Working in the movies Ed Araquel made a skillful move into film stills and has never looked back. In grade 11, I won a Pentax ME Super 35mm camera by entering my name into a contest at the local department store. I was instantly hooked and shot everything I could in high school. In university, working towards an engineering degree, my free time went to zero and my love of photography was put on the back burner for a long while.  After graduating and working several years as a computer consultant, my girlfriend and I were planning a trip to Hawaii. I thought to myself, "I should really get a camera", and since then, I haven't stopped making pictures. My renewed photography career began simply enough shooting my friends' mountain biking exploits or their bands playing at the local clubs and then onto more professional bands and then dancers at a dance school. All of this culminated in my first professional shoot for Alex O'Neal, a singer in Minneapolis, who needed photos for the cover of his latest album, Saga of a Married Man. I did the shoot with the only two cameras I had: a Nikon F5 and a Nikon Coolpix 990 (my very first digital camera with a whopping 3 megapixels!). It worked out well and Bobby Z, Prince's ex-drummer who was producing Alex's album, even gave me a raise. From then on, I needed to become a full-time pro photographer. Within a year, I had quit my job at the Mayo Clinic and moved to Vancouver. I committed myself to building up a photography portfolio with a specialization in people but it was a phone call from a local production company that set me onto the world of unit stills photography.  I've always loved movies and to think that film and tv productions needed photographers to capture images to be used in the promotion and sale of these productions was just mind blowing to me. I mean, you want me to hang around set, get interesting images of people and events that happen on and off camera, AND you'll pay for me and my equipment? Where do I sign up? Of course, it's not quite that easy: to get in and get known, not to mention knowing how to manoeuvre on a set with all its etiquette and politics, took a lot of work. Sometimes I would have to work three movies at the same time or one movie would be on a day shift and the next movie would be on a night shift so I would get no sleep in between. Still, the trip has been fun. I have met many friends along the way and have made many photos that I am honestly proud of. Being a stills photographer for film and television studios means being versatile: at times you need to be a fashion/ portrait photographer, a forensic photographer, a product photographer, a documentary photographer and even an amateur snapshot photographer. It requires many different skill-sets and knowledge but first and foremost, you need to be a problem-solver because most times you will not get the ideal position for photographing a scene or the ideal weather. Sometimes you'll need to be able to get a professional-looking studio portrait photo under the most adverse conditions. I have had to shoot gallery photos by taping a paper backdrop to the side of a transport truck for a makeshift photo studio. Any way you can, you need to get the shots the studio needs. My first professional gig circa 2001: portrait of singer Alex O'Neal Daydream Nation (2010).  Quinn Lord and Natasha Calis share a secret kiss. Daydream Nation (2010).  Josh Lucas, as Barry Anderson, in a sequence that pays homage to Taxi Driver. Daydream Nation (2010).  Kat Dennings, as Caroline Wexler, in a camera angle not filmed in the movie. Helen (2009).  Ashley Judd, as Helen Leonard, on her way to Mathilda's (Lauren Lee Smith's) place. Helen (2009).  Ashley Judd preparing to enter the water for a scene on a cold and windy fall day. This ended up being the poster shot for the movie. The Hurt Locker (2008).  Director Kathryn Bigelow directs Evangeline Lilly and Jeremy Renner in their characters' home far away from the battle front. The Hurt Locker (2008).  Jeremy Renner, as Sgt. First Class William James, plays with his son thus depicting his boring and quiet home life compared to being in combat. Icarus (2010).  Dolph Lundgren, as Icarus, hunts down his would-be assassins. Odysseus & The Isle of Mists (2008).  Arnold Vosloo, as Odysseus, rises out of a vat of blood set as a trap to attack the beast hunting his men. Snowmageddon (2011).  Beth (Laura Harris) and her daughter Jennifer (Magda Apanowicz) escape from their just crashed helicopter. The Hole (2009).  One of the creatures, as a manifestation of Lucas' (Nathan Gamble's) fear, creeps out of The Hole.
Battle in Seattle (2007). Ray Liotta, as Mayor Jim Tobin, contemplates his next decision and the ongoing riot outside. Drew Seeley waits for the stage lights to come up in Another Cinderella Story (2008) Back to current issue