Winter Portraits

Many people discount winter as a time to do portraits outside but as a northerner I like to embrace our winter season rather than shy away from working outside. A family walk on a snow covered trail or even a snowball fight can be a great way to have a good time and capture some great family photos. There can be many challenges in working in the snow and getting a boot full of cold wet snow is just one way that it can get interesting. With such a simple background (mostly white snow) focus on using vibrant colors in clothing and props.  When shooting with lush foliage you don’t want your clothing to overwhelm the scenery or the portrait can be too busy.  Think just the opposite when photographing outside in the snow.  The white canvas can be a great backdrop for some beautiful winter coats, hats and boots.  Hats are a great way to frame faces and showcase eyes as well, especially of your children. Photographing snowmen, snow ball fights, children playing or sledding are great ways to capture memories during this time of year. But be prepared!  There’s nothing that will prematurely end a winter session faster than a cold child.  Parents please understand that when it’s -5 degrees outside, it’s unlikely that we can shoot a session without jackets.  Mittens and hats are always a plus! Give me a call if you would like to have an adventure outside, I promise your photos will be cherished memories.


Headshots for everyone

Publicity photo Tips

It doesn’t matter if you are running for election, selling some product or breaking into the movie business, we all need a good publicity photo if you deal with the public these days. The new social media term is “headshot” but I still like the more civilized “publicity photo” or just simply stated as a portrait for these terms are more relaxed even if they take more space to type or air to say. A good publicity photo can present you to new clients in a very personal way without even having met and can be the single most important modern marketing tool for anyone working with the public.

Some tips for getting a good headshot are:

Go pro. It’s worth it to entrust a professional for your photo as they have the training and lighting equipment to create a photo that will compliment you. Everyone knows how bad a passport photo can look but you may not realize that the lighting is the main culprit in making you look that way. Cameron_8733_BW_5x5_300dpi

Keep your clothing classy and professional unless you are the lead in a rock band. Simple colours, solids are best or something with little texture, for example, everyone can remember the lumberjack shirt but who was wearing it?

Pay attention to framing, lighting. In general, a good headshot is chest up with good lighting on your face, and no strong dramatic shadows, unless you are going in for “The Phantom of the Opera.” Three-quarter shots are good for print, and extreme closeups are good for, well, nothing. Look directly into camera, and the focus should be on the center of your eyes, not your left ear.


Lastly about the background We don’t want to see that you are at the bar, or on a tour boat in front of the Statue of Liberty. It’s about you, not the environment. The background is best clean and without clutter. Your company may have a specific background to use or your media design might require something special but it is usually best to go simple so that you are the star and not what is behind you.

Rhonda Noon Headshot



Call us today to talk about your new publicity photo and see how Polar can help you to stand out from the crowd.


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Lynn Johnston’s new Book is out

I was absolutely thrilled to have world famous Lynn Johnston visit my portrait studio a while back. She was looking to have a new portrait taken for the cover of her soon to be released book. I couldn’t say anything until it hit the shelves of your local book store and it almost made me burst waiting but, finally it has come out and I am finally able to tell everyone.

“The comic art of Lynn Johnston” gathers together a generous selection of Lynn Johnston’s daily comic strips and Sunday pages, spanning the lives of the Patterson family.  The book also features some of Johnston’s most popular narratives, interspersed with an essay that chronicles the development of her drawing, her life, influences both personal and artistic, and the history of her wildly successful comic strip. The book was written by both Lynn and her daughter Katherine Hadway.

I am so very proud that it features a Polar Studio portrait on it’s cover and hope that you will pick up a copy so you can read about Lynn’s journey.


Welcome to the new Polar Studio page

WeddingPolar Studio takes pride on capturing you and your image, it doesn’t matter if it is simply a single portrait or your complete wedding day.  I believe that your image is important to you and I want to make sure to show you in the best possible light. If you are getting married then this is so much more important as this day will only happen once. Your wedding will be like no other and I feel that nor should your wedding photos. I commit to more than simply documenting the events of your wedding and will work with you to create a fabulous photography experience that captures the essence of your wedding in a fun and non-contrived way. The images you receive will be a beautiful record and reflect your personalities at their best. I pride myself on paying outstanding attention to the details of lighting and posing while keeping your personality in each photo. Our long record for reliability, sensitivity and a sense of humor are among the reasons so many of our satisfied clients have chosen to use Polar Studio for their Wedding day and have so for over 50 years! Call me to talk over your ideas. Brian