Behind the Scenes with One of Canada’s Most Renowned Portrait Photographers

Call it the an energy, call it an artist’s personality, call it whatever you want, Canadian portrait photographer Christopher Wahl has it. One of the best and best-known portrait photographers from the Great White North, his pictures have been published in every major magazine in his own country, and many beyond its borders.

And in this short segment, television program 16×9 goes behind the scenes at his studio and gives us a peek at one of the most energetic and passionate masters in the business.

Once you get behind the wellspring of energy, enthusiasm and humor that is Christopher Wahl, his most compelling quality is his refusal to accept anything less than perfection. He’s spent 20+ years honing his craft, making a name for himself as one of the best, and yet he still says that, at best, he’s gotten 10 photos that he would classify as “good.”


If you were to ask him what he’s trying to capture, he’d tell you his work is about “awkward decisive moments of people doing nothing.” That’s what separates his photos from the rest, this sixth sense that some believe he has for capturing “the in-between moments” — well, that and an earned access to some of the most illustrious subjects in the world.

The segment goes beyond his photography though, capturing an accurate portrait of the man himself and his life outside the studio — which revolves mainly around his son and daughter, Keith and Charlie. We won’t take the time to go into all of it here, but 14 minutes spent drawing a bit of inspiration from one of the photographic masters of our time tonight would be 14 minutes well spent.

(via ISO 1200)

  • Trythe1

    Those damn magnets!

  • green125


  • Richard

    Brilliant. Excellent work by both the 16×9 crew and of course, Wahl. You can’t help but like the guy and his work is outstanding.

  • walker

    oh, these portraits came out great eh? youll see them in magazines while youre oot and aboot

  • Neoracer Xox

    why does he have his flash on a side mount like paparazzi? why not ontop of the camera

  • Roman

    when you hold camera vertically (in a “portrait orientation”) flash on top of camera is on its side. That is why reporters use flash bracket, so the flash is on top and centered creating more flattering shadows.

  • Mansgame

    I’m wondering why he even has an on camera flash when he has all the big lights around him? Is it to add extra kick like a ring flash would?

  • Roman

    There are many ways to use speedlight in this situation. It could work as fill light and catch light in the eye. It could be key light with big octa as fill. We would need to see final image to see what did he use it for.


    I actually started using my flash like this a few months ago. getting some really nice shots.