End of 2012 Treat: Creative Spotlights

By tangentpath in industry interviews photography

Hey Peeps,

I wanted to do something similar - yet different from last years creative interviews.

If you don't remember, last year I sent questions to some of the most talented photographers in the industry in all different genres and posted them for New Year's.
This year is a little different.
I wanted a more in-depth look at the creatives that I approached, so after doing some research of each, I have sent them specific questions designed personally for the creative and their work.
Each post will be from a different and talented artist/creative/entrepreneur/etc in the industry and I hope will help you, the reader, to gain insight and direction in the field that inspires you.
The first creative is Toronto-based photographer, and good friend,Billie Chiasson.


Michael Carty

Michael Carty Website

Labs, Prints & Products: Q&A with Allen Sutherland of Atlantic Photo Supply

By tangentpath in allen sutherland atlantic photo supply halifax interviews photography

Hey Peeps,

I think one of the most important things - and the most overlooked, in photography has to do with labs.

Most new photographers stick with giving/selling their digital images and leave a lot of cash, customer service and free marketing on the table.

I had the great fortune of asking Allen Sutherland of Atlantic Photo Supply a few questions from his point of view on the importance of labs in today's digitized age.


Michael: How important are physical prints/products in a photography business?
Allen: In the digital age, prints are still something physical and tangible that stand visible through time.  Prints and products can be considered a value add to the Artist,always there for their client to see. The Photographer - to be successful, should be like any business; always willing to add new products to their wagon. The saying goes, you can't sell with a empty wagon. 
Michael:What sets APS apart from other labs?
Allen: I think the big thing that sets APS apart is the dedication of the staff. I often look at the way they try to resolve problems. Like any human, they are capable of making mistakes. The difference with my coworkers is that they learn from that and often put procedures in place to try and prevent it from happening again.  We have the same equipment as many labs, but a whole set of different procedures that help keep the quality and service high. 
Michael: What would you say contributes to the success of APS when other vendors have slipped away?
Allen:  I hate to repeat myself, but the success of APS has a lot to do with the last question. On top of our people, we also practice strict accounting and purchasing principals. Buying smart and growing at a pace that keeps the bottom line in the black instead of the red.  Being involved with the community at large is important as well.  Just because you have been in business since 1942 does not give you the right to ignore how you survived.

Michael: What should a photographer initially look for in a lab?
Allen: I think quality service first. Then I would also look at the products they offer.  Price would be my last choice.
Michael: What are the majority of problems that photographers bring to you to solve?
Allen: The biggest problems go straight to color management.  A lot of people have difficulty getting files to look the same on their monitor as they do in print.  My job is often to look deeper into their workflow to try and resolve those issues.
Michael: Do you find the photographers who utilize printing services gain more work and success than ones who exclusively use digital means?
Allen: I think the true success of any photographer is how well he markets his talent.  Many artists are very creative but poor on the marketing and fiscal discipline side.  Prints are part of a product offering.  How you weave them into your business plan will determine the success.  Like any business, you get back what you put into it.
Michael: You have recently moved locations last month, can you tell me a little bit about that and how this will effect the photography community?
Allen: We are almost complete in our move. Our new store on Brownlow in Dartmouth will open September 10th. The big thing about the expansion for the lab is more efficiency, Everything on one floor, instead of 2 and 1/2. All departments from front to back have a better work space and better climate control.  Having a more efficient lab helps with service and quality.  Having two locations helps to serve our community better from a physical perspective.  A lot of our out of town clients don't have to fight traffic to get to our Dartmouth store.  We are able to have more inventory because we have more storage.  New products and services.  Someone has to keep Henry's in check.
Michael: Is there any pertinent knowledge you believe photographers should be aware of regarding prints, labs, etc?
Allen: I say to everyone new and old in the business: take time to understand the basic concepts of photography.  The golden triangle, so to speak.  Once you conquered that then work with your lab on the color side of things.  Build a relationship.  Take time to get to know them.  Do your home work.  Take a course and go to seminars.

I'd like to thank Allen for his unique insight into the industry in this interview.  You can check out their website here:

Sorry it has been a while, busy things going on but that just makes more material to get right?


Michael Carty


My Run-In With Backroads

By tangentpath in backroads bikers canon 5d mkiii fun times interviews photography

Hey Peeps,

It has been quite busy this past week and continues to be in the coming one, I was scouting out the Bear River Vineyard, photos below:

I noticed a van and a load of bicyclers at the vineyard.  The van was labelled,"Backroads: The Worlds #1 Active Travel Company".  

Needless to say, I was intrigued.

I'm a runner at heart but I got a sense that bicycling was similar in the nature of comraderie and non-competitiveness.

I grabbed my camera and started shooting while asking a few of these nice people about Backroads and bicycling in general.  They told me that they were from all over, Toronto, Pensilvania, Oklahoma just to name a few.  They were also different groups, some married, some single, some friends, some parents and adult children.  It was impressive and uplifting to see so many different people from different walks of life come together in an activity that was both beneficial to their health and connected a variety of minds.

Gary and I hit it off right away.  He is a photography enthusiast and carries his Canon 5D MkIII - yes, the MkIII - and a 28-300mm lens with him as he rides.  I offered to give him my cam and everything in my gear bag for it, but Gary is a smart man, and refused my offer. :(  Next time Gary, next time.

The Canon 5D MkIII/28-300mm... oh, and Gary lol
Amy and Eric are husband and wife.  They are a sweet couple who seem to have a real partner/team atmosphere about them which can only enhance their cycling and their marriage.

Eric & Amy

Among other things, they told me that this is the 4th of their 6 day ride through Nova Scotia, which started in Halifax, NS.  That they all enjoy the different scenes of beauty, cultures, foods and friendships they encounter and make while on their trek.

It all sounded so similar to running to me - but with wheels, and much farther(for the most part), I realized that it was the social activity in general that brought out all of the goodness in these people and not just the specific activity itself.

Well their trip has been over for a few days now and most are back home, off on another ride or relaxing on the rest of their vacations.  

I hope to see them again next year.  

Especially Gary.  

With his Canon.  *DROOL*


Michael Carty

Michael Carty Website
Michael Carty Email

Model Alert!! Brad Gouthro Answers Your Nutrition/Fitness Questions

By tangentpath in brad gouthro fitness fun times interview interviews model nutrition photography wisdom

Hey Peeps,

Late last year I had the privilege of working with Brad Gouthro of Brad Gouthro Fitness in Bedford, just outside of Halifax, NS.

We both have an interest in fitness(Brad moreso than I, of course) and had spoke of shooting together.  Luckily he just published a new book, Release The Abs Within, and needed some new shots of what else?  


We had a great time(see this in a past post), and I realized that it would be really informative for those readers out there to glean some insight into the healthier nutrition/fitness aspect of modeling from a pro at it all.

So below is an interview I had with Brad, and I can guarantee that more than just models can appreciate the advice he dishes out like so much sweet, chocolate ice cream... oh crap, well anyways here it is - enjoy!!

Michael:  Hey Brad, I'm glad we get to work together again even if we're not shooting.  I'll get right to the questions here.  Some of the biggest issues that I have heard from my models relate to nutrition, toning and healthy complexion.  They want to be healthy and not hungry, they want to be thin but toned and they want clear and healthy skin.  What would be your best basic advice towards these issues?

Brad:  Every time I'm out with friends or family they are shocked at how much food I eat. How can I get away with this and still maintain a lean physique? 

Well, first of all I'm busting my ass in the gym for an hour every day. The majority of your workouts should be focused on lifting weights and not just cardio. 

Ladies…please lift weights to get lean, toned and sexy. Excessive cardio is doing you more harm than good! But that one hour in the gym doesn't give you the ability to eat anything you want at anytime.

In my book, Awaken The Abs Within, I created a simple and easy to implement nutrition principle that I follow everyday. I've branded it the TQT principle. It simply means to eat the right TYPES of food, in the right QUANTITIES, at the right TIMES. 

I focus on consuming foods that are natural/unprocessed (contain one ingredient) and high in protein. Foods high in protein not only build lean sexy muscle and burn fat, they also keep you feeling full so you don't crave sugar. 

I consume very little (if any) sugary, packaged, or processed foods (I may treat myself one meal a week if I feel like I it). One mistake people often make (especially women) is they focus on counting calories. Ditch the calorie counting and focus on eating 5-6 small balanced meals a day that all contain protein. Your first 3-4 meals can contain carbs, but then cut them out later in the day. By following this meal plan and focusing most of your time in the gym lifting weights, you will stay satiated and will be burning fat all day long due to an increase in your metabolism.  
Remember, consuming natural foods is nature's medicine. Eating processed crap (soda, diet soda, crackers, cookies, etc) is foreign to your body's digestive and genetic structure. By putting this crap in your body it creates a metabolic and hormonal mess. This mess causes fat storage, skin problems, etc.  

Michael:  That's some pretty great advice Brad, I'm very interested(and I'm sure most models are too) in the ability to eat and not be hungry and doing it in a healthy way.  Now regarding the low cardio exercise you mentioned, what do people like me who train for half and full marathons do?  We obviously need to get in a good amount of cardio, right?

Brad:  Yes, you're right - if you're training for something sport specific…then yes…you should be focusing more time on movements/exercises that are functional to your goals (in this case endurance training). 

However, if you're a model and are just looking to get or stay "lean and sexy", then your specific/functional training should be focused on building lean muscle and burning body fat which lifting weights does. EXCESSIVE cardio (hours everyday) is not the functional way to build a lean and sexy look.  

When it comes to cardio, I always put it this way:  if you're training specifically for physique…which athlete do you want to look more like…a 100 meter sprinter (lean, toned and ripped) or a marathon runner (skinnier with less muscle tone)? 

I'm not saying one is better than the other…but for my physique goals (and probably most models), it's to look more like a 100m sprinter. This is why I focus on high intensity interval training (HIIT) via quick intense sprints followed by low intensity cool down intervals. 

Michael:  Having a history of modeling yourself, I'm sure that you have a preshoot plan when a job is coming up.  What would you advise other models out there to do in preparation of a shoot to help them look their best?

Brad:  If it's a athletic/fitness shoot, I assume you must already be in pretty decent shape. But there is a way to manipulate your body even more to look as lean and ripped as possible. I'm talking about getting rid of most of the water that is stored between your muscles and skin. If you do this correctly, you can really achieve the "photoshoot ripped effect" where your skin is literally sucked against your muscles, which shows all your cuts and striations.  I blogged about my 7 day preparation plan in detail on my website:

However, everyone's bodies are different. I've found my body reacts best to water loading for the first 3-4 days (8 liters a day) and essentially cutting out all carbs (except veggies) for all 7 days before the shot. My calories drop a little bit, but not a lot, since I replace a lot of the lost calories from carbs with healthy forms of fat and a little more protein. Three days before the shoot I cut water consumption in half, and steadily decrease it everyday until the shoot. This plan hasn't failed me yet!

Of course plenty of sleep is also VERY IMPORTANT!

Michael:  What’s your opinion of popular fitness regimens like yoga, zumba and kettlebell workouts?

Brad:  To be honest, I'm a fan of anything that gets you moving (unless this includes you running away from the police)!

I am a huge fan of kettlebell workouts though. It's a great way to build muscle and get a cardio workout at the same time. I throw in a kettlebell workout at least once a week to work on any potential muscle imbalances and to keep things fresh and free of the dreaded plateau effect.

I also think everyone should incorporate yoga (especially the fellaz) although I'm pretty slack on this one. It is one of my goals this year to increase flexibility, so I do foresee a lot more yoga in my future. 

Zumba…it's good…if you're into that kind of thing. Not my style though. I love to dance, but I love dancing in the club scene. Not at the gym! 

The only thing that kind of bugs me is these gimmick infomercial gadgets like the "shake weight" and "ab machines". I say save your money and get your sweat on the old fashioned way.

Michael:  You mentioned earlier that your healthy physique is because of –besides a nutritious diet, that you exercise 1 hour a day.  Only one hour?  I won’t ask IF this is possible because you are obviously living proof, but I will ask HOW this is possible.

Brad:  It's very simple. The body grows outside of the gym, not inside. When you're in the gym, you're actually breaking down and tearing apart your muscle cells. It's the rest and recovery that actually allows you to grow. 

Proper sleep and recovery is key to a lean physique.

Also, cortisol (the stress hormone) elevates when you train at a high intensity for too long. This hormone eats away at muscle tissue, thus burning muscle and lowering your metabolism. That's the opposite effects that I want to be accomplishing for all my hard work in the gym.

Michael:  Well that should make it a lot easier for people with busy lives to squeeze in a workout into their day.  My last question comes from a student who wants to know if it is better to eat before or after a workout and which kinds of foods would be best for which times?

Brad:  Yeah. Just make sure when you're in the gym, you're making the most of your time. Don't be one of those chronic "texter's" or "gym socialites". 

Trust me you look lame.

Now, to your last question. Without a doubt, your post-workout meal is very important regardless of your situation or goals. It should be comprised of a quick absorbing high quality protein source (whey protein powder) and a fast digesting carb source (the one time of day that a quick rush of sugar is good for you). 

The reason? Your muscles are like a sponge after a solid workout. 

They require an instant surge of protein to help re-build and repair the torn muscles as well as a delivery source and energy to replenish the lost energy from your body (carbs). Carbs act as a delivery source to get the protein to your muscles quickly, and will help re-fuel your muscles to ensure the breaking down of muscle stops and the building of muscle outside the gym commences. 

I usually bring a protein shake with me to the gym to drink as soon as I'm done. It usually is comprised of protein powder, banana, natural maple syrup, water, and almond milk all blended together.

Now pre-workout is a little more customized. It depends on you. 

I eat a slow digesting complex carb (oats) and protein source 1 hour before the gym to ensure I have energy to work hard. 

Try not to go to the gym with a full stomach though. When you work out, all the blood is going to the muscle which will just leave the food sitting in your gut. Some people also work best on an empty stomach (last meal 2-3 before workout). 

You have to find what works best for you.

Michael:  That's a terrific amount of knowledge that I think a lot of people - not just models, can use to help with their image/health needs and wants.  Thanks again for the back and forth with me and congrats on the publication.

Brad:  Thanks Michael.  Glad to help.  If people want all my secrets to living a healthy/lean lifestyle, they should check out my website: or my social media sites. 

I also really enjoyed working with you and was truly impressed with the photos from our last project. Lets do it again sometime soon!

Michael:  Word.  Take care buddy.

Did this interview answer your questions or did you have others?

I hope you get a chance to check out Brad's book and site,
it is full of incredible information for everyone - not just models.

My thanks again to Brad for his participation and to the models that sent me input for my questions - you know who you are...


Michael Carty

Special Update on Amit Gupta Needs You

By tangentpath in amit gupta cancer fun times interviews personal update vision

Hey Peeps, 

This is a special post updating my friend Amit Gupta's current status.  

You may have remembered reading about him and visiting the link from my blog post here, while interviewing a panel of fantastic photographers.  One of them, Dane Sanders - referred to Amit's leukemia diagnosis and how he leveraged it into a positive direction that helped - and still helps, hundreds of thousands of people in need of bone marrow donors.

Amit created to help others in the same boat as himself and maybe, at the same time increase his chances of finding a donor.  

Well now he has found one!  

There is still a lot of struggle for Amit in the following months/years, but the hardest part - finding that one in a million person - has finally come for him, and I am soooooo happy for him, his family and friends.

The following link will take you to more specifics on his site.  Please visit Amit's site and be part of his wonderful cause, I know that cancer has effected everyone worldwide in some way or another, so please help.  

Here's the update link: Amit Gupta


Michael Carty
Michael Carty Email