Let me introduce myself. My name is Bryce Fleming and I am a veterinarian. I practiced in Regina for nearly twenty years, first with Sherwood Animal Clinic over on the Number One East, then with Airport Animal Hospital down near Southland Mall. I raised a daughter, Calista, in Regina and she graduated from Martin Leboldus Catholic High School in 2009. Calista was pretty clear that she always planned on moving out to BC as soon as soon as she was an adult, with an eye on attending the professional photography program at North Island College in Courtenay BC.
In 2010, having reached a professional plateau in Regina, I decided that my best option was to purchase a small veterinary clinic in BC and keep the family together, at least for a little while longer. Calista moved west with us and saved for college while working for me in my new clinic here in Powell River BC. The clinic was a real “Mom and Pop” family operation. Finally, in the fall of 2011, Calista left for college and her own independent life. Calista never returned home. She died suddenly one night in May of 2012 of a sudden cardiac arrhythmia, less than six weeks short of graduation.
Each one of us deserves at least a chance at leaving some legacy to mark our time here on Earth. Calista never really had any opportunity to leave her mark. She just did not have enough time. This contest, born out of her love of commercial product photography, is a pale attempt at giving my daughter her few moments in history.
Commercial product photography seems like a strange passion, even to me, her father. On the same token, if you met my little girl you would completely understand: she was quite a dominant, outspoken character and she liked to have complete control of every part of her life, including her creativity. Product photography gives the artist complete freedom and control of nearly every aspect of the finished image: from staging through capture to final post-production editing the photographer can adjust every aspect of the process to optimize the final result. That was very appealing to my Calista.
As homage to my girl, that is the structure of my photography contest. Unlike most photography contests which dedicate themselves to traditional image capture, this contest will allow any and all creative freedoms to produce a commercial image appropriate for advertising in any print or on-line publication. Professional studio techniques will be expected, any amount of photographic technology can be used, and any form of post-production editing or enhancement is allowed. There are only two absolute rules: the student must be able to document originality and the final image must be appropriate for advertising (versus being strictly an artistic effort).