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Rolf Hicker Photography
Animal * Nature * Travel Photography

Photographing Celebrity Auntie Vie

I had the honor of photographing 86-year old celebrity Auntie Vie for her book, "Auntie Vie: A Life OF Pickles And Pearls" by bestseller author Cathy Converse.

Auntie Vie Book Cover
Auntie Vie is the fairy godmother of spunk, sass, fun, fashion and cooking; she is the guru of aging with joy and a shining star.

Auntie Vie's was first brought into the spotlight when her great niece, Pamela Anderson, debuted as one of the celebrity stars in ABC's television program "Dancing with the Stars."

In front of  24 million people Pamela dedicated her dancing to her Auntie Vie, who loves to dance. The media were intrigued and almost immediately she was featured on all of the top celebrity shows, like Access Hollywood, eTalk and the Wendy Williams Show.

The media can't seem to get enough of her. People are eager for her thoughts on aging, on life, on fashion, on dancing and on cooking. Rather than fading  into obscurity, her star power continues and shines brightly. The reasons for her popularity and staying power are simple. She represents so much of what we strive for in our lives: glamour, sparkle, fun, compassion, humility, wisdom, thoughtfulness, and complete comfort with her age and her life circumstances.

It was a very exciting photo shoot for me. As most of you know I'm a wildlife, nature and travel photographer, not really a celebrity photographer or even a paparazzi. But it was also not the first time that I have photographed a celebrity. A few years back I was invited to photograph Sir Paul McCartney and his former wife, Heather Mills, on the ice floes in Northern Canada. However, photographing an 85 year old celebrity made me a bit nervous. I was a bit unsure on how to approach Auntie Vie. Fortunately my fear abated the second after I met her. She is an unbelievable woman, a real character and such a nice and sparkling person.

Media Interviewing Bestseller Author Cathy Converse
When I arrived with author Cathy Converse, we were welcomed with fresh baked goodies and a cup of coffee. She told us some of her great stories of growing up  barefoot  in Saskatchewan and of  how she received a  Philip Treacy designed has as a gift from  Pamela Anderson. Philip Treacy is one of this century's foremost hat designers who has designed hats for British royalty as well as the stars.

The ice was broken even before I brought in my mobile studio lights and cameras. She was a natural and very relaxed--she has had, after all, the megastars of media at her doorstep. The photo shoot, which was spread over few day's, was fun - simply fun. She was a great model and gracious lady as she  showed us her 40+ pairs of glamorous dancing shoes, her unique dresses, many of which she designed herself, and her culinary skills--to our delight. Her pie's and pickles are the best I have ever tasted..

The difficult part of the photo shoot was the location at her home, it was very tight and I hardly could fit in my strobes, it was also important for me not to put any stress on Auntie Vie, one of the reasons why I did not work with reflectors or even an assistant.

On October 17.2010 was the book launch and when we received our invitation we did not hesitate to make the reservation, although it is a 6 hour one way drive for us to Victoria, which is at the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

Michelle Receiving Signed Copy of Auntie Vie Book
To keep it short - the book launch was big event and I was very proud when Auntie Vie welcomed our son, my wife and myself with a big hug, even despite the media attention and the throngs of people asking them to sign their books.

I'm not really a celebrity photographer but it was great meeting and working with celebrities like Sir Paul McCartney, Heather Mills and Auntie Vie and YES, I'm very proud that all of them gave me the trust I needed to take great pictures of them.

The book is out now and is available world wide via (click on "ordering info" at the top left of the page) or, get a copy and read about this amazing woman, lots to learn from her as it is also a story of Canadian settlers and the foundation of this great country.

I do NOT receive any commission for this book BUT I highly recommend that you get a copy, it is such a great story!

Here you can find my selection of Auntie Vie pictures.

Author: Rolf Hicker - 2010-10-22
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