Calgary Photographer Neville Palmer

What brought out your interest in photography? How’d you get started?

When I was a very young kid I got a Kodak 126(?) cassette type camera for Christmas. I used it to make images of things that were important to me – my dog, my family, the usual stuff. I felt that if I had these precious things in pictures they would live forever. I didn’t show them to anyone really, they were for me. By around the age of fourteen or so I borrowed my Dads Braun Paxette rangefinder so often he helped me to get my own slr. This was a Practika L2 which will make those who know this camera both smile and knot their brow simultaneously. I had a couple of lenses to go with it. Often I would be in the school darkroom developing and printing black and whites.

What is your favorite subject matter – and why?

I really love shooting people, most particularly on location and especially if they interest me personally. I love to shoot artists, athletes and people that are a little bit weird. We are all a little bit weird and I love to try to get people to let me in on their kind of weirdness. I love to find out about other peoples perspectives, what lights them up? It’s very special.

Location shooting lets you solve problems as they evolve which I find very stimulating once I forget to be scared.

How long have you been pursuing a career (or part-time career) in photography?

Trying to work professionally since leaving the military in 2000, at first part time and full time since emigrating to Canada in 2005.

Who or what is your greatest influence?

At the moment I would have to say it’s my kids, Grace and Hannah. Their fresh excitement and enthusiasm is a constant reminder to me of how my own life should be.

Describe your dream photography job. What makes it so?

Spending a couple of weeks shooting editorial images with the Cirque de Soleil. I can only imagine it would be like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole and hanging out with strange gifted people and crazy sets and make up. To also be able to experience the hardship and suffering that performance at this level pretty much demands. This would truly be a dream job.

How do you think your work is unique from others? What makes it yours? Style? Subject matter? Context?

I think that a life lived gives you your particular uniqueness. A perspective entirely dependent on the endless variables that have shaped it. I’ve had some pretty interesting experiences, missed death by a breath on a couple of occasions and that has to some degree influenced my whole outlook. I was hit by lightning near the top of a mountain when I was younger and that really sensitized me, kind of like a switch being thrown. I believe we are all works of art and we all have something to say, even if it is just “here I am. See me”.

What is your most effective marketing strategy so far?

I’ll get back to you on that one.

What is your pet peeve about photographers (or photography)? Or do you simply not have one?

I don’t mind how anyone expresses themselves.

What personal projects are you working on at the moment?

I have been shooting small town Canadian amateur rodeo for the last eleven years. I keep thinking I should put some of the images into a book or something. I have won a couple of competitions with some shots from this body of work but I’ve never had an exhibition or anything.

I have an ongoing project shooting athletes and performers which I enjoy immensely.

Your most favorite 5 pieces of gear are?

I’m not really a gear head but these are five things I really appreciate using:

Fuji x100t
Red Wing booms
Studio stand
Wacom tablet
Wireless triggers

When I am editing my playlist depends on what kind of mood I am hoping to achieve as I find the finished product is greatly influenced by the sounds going in. Sometimes singer songwriter, female vocalists, sometimes binaural beats, sometimes punk and old ska.

Website URL:
Instagram URL:
Facebook Page:
Phone: 403 336 1499


Print Friendly, PDF & Email