My thesis: Surrounded

During my time at NAIT in the Photographic Technology program, one of our biggest projects called “Thesis” was assigned during the third semester. Each student is required to come up with an overall idea, or theme, and pre-plan 15 different images to suit that theme or idea. I chose the theme of “Surrounded” because it encompasses some of my favourite things. I love portraits, people, and the outdoors. I also wanted to dabble in the thoughts of how humbling it is to know how small we really are in the world and the realization of how we need to appreciate the things around us. Some of the images were great successes and I will forever be proud of them, but others I found I wished I had not even thought of the idea to begin with (funny how that works). Here’s a secret! Only one model isn’t a NAIT Photographic Technology student! Because I hardly know anyone here in Edmonton yet. I hope you enjoy the hard work I put into these images, especially with the small frame of time that we had to do them (1 semester) as well as the intimidation of winter that slowly crept into our time at NAIT. All images were shot in between September and December of 2014. Enjoy!

Here’s a slideshow of my images set to a pretty rad music track by Junip
make sure to watch in HD!!!:

If you’d like to read more…continue on…

1. Surrounded By Grass

This photo was taken while on an adventure with classmates Jamie and Cassie. I also took another thesis shot later in the day, but to my dismay, I realized after we got home from our 45 minute drive back into the city that I shot all my images only in JPEG. I Could not believe it. Thankfully though, both shots were shot with the Brenizer method, (most images being comprised of 3+ more images) and each of my images were comprised of at least 17 images.

1. Surrounded By Grass

2. Surrounded By Flowers

This image took over $250.00 of fake flowers from Michaels. I of course returned them after because who does that?! The cashier was not too pleased with me 🙁

2. Surrounded By Flowers

The behind the scenes of how I set up this image 🙂


3. Surrounded By Light

This image was taken in studio with 10+ first years and some second years and even the chairman of our program Reginald helping me out by lighting and holding the sparklers next to her. After burning 30+ sparklers the smoke was thick throughout our hallways. #Worthit ?

3. Surrounded By Light

4. Surrounded by Feathers.

I’m going to tell you now. Do not attempt. DO NOT. It took over an hour afterwards to clean this up. Only half a down pillow was used. Half. Don’t try this unless you have a vacuum and don’t mind breathing in a couple feathers, and blowing them out your nose!

4. Surrounded By Feathers

5. Surrounded By Trees

For this shot Taylor and I went to a graveyard with big pretty trees and I used the brenizer method to create this depth of field.

5. Surrounded By Trees6. Surrounded By Water

This was the shot of Cassie previously mentioned, shot only in JPEG, but was saved by the fact of the brenizer method.

6. Surrounded By Water7. Surrounded By Stars

This was the music to my ears during the showing of my thesis. Out of the 300+ croud I heard the “ooooo”s and “aaaah”s. This shot was 2 separate images, one of the stars on a clear night with a long-ish exposure, and another of a semi-silhouette of a first year student. Turned out pretty great! I love this shot.

7. Surrounded By Stars

8. Surrounded By Wood

Taken at Fort Edmonton Park, this was the only model that was not currently attending the NAIT Photographic Technology Program.

8. Surrounded By Wood

9. Surrounded By Smoke

This shot required 4 smoke bombs from a local Comics shop. It is definitely a shot I would like do try again, because it was such a new and fun experience. Just a warning to people in the future who are going to try this: when the smoke initially comes out, it’s really hot…

9. Surrounded By Smoke10. Surrounded By Ballons

This shot required only 30 balloons, and yes, this is photoshopped to look wider :). I think 10 helium balloons were consumed after the shoot… I may post a video..

10. Surrounded By Balloons11. Surrounded By Leaves

Shot taken at Hawrelak Park here in Edmonton during the first warmer months of the semester.

11. Surrounded By Leaves12. Surrounded By Snow

I’m so glad Kylie agreed to model for Thesis. We had quite the adventure during this shoot! It was -27 and quite windy, and then somehow my car ended up slipping into the ditch! This lovely lady used her muscles as we rocked the car back and forth to try and get some traction, and eventually we got the car out. I can just guess how crazy we looked, being out in the cold, her in her wedding dress, and then us trying to get the car out of the ditch. We both agreed the images were well worth it though. She brought her modelling game in a tough situation and the result was awesome!

12. Surrounded By Snow

13. Surrounded By Canola

Yes, I turned the yellow canola pink, because I can. Because I love the look! I still can’t believe I was able to find that patch of canola so late in the year. Funny story, a bunny ran into my leg when we were going into the patch! Almost took me out!

 13. Surrounded By Canola14. Surrounded By Water (2)

Just take a guess where you think this photo was taken….
a storm pond.. next to Leons.. in SE Edmonton. Betcha never guessed that! Abby is a complete trouper for modeling in this picture for me… at 7:30am before class. Definitely something I don’t want to do again. But maybe I will because this image is pretty great I must say!

14. Surrounded by Water (2)


15. Surrounded By Land

It’s me! In my final Thesis shot. My husband and I took a 2 day romantic trip to Jasper and it was fantastic. Waiting for a break in school again to plan another trip sometime soon 🙂

15. Surrounded By LandWell folks that’s all! I hope you enjoyed these images as I have put a lot of sweat, tears, and planning into each image. Have a great day!

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