Many members of Saskatchewan's photography community are changing their Facebook profile pictures to a snowflake in honour of a member who lost his life in a weekend highway crash.
Jordan Van de Vorst, his wife Chanda, and their two young children were killed early Sunday morning in a crash on Highway 11 and Wanuskewin Road.
Catherine McKay, 49, has been charged with three counts of impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing death. Police said further charges are pending.
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- Saskatoon woman, 49, charged after Hwy. 11 crash leaves 3 dead
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As word spread of Van de Vorst's passing, members of the photography community pointed their lens to Saskatchewan's skies in his honour.
"Last night … [four] of us needed to do something other than sit around and cry, so of course we went out shooting. And the auroras came out and danced briefly, which was so beautiful, and let us feel that Jordan was there," friend and fellow photographer Jacqui Ferguson said in a statement posted to Facebook.
"To top it off, we saw so many meteors!! Which was perfect, as many of you know, [because] Jordan was captivated by fireballs."
Ferguson described Van de Vorst as having a "razor sharp sense of humour" and a "limitless supply of trivia." She said he had a unique desire to understand things completely and had recently taken up macro photography, producing photographs of small items larger than life size, like the snowflake people are sharing in his honour.
"He spent countless hours figuring out set-up, shooting, focus-stacking, editing ... Some images took as long as [eight] hours to put together one shot," she said.
"For those of you who have seen his macro work, it's absolutely incredible, and he inspired many of us (including me) to pick up a macro lens and jump in too."
Colin Chatfield co-founded the group Saskatoon Photographer's and Saskatchewan Aurora Hunters with Van de Vorst.
"He was always willing to help people, teach people, [and] share knowledge. I learned a few things from him along the way," Chatfield said.
"He was a great family guy, loved his family. He was always talking about his wife and kids, sharing pictures, and talking about experiences he had with them."
Chatfield said that Van de Vorst was knowledgeable and helpful to both new and experienced photographers. He would be interested in shooting something new and "jump in with both feet".
"[He] did a lot of good for our groups and our photography community," Chatfield said.