Air North First Light Image Festival

 Thanks for making our festival a great success and a big thank you to all our sponsors! See you all in 2020.

APRIL 27, 2019

We are excited to announce an amazing lineup of presenters for the April 27, 2019 Air North First Light Image Festival at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.  There will be workshops held throughout the day followed by an evening of inspiring talks by professional photographers from the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Vancouver. Whether you are a professional, aspiring photographer or just appreciate still photography and the accompanying inspiring stories, this event is for you.  See our list of speakers and workshops below.

Two Special Prize Draws for Ticket Purchasers

Purchase a ticket to the evening presentations (only $30) and your name will go into a draw  for one of two prizes:

Prize 1: Panasonic TS7 Waterproof Adventure Camera with 4K video and a 20.4MP sensor.

Prize 2: A round trip Air North certificate for a single traveller from Whitehorse to Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, Edmonton or Calgary for travel between May 1, 2019 and April 30 2020. Taxes and fees are additional and these blackout dates apply: May 17 – 20, 2019; Jun. 20 – 24, 2019; Jun. 28 – Jul. 02, 2019; Aug. 30 – Sept 02, 2019; Oct. 11 – 14, 2019; Nov. 8 – 11, 2019; Dec. 13 – Jan. 06, 2020; Mar. 13 – 30, 2020; Apr 10 – 13, 2020.



If you are traveling from out of town our sponsor Westmark Hotel has a special rate for you. Book your room by April 12 and you will get the discounted rate of $139 before taxes. When you book your room identify that you are attending the Air North First Light Image Festival and give this code: LIGH042619. This special rate is available for April 26, 27, 28 29. Call (800) 544-0970 or (867) 393-9700 or go online at Only 10 rooms are available at this rate, so book soon.

Evening Presentations – Doors Open 6:30PM, 7:00PM Start @ KDCC Longhouse

The evening will feature two Yukon photographers and a Tetlit Gwich’in First Nation photographer from Tetlit Zheh, NWT, followed by two keynote speakers who are veteran photojournalists Nick Didlick and Angela Gzowski. A Nikon Canada representative will also be on hand to answer any of your questions regarding Nikon gear. This is also a social event, so there will be lots of opportunity to talk to our presenters in between and after the presentations.

Angela Gzowski is an award-winning northern photographer. Born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Angela earned a BFA in Photography from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Equally at home doing portraits in her Yellowknife studio as she is bouncing in the back of a snowmobile at -40 in Canada’s Far North, her photojournalism has taken her all across the NWT, Nunavut and Yukon. Her stunning landscapes and evocative people photos have appeared in Canadian Geographic, Readers Digest, Maclean’s, VICE, Maisonneuve, Up Here, MoneySense, Photolife, and The Coast

An accomplished commercial photographer with clients that include NETFLIX, Parks Canada, Telus, Health Canada, CBC, Verge Communications, Superior Industries,  Futurpreneur Canada, and the Government of the Northwest Territories. She’s also photographed well-known figures such as David Suzuki and Justin Trudeau.

Twice cited for National Magazine Awards, in 2013 she was the gold winner in portraiture for the KWR Business Magazine Awards. In 2017 Angela was an Applied Arts winner in both Portraiture and Wildlife, and then in 2018 for her editorial work.For the last couple years she’s judged the Alberta Magazine Awards in photography and this year will be judging portraiture category for the National Magazine Awards.

Nick Didlick is a Vancouver based Editorial and Commercial Photography/Videographer and Digital Imaging Consultant. Having 40 years of experience in photography, Nick has worked in over 60 countries from bases in Brussels, London, and Vancouver and has covered many of the world’s top news and sports including thirteen Olympics, seven Stanley Cup Finals and five Super Bowls. An early adopter of photo technology, he switched to digital photography in 1994 and wholly switched to mirrorless photography in 2017 for sports and news. He started his career in 1976 at a small weekly newspaper in Haney, British Columbia. He hung onto his camera straps and went on a lifetime adventure and counts photography as one of his greatest passions in life.

Brooke Martel is a portrait photographer based in Whitehorse, Yukon. Originally from Hay River, Northwest Territories, Brooke moved to Whitehorse in 1996. Brooke began to invest in her photography following the birth of her first child in 2014. While she enjoys many different styles of work, she finds herself immersed in portraits, specifically family lifestyle. Through her emotive imagery, her style aims to capture meaningful images that include soft emotions and authentic moments. Along with fulfilling her passion in photography, Brooke lives with her fishing-obsessed fiancé while they raise their two little boys together. In her spare time, she enjoys all Yukon life has to offer, from enjoying the outdoors with family and friends to gathering inspiration at local art shows. You can find more of Brooke’s work at

Robert Postma is a Yukon-based and internationally renowned master landscape, wildlife and abstract photographer. His captivating photographic style is instantly recognizable and has been collected by fine art photography enthusiasts and collectors worldwide for over a decade. He is celebrated for creating spectacular shots of breathtaking environments and mesmerizing creatures that transcend time. Robert’s extensive travels around the world to South America, Iceland, Africa, India, Northern Canada and Arizona, to name a few, have taken him to many exotic places that showcase the extensive vibrancy of our planet. The world is filled with endless destinations and natural wonders that many only dream of exploring which is what drives Robert to share in his prolific journeys. He periodically works on select outdoor and environmental commercial campaigns and has worked on international assignments and collaborations. His work is showcased in galleries and private collections.

Shayla Snowshoe is a Tetlit Gwich’in First Nation from Tetlit Zheh, Northwest Territories. Shayla’s photography has a special focus on the Indigenous cultures of the North. She is taking Native Studies & Education at the University of Alberta. Her dream is to one day teach about the Indigenous history, cultures and language, as well as photography in her community. Shayla is also a new mother who wishes to live a healthy and happy life with her daughter, Dani-Mae.

Daytime Workshops – 10:00AM-3:30PM @ KDCC (Ticket price includes Evening Presentation)

We are offering workshop talks throughout the day that will be excellent opportunity to increase your photographic skills by learning from professional industry insiders. This is a good fit for all levels of photographers or even enthusiasts who want to learn new techniques.

There will be three workshops occurring simultaneously In the morning.  Attendees will pick one workshop for 10:00 AM and another for 11:00 AM. Please arrive early to get the selections you want before the workshops begin. There will be a maximum 20 people in each of the sessions.

In the main hall (The Longhouse) there will be a light lunch supplied while representatives from Sony and Nikon Canada will each give 20-minute presentations. After lunch there will be two more hour-long workshops for all ticket holders. Sony will have one of their technicians on hand to clean camera sensors for free. The technician is certified to clean non-Sony cameras so be sure to bring yours along.

And for an added bonus, the CBC Yukon podcast, Northern Exposures, with Alistair Maitland, Mark Kelly and Airplay’s Dave White will be recording their podcast on the festival on site.

Here are the workshops:

Pursuing your passion in a “big” project ( Kanina Holmes – 10:00 & 11:00AM Artist Studio)

Many photographers have an amazing idea quietly simmering on the back burner. All too often these projects never see the light of day. Maybe it’s fear holding us back. Sometimes we just can’t figure out how to get started. While, for others, it’s about finding the secret ingredient otherwise known as stick-to-it-iveness. Please join Kanina Holmes for a fun, inspiring and practical workshop on bringing your ideas to life. Kanina is a journalist, photographer and educator whose current home base is Whitehorse. Kanina teaches journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. She is also the managing editor of Yukon North of Ordinary Magazine.

Writing Vivid Descriptions (Eva Holland – 10:00 & 11:00AM Longhouse)

From photo captions to blog posts to pitches for editors, learn to make your words as eye-catching as your photos. Freelance writer Eva Holland shares tips on how to strengthen your descriptive writing to complement your photos and sell your stories. Eva Holland is a Whitehorse-based freelance writer. She’s a correspondent for Outside, and her work has also appeared in Wired, Pacific Standard, Bloomberg Businessweek, Hakai, The Walrus, and numerous other publications. She is working on a book about the science of fear.

Adobe Lightroom Tips (Jason Wolsky – 10:00 & 11:00AM Classroom A)

Based in Whitehorse, Yukon, Jason Wolsky has an interest in traveling to remote locations capturing landscape, abstracts and industrial scenes.  He has a diploma in photography, through the Photography Institute of Vancouver. Jason will cover Adobe Lightroom basics and help you increase your skill level in the popular photo editing software.

Shooting Action/Sports  (Nick Didlick – 1:00PM Longhouse)

Throughout his 40-year photography career, Nick has covered many of the world’s top sporting events, including 13 Olympics, seven Stanley Cup Finals and five Super Bowls. For those who love to photograph sports and outdoor recreation, Nick will give you tips on how to anticipate the action and capture that peak moment. He will also go over image editing and cropping techniques.

Why mirrorless cameras? (Nick Didlick – 12:10 – 12:30 Longhouse) During the lunch break, Nick will discuss the benefits of mirrorless cameras.

You Are The Most Important Part of Any Camera System (Jay Gough – 12:35-12:55 Longhouse)

During this informal lunchtime session, Nikon Canada representative Jay Gough will take you through a series of images from different genres to discuss intention. When we’re about to make an exposure there are countless different decisions the camera operator must make. From aperture, to shutter speed, to camera and lens selection…the technical aspects of the craft must be covered. But what about the reasons WHY these decisions were made? What was the intent? What are we trying to portray when we make an image. Take a deep dive in the mind of an image creator as we talk about the decisions that went into making each image.

Working with light (Angela Gzowski – 2:00PM Longhouse)

Angela will give you pro tips on how to light your subjects with artificial light using strobes and also how to use continuous light.  Be sure to bring your camera with you for there will be an opportunity to apply these techniques. Twice cited for national magazine awards, in 2013 Angela was the gold winner in portraiture for the KWR Business Magazine Awards. In 2017, she was an Applied Arts winner in both Portraiture and Wildlife, and then in 2018 for her editorial work.

The Air North First Light Image Festival is hosted by the not-for-profit Writing With Light Society. All proceeds from ticket sales for the event, contest entry fees or any other revenues will be directed to cover current and future year expenses for the festival only. Thank you for your support!