Sony Be Alpha Event

  By Ryley Smith


Do you know what speed skating, dancers and dogs, Todd Korol, Sony and The Camera Store all have in common? The Sony Be Alpha event! One incredible Sunday of photographing at the Olympic Oval, thanks to Sony. What better way to celebrate the last day of summer than to shoot in the hot sun, with the leaves changing colour, super talented dancers and absolutely adorable dog models, then cooling down inside the Oval to watch an incredibly fast long track speed skating competition. It was a jam-packed day, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of how awesome it was!

Group of participants shooting speed skating in the Oval

This isn’t our first time hosting a Be Alpha event in Calgary with Sony, but this was next level. Our amazing Sony reps, Anthony and Stu came early in the morning, loaded with gear to let our participants play around with for the day. After everyone was set up for the day, Todd Korol, who is an incredible sports photographer, among many other photographic talents, gave everyone his best tips and tricks, as well as some important pointers to help shoot speed skating, which is harder than it looks. Seriously, they move way faster than you think!

Todd Korol directing a group of participants 

From there we made our way to the University of Calgary, where we were set-up right in the action. We split our attendees up into two groups, so each group could have more opportunity to ask questions, get direction and feedback, while also giving them plenty of space to work their angles and explore. 

A group of participants in the Oval

Inside the Oval, participants were able to spread around the race track, hug the corners to get that perfect action shot, and really get to test our the Sony gear first hand. We also had our gorgeous 400mm lens out for people to play with, talk about the cherry on top! 

Todd Korol shooting with the 400mm

Outside we had two stunning dancers from Rhythm FX, Gordie and Tianna, who worked their dancing magic, as well as four totally adorable and talented dogs from Cultured Canines, all in the beautiful fall colours around the University of Calgary Campus. 

Participant photographing dancer Tianna

Participant photographing dogs from Cultured Canines

After a full day of shooting, everyone headed back to The Camera Store, where participants were greeted with snacks and refreshments, as well as an opportunity to shop around the store after hours. Todd also had his prints, one of which was from earlier in the day, displayed around the store. Everyone may, or may not, have been a bit exhausted by the end of it, but it was an exceptional day to remember!  


Ryley graduated in 2018 from the U of C, with a bachelor in Sociology. With a strong love for writing, and having dabbled in photography, she wanted to take her curious mind and put it towards a more fun and creative future. In her spare time, Ryley finds herself camping, skiing, and fishing. She also loves craft beer and interesting food, ideally together.