Erika & Ryan
Creative Directors & Photographers
at Rowell Photography
When we started Rowell Photography in the spring of 2004, it was just an idea that came up over a cheap chicken wing dinner one night, outside our local Zehrs supermarket. We had been working together for 6 months as photographers at the Zehrs Portraits Studio, photographing about 20 babies and families a day.
Over and over again the same topic kept on coming up; Wouldn’t it be great if we could pick and choose what we photographed? or who we photographed? We could go anywhere in the world. We could even work for National Geographic! (Well after a little more thought and much research we learned that hiding out in a jungle tree for weeks on end, catching malaria multiple time and facing death everyday was not exactly what we wanted.)
All we knew at that point was that we loved photography, people and travel. We also had a deep emotional connection with the concept that photographers tell and keep stories of life. That what photographers do, not only means something to their subjects and their clients, but also to the whole of humanity. Photographs really do change the world (be it the whole world or the worlds of individuals) and it was a world we wanted to be apart of, in a big way.
We are Erika & Ryan of Rowell Photography, a portrait and wedding photography team, located in Barrie Ontario. Servicing Barrie, Toronto, Muskoka and the world. Newlyweds ourselves, with a passion for life, family, travel and our careers. We feel blessed every day that we have this amazing opportunity to photograph life as we see it.
The photographs we create are a combination of real moments, fun relaxed couples and families, placed in front of stunning backdrops. We decided instead of creating a definable image or look with the content of our images, for example: Families formally posed around the fire place or bride on her wedding day with her dress fanned out and her bouquet lying on it (trust me this is a popular shot in my industry, or at least it was 6 years ago). We decided to make each couple and families photographic experience a unique one. We started asking them questions like, how did they meet? and what do you do as a family on the weekends? We wanted to get inside their heads so we could create images that reflected their lives. The best photos, for us, are the ones that tell us who the people are without necessarily spelling it out to us. This method not only helped us connect with more people who loved our work, but it helped us connect with people who were just like us. People who really believe in the power of photographs.
Ryan has a background in Computer Engineering, and web design. Not only is he a brain, and most of the brains behind Rowell Photography but he also likes getting his hands dirty. He once built an electric guitar from scratch and it worked! A few years ago for a Hospice Simcoe charity drive he stayed awake for 36 hours standing, holding on to a car. He was born and raised in Barrie, Ontario and there isn’t a neighbourhood in this city that he hasn’t lived in. He comes from a big family, and a long line of hard workers with Scottish and British heritage. He is an awesome husband, the guy everyone goes to to solve their technical problems, and the best damn photographer I’ve ever seen.
Erika has a background in writing, and trained for 14 years as a competitive figure skater. She has written articles for many lifestyle magazines, newspapers and she is the writer of our blog. When she is not taking photos or editing them, she is working on writing a novel about her grandfathers life in world war 2. Anytime you call or email us at Rowell Photography you are talking to Erika. She is the creative director at our company, keeping everyone organized and inspired. Erika is very determined, so much so that last year she spent 6 months learning Ukrainian (also reading and writing in cyrillic) for a 1 week trip to her families homeland. Her goals list is 101 items long with 60 of them checked. Her passion and drive in life keeps everyone around her inspired. She never settles for anything but the best, which is why I know I am so lucky to have her.
Photographer at Rowell Photography
Luca is our new associate photographer at Rowell Photography. Although he is new to our growing team he is not at all new to the photography industry. Luca fell in love with photography over 15 years ago and has since photographed numerous weddings and portraits. Luca has a big passion for printing and preserving images which led him to creating his own print companies. PicFoundry for photographers and WallJoy which is an amazing printing company serving the public and located in Barrie, Ontario.
When we set out to expand our team we looked for photographers who had a real love for photography, and portraiture. We really wanted to work with amazing people who valued family, life, and equality for all. We wanted to work with people who were inspired by the masters of photography and worked with an unrelenting drive to create beautiful works of art of anyone and everyone who wanted it. Luca was just that, and lucky for us he was already one of our best friends. We cannot describe the passion Luca has for photography, it best experienced in person when you meet him and he talks for 30 minutes straight about how dedicated he is to creating images that represent the closeness and intimate relationship of a couple or a family. When you meet him he will tell you about how he is not the type of photographer to fabricate emotions just for the sake of photographs. He is there to capture your day, exactly the way it was, with the people who mean the most to you. This is exactly why we chose Luca to join our growing team.
We could talk forever about all of his accolades, awards with the Professional Photographers of Canada, the time he photographed the cover of International Figure Skating Magazine (which is a big deal to me (Erika) because I used to figure skate) and all about that Nissan car ad he shot, and the numerous charity events he partakes in. But as awesome as those accomplishments are; they don’t hold a candle to the amount of respect Luca has garnered in the local photography and printing industries. Luca is a great photographer, but even more so he is a great person.