PPOC 2017 National Image Salon

Some of you may be aware that I am a member of the Professional Photographer's of Canada (PPOC).  I earned my first accreditation with them back in 2015 in "Environmental Portraiture". If you would like to see my accreditation submissions you can view them here.  Once you become an accredited member of the PPOC you are then eligible to earn higher professional designations and enter their annual national print competition.  So, this year I decided to be brave and enter!

I was allowed to enter four images and I entered them all in the "Portrait" category, which some say is one of the most difficult categories to score well in.  Having been through the accreditation process I knew how high the standards were, so I felt that I would be very happy if even one of my images got accepted.  Well, to my surprise, three of my images got accepted!  

The judging was live streamed online so I was able to watch the judges pull up my images and critique them.  It was a very hard thing to watch as the judges deliberated and argued over my images!!  The judges have to come to a majority decision, so if one of the judges didn't like the image he had to try to convince the other judges to agree with him, or vice versa.  It was painful to watch, but in the end I was really pleased with the results and I learned a TON of things that will help me improve and learn and grow as a photographer.

Here are the three images that were accepted.

"The Sweet Sound of Spring"


 "Before She Dances"


"In The Bloom Of Youth"

Here's a little more information about the PPOC National Image Salon taken from their website.

"One of the cornerstones of the Professional Photographers of Canada is the PPOC Annual Image Salon. This juried exhibition showcases the best of the best. Within this Salon Exhibition, you will find the most creative, the newest and most cutting edge, and finest technically executed images produced by our members.
This inspirational collection of images displays the level of excellence Canadian photographers have achieved. Some of the best photographic talent in the world lives and works in Canada, and enters this PPOC image competition in the hopes of being selected for the Salon Exhibition.
Active/Accredited members of PPOC are invited to submit images annually to a juried exhibition.  A group of highly qualified judges, all of whom have obtained their Craftsman of Photographic Arts or Master of Photographic Arts designation, and have been trained as jurors, assemble to review submissions.  These jurors have the monumental task of viewing in excess of 800 images, setting aside any personal bias and judging objectively, to determine those images worthy of being accepted into the Salon Exhibition."

This is us in 2016! Family Portraits

I don't know about you, but this time of year always makes me nostalgic, thinking about years gone by, and it makes me regret the fact that I didn't do more family portraits over the years, especially when my kids were young. As I see my kids grow and change and mature I realize that it won't be long until they are grown up and getting on with their own lives, so it's my goal to do annual family portrait for as long as I can.

I usually only do family portraits outdoors because my indoor studio space isn't very big, but this year I thought I'd try an indoor session. Harold and I recently painted a few canvas backdrops and I've been using them a lot lately.   I've also been experimenting with my indoor lighting options.  I still have a few kinks to work out, but for the most part I'm happy with the results.  

The problem with family portraits is that,  most kids and most husbands want the portrait session to be short!...and my family is no exception. We take our family portraits with a self-timer so it takes MANY tries to get a decent shot, and I'm a tad bit OCD, so our portrait sessions are never short.  But this year I tried my best and kept it to a mini-session. 

So here's our 2016 Mortensen Family Portraits.    Merry Christmas from our family to yours!



Happy Father's Day!

June has been a busy month for me this year!  I've been doing lots of graduation sessions, plus I've also been doing some shooting for my friend Perry.  I have a big stack of editing that needs to get done, but I'm taking a break to write this special post.

Today is Father's Day and naturally I'm thinking of my dad today.  If you have read my blog post "A Little Bit About Me"  you will know that I have been involved in photography for a long time...but I didn't go all the way back to the beginning. Grab a cup of tea...this is a longer post.

I got my first camera when I was about 12 years old.  It was a cheap little thing that used "126" film and great big flash cubes.  I had a lot of fun with that camera and took it with me on band trips and family holidays for years.

When I was in high school I took a lot of art classes and decided that I wanted a career in art.  I originally wanted to be a children's book illustrator,  but my high school had limited options for art classes, so I took some classes at another nearby high school that offered a graphic arts course.  It was there that I learned photography.  I learned how to develop black & white film and print it on an enlarger.  Plus we had all kinds of interesting photography assignments including studio portraiture which I really loved. But I needed a better camera for this class, so my dad let me borrow his.  He had a Pentax 35 mm camera, and I loved using it!!  Learning how to operate that camera was both fascinating and mysterious.  I learned how to make the little needle move to the center so that my photos were properly exposed, and I learned how to compose and how to see the world through a camera lens!!  My dad liked the fact that I was learning photography.  He helped me build a little darkroom in our basement, and even tried to talk me into becoming a photographer for the local newspaper.   I still wanted to become a commercial artist though and didn't intend to pursue photography as a career,  but several years after high school I moved away from home and ended up working in a photography studio.

I always knew that my dad loved taking photos.  One of my fondest childhood memories is of our entire family sitting in the basement, killing ourselves laughing, while we looked at old family photos on the slide projector.  My dad travelled a lot with his job and liked to photograph the different job sites he was on, and all the interesting scenery that he saw on his travels.   So, interspersed among our family photos are pictures of random bridges, buildings, tractors, pulp mills, airplanes, and churches. We kids just patiently looked at these photos and listened to him tell us about them, while we waited to see the next funny photo of my brother with chocolate cake on his face.  As a kid I didn't pay much attention to all my dad's photos.  It was just part of our life.

Fast forward to today.  My dad is now in his 80's and spends the majority of his time with his first love...his garden.  But when he can't be in his garden he spends a lot of time sorting out his vast collection of old slides.  On a recent trip home to visit my parents, my mom told me about how my dad is spending a lot of time with his slides, and we got talking about his photography hobby.  It was then that I learned then that I come from a line of family photographers!!   My grandfather (my dad's dad) was also a photographer!   We don't know too much about his photography but we do know that he had a camera way back in the 1920's and even had a darkroom to develop his own pictures. He also made it a priority to have regular family portraits taken, which was unusual because my grandparents had twelve children,  and lived on a farm!  They were not rich, and were not fancy people, so his family and his photography must have been very important to him.   

This is a photo taken by my grandfather in around 1941.  My dad is the boy on the right. You can see my grandfather's shadow on the ground.

This is a photo taken by my grandfather in around 1941.  My dad is the boy on the right. You can see my grandfather's shadow on the ground.

One of my grandfather's many family photos.  My dad is to the right of the blond girl in the second row.

One of my grandfather's many family photos.  My dad is to the right of the blond girl in the second row.

I suspect that must have been where my dad caught the photography bug because when my mom met him in 1956 he had his own camera and was already taking pictures of his travels. My mom saved my dad's old camera and lots of his old photos.  Again, they were photos of buildings, and airplanes, and roads, and all the interesting things he saw along his way...like this pretty lady...my mom.

This beautiful photo of my mom was taken by my dad!  He found her on his travels.  

This beautiful photo of my mom was taken by my dad!  He found her on his travels.  

Now that I am older and have spent a lot of time taking photos myself I finally get it!   My dad has never had good hearing, but he can see very well..and this was a way for him to capture the world he saw and share it with us.  Looking through my dad's photos is like seeing the world through his eyes.  Each one of these photos is a little piece of him.  What a treasure.

Here is my dad with that old Pentax camera.  

Thanks for sharing that camera and your love of photography with me dad.  

Happy Father's Day.  I love you!

A Little Bit About Me!

Hi!  I'm so glad you are visiting my website!  My name is Lorraine Mortensen.  I'm a wife of over twenty years, a mother of two teens, and a photographer.  I'm currently homeschooling my two children, which is a full-time job itself, but before I got married and had children, I studied art, and worked in the photography world. My original training was as a photo retoucher.  This was in the days before digital photography, when all retouching was done by hand with tiny little paint brushes and special dyes.  I started out doing photo retouching, hand coloring, black & white lab processing. Later I trained as a traveling family photographer and worked for short time for a company that specialized in making photo directories for churches.  


Once I got married and had children I left the working world and settled down to be a full time mother; however, as a hobby I continued to pursue photography.  During these years I loved to create black & white, hand-colored images of my children.  Some of my friends saw my photographs and asked me to create portraits of their children as well.   


When my oldest child reached school-age I decided to homeschool him, so my budding photography business was put on hold.  The next 15 years were very busy!  Homeschooling is a full time job, but one that I absolutely loved to do.   Homeschooling provides lots of interesting events to photograph, so my camera was kept busy over the years.  I even took my own "school" photos of my children.  Family life also provided many opportunities for me to practice photography.  At family gatherings there is always a need to capture the event.  So, even though I didn't pursue my business during these years, my love of photography stayed with me, and my skills continued to grow.   Now that my son has graduated and my daughter is in her final years of high school I am once again pursuing my dream of having my own portrait photography business.   I love photographing people, especially women and girls of all ages,  and families. 

I have an insatiable desire to preserve my family memories.  This is why I love history, geneaology (family history research), and scrapbooking.  Family photography is something that I value very highly, and having professional family portraits taken on a regular basis is extremely important to me.  Because of this, you can trust me to treat your family portraits with the importance that they deserve.  Your family is precious!  The memories are fleeting and they deserved to be preserved not only for you, but also for the generations to come.


                                                                                          This is my family today!


I also love art, so creating beautiful images is my goal.  I am mainly an on-location, natural light photographer and nothing makes me happier than being outside at sunset taking photographs in the gorgeous, warm sunset light.  Because I used to be a handcolorist I also spend extra time using a wide variety of artistic editing techniques because I want your images to have a fine art feel to them, and above all, I want them to be beautiful.

And just for something that has absolutely nothing to do with photography, I'm also a musician.  I play piano, clarinet, and...get ready for it...the bagpipes.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I've been playing the bagpipes since I was nine years old, and played in several different pipe bands for over 20  years.   I'm not currently playing with a local band, but I still like to occasionally play for fun.   And even though I couldn't convince my children to play the pipes, my daughter became a highland dancer, so I still get to go to highland games and hear the pipes.   


So, now that you know a little more about me, please look around at my website and enjoy my photographs.  If you want more information or would like to book a session please contact me by phone or email.  I look forward to meeting you soon! 


This is us 2015 - Family Portraits

We took these family photos in September, but I've been saving them until now.  

You would think my family would be pros at doing family photos, with me being a photographer and all.  Not!  Every year it's the same thing.  We get to the park and we are the same as every other family that comes for family photos...not relaxed at all.   I'm all stressed  and bossy because I'm having a bad hair day, and because I'm trying to get all the people and equipment set up perfectly.  So Harold tries to lighten the mood, but gets really silly and can't sit still...so I get all kinds of goofy shots that aren't good for anything.   This slows the entire shoot down, so Kristian gets grumpy and impatient with me for taking so long because he's now hungry/hangry.  And Hannah just patiently stands by,  putting up with all of us, and poses her selfie poses. And then I'm running back and forth from the camera to the family to check the shots....tripping over ant hill clumps and gopher holes..trying not to look sweaty and cranky.   All of us getting bitten by mosquitos...and having to stop to scratch.  Sigh...

We always manage to get some nice family photos though.  And the memories!  The whole experience creates family memories!!  In fact, as I was putting this post together the whole family was standing around my computer laughing our heads off!    We can't wait to do it again!


And here's our bloopers!  
This is our imitation of "in the moment" lifestyle photography,
because if we did lifestyle photography with our family this is what it would look like.