Target Practice

Recently, Julie Whelan Photography had the opportunity to photograph Chris Dyson for the cover of his new book entitled ‘Target Practice’ at the Western Fair Sports Centre. The book is a must read for coaches and parents of hockey goalies and was written to help build character, motivate, and inspire goalies in youth hockey.

Hockey goalie with mask - watermark


Chris Dyson is the president of Puckstoppers, a goalie school in London, ON that has one of the longest running goalie training programs in the world. The school started in 1988 as a goalie rental service and grew into a goaltending training program helping coaches, parents, and young goalies from Europe, Canada, and the United States.

Chris has taken his love for hockey and dedicated himself to helping train young goalies who might not get the attention they need in regular practice. He has this to say about Puckstoppers: “While the goalie rental business took off quite quickly, I soon realized that there was a real void in the market for a solid reputable goalie school where the instructors were caring, mature, experienced adults who took great pride in their instruction and were thrilled to see their students achieve, improve, and succeed.”

Over the years, Chris has become somewhat of a go-to-expert on goaltending and goalie training. He has had articles published, commentated on radio and television broadcasts of hockey games, participated in numerous media interviews, spoke to large groups on the subject, and now he’s written a book.

Target Practice

That’s where we come in. Our challenge was to capture (in just six images) the motivating and inspiring feeling the Puckstoppers school, and Chris as a coach himself, gives to young goaltenders. Julie Whelan Photography was up to the task! With our portable studio, we’re able to light the shots on and off the ice, just how we want them. Here’s the shot that was chosen for the cover of the book:

Goalie coach talking to goalie

A special thanks to our goalie model, Omar, who came out for the shoot simply to help out and have some fun.

Coach teaching goalie through the net

Having the whole ice surface to ourselves, we couldn’t resist taking some action shots of our model.


Chris is not only a coach, author, and president of Puckstoppers, but has also been in a hockey net since he was fourteen and we’ve captured that here:

Hockey Goalie in netChris Dyson in net

A great thing about shoots like this is the creative freedom we have. Because we had as much time as we needed on a well-maintained, professional ice surface with two models in full hockey gear, we were able to do some fun shots we wouldn’t normally get to do at a tournament.

Hockey goalie coach leaning on netHockey goalie stance from behind the net

The publisher also needed some studio shots of Chris for promotional materials. We also took this as an opportunity to try some new things!

Goalie coach in suitHalf goalie half coach

This was our first shoot with our new equipment. We recently bought a Canon 7D Mark II for a backup and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens and man, they do not disappoint! For this shoot, I used my Canon 5D Mark III with the 70-200mm f2.8 for the portraits on and off the ice and I was really happy with the speed and sharpness of the lens. I do all my on ice shoots on skates, making me a lot more comfortable and agile. Here’s a shot of me on the job:

Julie Whelan Photography in action

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If you like the images you see here and would like to hire us for your next tournament, event, or portrait session, please contact us.

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About Julie Whelan

Julie Whelan, professional photographer of over fifteen years, has had the opportunity to shoot all over the globe--from capturing portraits in Vanuatu to shooting off rooftops in Maui to photographing products in Calgary. She now finds herself in Ontario photographing outdoor adventures and the active lifestyles of athletic individuals and athletes in competition & training. Julie has also worked with professional athletes such as Don Cherry, Darryl Sittler, and Roberto Alomar. When not behind the lens, Julie likes to unwind with a good book or spending time in the garden.

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One thought on “Target Practice

  • Fam Whelan

    Good morning, Impressive site for sure, seems like London is working out for u guys. Branching out gives you something to do in your spare time [hahahehehoho]. Talk soon as off to walk the dog. Myles