May 2, 2016

Nigerian Bridal Session

I had the privilege of working in a collaboration for a portfolio project with Felicheeta Artistry this winter. She posted on facebook that she was looking for a photographer to shoot her models in a traditional Nigerian Bridal outfit. I liked the idea and since I have not doing much in that direction before I contacted her to take part of it. It turned out really great experience and we had a lot of fun during the shooting. Learning is the process that happens when you step out there and try new things. Thanks to all models and everyone else involved and a very productive session.

~ Heinrich

Apr 2, 2016

Mother Daughter Session

Meet Anna and her two girls. I invited them into my studio for a mother daughter session. I had never taken pictures with her and the girls before and thought that she would enjoy it. Her girls are growing and before she realizes they will be spreading their wings and fly. We stopped the time for a moment to create something to cherish for many years to come.

Loved having you three in my studio.

Mar 28, 2016

Life Stories: Rachel AiLin

I met Rachel a few years ago at a photo shooting I did for her family. Last year I saw on facebook that her Dad had passed away. After reading the comments on her post I decided to invite Rachel to share her story.

Rachel (21) grew up in Winnipeg. Her childhood had the regular ups and downs of any family. Then, three years ago Rachael’s life changed when she learned that her Dad had been diagnosed with Cancer. “It was the year after I graduated. I was driving to work,” she remembers. “My Dad called me from the hospital. He told me he had been diagnosed with cancer.” She could not respond to that because she was in shock. Nothing was regular any more. “But my dad was so positive about it. He believed he would be healed. His positivity made it easier for me.” Her life changed from that moment on. “Suddenly I had a lot more things to worry about. Things were more stressful. I spent a lot of time helping him do his daily things. I was his main care giver. It was a huge responsibility. Yet I wish I would have spent more time with him.” Life changed for the whole family as they stuck together through this battle. “We went on more family trips. I guess we wanted to make sure we had time to do these things together.” And even when nothing was “regular” for Rachel anymore, she lived hopeful. “At first, I never accepted it.It wasn’t something that I wanted to deal with. So I pushed it away. It didn’t become real until he was gone.”

The day her dad passed away Rachel was invited to a wedding. “We had brought him to the hospital. It was hard on everyone. I wasn’t sure if I should go. He kept saying he’d be fine. So I went. While I was at the wedding my mom called to let me know that he had passed away.” While celebrating her friends new beginning Rachel was again pulled out of her surrounding and went into shock. “I didn't say anything. I didn't feel anything. Only later did it hit me really hard.” I asked Rachel how losing her dad changed her. “My Dad was the most caring person I’ve ever known. He was my best friend. I never realized how my dad was always giving me confidence. Not having that around, changed the way I thought about myself and what I thought about my worth.” The last memory she has of her Dad is when she visited him in the hospital. “There were lots of friends and family visiting. I was sitting next to him on his bed, and suddenly he just looked at me and said, ‘You are so beautiful.’ and that none of the people who visited him made him as happy as me.”

Her closest friends and her younger brother helped her through this time the most. I asked her what she would like to say to those who still have both parents. She said its important to spend time with them. “They are the ones that will be there if you need them. Sometimes we don’t want to spend time with them because they are our parents. But, in the end, they’re usually the ones who will be there for you and will actually really care about you.” Rachel told me that a year ago she wouldn’t have been able to share her story. It takes a lot of courage speak up and share your struggles with others. Rachael was unfaltering and positive even when talking about her deepest pain. The last year she grew stronger. She is currently working as a health care aid. During our interview I learned that the coming day would be the anniversary of her Dad’s death. Today I got to finish the interview and get it ready to post, and I sent Rachel the final copy. I learned that tomorrow would be her Dad’s birthday. Both events were not intentionally so close to these dates and were entirely coincidental. This gives me the feeling that everything has its own time. Thank you Rachel for having the courage to share your story. 

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 ESV 

~ You are more than what you see ~

Feb 9, 2016

Couple Session with Tomas & Diana

Tomas and Diana came to my studio for a couple portrait session. The Idea I had for them was to have them posing in front of a dark background so that all the attention would be directed to them. The gestures and hugging in front of a simple set up made it work. 
Just the way I thought it should be.


Jan 16, 2016

Simple Fashion Style Session

Me and my Dad enjoy working on photography together. We both have very different ideas and perspectives, but together we have worked on a wide variety of projects.
My dad takes pictures of me all the time. I enjoy working with him. Having the opportunity to experience some modeling has been exciting and a lot of fun. These pictures are from a session we did to work on a light set up for a simple fashion style shooting.
~Lea Sophie    

Nov 30, 2015

Life Stories: Gil Penner

Yours are the hands with which he is to bless us.”

I first heard of Gil Penner’s story through Facebook. I didn’t know him, but through his sister’s posts I came to learn a bit about who he was and what happened to him. I invited him for a photo shooting/interview a few weeks later and I had the chance to meet him and learn his story.
Gil and his family moved to Canada in 2010. At age 17, Gil’s life was changing. It began when he lost his friends and began to feel very alone. “I was aggressive.” Gil says. “I was impatient. I stopped going to church. I was trying to run away.” Then, in 2014, on November 13th, Gil found himself caught in an accident that he could not run from.

“I was having a great day.” Gil says. “I was at work and excited to go home. Then I got a call to bring a load from outside.” “It was really cold and I was wearing a big glove, something I usually never do.” To this day he can’t remember how it happened but suddenly he felt something on his hand. “I was in shock. I could hear my bones breaking. And I was hanging in the door. My arm was being rolled into the cable as it opened. I was being lifted from the ground.”
“The only thing I could do was scream, ‘No, no, no.’ I just couldn’t believe what was happening.”

The months following the accident “I had to be patient.” he says. “The frustration was so big. I couldn’t see my fingers. I didn’t know if I would be able to keep my arm, it felt pretty much dead. All I could do was be patient.” And wait.
“I knew that everything happens for a reason.” I tried to tell myself that. But “it’s hard to see what reason these kind of things happen for. It’s hard to keep our feelings and emotions away, and think with logic. “Sometimes there are no explanations.”
Gil felt more impatient with God than ever. “I just couldn't understand why I had to go through all that pain.” So, Gil started talking to God.
“So many things were going through my mind, and my thoughts were so loud. I couldn’t hear him.” “I didn’t try to think about the accident. I just tried to manage things. I had to learn how to do everything again, like putting on my own socks. I feel pain all the time, even when I’m sleeping.”
Gil is still trying to over come his phantom pains. “I feel like my fingers are crossed. I can feel them even though they are not there.” The doctors say that he has to learn how to uncross his missing fingers in his mind to make the pain go away. A physical injury has now become a mental barrier.
And then his thoughts were silent, and finally, he heard Gods voice.
He said “That he would never give up on me. I would be someone better than I was before.”
“I just didn’t understand. How could I be someone better if I couldn't even dress myself?”

Gil, like all of us, does not always understand God’s plan. But we, after all, are the body of Christ. Through our feet He walks the earth. Because his hands are on us, through our hands he will touch others.
Although he did not always understand, Gil continues to allow the Lord to work through his faith. I hope, that by sharing his story with you, we can begin to recognize that we are all living extraordinary lives. We can recognize that through our hardships can come beauty. We are the ones who choose whether or not our lives are worth recognizing.
When I asked him what advice he would give others that are struggling he said, “Just find a reason to wake up in the morning and just keep fighting. We all need to find something we love and fight for that, because, if we stop fighting, nobody is gonna fight for us.”
I asked Gil how his life has changed since the day of his accident. “Everything has changed,” he said. “The way I think and the way I see other peoples problems. I can see change in my family. We are closer than we were before. My mom was my biggest supporter. She was always by my side.”
“I have learned to control myself. When I was in the hospital I had to be patient. People visited me, and they were patient with me. God has used this to change my attitude.”
Gil is working again. He is currently working towards developing his own prosthetic hand. He says, “I am happy that I can work again. I thought I would have to retire. Now I can even put popcorn in the microwave. I can make it!”

written by Lea Sophie
Photography by Heinrich Nikel Photography

~ You are more than what you see ~

Aug 2, 2015

Black & White

I think that landscape pictures in black and white have to be told in a different way. Like this one, I wanted to capture the moving the clouds but everything else frozen. It was a windy day and the clouds were moving really fast. I used my old tripod to have a steady image while using a longer exposure time. The blurry clouds do give the image a moving dynamic, while the grass and drift wood that had been left by the flood last spring remained sharp.