Snapshot: Capturing a complicated city

Josh’s Instagram feed is alive with a city living on the edge between old and new. We asked him to tell us about his photography for this week’s Snapshot.

8 questions for local Instagrammer @yoshigrams

(Josh Lavallee)

When furiously scrolling through Instagram, Josh Lavallee's (@yoshigrams) photos will stop you in your tracks. It's not because he knows how to capture a great moment (he does), or that he finds all the hidden nooks and crannies to seek out a new perspective (ambitious!). It's also because he makes you think twice about how you look at Winnipeg, how you feel about it, and that's just good photography.

Josh's Instagram feed is alive with a city living on the edge between old and new. His photos shine a positive light on a city that tends to, unfairly or not, get a lot of negativity. We asked Josh to tell us about his love for snapping pics…

What's the best thing about taking photos? Sharing your images and saying, "this is how my eyes see it." I also love seeing how others capture the same subject differently than you did.

What do you think makes a memorable photograph? When you can alter perception. If a photograph can change a person's opinion on a place, a person or a thing…I think that's impactful. And a big reason as to why art is so important.

Which photos are your favourites? My favourite photo of Winnipeg. It kind of shifted my perception of the city. This photo motivated me to try to keep that feeling and try to show other people how beautiful Winnipeg can be. 

(Josh Lavallee)

This shot took a lot of prep. I woke up for almost a week straight at 4:00 a.m. to get to the St. Boniface Cathedral just hoping for a phenomenal morning sunrise. Success on the fifth morn! 

(Josh Lavallee)

I remember looking out the window, seeing the fog, and knowing I only had about a half hour to get a shot. It reminds me of how important it is to be ready to shoot at a moment's notice. 

(Josh Lavallee)

I like to conceptualize a photo, and for this one the idea was to make the Red River actually red in colour by utilizing a sunrise or sunset.

(Josh Lavallee)

My favourite photo of Winnipeg's skyline. I like the way that it gives off a big city feel. I love shooting long exposures whenever I can, and this is probably my best one.

(Josh Lavallee)

What are your three favourite places/things to shoot?

  • Downtown Winnipeg: I have always loved cities in general, the sounds, the movement, the limitless perspectives. I think capturing city life is one of the most challenging types of photography, because nothing is still, and you need to anticipate and react quickly or lose the moment.
  • Musicians: If I had to choose one thing to shoot for the rest of time, I'd choose to shoot musicians. I love the idea of photographing another artist that is as equally as passionate about their craft as you are.
  • Europe: I toured Europe five years ago, right when I started taking photos. I want to go back to see what difference five years of experience makes.

To selfie or not to selfie? Not to selfie. I don't think I'm meant to be in front of any camera. Haha

Who are your favourite follows?

  • @enkrypt_losangeles – My favourite photographer right now. I love her work because she does everything exceptionally well. Portraits, cityscapes, street photography, music, nature, candid… literally EVERYTHING!
  • @cojophoto – Corey and Amanda gave me a chance to learn from them a few years ago when no one else would. They taught to pay attention to every detail in every corner of the frame, as well as how to interact with subjects and make a connection.
  • @matt_henry_photo – He makes everything look cool. He uses shadows, shapes and geometry well and I love how he doesn't stick to a specific niche.

Can you share advice on how to take an epic photo?  Shoot as much as possible. Make as many mistakes as you can. Shoot where (or when) other people don't want to.

What story do you want your photos to tell? I'm not sure to be honest. I hope that my photography can be looked at as unique, a little different, and hopefully can change someone's opinion on how they might see things.


See Josh's photos featured on our Instagram feed this week.

Snapshot is a weekly series where we chat with local photographers to find out what goes into making an Insta feed look so darn good. Tag your photos with #lovecbcmb for chance to be featured. Previous features: