I am is an award-winning photographer and writer, located in Estevan, Saskatchewan. My focus is on high-impact, highly technical commercial photography.
My career in journalism started as a high school newspaper editor at the Yorkton Regional High School.
After a few years of beating my head against engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, my career took two separate paths – journalism and pipelining. I spent a year as half of a two-person newspaper called the Saskatoon Journal, and another year as the lone reporter for the Rosetown Eagle.
Then it was pipelining for several years, first as an excavator oiler, then as an operator. I currently holds a level 2 apprenticeship as an excavator operator, and was 1000 hours from my journeyman when God decided a life sleeping in your own bed is more important. In 2003, I became the senior reporter with the Battlefords News-Optimist, chasing fire trucks, politicians, cops and robbers.
In May, 2008, I combined my oilpatch experience with journalism, becoming one of the founding reporters with Saskatchewan’s petroleum monthly newspaper, Pipeline News. In November, 2008, I packed up my family moved to Estevan to become editor of Pipeline News.
Entirely self taught, both as a journalist and photographer, my experience has shown hard work and a willingness to learn can result in top-notch performance. Between commercial shoots, weddings, sports and news, I have taken over 500,000 photos in the past 11 years in a professional capacity.
My wife Michelle Zinchuk and I have been married since May, 1999, and have two young children, Katrina and Spencer. Katrina already has her own pro Nikon camera, and Spencer is learning on his point and shoot.
Types of Photography:
Over the years my photography business has evolved. First there was a substantial amount of wedding photography. That was followed by five years of intensive sports photography, with many a weekend spent in a rink covering a hockey tournament. I have shot hockey, football, softball, baseball, soccer, tae kwon do, water polo, synchronized swimming and stock car racing over the years. There’s also been some portrait work done in between.
More recently commercial photography has taken over as the main focus. Most of this is oilfield related. I am one of the few photographers in southeast Saskatchewan who has all his safety tickets required to go on leases and rights-of-way. More importantly, I have experience in photography almost every aspect of the oil business, from drilling rigs to pump providers.
A recent specialization in virtual tours has garnered a lot of interest. This is a highly specialized form of photography which requires millimetre accuracy for it to work correctly. The result is an immersive experience that is a very useful sales tool.
A personal project has been landscape photography, often with an oilfield slant. This work will be on sale in the winter of 2012 at the Solar Art Studio in the Estevan Shoppers Mall.
Between my news, sports, wedding, portrait and commercial work, there’s very little photographically speaking that I have not done or is not capable of tackling.
“A mechanic doesn’t buy his tools at Canadian Tire,” I say when asked about the massive cameras hanging from my neck. A good tradesperson believes in using the best tools available to him, and that’s something Brian ascribes to. Thus I ensured I was one of the first people in Canada, and the world, to get my hands on the most recent Nikon flagship camera, the D4, arguably the best digital SLR camera available in the world today. The same goes for my Epson 9900 wide-format printer, or professional-grade Nikon lenses.
Brian Zinchuk Publishing is a member in good standing with Professional Photographers of Canada, and carries insurance specifically tailored for professional photographers.
As an added note, Brian Zinchuk Publishing accepts Visa, MasterCard, or Interac.
Why on earth would a photographer list his safety certificates? If you work in the oilfield, you know why. You need someone who has all their personal protective gear and requisite, current tickets to be allowed on site without hassle. You don’t want to have to dig up some boots for them or find some old coveralls that might fit. This is all taken care of.
- H2S Alive
- Standard First Aid
- Requisite hardhat, boots, fire retardant coveralls, safety glasses and gloves
Locations and Environments:
While many photographers may be able to take a photo for you, how many can you trust to go on site and not worry about them getting themselves killed? A short list of commercial environments I have photographed include:
- Drilling rigs
- Service rigs
- Pipelines, big-inch and flow line
- Skid packages
- Lease construction
- Rig moves
- Well sites
- Seismic survey
- Batteries (complete)
- Battery construction
- Fabrication shops
- Corporate offices and boardrooms
I have been honoured with several awards as photojournalist, including the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspaper Association Photographer of the Year award for the first two years it was offered, in 2006 and 2007. (The paper I have worked with for the last six years is not part of these competitions). Additionally, I have trained several newspaper photographers who have then gone on to win similar awards themselves.
- Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association Better Newspaper Competition
- Best Feature Photo, 2009
- Best Black and White Photo, 2009
- Photographer of the Year – 2006, 2007, Third Place in 2008
- Columnist of the Year, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012. Second Place in 2007
- Best Recreational Story/Series of Stories, 2008, shared with Jim Humphrey
- Best News Story of the Year, 2005
- Best Business Writing, Second Place, 2008
- Canadian Community Newspapers Association Better Newspapers Competition
- Best Agricultural Story – Second Place, 2006