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TwoShot: Different photographic perspectives, one fantastic project

By Alejandro Bustos on March 27, 2013

Two-shot (?two-???t )

1. (Cinema) a medium-range camera shot of two persons:

2. A two shot is a type of shot in which the frame encompasses a view of two people.  The shots are also used to show emotional reactions between the subjects.

Local photographer Kym Shumsky has a talent for making strangers feel comfortable.  In her photo-blog Le Mien, she photographed 100 strangers over a 21-month period, culminating in an exhibit and book that raised $2,000 for Operation Rainbow Canada.

She is now working on a new artistic endeavour called TwoShot, a photo-blog that showcases one-off collaborations between her and a guest photographer.  While Shumsky will ultimately select the final photos for each shoot, the images will be split roughly 50-50 between her work and those of her collaborating partner.

“A little while ago, I photographed 100 strangers because I wanted to get better at taking photos,” she writes on TwoShot.  “That first project was about gaining perspective.  This one is about sharing it.”

In a phone interview with Apartment 613, Shumsky says that her work on Le Mien taught her a lot about taking pictures.  However, because she was the only one behind the camera lens, each photo contained only her perspective.  “We have a presence even if we are not in the frame,” she says.  Enter TwoShot, which is a conscious attempt to expand her artistic horizons.

So far the project has resulted in three collaborations.  The first contains photos that she took with her husband Darcy Cornu, during a trip around the world a few years back.  “I had to give examples to get other photographers,” says Shumsky, while describing the series of gorgeous images, such as the photo from Namibia above and Kashmir, India below.

Photo by Kym Shumsky (Kashmir, India – Kingdom of Leh)

The second collaboration is comprised of photographs from rural Saskatchewan that she jointly took with her friend Winter Fedyk while on holiday.  The images are beautiful shots of horses and prairie landscapes, which capture the feeling of big sky country.

Photo by Winter Fedyk - Horses, La Reata (Kyle, Saskatchewan) (copyright)

Observing these impressive photographs, like the one on the right, the observer can feel as if they are underneath a massive sky, running through pristine fields.  Behind the camera lens, however, it is always necessary to remember the collaborative aspect of the project.

“When you start dealing with people’s passion, you have to have a lot of respect, a lot of patience,” says Shumsky, a native of Winnipeg but now long-term resident of Ottawa.  “What I ask from the photographers is that they give me their best work.”

This push for excellent work, combined with being exposed to a multitude of styles, is forcing Shumsky to experiment with new techniques.

“I have one (photographer) in the queue who only shoots black and white, and I never shoot black and white,” she tells me.  “I am not sure how to present it.”

Photo by Debra Cowie (Art Is In Bakery) (copyright)

She is also playing with the opportunity to work in a wide range of locations.  For instance, the third collaboration consists of photos of Art Is In Bakery at 250 City Centre Avenue #112.  These images, taken alongside Ottawa-based photographer Debra Cowie, are completely different from the first two.

Looking forward, Shumsky says that her future shoots will be constrained by the following parameters: “The lighting is the same, the location is the same, the people are the same.”

While the project is still evolving, she can envision eventually putting on another exhibit for charity, which combines her work and those of all the collaborating photographers.

If you are a photographer who would like to participate in this project you can email Kym Shumsky at