Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Saoyú-Ɂehdacho National Historic Site

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

In August Fritz was invited by Parks Canada to photograph the week-long Sahtu Dene Knowledge Camp in the Saoyú-Ɂehdacho National Historic Site.  

Saoyú and Ɂehdacho are two peninsulas at the western end of Great Bear Lake, a cultural landscape of significant spiritual and historic importance to the people of Délįne. At over 5,000 sq km it’s Canada’s largest national historic site – about the size of Prince Edward Island!

Nahanni National Park

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

This was Fritz’s first trip to Nahanni, and what a trip it was. Parks Canada took a small team on a 10-day whirlwind tour to many of Nahanni’s great sites – Glacier Lake, Cirque of the Unclimbables, Rabbitkettle,  tufa mounds, Virginia Falls – to refresh the park’s photo collection.

Naats’ihch’oh National Park

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

This summer Fritz was invited by Parks Canada to photograph one of the country’s newest park reserves. Officially established just a year ago, Naats’ihch’oh is an extensive wilderness adjacent and north of Nahanni National Park. The small crew spent a week exploring the park.

Klondike National Historic Sites

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

It’s always a good time in Dawson City! Parks Canada was looking to rejuvenate their image collection for the complex of national historic sites in the Klondike, and they invited Fritz for a 2-day power shoot this summer.

Drones and Aurora

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

[by Fritz]  Here in the North we’ve been enjoying an auroral peak over the past few years. From September to April, if skies are clear and geomagnetic activity is good, there’s a decent chance of seeing the northern lights. Over the past four winters I’ve been shooting the aurora around the circumpolar north, from Alaska to Norway, which is why I got an unusual call last March from a colleague in Vancouver.

Gyronimo Aerials is a production company that specializes in low level aerials. But this crew stands apart from all the drone upstarts out there – almost everyone on the Gyronimo team has a background in film production and cinematography. They’ve been around for awhile and they do beautiful work. Patrick had pitched an idea to their partners at DJI (the multinational drone manufacturer), and the company bought in.

They wanted to come north with some new technology and a Sony A7s to shoot aerials of the northern lights. This is the first time the aurora has been filmed in real-time from a UAV. Patrick used to live in the Yukon, and he knows you don’t just show up and decide to shoot the aurora. There are lots of variables, and it can be quite a chase. They also wanted to tell a story, so he also brought along a director to craft something more than a reel.

They scrambled north and we crisscrossed the Yukon – from the Dempster to Kluane to the South Klondike Highway – in search of dramatic locations and aurora pulses. I worked on this production as an assistant producer, but being in front of the camera was new for me. They were a great crew to work with, and I believe they nicely captured some of the experiences that I’ve had over the past few winters. You can also read about this shoot on the DJI blog

Watch the video:

Yukon Quest “pup-arazzi” at Casavant Kennels

Friday, January 9th, 2015

[by Teresa]  If I was a sleddog, I know where I’d want to live: on an acreage near Tagish, Yukon, where I’d be fed stew and given massages and tucked into a cosy building on those frigid winter nights. It’s also the home of Normand Casavant and Karine Grenier, subjects of a documentary film being shot by Red Letter Films that follows veteran musher, Normand, as he prepares to race in the Yukon Quest.

The production company hired us to do a portrait shoot of Normand’s dogs. The portraits are under wraps until the race, but here are some of the behind-the-scenes shots from our day at Casaventures Kennels. It was overcast so we set up an outdoor studio right in the dogyard, and Karine worked with us all day as we shot portraits of their 30 dogs. Normand and Karine are lovely, and their dogs were fun to work with – it was one of the more delightful shoots we’ve done.

The Yukon Quest is a month away. The legendary 1000-mile dogsled race starts in Whitehorse on February 7. Good luck to Normand and the team – we’ll be at the start line watching!




Daisy’s Christmas

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

A short film about the spirit of Christmas. Happy holidays!

Daisy yearns to be included in holiday festivities with her family. But what she finds is more enduring…


A film by Fritz Mueller and Teresa Earle
Story and editing – Teresa Earle
Camera – Fritz Mueller
Composer and sound designer – Jordy Walker
Daisy’s family – Robyn Mueller, Stella Mueller, Teresa Earle, Bill Earle
Thanks to Jayden Soroka

Filmed in Whitehorse, Yukon
copyright Fritz Mueller Photography 2012


Robert Service in full color

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

There’s gold, and it’s haunting and haunting;
It’s luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn’t the gold that I’m wanting
So much as just finding the gold.
It’s the great, big, broad land ‘way up yonder,
It’s the forests where silence has lease;
It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It’s the stillness that fills me with peace.

                                    from the Spell of the Yukon, Robert Service

[by Fritz] Last month I headed to Dawson City to shoot the Klondike National Historic Sites for the Canadian Tourism Commission. Most of the talent we pulled in were Parks Canada staff whose jobs had just ended for the season, along with some keen locals and a few tourists. It was supposed to look like a ‘summer’ shoot, but fall was in full swing here in September so we embraced it.

One afternoon we spent some time at Robert Service Cabin. Most visitors to Dawson seek out the home of the famous poet known for his verses about the Klondike Gold Rush. The weather had been cloudy and cold, but while we were there the sun beamed into the historic site. For a short time we were surrounded by magic light and golden fall colour.

While leading us around town on a walking tour, Parks Canada heritage interpreter Fred Osson became Robert Service. By the time we arrived at the cabin, we’d been listening to Fred recite Service ballads and spout off tall tales like Service. I found myself lowering the camera so I could watch the famous bard. I caught myself thinking: this actually is Robert Service, and I really am standing here on the boardwalk in 1903.

It’s easy to think about historic times in monochromatic black and white like we see in the old photos, yet Service’s life was full of colour. That afternoon Fred animated Robert Service’s world for us. Fred is incredibly gifted at what he does, and he took us back a hundred years. We re-created a historic photograph in front of the cabin porch, with Fred teasing us in and out of the past. Oddly, it was 100 years almost to the day since Service left the Yukon for good.

I’ve been to Dawson many times, yet I felt something significant at the cabin that day, like I’d travelled through time and found Klondike gold myself. It was a testament to the power of interpretation.

Anatomy of a portrait shoot on a blindingly bright day

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

[by Fritz] This summer I got a call from Shell Canada and Canadian Geographic to shoot the Kitchen-Kuiack family of Marsh Lake, Yukon. They’re one of six Canadian families competing in The Energy Diet Challenge. For three months Brian, Marguerite, Simone and Marika have been reducing every aspect of their energy consumption in a battle to win a 2012 Toyota Prius.

The busy Kitchen-Kuiack family were only available for two hours and the Shell Canada client was flying in for the shoot. The day before, I drove out to the house to quickly scout the location and meet Brian Kitchen. That day, the light conditions were perfect: overcast with bright open shadows.

Next morning it’s a brilliant, cloudless sunny day and by 8 am it already feels like high noon. When we arrive at 8:45 everyone cheerily points out that the weather is perfect. Not exactly! This kind of light is a photographer’s nightmare, with contrast so high that it exceeds the camera’s dynamic range. We have a long list of shots to cover in less than two hours so we get right to work. My mind is scrambling trying to figure out how to reduce the contrast with the location options we have.

We start with interior shots because it’s easier to manage the light by tacking black fabric over the windows to create an instant studio. I’ve brought my Einstein strobes and Paul C. Buff modifiers – Rob Galbraith has good reviews of this gear. We work through a series of individual and family portraits in the Kitchen’s cozy living room, including Thomas, the agreeable family cat. Because the energy challenge will be in the fall and winter, we light a fire in the fireplace, even though it’s July. I’m already sweating, and within 20 minutes everyone else is too.

Next we move outside, and though it’s a hot sunny day the Kitchens gamely wear jeans and sweatshirts. The locations I scouted yesterday don’t work today in the bright sun, so we change the plan. I’ve decided on a couple of distinctive backdrops where we can hide from the sun behind their sheds so I have more control over the light. I’m underexposing the camera and pumping in light with the Einsteins with 1 CTO gels to create a warm low-sun feel. Whew… less than two hours after we arrived, we’re packing up our gear and saying good-bye.

The Stuff of an Olympian

Monday, April 12th, 2010

[by Fritz] I remember watching this vibrant Australian blonde win gold in aerial ski jumping during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. She made it look so easy, and the Aussies went mad when she won. Four years later this same feisty girl took bronze at Turin. In a TV interview she talked about overcoming a string of injuries and broken bones and multiple concussions to do it. I remember wondering what motivated her to compete in such a crazy sport.

A few months ago I got a last-minute call from the Canadian Tourism Commission to shoot one of the 2010 torchbearers in the Yukon. Australian sports superstar and double-medallist Alisa Camplin was coming to run through the streets of Dawson City. I read that Sports Illustrated once listed her as one of the world’s ten sexiest Olympians. Only after reading about the shocking physical challenges she’d faced – she’d broken this and broken that and re-tore ligaments just four months before Turin – did I remember seeing her on TV.

It was a dark morning in Dawson, and Alisa’s torch run was short with disappointing backdrops. That was one shoot I could have really used my new high ISO camera (Canon 1D Mark IV). She was being covered by a pack of media, but in those few minutes she was really gracious and worked hard to give us good shots. She seemed to appreciate the attention in a genuine way.

Later, in the empty bar at the Downtown Hotel, I spent a couple of hours with Alisa and her boyfriend while they played pool and I was uploading files. They were really nice people, and I got to ask Alisa my questions about how she did it.

When she was about four years old she remembers deciding that some day she was going to win the Olympics, only she didn’t know yet which sport. She tried some typical Australian sports, and somehow ended up a skiing aerialist in a country with little snow.  She said she had lots of momentum to win the gold medal, but she had to work much harder and is way more proud of her bronze medal four years later. The physical and mental challenges sounded huge the second time around.

In Dawson she talked about wanting a family, and that her new dream was to be a doctor of sports medicine. But she also seemed doubtful and thought it was probably too late, so instead maybe she’d become a nurse or physical therapist. It was amazing to hear these crazy stories of how hard she pushed herself as an athlete, and you’d think someone with her willpower and courage would have it all figured out. But like lots of us she’s also grappling with unfulfilled dreams and lack of confidence.

I really enjoyed meeting Alisa, and I appreciated her openness about her personal triumphs and challenges. I hope she finds success with her new dreams.