Swift Current photographer up for prestigious national recognition
A Swift Current photographer has had three of her images selected by the Professional Photographers of Canada to be displayed PPOC Annual Image Salon, its annual juried exhibition. One of them is on merit plus two more were accepted images into the PPOC National Salon. The initial judging to reach the Salon level took place in Ontario at end of the February.
The PPOC Salon awards banquet for the competition and showcase takes place April 29, at the Montreal Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel, Dorval, Quebec.
She is pleased to have entries there, but isn't making any predictions.
"You never really know, it is based on some criteria (but judges are subjective)," explains Knakoske.
She always wants to be creative and is willing to experiment. If one thing doesn't work, perhaps something else will or gives her an idea for another direction.
She says remembers trying to do a photo shoot of one her boys and trying something different for effect. She put flour on a puck and with proper lighting and shutterspeed, created a unique "smoke" affect as her young hockey player son shot the puck.
For her, besides creating a unique idea for an image, it is also critical the models/photo subjects are at ease as well. Her humble and easy going demeanor help that.
"I think that (the creativity) comes down to confidence,” she says about her clients. “I feel that working with more and more people, it gives me confidence and they are comfortable too."
While Knakoske won’t be at the PPOC event, she can still watch via the Internet. They will have a live feed of the five judges going around to each of the images. It is a bit nerve wracking as the judges can be sometimes very blunt in their verbal critiques of the images.
Knakoske says she learns a lot from watching the Salon proceedings, even if the portraits or images aren’t hers.
This isn’t her first national nomination. In fact, she won awards earlier in her career including an impressive Judge Choice Award from the PPOC for the Best Child Portrait of 2014 and won a Saskatchewan photographers award for 2018. Admittedly, she hasn't entered a lot between that time from with having a children relatively close together, her focus was on that.
Now she got back into it and with her business thriving, she decided to apply her creativity to a couple of unique images, both very medieval in scope. Armoured is a stunning close-up of resident Danni Jamieson who modeled a chainlink head dress made at Swift Current business MailleTec Industries. Knakoske says the other reason Armouredworked so well was the make up done on Jamieson by Terrilyne Swanson.
There are about 20 categories including ones which are not necessarily straight photographing one subject. For example, in her image called Baby Dragon, she says the final image is actually five photos laid one on top of the other to create a visually stunning affect.
Knakoske explains Baby Dragon used photos, past and present. This image is made up of five images. The model was shot in the studio, a close up of a toy dragon and then placing on other images using an over lay; castles in the background are from her Scotland trip; another sky overlay and rocks are from her Hawaii trip.
The metal clothing such as the chain link in Baby Dragon and in the other PPOC-accepted photo Armoured were done at MailleTec where she says they have created metal clothing piece for television shows like Game of Thrones, music videos (i.e. Madonna).
Her other accepted shot is Zoomwhich was a fun shot of two of her sons and her nephew tubing at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park last summer. My oldest, nephew and middle child are in this photo.
"I think what really caught my eye with this image was their expressions and the drops of water blurred in the air," she notes.
Knakoske attending the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (2001-2003) where she graduated with a diploma in Photographic Technology and while there actually attended a PPOC conference. Besides being a member of the Professional Photographers of Canada she is an accredited member Saskatchewan Professional Photographers Association (of which she is also an accredited member).
She worked at Gainsboro Studio in Medicine Hat learning the business on a professional level and then in 2006 came back to Swift Current. She purchased the Central Ave. business in 2006 and now 13 years later, Knakoske has solidified herself as a creative, gifted and sought-after photographer.