When it comes down to it, admits Exclusive Moment Photography’s Julia Unchura, it's not the years she spent helping her father in his photography studio that made her pick up a camera of her own. Though staging shots and working with equipment certainly helped her learn about photography, it was the vast beauty of Canada, her adopted country, she says, that triggered her passion for capturing images. Since 2004 when her family left their hometown in Kiev and settled in Ottawa, Julia has followed in the footsteps of her father and his father before him, dedicating her life to taking pictures.
While Canadian landscapes continue to inspire her, Julia now focuses on capturing candid human behaviours. Influenced heavily by the whimsical street photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson and the wedding photography of Emin Kuliyev—with whom she recently studied in New York City—Julia dedicates each of her shoots to the process of drawing out the essence of her subjects. She combats the camera-shyness of clients and bashful poltergeists with casual conversation and her bubbly personality. Though Julia happily welcomes clients into her studio, nature’s call frequently beckons her to lug her equipment outside for fresh-air shoots around the city.
Reflecting on this childhood, Chris Keating sometimes feels as if he didn't exist. His parents' divorce left him with very little tangible evidence of his formative years, so he's spent his adult life as a photographer making sure children can look back fondly at warm family memories. Chris Keating and his Calgary staff have made this a reality for more than 3,000 families since opening the doors to Towne Photography in 2006. There, the professional photographic crew shoots posed and candid shots of families, children, couples, and babies at picturesque parks or against their studio backdrops, and they also snap triumphant graduate portraits, intimate prenatal shots, and provocative passport pics that make border crossing a breeze. Their ironclad guarantee allows unsatisfied clients to request reshoots, reprints, or resizing on all photographs, and they vow to remake or recapture any artwork that sustains damage over the years. Chris also takes his photographic knowledge on the road to conduct Betterphoto Workshops across the United States and Canada, teaching novice photographers how to artistically preserve their most precious memories.
Wall Space Gallery and Framing?s two locations couldn?t be more diverse: one is situated inside a century-old farmhouse, while the other lies in Westboro's trendy shopping district. However, both locations stay true to the company?s original goal of making fine art and art preservation methods accessible to their clients. The galleries showcase work from more than 50 Canadian artists and jewellers, and the staff works to demystify the custom-framing process for each customer. Custom framing services draw from more than 5,000 styles.
The knowledgeable staff at Final Pass Pro Shop caters to both hockey players and figure skaters, stocking its shelves with professional-quality gear, clothes, and equipment. Patrons peruse the walls to find sticks and bags from brands such as Bauer along with NHL jerseys and figure-skating tights and guards. In addition to supplying skates for men and women, the pros keep blades ready to make quick stops and tight curves with professional sharpening, a service recommended if you haven’t used your skates since last winter except for pruning shrubbery.
Professional shutterbug Brian works to capture smiles during family photo shoots and weddings. Brian, who has lugged his photo equipment to multiple countries to memorialize customers’ special moments, also turns the lens on couples, babies, and burgeoning bellies inside his studio.
Framing for more than 45 years, Koyman's skilled custom framing team wraps flat valuables such as limited edition prints, photos, diplomas, and memorabilia in high-quality frames. Photo protectors can outfit 8'x10' ($60+), 11"x14" ($95+), and 16"x20" ($110+) family portraits in a basic frame, or guard cherished grass clippings behind an upgraded frame with nonglare glass ($77+). For premium frames ($119+), carefully constructed matting weaves around awards and watercolour paintings as it inflates the outer edge to dimensions up to 22"x26". Expert art consultants stand by at the ready to make suggestions on the best ways to reframe existing artwork damaged from continued use as a frisbee.