A photographer who has travelled extensively through British Columbia and Alberta, Chloe Hibbert’s favourite season to photograph is the window between autumn and winter. “It’s my absolute favourite when everything gets dusted with snow but the lakes aren’t frozen yet so you get that beautiful reflection in the water. It’s just perfect,” says Hibbert. Her go-to places in the Rocky Mountains are Moraine Lake, Johnston Canyon trail (especially in the winter when the ice formations are breathtaking) and the view from the little beehive trail at Lake Louise. Here’s how @clo.photo found inspiration in the Canadian Rockies.
Describe a typical day in your life
I work for the family company and typically my life in the workplace is either behind a desk staring at a huge computer screen or squinting through the viewfinder of my camera in the photography room.
Once I get home I’m either off to yoga or plonking myself in front the computer again to work on portraits or landscape images.
Weekends are like gold to me.
It’s a chance to get outside and escape the glow of the computer screen. Although much of my life is spent in an office-style setting, I constantly feel satisfied by the end results.
What do you find inspirational about the Canadian Rockies?
This was a tough one to nail down not because there aren’t things about the Rockies that inspire me but because it runs deeper than simply being impressed with the landscape.
Some of my best memories of the mountains have been during the worst times in my life.
During those times I rarely took note of my surrounding and often was just lost in thought and would aimlessly take pictures along the hiking trails.
I was adjusting to different changes and not dealing with it very well. I enjoyed being away from people and just taking time to myself without the buzz of the city in my ear.
Over time, as I spent more time up there, it morphed into an appreciation for the landscape and I started to take nature photography a little more seriously.
I felt inspired by the way each view and scene would adapt to a new season. It would look different and feel different but it was still the same scene.
It really encouraged me to be okay with change and know that if I stand fast and have courage, the changes in my life will adapt to me and everything will be okay.
Name three favourite restaurants in Canada
In downtown Calgary there is a French restaurant called Parc Brasserie which I really love.
I’m a huge fan of Indian cuisine so Namskar is one of my favourite places to go in Calgary when I need some spice in my life.
Finally I am a HUGE fan of diners, especially when they serve a good Eggs Benedict so the Blue Star diner in the downtown Bridgeland Community is definitely my place of comfort when I need a hearty, healthy breakfast.
If you had to live somewhere else in Canada where would you go?
Do you have any advice for photographers/instagrammers visiting Canada?
Also, bring good socks. It’s cold here.
Name three places on your bucket list
When did you become a photographer?
I became a photographer, so to speak, as soon as I started my Instagram account.
I’d been doing jobs since I was 17, mostly for family and friends but I remember the first time I considered myself a real photographer was when I was writing my bio information for my Instagram account.
I am mostly self-taught but I’ve taken a couple courses here and there.
My full time job is in advertising. I do all the product photos for the company. I also do portrait sessions part time which makes my landscape work even more part time.
Life is very busy but diverse and I like that!
What are the pros and cons of Instagram vs commercial photography?
From a personal standpoint, commercial photography is likely going to make me more money. I suppose that’s one difference between the two.
Instagram is a sharing platform, so typically I see the benefit of it as a way to express myself, which is fun because you have complete control over the content you post whereas you don’t have that much control when people are requesting specific services.
However, Instagram is time consuming, especially if you make a habit of responding to the feedback on each image.
Was it your dream to be a photographer?
Nope. Definitely not. My very first dream job was to protect killer whales, which is not an actual job per say, but at six years old it seemed like a noble thing to do.
The Free Willy series was pretty much my life until I was about nine.
After that I discovered the Alaska movie and instantly wanted to save the polar bears.
Years later, I was definitely convinced I would be a piano teacher and then after that I thought I’d be a mystery novel writer.
It wasn’t until I was nearly graduated from high school that I considered photography as a job that I could be constantly doing and never get tired of.
Is Instagram a hobby or profession?
This February it will be two years since I started my account. I never expected to have such a significant following and I definitely only consider my landscapes a hobby.
So it’s a little surreal and at times, daunting.
It’s incredible to get instant feedback and refine and develop new skills however I do feel the need to express my belief that social media cannot take priority over real relationships and experiences.
I’ve been really grateful for the journey so far with it and I still consider it a hobby despite some great business opportunities that have arisen from it.
It aids my photography business quite a bit but I strive to keep it personal and a reflection of the things I value and desire to promote.
What’s the secret of growing a successful Instagram account?
In a bizarre way it’s sort of similar to the methods you use to secure an important job interview.
You have to be that annoying person who gets in everyone’s line of vision. You submit your resume to everyone. You nag. You follow up. You tweak your methods. You push and fight until you get their attention and are successful in securing that job.
With social media, it’s sort of similar except you are doing all of that behind a computer screen.
You have to nag others for an opinion and comment and ask advice and tag as many accounts as possible to get someone to notice your work.
You have to research what people are interested in and constantly change your approach; notice what people are passionate about and ask yourself what you can share with people that is interesting and captivating.
You have to find the convergence between what you can offer and what people love to see.
You might be the most qualified person ever. You might take stunning photos and have an endless range of talents and passions but if you don’t make your work available to a wide range of individuals, it’s much harder to get feedback because they aren’t going to notice you.
That might be an unorthodox way of looking at things because it might be considered “pushy” or “unauthentic” or even “business driven” but if you want to build a successful account, it’s pivotal in most situations to make your work available to as many people as possible.
You need to elbow your way through the sea of talented people and present something fresh.
That being said, I don’t believe that aiming for success alone will make you feel fulfilled, which is what we all want in life, right?
It’s so important to present a product, gallery or lifestyle that carries a small piece of your heart in it. If you believe in the product or are confident in your skills and passions people WILL recognize it and they WILL be inspired.
So I guess the secret in a short sentence would probably be to make it personal before anything else.
Show us the three photos that received the most “likes”
Hey guys! So, i know i’ve featured this exact photo in my feed already (actually, MANY variations of this spot have been featured to be quite honest) ? but i really wanted to share this edit that I created using this new app called Enlight (@enlightapp). My uncle introduced me to it a couple weeks ago and i’d just like to clarify that this is just me wanting to share something ‘enlightening’ (lol) that i’ve come across in the app world.. it’s not being featured for any promotional purpose. I just want to get some feedback and see what you guys think. As you may have noticed, I’m a huge fan of editing apps, and VSCO is usually my go-to in this regard. I really love the minimalistic effects and subtle tone changes VSCO offers… however, on the other end of the spectrum, this app really goes beyond my expectations and makes me go out of my comfort zone when it comes to colour and clarity. Its an interesting contrast and i’d love for you to let me know what you think and what you prefer! ??
Some moments are hard to forget.? What has been your most memorable trip of this year? #regram A photo posted by C H L O E H I B B E R T (@clo.photo) on
What photography gear do you use?
I’ve used a range of Nikon DSLR’s and currently I’m saving up for a new full-frame camera.
I use softbox strobe lights, Photoshop (yes I love processing images), iPhone apps, shooting tents, tripods for both product shots and long exposure landscape shots.
I also use ND filters, polarizing filters, remotes, macro lenses, wide angle lenses. Basically, I just like to play around with anything.
I feel like I’m still an amateur in many regards but I really love the variety that comes with photography, especially product photography.
I watched a YouTube video about how to properly light a wine bottle not long ago and it was so technical and demanded so much trial and error to achieve that perfect effect.
There are endless things to learn. I think that’s what makes it so fun.
What do you look for when you’re taking photographs?
Most often I find myself looking for symmetry (which is actually quite boring and not very creative).
I think because Instagram was formatted for only square images for so long it got people into the habit of composing photos so everything fit neatly inside that box.
But that’s all changed now with the new formatting options so I’m trying to push my boundaries by constantly looking for new angles, particularly when it comes to landscape photography.
It’s a challenge to present well known tourist attractions and landmarks in a unique way.
Which photos best represent your unique style of photograph?
I’d say that the boathouse shot really reflects the style I try to achieve.
I always get a bit disappointed when I shoot in the mountains and see blue skies ahead of me. I love the mysterious tones in the boathouse shot at Lake Minnewanka.
It makes me feel cocooned and safe in gloomier weather.
Likewise the shots at Moraine Lake have dark, moody tones and also a contrasting minimal effect in the canoe shot that I appreciate.
I love that these shots don’t involve a lot of processing as well. It’s just the way nature happened to be that day.
It’s also a different perspective on commonly known places, which helps motivate me to try and bring something new to the table.
What are your top three tips?
1-Do it because you love it.
2-Never allow social media to dictate your life.
3-Encourage the development of community.
What are your favourite Instagram apps?
I love Enlight and VSCO for editing my iPhone pics. VSCO has an amazing capacity to create natural looking, processed photos.
I use this app to create subtle tone changes and minor tweaks. Enlight is the polar opposite. You can create striking HDR images or duo-toned images.
One of my shots from Emerald Lake was processed using this app and it created a magical effect, despite being a very processed photo.
Chloe Hibbert is a photographer and Instagrammer who lives in Alberta, Canada.
Wondering where to stay? Here are two fabulous Alberta lodges.