Jim Whitsell with Whitsell photography

Jim developed his interest in photography at a very early age – he shot his first paid job, a wedding, when he was 12 years old. Growing up, he worked in camera stores, portrait studios and photo labs. He opened the first same-day photofinishing lab in Arizona and had another custom photo lab servicing professional photographers. Today he runs a St. Albert based photography business with his wife, Debra, offering a wide range of photographic services for both families and businesses.
1. What is your favourite type of photography? What do you specialize in? It’s really difficult to say I have an absolute favourite. One of the things I enjoy about creating images is the marriage of the artistic and the technical aspects. While I use the best equipment and techniques I can to produce technically excellent imagery, it’s just as important to incorporate the more creative factors like composition, colour, pose, expression, etc. to end up with images that make you take a second look at them.

2. Can anyone hire you?

Almost! I meet with clients to discuss what they are looking for and offer ideas and suggestions to deliver what I think they are looking for. Of course not everyone hires me, but that’s ok – that initial meeting is the right time to find out if my style and goals match the client’s. If someone decides to go elsewhere for their photography, I certainly understand and can also offer referrals to other photographers who may be a better fit. However, this doesn’t happen very often!

3. What kind of packages do you offer? It really depends on what the project is. For family portraits, I take a “build your own package” approach so the client gets what they need without wasting money on extras they aren’t interested in. For commercial work, each project is customized so the client can define exactly what they need.

4. What is the turn around time to receive the pictures? Portraits are around 2-4 weeks; headshots are usually under a week. Commercial work and Google virtual tours can vary widely depending on the project.

5. Where are you located and do you offer destination photography?

We work primarily on Alberta and almost all our work is done on location (with the exception of headshots and studio work which is done in Edmonton). We do travel for several commercial clients. The term ‘destination photography’ is most often associated with weddings. There are legal considerations when working outside of Canada so we talk with clients about that on a case-by-case basis. For example, since I hold dual citizenship with the USA, I have no restrictions photographing south of the border. Mexico is a different story – there are very specific rules for foreign photographers working in Mexico and a there is a pretty active group in Mexico looking for foreign photographers who have not gotten the proper permits.

6. Why is it important to have headshot for your company? Great headshots are a specialty of mine – I’ve studied under the top headshot photographer in the world to deliver really powerful headshots that are a great tool as we market ourselves. They are perfect for website, social media, and other marketing uses. Whenever you see someone’s picture for the first time, you unconsciously form opinions about the person. We work to capture expressions that help you look friendly and inviting so people do not hesitate to want to contact you. A powerful headshot is one of your best tools as you network!

7. how can we get ahold of you? Glad you asked! My website is http://www.JimWhitesell.com and my phone number is 780-628-0628. Email sent to studio@jimwhitesell.com is also great!


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