Photographer from Atikokan, Ont., a favourite on Instagram

·2 min read
Alan Poelman of Atikokan, Ont., has nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram, and his work has appeared in Canadian Geographic and Mountain Life magazines.  (Alan Poelman supplied - image credit)
Alan Poelman of Atikokan, Ont., has nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram, and his work has appeared in Canadian Geographic and Mountain Life magazines. (Alan Poelman supplied - image credit)

A photographer from Atikokan, Ont. has become a favourite on social media thanks to his eye-catching images.

Alan Poelman has nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram, and his page keeps growing.

His work has also appeared in print in Canadian Geographic and Mountain Life magazines.

Poelman said photography is, in part, therapy for him.

Alan Poelman
Alan Poelman

"There's lots of terms being thrown around now, but mindfulness is one of them," he said. "So it's one of those exercises where you can actually be present in the moment.

"When you're out taking photographs of wildlife or landscapes, and that's pretty much all that's on your mind at that point in time and you're relaxing your your kind of stress free and helps just reduce anxiety overall."

Unique and striking wildlife shots are what Poelman is perhaps the most well known for. He said he will sit for long periods of time and wait for the right moment.

Alan Poelman
Alan Poelman

"Some of the compositional techniques I use are different, I guess," he said. "I like to shoot pictures of animals head-on when they're making eye contact. I feel like that draws you into the picture a little bit more. So that's kind of what differentiates me in some ways.

"If you wait for that moment when the animal turns, you can get that eye contact."

Alan Poelman
Alan Poelman

Poelman said he decided to take up photography five years ago because he "needed a hobby." He bought a camera, learned online and went from there.

A social worker and mental health therapist by trade, he said photography can sometimes seem like a second job.

"When you're having to edit photos and produce work on a timeline, it can definitely feel like a little bit of a crunch," he said. "Especially when you also working nine-to-five. But I get enjoyment out of it, and I like the process."

Alan Poelman
Alan Poelman

You can follow Poelman on Instagram @alftown

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