May 5 2004
The guest speaker at our May meeting was Brenda Castonguay.
Brenda attended an art college where a photography course was part of the required curriculum. She considered herself an art student, and – in her words – attended the photography course “kicking and screaming.” That course gave her incentive for a major shift in her goals, and she has been making a living in photography ever since.
Brenda has had a number of different roles in the field of photography, and in a variety of locations including being an “on the road” photographer for “Glamour Magic.”
Brenda was attracted to Calgary by the weather (!), and has built an active portrait business here over the last few years. Her style is very interactive with minimal or no posing, and her clients are enthusiastic about the results. She’s never short of work; word-of-mouth advertising from satisfied customers has helped to build her clientele.
Brenda confessed that while she enjoys doing portraiture, she has a growing passion for landscape photography. She has been doing landscapes for some years, but not professionally until now. This year, she decided to try exhibiting her landscapes for sale at an exposition. It became apparent that customers loved her work, as sales were much better than she expected.
Brenda brought some exceptional monochrome landscapes to the meeting. From these it was apparent that she has a good eye for composition. Her works all have a strong graphic look, and she prefers to use relatively contrasty materials in order to emphasize the full tonal range of her process.
She uses black-and-white materials almost exclusively for her professional work. It’s obvious Brenda knows how to “see” in black and white, and uses it to great advantage.
During her talk, it became apparent that Brenda has good business sense as well as a good photographic eye. Photographic passion drives her, and business skills ensure the bottom line remains balanced!
Our thanks go to Brenda for sharing an evening – and some excellent landscape images – with us.