• Tyler A.W. Burke

2020: A brief retrospective.

Call it luck, call it redeemed momentum: 2020 was a year of growth and fulfillment for my photography and filmmaking endeavours.

Here's a quick round-up of some of my favourite projects, moments, and mile-markers from 2020:

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Spring 2020: capturing PlayCity Hike Days with friends, new and old. 2020 was truly the breakout year for this initiative I developed and launched in 2019 as a community-building and user-engagement piece for tech start-up PlayCity. It was fulfilling to now be able to photograph and film the first few Hike Days of the season, seeing first-hand the stories of connection and discovery these Hikes have made possible. (The above photo is of my long-time friend, and all-round outdoors guru Tyler Shogren and his pup Piper, who joined us for the first 2020 Hike Day around Upper Kananaskis Lake.)

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Spring-Summer 2020: beginning to develop my work as a street photographer / capturing the day-to-day realities of the COVID-19 pandemic in Calgary. I have admired the genre of street photography from afar for years now; 2020 was the year I finally got out there and started creating street photographs of my own. Being mindful of how I was capturing the day-to-day experiences of real people during the pandemic helped me hone an unobtrusive and respectful street technique and, eventually, a style that I find artistically fulfilling. My street photography got an early nod of acknowledgement in December: one of my street photos was featured in a CBC exhibition documenting the work of local photographers. I continue to develop my own street methods and style week-in-week-out and I have given some thought to developing a low-budget zine in 2021 (stay tuned, maybe).

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Fall-Winter 2020: beginning to shoot weddings and engagements. I have been actively apprehensive about working in the wedding industry for years now, politely turning down gigs whenever they came up. It seemed to me to be an oversaturated market and I knew that to produce quality wedding photographs one needed intimate knowledge of various styles of photography - not to mention some serious creative stamina. Having shot more events, headshots, and portraits this year, and with my (perfectionist/visually-attuned) partner working alongside me, I finally felt prepared to take on a few projects this year as a trial run. The first was a beautiful, non-traditional ceremony in Lake Louise where we were treated to rain, sunshine, and snow in the span of a single day. This project proved to be the first of a handful this year, and I now have wedding bookings penned well into 2021. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with couples to capture their big days!

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Fall 2020: shooting new interiors for new clients. I have been photographing interiors and architecture for a couple years now; 2020 was a year of expansion for this area of my work. Especially memorable was a larger-scale shoot (the above photo being taken from that set) for EllisDon in the fall. The perfectionist in me loves capturing the clean lines and geometric perspectives required by these shoots.

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Fall 2020: Fujifilm features. After four years together my partner and I finally took our first holiday together in August; as we were limited by COVID-19 to our own country, we headed for the west coast: Vancouver Island. Of course, I brought WAY too much photography gear for a relaxing break from work and life in Calgary. While I learned that lesson the hard way (sorry Nat), I did capture a few photographs on that trip (one, above) that caught the eye of Fujifilm, eventually turning into a set of features on their North American, Mexican, and Moroccan social channels. Now on their radar, I have another North American feature lined up for January/February. More than anything, it has been neat to get some international recognition for photography I am doing for myself, without any real agenda.

I am very much looking forward to continuing the journey 2020 was a part of. Here's to another year of photography, filmmaking, and progressing further in both crafts!

Tyler A.W. Burke

© 2020 Tyler A.W. Burke / TAWB Creative Visual Works
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