The 2013 12×12: A Montage

Posted by on October 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm. No comments

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to ‘run’ a 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon, wonder no more. Thanks to photographer and videographer Martin Chung of Studio Impossible, we now have an incredible video montage that tells the story better than we ever could. So sit back, enjoy the show that we premiered at last night’s Raw Talent exhibit, and make a note to sign up for next year’s cycle!

Vancouver Photo Marathon 2013 – Raw Talent from Martin Chung on Vimeo.

Scotiabank Dance Centre Taps Into Vancouver’s Talent

Posted by on October 7, 2013 at 2:23 pm. No comments

“The Dance Centre not only assisted in the creation of my artistic form, but also created a platform for which my work was able to be shown and highlighted in the community. I know that without their assistance, the achievements and development of my work would not have the same potential.” Shay Kuebler | Choreographer and Performer

We could not have said it better ourselves. Shay’s words pretty much sum up how we feel about our venue sponsor for Raw Talent 2013. Without the generosity of the Scotiabank Dance Centre, our exhibit would not have a home, our photographers would not have an outlet to showcase their talents, and our audiences would not have the opportunity to engage in what has become a wildly anticipated annual event for the entire city’s creative community. We can’t help but have a soft spot for this organization when its mission is to support local artists like Shay, who go on to create works like this!

Faris Family Studio at The Dance CentreSome may find it unusual for a photography exhibit to be housed in a dance theatre like Scotiabank Dance Centre’s “black box” or Faris Family Studio, pictured to the left with its retractable hydraulic seating. But when you think about it, are dance and photography so dissimilar? Both incredible visual art forms that offer a way of communicating beyond speech, one is never far from the other. Beautiful as they are on their own, they are inspiring when performed in partnership. The much-loved Ballerina Project is a prime example, as are the following captured moments of motion featuring dancers who will be performing in upcoming Dance Centre shows:

Liquid Loft | Photo by Chris Haring

Liquid Loft | Photo by Chris Haring
Running Sushi: October 31 – November 2, 2013 |

Ziyian Kwan | Photo by Chris Randle

Ziyian Kwan | Photo by Chris Randle
the neck to fall: November 21 & 22, 2013

Battery Opera | Photo by Yvonne Chew

Battery Opera | Photo by Yvonne Chew
Everything: November 21 & 22, 2013

The Dance Centre 2013-2014 Season

The 605 Collective | Photo by David Cooper

The 605 Collective | Photo by David Cooper
Inheritor Album: January 30 – February 1, 2014 |

It never made sense to me that a major city like Vancouver with its many talents should not have a thriving arts and culture scene to rival those of Toronto or New York. What we see instead is the closure of historical institutions like the Playhouse, and the bleeding of local artists to more vibrant locales with greater prospects. It is consequently all the more important to support non-profit organizations like The Dance Centre, which also serves as a registered charity. The architectural beauty that it operates within is a non-subsidized building that must generate enough revenue from studio rentals in order to continue the development of dance in BC.

The Scotiabank Dance Centre Building with Heritage FacadeFactoid: The site at 677 Davie Street once served as the foundation for a bank in the 1920s. The two-story neoclassical composition of granite and brick became the home of The Bank of Nova Scotia and served well as a popular period film set in its final years. When the plot was donated to build The Dance Centre, the challenge fell into the hands of lead architects Arthur Erickson and Noel Best. Recognizing the multi-faceted needs of the numerous groups that would utilize the space, dancers were consulted in every step of the way. Quite literally as well, at the floor design stage, when rigorous testing with pointe shoes, slippers, bare feet, tap, and flamenco shoes commenced. When The Dance Centre opened its doors in 2001, it had been transformed from a 6,000sqft space to a 32,000sqft state-of-the-art facility with specialized floors and custom designs to serve all disciplines. Not one to forget its roots, the history of the site is remembered through the façade of the old heritage building which greets you when you round the corner from Davie to Granville.

The Centre supports dance professionals in a myriad of ways. Member benefits include everything from job search help, to grant writing, to marketing, and even fundraising. It not only presents information sessions, but workshops, networking opportunities that are invaluable for an emerging artist, and also awards to help jump start a dancer’s career. Full Artist and Company members also benefit from substantial discounts and rush rates on studio rentals and even free use of the boardroom for the all too important meetings. Video services and an edit suite are accessible for cutting demos, as well as an extensive library of tapes and DVDs for those seeking further study in their discipline.

You don’t need to be in the arts to know that it can be a very expensive vocation. Programs like The Dance Centre’s Artists-in-Residence, which Shay belongs to as part of The 605 Collective, offer assistance by fully subsidizing studio space so that those in his company can develop new works without the burden of the usual overhead. As a result, they are enabled to create, teach, and most enjoyably, perform.

Dancers in Birmingham Studio

Dancers in The Bruce R Birmingham Studio | Photo by Daniel Collins

The mark of growth can also be found in the ability of an artist to bridge disciplines, something that The Dance Centre doesn’t overlook. An interdisciplinary research program called DanceLab also funds fully subsidized studio space to encourage choreographers and artists from different disciplines to work together in an effort to explore the potential of cross-art form collaboration to innovate new works. Recognizing that the general audience is always the ultimate test of any experiment, the results are then shared with the public at a free studio presentation.

It is this kind of forward-thinking and inclusive approach led by Canada’s flagship dance facility that enables projects like the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon to shine. Thank you, Scotiabank Dance Centre, for inviting our audience to join yours in the collective enjoyment of the arts.

Dance. Photography. Music. Painting. They are all branches from the same tree. All of us that work under the canopy of arts and culture are connected, and should always support one another if we want to grow.

On Saturday October 12, the doors of the Scotiabank Dance Centre will open at 6pm for the whole city to take in a FREE one-of-a-kind photo exhibit of 60 film photographers. It only happens once a year, and it only happens for one night. You will not want to miss Raw Talent 2013: The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit.

Raw Talent Photo Boards by John Biehler

Photo by: John Biehler

Opus Sees the Big Picture

Posted by on October 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm. No comments

When you are introduced to 12×12 for the first time, you are likely to only see photography. But as the many photo marathoners who have participated over the years will tell you, it is so much more than that. As you slowly zoom out, what begins to enter the frame is creativity, spontaneity, perseverance, friendship, teamwork, and community all revolving around a common interest in the art of photography. This is what Opus Art Supplies had the vision to see all those years ago when a crazy Viking sailed in with tales of artistic conquests. Morten Rand-Hendriksen has now led five successful thematic explorations, with many talented adventurers awarded for their valiant efforts with riches that only Opus can bestow.

OPUS Art Supplies LogoFive years is a very long time. That is how long we’ve been running the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon and exactly how long Opus has been a major supporter. We’ve developed such a great bond with this local company that to be quite honest, we don’t know if we would want to continue this tradition without our long-time partner. You’d be hard-pressed to find another company that lends as much support to the same customer base that it generates its business from. That’s because Opus too, sees the big picture. Community matters, especially in the arts.

Crissy Arseneau Helping out at the 2013 12x12 Vancouver Photo Marathon

Our long-time friend Crissy Arseneau from Opus helping out at the 2013 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon: (L) Revealing Theme 3: Far Away So Close and (R) Posing as a Model for Jackie Dives’ Interpretation of It

Growing with Opus has been fun, even educational. Always in tune with industry developments, their product line is always evolving to meet the latest demands. That is why our prizing also changes year to year. When something new is available, our winners always benefit from being one of the first to enjoy it. The highlight of 2013 is the introduction of Facemounting. Similar to an Aluminum Composite Mounted print (as in the last two Raw Talent exhibits), Facemounting prints are also raised from the wall to create a floating appearance. The difference is that Facemounted images are printed on gloss photo paper and mounted directly to plexi. This adds an unparalleled vibrancy to images. Colours pop, making two-dimensional images spring to life. Black and white photos, especially those with a variety of grey and white tones, are lent a level of depth that can make a flat image feel almost three dimensional.

To showcase the potential of Facemounting, we checked out an exhibit by an Opus customer that took advantage of it the moment it became available. Here is a feature on Yuichi Takasaka, who is currently enjoying an exhibit at Art Beatus that features an incredible body of work on the Aurora Borealis.

Yuichi’s passion for photography began when he came to Vancouver on a working holiday at age 20, but his move to Yellowknife in the early 90s marked the moment when that passion took on inspiration. Having had his first glimpse of the Aurora Borealis during a visit to Jasper in Alberta, he knew he was in the ideal place to continue his studies with the natural phenomenon. “You can get well over 200 nights of northern lights there every year,” he says. With these strange “Lights” as his muse, Yuichi honed his skills at capturing them by night while working for a Japanese tour company promoting them by day. What resulted were award-winning images so stunning that they have been featured in exhibitions worldwide, as well as in a variety of publications and websites, including that of NASA.

Northern Lights by Yuichi Takasaka

One of the stunning photos by Yuichi Takasaka, currently on exhibit until October 18th at Art Beatus

For 7 years Yuichi lived in Yellowknife experimenting with different photographic techniques and now based in Lumby, BC, he still goes back annually to lead photography tours to shoot new variations of the Lights. It is a very rare thing indeed for most of us to witness the Northern Lights, but you can experience all its vivid details and transformative colours at Fires in the North, exhibited now until October 18th at Art Beatus. Check it out and get a preview of the prizes that await our 12×12 winners at Raw Talent 2013 on October 12th at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.

Thanks to Opus, winners of each theme will have their work printed at 10″x15″ on Arches Velin Paper and framed with custom-cut snow white mats in 13″x19″ Opus BOD Wide Frames in white. The top 4 winning images (Best Series, Best Photo, and runner-ups for both) will be printed at 24″x36″ and mounted for display using the latest addition to the Opus Fine Art Digital Printing Service, Facemounting. All the boards on which each of our 60 marathoners will have their images mounted are also provided by Opus this year, which is a tremendous help. Without their loyal support, there would be no exhibit to showcase. This is a company that cares about the causes it backs. Some of you had the joy of meeting Crissy (pictured above) at the marathon. Without her cheering us on every year, 12×12 would still be just a crazy Viking’s tall tale.

Raw Talent Exhibit by John Biehler

Photo by: John Biehler

As much as we’d like to wish it, ours isn’t the only project that enjoys being in the Opus spotlight. There are many non-profit organizations that also benefit. So many in fact, that this post would be a book before we covered them all, which is kind of amazing! When asked why Opus continues to support 12×12, this is what they had to say:

“Opus is committed to supporting the visual arts in BC. It’s one of the ways we contribute to the communities that, in turn, support our business. When we introduced Fine Art Digital Printing as a service at Opus, that support grew to include the photographic community.

The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon embodies the kind of event that we aim to sponsor – a non-profit organization working to enhance the visual arts and that does so by engaging the community. It’s exciting to play a part in an event like 12×12, to see the photographers embracing and creatively pushing through the limits set on marathon day, and to then share with them in the art that results at the exhibit. The participants and the people that support their work by attending the Raw Talent Exhibition are our customers – they are the creative individuals that both shop at and work at our stores, the reason why we choose to provide the kind of products and services we do, and why we work everyday to evolve our business to continue to meet their needs.

So, while 12×12 has been incredibly gracious in thanking Opus for our support, we also offer our thanks to you. To Angela, Morten, and the volunteers that work to put 12×12 on, the businesses that offer sponsorship, the photographers that participate in 12×12, and all those who attend the exhibition, we thank you for providing the visual arts community with this outstanding event.”

We think we’ve got a keeper here. Yes, five years is a long time. Perhaps it’s time to pop the big question ;o)

Opus Big Picture Logo

Submission Dates:
October 01 – 10, 2013

Now put yourself in the Opus Big Picture! Our wonderful sponsor has just launched its first ever photo event that is very much in tune with 12×12. You are invited to interpret the theme “Red, Yellow, Blue,” but in the medium of digital photography. You are more than welcome to shoot in film, of course. You simply have to convert it to a digital format for entry.

Images are to be taken and submitted online during the first 10 days of October: Tuesday, October 1 to Thursday, October 10, 2013. Three images will be selected to be reproduced by the Opus Fine Art Digital Printing Service and exhibited in all Opus stores. Winners will receive a copy of their digital print too! Look for complete details and submission criteria at any Opus location, in their October Visual Arts Newsletter, or online. Do us proud, guys!

Raw Talent 2013: 12×12 Exhibit

Posted by on September 12, 2013 at 10:39 am. No comments
Raw Talent Exhibit by John Biehler

Photo by: John Biehler

The 5th Annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit Takes Place on October 12th

Vancouver, BC (September 12, 2013): Imagine capturing 12 frames on 12 themes in a single roll of 12 exposure 35mm film over the course of 12 hours. That is what 60 adventurous photographers did one sunny summer day, and whose works will be showcased at the 5th annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit. Come and celebrate the art of film photography as the excitement of that day’s events is relived through the 720 images that will be on display in their purest and unedited form, making this one-of-a-kind event a true showcase of Vancouver’s Raw Talent.


12×12 creator Morten Rand-Hendriksen is known for creating a certain degree of DRAMA* leading up to the reveal of the photo marathon’s first theme, especially when no one knows what MY ENTRY NUMBER will be paired with. After Rickrolling everyone with NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP*, the end began to look FAR AWAY SO CLOSE* for many participants. But to REJECT* the themes is never an option. “I BET…* your IMPRESS(ION)* of MY OWN REALITY*, as well as your own perceptions will change when you see some of these theme interpretations,” says Rand-Hendriksen, “- a METAMORPHOSIS* of sorts.” The public is encouraged to view the exhibit BEFORE THE STORM* of guests arrive at the 12×12 Raw Talent Exhibit. Attendees will have the ADVANTAGE* of speaking with the many OVERACHIEVERs* who participated in this year’s challenge, including those that photographed their FAVOURITE* photo series.

Join the fun on Saturday October 12th as 60 photographers regroup with nervous anticipation to find out how their images developed. With winners announced and their prints revealed for the first time, you will not want to miss this always highly anticipated one-night event.

About the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon:

12×12 is the first and only not-for-profit annual photo marathon in BC, and one of the rare film-based ones in the world. Beginning at 10am on the day of the photo marathon, and at the top of every hour for the next 12 hours, a theme is randomly drawn and released. With only 1 exposure allowed for each theme, participants have to interpret and capture them in the given sequence. When the clock strikes 10pm, only the completed rolls that are returned on time move on to the final phase. Negatives are then developed and judged, the results of which are showcased at a free public exhibit.


For more information or to book an interview, please contact:

Angela Chih, Event Producer
778.388.3690 | Email

* The 12 themes – in sequence – randomly drawn during the 2013 12×12 on August 31st

2013 Judges

Posted by on September 12, 2013 at 5:27 am. No comments

We’re very proud to announce the judging panel for the 2013 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon!

Dawn ChubaiDawn Chubai

TV Personality, Actress, Vocalist • Twitter | Website

For 2 decades Dawn has been in the public eye, be it on the stage, on the big screen, or on the TV screens of homes across the country. Celebrating 9 years on Breakfast Television, her role as a Live Eye host has her doing everything from rappelling down a 20-storey building in a latex catsuit, to flying with the Snowbirds, and cooking with the city’s best chefs. Dawn is also one of the In-Arena Hosts for the Vancouver Canucks.

An established jazz vocalist in her own right (winning an ARIA award for her debut CD, “New Chapters for an Old Book”), Dawn performs with the legendary Dal Richards and has had the privilege of performing at the Orpheum with the VSO and Conductor Bramwell Tovey.

Dawn can often be spotted in several TV productions and feature films including Mission Impossible 4, Twilight: Eclipse, and Robert Redford’s latest film, The Company You Keep.

Vancouver Photographer Brendan MeadowsBrendan Meadows

Photographer • Twitter | Website

Brendan’s subject matter is people, whether they come from the glamorous worlds of music and television or the gritty reaches of poverty and war. He snapped his very first photograph of Princess Diana during Expo ’86. She was 23; he was 10. From there the fascination with the human persona began. Over the years, he has founded three hugely successful and influential art projects: Drawn to Develop, Front Lines, and The Covet Exhibition.

He has contributed photographs to Vice, Inventory, AMC, and continues to work fervently in the worlds of portrait and entertainment photography. “There are no wasted hours,” says Brendan through a mouthful of puttanesca, atop a mountain of camera equipment. Simply put, he is a gifted wanderer; a collector of people and places; a catcher of beauty as it changes.

Vancouver Photographer Mathew SmithMathew Smith

Photographer • Twitter | Website

Primarily a people person (but also a cat person), he shoots photographs that capture people as they are, as well as how he imagines them. Mathew believes that photographs only offer part of the truth, but never expose it in its entirely. Instead, he believes people always keep a part of themselves that is impossible to capture.

Mathew discovered his love of photography as a child on a road trip across the country that transplanted him from one coast to the other. He spent that trip shooting with a tiny plastic 110 camera from the back seat of a late 80’s Ford Aerostar. Later, as one of the early adopters of digital photography, Mathew found a new reason to embrace the medium.

Currently Mathew is focused on a number of projects that target his interest in DIY photographic experiments. “It’ll be fun,” he says. “It always is.”

Arlen RedekopArlen Redekop

Photojournalist • Facebook

Arlen is a newspaper photographer with 30 years experience, now working at the Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers. He has freelanced for UPI, Reuters, AP and CP wire services.

His first 8 years in the business was with a number of community newspapers in the Lower Mainland such as the Now newspapers, Tri-City/Maple Ridge News and the Surrey Leader.

He started his career at age 18 at the Maple Ridge Gazette and Coquitlam Herald weekly newspapers and has been a member of NPPA and WCNPA (now NPAC). Arlen has photographed a wide range of people, from Prime Ministers to residents and drug addicts in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Sports photography has also been his passion as a result of growing up playing most sports, including soccer and road hockey.

Arlen’s history with 12×12 dates back to its inaugural year, when he was dispatched to capture a shot of photo marathon creator Morten Rand-Hendriksen for the annual challenge’s first print media feature in The Province newspaper. It is only fitting that after five very successful years of this grassroots project, we invite him to participate in the 2013 12×12 as the year’s Master Judge.

12x12 on The Province

Building a Foundation with Kerrisdale Cameras

Posted by on August 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm. No comments

As an organizer of the 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon, people are sometimes surprised when they find out that I have virtually no background in photography. I’d never even changed a lens until Morten came around some 12 years ago toting his beloved EOS-1 and going on (and on) about some kooky idea of running with cameras. I also would have never realized that Kerrisdale Cameras existed a mere block away from home!

We vividly remember the first time we walked into the unassuming shop. Initially surprised by its modest surroundings, we quickly found out why there was no need for flash or frills. Rick was on hand to offer us not only advice and suggestions, but also a few useful photo tips. We had not gone in with the intention of buying anything and never felt pressured to go home with anything off the shelves. Some managers may think of that as a lost opportunity, but for all the years that followed, the Burnaby location of Kerrisdale became our shop of choice whenever we ‘needed’ a new toy and Rick became our go-to-guy for everything photo related. We’ve always wanted to team up with Kerrisdale Cameras and are very excited and proud to announce them as the official 2013 sponsor of 12×12’s film development, printing, and scanning.

Its unpretentious approach is what won us over and this is one of the qualities that has made Kerrisdale the province’s largest photo specialty chain. Now celebrating 52 years as a family owned and operated business, it is obvious that a solid foundation is at the root of this company’s history of success. As we oft like to do, we’re going to take you back in time. As we dial 1961 into the DeLorean, we strongly recommend that you bring a friend along to catch you when you faint at the sight of new houses going for $13,000.

While John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States, sweeping the nation off its feet half a century ago were go-go booted dancers prancing to the Pony and giving Surrender to Elvis’ gyrating hips, boat-sized guzzlers road-tripping at 7 cents a litre, Holly Golightly having her first Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Michael J. Fox taking his first breath 5 months after Wayne Gretzky. The average income may have been $5,000, but boy was it spent well, especially if you were snap happy because also saying hello to the world that year was the first Kerrisdale store in Vancouver.

Bob Hudson with a Canon F1 circa 1972

Bob Hudson with a Canon F1 circa 1972

Co-founded by Bob Hudson and his mother Mary, the original location on West 41st and Yew St has stood the test of time and continues to serve recreational and professional photographers seeking fair prices and sound advice. Having already had a good 10 years of experience selling cameras while studying commerce at UBC, Bob not only knew exactly what to ask to fit customers to the right equipment, but he also remembered all the answers the next time that same customer came back for an upgrade! Always progressive, the young entrepreneur was Googling well before it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

But staying ahead of the curve doesn’t mean forgetting the past. Just as a solid foundation grounds a business, a firm grasp of the principles of photography makes a photographer into an artist. For all its modern conveniences, the digital medium still doesn’t hold a candle to the nuances and richness that film photography affords. Why else would art schools continue to teach core photography programs using only film? While other specialty stores clear their shelves of range finders and manual drives, Kerrisdale continues to accept trade-ins and continues to process film. Morten and I never leave the store without gazing at the huge selection of classic cameras and are always floored by how much they now go for. They don’t make them like they used to, so consider taking home one of these gems.

Shelves upon shelves of 35mm cameras, lenses, and accessories for sale at Kerrisdale Cameras

Dilemma: Picking one out of so many 35mm cameras and lenses. Solution: Get one for each day of the week!

Linda Hudson, owner of Kerrisdale Cameras

Daughter Linda Hudson Carries on the Legacy Her Late Father Built

Kerrisdale’s web list of used film equipment is updated twice a week:

Used Film Cameras | Used Lenses & Lens Accessories

Boy, would we have had a blast shooting the breeze with Bob, who like his mother never stopped working at the main store. Having passed away in 2011, he is remembered fondly by the community and rests easy knowing that his daughter Linda now carries on the legacy he and his mother have built.

If you have any questions about the camera you’ll be running around with on August 31st, Kerrisdale is staffed with many photographers that still shoot in film, including Stuart at the Vancouver location who is so dedicated to the medium it is permanently inked on his arm. If anyone knows film, it would be him. With a collection of nearly 300 film cameras, Stuart still shoots entirely in the classic medium.

Film Tattoo on Stuart KennedyAnd here are the other sales associates that know their way around a film camera. Recognize any of ‘em? ;o)Kerrisdale Camera Associates That Still Shoot Film: Mike Wilson, Robert Anderson, Jolene Reiniger, John Roberts, Chris McDonaldKerrisdale Camera Associates That Still Shoot Film: Meghan Oram, Alex Hakonson, Bill Green, Jason Hamper, Lynann Colligan

It’s clear that another foundation for Kerrisdale’s success is its staff, almost 50% of which have been with the company for over 10 years! If you’ve been itching to buy a camera, ask any of them about this current promotion (which includes film cameras) ending August 31.Kerrisdale Cameras Promotion

2013 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon!

Posted by on July 15, 2013 at 9:20 am. No comments

2013 12x12 Press Release HeaderDRIVEN BY PHOTOGRAPHY
The 5th Annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon: Commercial Drive Edition

Vancouver, BC (July 15, 2013): Summer always sees the return of the city’s many beloved events. The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon is one of them and it is back on Saturday August 31st for another exhilarating round of creative challenges that is sure to inspire those driven by photography.

A 35mm camera being the only requirement, recreational and professional photographers will each be assigned a 12-exposure roll of film (yes, film!). Beginning at 10am and at the top of every hour for the next 12 hours, a theme will be randomly drawn and released. With only 1 exposure allowed for each theme, participants must interpret and capture them in the correct sequence and on time. Once the clock strikes 10pm, only the completed rolls that have been returned will move on to the final phase of the challenge. Negatives will be developed and judged after the marathon, the results of which will be showcased at a free public exhibit where more than 700 photos will be on display and the winning entries announced and celebrated.

Be it to express, provoke, document, exalt, or humble, all photographers are driven by an inexplicable compulsion to communicate using one of the most powerful mediums available: The camera. But is the ubiquity of smartphones, boasting upwards of 41 megapixels, now blurring the lines of communication? As much as people love to see mouth-watering food truck fare and impossibly cute kittens in crocheted costumes, one can’t help but wonder what effects this digital deluge will have on the classic art form of photography. 12×12 strips away all filters and effects to help you reconnect with your subject. “It has encouraged me to become more decisive in the way I photograph,” reflects 2012 winner Ryan Mah. “With a single image or many, what stays ‘in’ or ‘out’ of frame becomes crucial in telling a compelling story.” As 4-time marathoner Elizabeth Peña attests, “12×12 has allowed me to challenge the way I look at photography and the world…it presses your limitations and creativity.”

“If you’re driven by photography,” says creator Morten Rand-Hendriksen, “this ride’s for you.”

SATURDAY AUGUST 31st, 2013 • 10AM – 10PM

The 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon is the first not-for-profit annual photo marathon in British Columbia and one of the rare film-based ones in the world. It is open to anyone with a 35mm film camera. Tickets ($36 + Eventbrite fee each) must be purchased in advance, include film, and will go on sale at 8pm on Wednesday July 31st, 2013. Last year’s marathon sold out in 1 minute (that’s right, ONE minute), so mark your calendars if you don’t want to miss out on this highly anticipated event!

Check out the full 2013 12×12 Media Kit for more details!


For more information or to book an interview, please contact:
Angela Chih, Event Producer
c: 778.388.3690

Help-Portrait Vancouver

Posted by on November 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm. 2 comments

It’s a typically chilly Autumn day in Vancouver as the door of the Union Gospel Mission swings open. A blast of cold comes through, but with it also the warmth that emanates from the renewed soul of a man who has kicked his dark past life of addiction to the curb. Now a year clean, he is hoping to commemorate his new lease on life with a gift for his mother: the image of a transformed son with his life back on track. Ten years it has been since his image was last taken, and though happy at heart, he cannot smile for the camera lest he reveal the loss of all his teeth. A kind-hearted photographer gently coaxes him to do so without showing any of the signs indicative of prolonged drug habits and as the shutter releases, a new door opens, one through which the man now walks with a reawakened sense of purpose to share the moment with the one person he is most proud to celebrate this milestone with: Mom.

This is a true story. The year was 2011, the photographer is Roger Hur, and the project which enabled the aforementioned man to memorialize a turning point in his life is Help-Portrait Vancouver.

On Saturday December 1st 2012, a group of photographers, editors, and make-up artists will once again volunteer their time and talents to propel an annual international non-profit movement to give back to those who are less fortunate with the gift of a beautiful portrait. Spread over 60 countries in over 600 locations with more than 7000 photographers involved, we can all image how many inspirational stories have been shared throughout the world. This moment is when any one of us can help someone in Vancouver tell their story. If we pool our resources, we can easily help this wonderful project reach its goal of raising the $800 necessary to cover some basic but essential costs of production. Please consider contributing what you can through the link below.


Help-Portrait Vancouver Volunteers

We have the privilege of knowing two members of Help-Portrait Vancouver‘s organizing committee: 12x12ers Roger Hur and Bernard Ng, who have been involved with the project since its inaugural year in 2009. It was the vision of celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart that brought a world-wide community of photographers together. As its Mission states, Help-Portrait “is about GIVING the pictures, not taking them. These portraits are not for your portfolio, website, or for sale. Money isn’t involved here. This holiday season, you have the chance to give a family something they may have never had before – a portrait together.”

Help-Portrait Vancouver Roger Hur

It is easy to see why Help-Portrait has captured the hearts of so many. “The participants hold their heads higher,” says Hur. “They love all the fuss we make over them. It’s an experience that I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to every year. The people that come in aren’t used to the kind of attention we’re giving them. It’s a shock to their system.”

Help-Portrait Vancouver Bernard Ng

New to this year’s team of volunteers are Ryan Mah and Andres Vargas, 12x12ers as well! We are so proud to know these amazing men and commend them for being leaders in the photography community.

Like us, you probably want to see some of the incredible images given by Help-Portrait. The spirit of the Vancouver event however, is to preserve the anonymity and privacy of the recipients. All the photographs are deleted as soon as they are printed so that no individual can use them for any other purpose. It keeps the event very pure in its intent and that is to give the portrait to the person. We have our own portraits to share with you though. Here are our guys who are making a difference.

Roger Hur & Bernard NgRyan Mah & Andres Vargas

Help-Portrait LogoHelp-Portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate.

The goal is simple:
Find someone in need, take their portrait, print their portrait, and deliver them.

Yep. It’s really that easy.

2012 Winning Photos

Posted by on September 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm. No comments

60 marathoners registered for the fourth annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon and all 60 handed in their 12exp b&w 35mm rolls by 10pm on Saturday August 18th, 2012. From the 720 photos that we had developed, our judges selected winners for Best Series and Best Photo, along with Runner-Ups for both categories, as well as 1 winner for the best interpretation of each of the 12 themes. Here are the results that were revealed at Raw Talent 2012 on Saturday September 22nd at the magnificent Salt Building in the Olympic Village:

Best Series: #01 Ryan Mah

Judges’ Remarks:

“My personal photographic style dictates that I “shoot it as I find it.” There’s no room in my documentary work for staged photos. So, obviously, I’m not going to give the ultimate prize to some manipulated, overly-staged photo series, right? Wrong! Not only am I awarding my vote to a “staged” series, I’m awarding it to the most audaciously, overtly and gloriously staged series in this years’ 12×12 competition. What right do I have to let personal bias prevent such a deliciously wicked story from taking this years’ top honours?”

“The level of preparation and effort that went into this series is notable, and the photographer managed to construct a coherent story while following the themes. There is mystery, drama, action, and a bit of humour. The execution is great, the photos are composed well and enjoyable individually, too.”

Best Series Runner-Up: #18 Phil Jones

Judges’ Remarks:

“This very strong collection of photos is let down only by frames 10 and 11. And, although I ultimately voted for only one of these photos as “best in theme,” many of them actually made it into my “top-3” list in numerous categories. The photographer’s skill is evident throughout, and the photographic quality is high (as is the cleverness of many photos). Aside from the 2-frame letdown, the only thing standing between Marathoner #18 and victory was Marathoner #1.”

“Fantastic series in the recurring use of games, the photographer shows ingenuity and wit in every photo. They’re all well executed, many have a vintage feel to them. Even considering the missing photo, the series stands out because of the number of hits.”

Best Photo:

Jackie Dives (#06) for Theme 07: Top

Jackie Dives (#06) for Theme 07: Top

Judges’ Remarks:

“Beautiful tones, beautiful girl and a seductive glance that captivates me — hypnotizing me into a waking dream in which I am the lucky recipient of such a glance. This is a photo that could and would continue to seduce me for many years.”

“Stunning photo. Portraits like this are an excellent choice for the B+W format. The subject looks moody, ticked off even. That she is seated on a staircase suggests she might be waiting for someone who stood her up. Her gaze makes the viewer a bit uneasy, as if they have disturbed her or are otherwise unwelcome. The bokeh is great, nice clean lines, visually appealing and not distracting. The composition is too, free from clutter at the edges. The hat is wonderfully lit, with subtle tonal variation and great texture.”

Best Photo Runner-Up:

Ryan Mah (#01) for Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass

Ryan Mah (#01) for Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass

Judges’ Remarks:

“Looks like an old private eye from the 30’s. Especially since the photo is black and white. Very good way to make use of the black and white format! It looks like the subject is in a sunken sidewalk slightly below street level, observing their subject from across the street. I like the way the subject’s head is framed inside the circle, and the use of repeated circles (of the binocular lenses, and even the reflection inside the lenses) is an appealing feature.”

Individual Theme Winners:

Theme 01: My Entry Number + Colour by Allison McDougall (#12)

Theme 01: My Entry Number + Colour by Allison McDougall (#12)

Judges’ Remarks:

“This one immediately struck me as clever, whimsical. The way the eggs are lined up on the street personifies them a bit. As if they’re standing around waiting for a bus, or taking a rest. The choice of subject highlights the contestant’s number a bit more, since everyone knows eggs are sold by the dozen. I like the simplicity. It’s very clean.”

Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass by Dave Fell (#41)

Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass by Dave Fell (#41)

Judges’ Remarks:

“The most literally interpreted theme in this years’ competition: Should I vote for one of the many excellent interpretations of the camera looking through glass? Or should I vote for one of the many charming and literally literal Lewis Carroll references? Neither! I opted for the most demented of literal interpretations. And, in this case, I’d have to say that Marathoner #41 nailed it.”

“Beautiful composition. The reflection in the three lens fragments is fantastic: each of the reflected images in the the lens fragments overlaps with each other (the building and the tree), and they provide a nice spatter of lowlights on an otherwise light background. Only complaint is the shallow depth of field. It does draw the eye nicely to the center of the broken fragments, but I would have liked to see a bit more in focus.”

Theme 03: Nude by Monica Chow (#05)

Theme 03: Nude by Monica Chow (#05)

Judges’ Remarks:

“Clever! Great concept, great composition. Took me a few minutes and some Googling before I was able to identify the background subject as the Gassy Jack statue. I wish it was in focus a bit more, it blends into the background scene a bit too well. The choice of foreground photo is great, the white sheets give it a nice neutral context and helps for that sharp distinction between the paper and the rest of the scene. The overall tones are great, since the (lighter) centre image is framed nicely by the dark background. By suggesting a nude sculpture, it reminds me of Michelangelo’s David.”

Theme 04: In 20 Years by Aaron Macfarlane (#04)

Theme 04: In 20 Years by Aaron Macfarlane (#04)

Judges’ Remarks:

“A most astute method for illustrating generations eclipsing previous generations. Poetic to read. Soothing to view.”

“Here are three different ages of paving surfaces: Bricks, old asphalt and new asphalt. Great theme interpretation, by capturing the progression. The photo is aesthetically pleasing due to its simplicity. This photographer is a keen observer, many others wouldn’t have noticed this when searching for their shot.”

Theme 05: Old School by Chaunce Drury (#34)

Theme 05: Old School by Chaunce Drury (#34)

Judges’ Remarks:

“The literal interpretation of an old school with the vintage desk is a nice touch. Again, goes very well with the B+W. The dead centre framing of the subject gives it a bit of staleness, blandness, which are common attributes when you think of a school; especially, a high or junior high school, which appears to be the case here. The book, also apparently old, adds a bit of interest to the photo (I wonder what subject it is?). The background is great. Clean, goes very well with the photo with its bland painted concrete floor and plain wall.”

Theme 06: Three Times by Ryan Mah (#01)

Theme 06: Three Times by Ryan Mah (#01)

Judges’ Remarks:

“We see the figure in a very dramatic scene after just having murdered three people with a hatchet. Its a peculiar scene for at least two reasons: 1) the murderer is a woman with a ponytail and pearl earrings (not your typical axe-murderer), and 2) it looks like a public place in broad daylight. The elevated perspective is nice, it allows the viewer to survey the scene and reflect on what has just happened. Great focus as well, and the darkly dressed figure really stands out.”

“I don’t know what is going on here, but I love this photo. Great feel to it.”

Theme 07: Top by Roger Hur (#09)

Theme 07: Top by Roger Hur (#09)

Judges’ Remarks:

“Love the humour in this one. Not only from the shocked expression on the boy’s face after getting caught in an act of mischief, but also because I find it absurd that a store would stock Pringles on the top of a shelf full of cleaning products. The pop of the starburst flash echoes the boy’s surprise, and really adds to the photo. The girl is too mesmerized by the food to be aware of the situation. The lighting is fantastic. Not only with the flash and lens flare, but also the refrigerated isle fades nicely into the background, and the shelf of products is lit perfectly.”

Theme 08: Hide by Collin Varner (#43)

Theme 08: Hide by Collin Varner (#43)

Judges’ Remarks:

“This is just a great photo. Period. I’d have been forced to vote for it even if it didn’t adhere to the theme. I would like to suggest that the photographer be recognized as the winner, but that the SUBJECT receive the prize, since she is the one who most-sacrificed for the sake of art. A collaborative masterpiece.”

“Another playful one. In this case, either the subject has been caught in the process of hiding, or, (my preferred interpretation) like a cartoon ostrich, believes that hiding her head is sufficient. In a more serious tone, what could make her want to hide badly enough to climb a fire escape ladder in an alley behind Abbot St.?”

“Compositionally this works really well and I like the somewhat unsettled feeling the viewer has because of the tilt.”

Theme 09: Clever by Ryan Mah (#01)

Theme 09: Clever by Ryan Mah (#01)

Judges’ Remarks:

“This depiction of what is, perhaps, the most deliciously destructive mickey ever slipped into a beverage, will have evil super-villains wringing their hands in gleeful appreciation.”

“Great pose, the subject is leaning back and you can almost hear her maniacal cackle. As clever as she appears to think she is, this looks like one of those schemes that just won’t pan out, so, possibly in combination with the attire, I’m imagining a bumbling villain. The subject’s head is nicely framed up by the tower in the background, and the big bright glasses and teeth really make the face pop out.”

Theme 10: Float by Kennedy Hunter (#32)

Theme 10: Float by Kennedy Hunter (#32)

Judges’ Remarks:

“In a hotly contested category with many wonderful shots, I simply found myself drawn to this photo the most. Visually arresting, ethereal and beautiful.”

“Great interpretation. A lonely leaf, withered and delicate, floating in air rather than liquid. It’s slightly blurred, giving a sense of motion which aids the theme. Apart from the misaligned vertical element (a pipe?) the bokeh is wonderful, soft and clean, and the leaf is perfectly positioned over it. The grain of the film really shows well.”

Theme 11: Background Story by Chris McDonald (#45)

Theme 11: Background Story by Chris McDonald (#45)

Judges’ Remarks:

“The background story here I think is referring to Coffeebar, the home base of this year’s 12×12. If that’s the case, then this photo does a great job of conveying the marathoner’s perspective. It is slightly hazy and dimly lit, Coffeebar looks empty, and the streets are fairly quiet, showing signs of waning energy as the marathon draws to a close. The repeating pattern of street lamps is attractive without being distracting.”

Theme 12: (D)Evolved by Monica Chow (#05)

Theme 12: (D)Evolved by Monica Chow (#05)

Judges’ Remarks:

“It took three days for me to cast my vote for this theme but, in the end, the simple fact that I laughed every single time I looked at this photo was sufficient justification to declare it “top photo in the category.””

“Clever take on the classic “evolution of man” drawing, which is commonly parodied with the last figure devolving into a crouched position at a computer desk. So this is a photographic parody of the parody, great! I’m not sure if its intentional that the middle photographer is aiming at the front photographer’s butt (I guess not, because in the EOM drawing each figure is a state which is isolated from the others).”

Marathoners Who Were Also in the Running:

For Best Series & Runner-Up:

#03 Yuki Takahashi & #20 Fiona Howarth

For Best Photo & Runner-Up:

#02 Bob Lai for Theme 08: Hide + #03 Yuki Takahashi for Theme 03: Nude
#04 Aaron Macfarlane for Theme 04: In 20 Years + #43 Collin Varner for Theme 08: Hide

For Theme 01: My Entry Number + Colour

#11 Andrew Topalov + #15 Richard Markus

For Theme 02: Through the Looking Glass

#01 Ryan Mah + #50 Daylene Marshall

For Theme 03: Nude

#07 Zachary Wong + #18 Phil Jones

For Theme 04: In 20 Years

#10 Pedro Nunes + #20 Fiona Howarth

For Theme 05: Old School

#14 John Roberts + #57 Ryan Marchant

For Theme 06: Three Times

#57 Ryan Marchant

For Theme 07: Top

#05 Monica Chow + #11 Andrew Topalov

For Theme 08: Hide

#02 Bob Lai

For Theme 09: Clever

#02 Bob Lai + #25 Evelyn Dawson

For Theme 10: Float

#01 Ryan Mah + #20 Fiona Howarth

For Theme 11: Background Story

#11 Andrew Topalov + #12 Allison McDougall

For Theme 12: (D)Evolved

#12 Allison McDougall + #43 Collin Varner


Posted by on September 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm. One comment

Click here to download a PDF version of this press release


Raw Talent 2012 on September 22nd at the Salt Building

Vancouver, BC (September 5, 2012): Imagine capturing 12 frames on 12 themes in a single roll of 12 exposure film over the course of 12 hours during one of Vancouver’s hottest summer days. That’s what 60 adventurous photographers did, and to honour their results, we’re having a big party that the entire city is invited to. Come and celebrate the art of film photography as the excitement of that day’s events is relived at the 4th annual 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon Exhibit. Every image will be on display in its purest and unedited form, making this unique event a true showcase of Raw Talent.


There was no surprise when the theme “My Entry Number”* was announced in hour one of the 2012 12×12, but when we threw “+ Colour” into the mix to be interpreted in black & white film, marathoners knew it wasn’t going to be an easy cycle. “Through the Looking Glass”* they explored the city, the bright summer rays exposing the “Nude”* nooks and crannies that have transformed Gastown so much “In 20 Years.”* Toting “Old School”* photo gear, most wished they could shoot their subjects “Three Times”* to increase their chances at the “Top”* prize. Even though some said they wanted to “Hide”* their shots, we know they were all very “Clever.”* Whatever may “Float”* your boat, you’ll be sure to find it at Raw Talent, where you’ll get the full “Background Story”* behind each “(D)Evolved”* frame.

Over 700 photos will be on display and the winning prints announced. Join the fun on Saturday September 22nd as 60 marathoners regroup with nervous anticipation to find out how their images developed. You won’t want to miss this always highly anticipated one-night event!


For more information or to book an interview, please contact:
Angela Chih, Event Producer
Click here to email Angela
c: 778.388.3690

* The 12 themes – in sequence – randomly drawn during the 2012 12×12 Vancouver Photo Marathon which was held on August 18 at Coffeebar in Gastown

Raw Talent is a free public event for the entire city to enjoy and is supported in full by its fans and sponsors. If you would like to help, please consider a contribution to our Crowdfunding Project.
♥ Thank you! ♥

2012 12x12 Marathoners