50 different photographers all look like the same photographer created them?  The answer lies in the very first thing I teach my photography students.  In order for a photograph to have a wow factor, it has to match real life; a photograph is a 2D object that must give the illusion of being 3D and full of dimension, and depth.  The way to incorporate this into a photograph is to understand light!  The reason those 50 images look the same is because those photographers lack the technical training to understand light.  Either you use light to create dimension, or you don’t, it can’t be faked with free actions or presets downloaded off the internet!

Take a look at this portrait of Sabrina that I took on purpose during her session.  It looks a lot like the images you see on the google search right?  There was no consideration given to the light!  What is a photograph without light?  It’s a portrait that lacks depth, dimension and life.  It’s a portrait in which the sky appears white and skin tones appear dark/muddy. The result of so many photographers that don’t understand this key technical skill, is 50 images on google that look like the same photographer created them all.

Vermilion Grad Photography, Vermilion Grad Photographer, Vermilion Grad Portraits, Dragon Hare Studios

Now, contrast the above image with the one of Sabrina below.  This image was created in the exact same location, at the exact same time.  The sky was the same in the first image as the second.  The portraits were literally taken moments apart! Quite a difference hey?  Look at that incredible sky!!!!!  Look at the life the portrait brings to Sabrina!  I simply balanced the light in the sky with the light on Sabrina to change the feel of the image.  Photography is all about the light!

Vermilion Grad Photography, Vermilion Grad Photographer, Vermilion Grad Portraits, Dragon Hare Studios

How would you prefer to be seen in your portraits?  Dreary, lacking life, boring, and the same as thousands of other people?  Or would you rather a portrait be filled with your life, light, and your extraordinary, beautiful, unique spirit?  At Dragon Hare, we believe you are extraordinary, so why settle for anything less?

Sabrina is graduating today and we want to wish for her a journey full of joy, hope, faith, happiness, creativity and just enough moodiness to offset the drama of life. Congratulations beautiful, enjoy your day!

Lloydminster Grad Photography | Sass!

Dragon Hare Studios – Sassy and opinionated? Quiet with strong depths? Somewhere in the middle? Each of you are unique individuals, and you should celebrate all that makes you that way! It doesn’t matter to us what way you are made. We take the time to find out how you define yourself, and then create a portrait for you that screams it from the rooftops.

Be proud of your unique self. Think how boring the world would be if we were all ordinary and the same! Be extraordinary because you are!

Call us to create your extraordinary Lloydminster grad portrait today! 780.853.4277

Lloydminster Grad Photographer, Dragon Hare Portrait Art

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Lloydminster Grad Photographer, Dragon Hare Portrait Art

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