How did The Shooting Range: A Photography Challenge come to be?

The Shooting Range: A Photography Challenge ("TSR") is the brainchild of Edmonton-based photographers who felt like the 2020 Pandemic was sapping their creative energy. They believed the photography community could use a fun, CoVID-friendly activity to stay engaged and inspired through the slow season (Jan-Mar), which under lockdown was promising to be slower than usual.

In mid-November 2020, Ashley Sykes, Billie Lang, and Hope Walls decided to make a photography challenge come to life. The vision was to go deeper than a traditional reality-TV style elimination format by creating content that was timely, relevant, intelligent, and CoVID-friendly while testing a range of technical, creative, and critical thinking skills. Hence the name "The Shooting Range" which made coming up with punny catch phrases easier than shooting fish in a barrel.

The next thing in their crosshairs was refining which of the Match Brief ideas they felt could be reasonably executed in the middle of winter in the middle of a pandemic before recruiting judges. They wanted both a panel of resident judges with established photography businesses as well as a series of guest judges who could bring a broader context and perspective to the Briefs. The last target they wanted to hit was highlighting local businesses. Once they had taken all of these things into consideration and had a game plan, they felt confident they had created something unique... and put the call out.

The concept was taken from a side conversation on Facebook to a full-blown website with an active campaign in under two weeks, and by the end of the 6th week they had established 4 Panel Judges, prepared 12 Match Briefs with correlating Guest Judges, partnered with several local businesses in time to announce the Qualifying Challengers on January 1, 2021.

Making The Shooting Range: A Photography Competition come to life was a labour of love. It came with a steep learning curve that entailed many late nights, more than a few stumbling blocks, and some occasional tears, but they managed to pull it off with only one major regret: not having more lead time. Thus, the very moment Season One was under their belts, they began planning how to smooth out the rough edges and make future Seasons bigger and better.

They are stoked for Season Two and look forward to seeing fans, friends, and family join for another round on The Shooting Range!!!