Oct 16, 2012
Jun 4, 2012
I’m back. May was awesome and busy. Awesomely busy even. But, lets get back to some updates from before then. First up, here’s a quick round up from the past little while of some portraits shot for The Grid.
I had the pleasure of shooting Howard Glassman and Fred Patterson, also known as Humble & Fred, in their Etobicoke radio studio. These guys have spent time pretty much all over the dial when it comes to Toronto radio, making stops at several big stations such as 102.1, AM 640 and 99.9. What does this mean to anyone who doesn’t live around here? Well not much, however now thanks to the magic of the innernette, Humble & Fred have their own station.
Next up, I got to have a local organic food market on lockdown to shoot professional model/TV person, Stacey McKenzie. Well, one old lady knocked on the door and wandered in anyways, but still. I had actually shot Stacey once before a couple of years ago for Toronto Life, so it was neat to meet again. A nice gal, who is the polar opposite of many of her peers - in a good way.
But wait, there’s more! I also had the opportunity to shoot the local graffiti artist/Toronto Mayor adversary simply known as “Spud” the day after his gallery show opening. This was a unique assignment because Spud had requested that his face remain hidden, as he’s in no hurry to get busted for the infinite number of vandalism charges he’s no doubt got waiting for him. I actually have no clue what he looks like either, from the time we met up until the end of the shoot, he was totally decked out in army fatigues and a ski mask. Really friendly guy though, and yes, a fellow potato fanatic.
Apr 27, 2012
As you may have heard, I have a new website! This is exciting for a few reasons. It’s still new and shiny, it works faster/smoother/better than my last one, it’s extremely easy to update and last but not least I was able to work my new branding into it, which is what inspired this whole thing in the first place.
I wouldn’t say that my previous “branding” was half-assed, but it wasn’t really anything that I had worried about very much. At the time of creating my previous website and marketing material I more or less looked at the cost of a designer, died inside and went ahead and typed out my own name on some business cards in Photoshop. It worked just fine for me as I was just at a stage where I just really needed local publications to learn my name and my work. That’s not to discount the value of solid branding at all (and some might argue that it was perhaps even more important at that stage of the game), but my main priority was just being able to show as much of my work to as many people as possible, so that’s where all time/money/resources/effort went.
Now, I’m certainly not dominating my corner of the industry or anything like that at all, but I’m much more comfortable with where I stand now vs. 3 years ago with the work I’ve done and am doing. It just seemed like it was time to start to finesse the finer points of my business, starting with a better web presence and a more professional (hopefully) brand that can extend across all aspects of my business from website to business cards to invoices to my portfolio and so on and so forth.
Enter: Trevor and Aftermodern Lab. Trevor came as one of many recommendations from the fine folks at Mason (who I’ve worked on a few projects with previously), but his work stood head and shoulders above the rest to me. I’ve been looking for a designer who is extremely talented with all things font related for a very long time and Trevor fit the bill perfectly. I know next to nothing about what makes text look good, but I know what I like, and thankfully Trevor and myself appear to be on the same wavelength as far as visuals are concerned.
What started as rambling and notes in a coffee shop eventually ended up in some solid ideas and samples passed back and forth. I think there were something like 20 options overall in the end. Here are a few samples of the process, and who knows maybe it’s something I’ll revisit in awhile:
Once I had kind of established what I was liking and what I was not liking, we started to tweak and fine tune things a bit until eventually landing on the basic design that I was going to go with:
From there, a winner was selected and Trevor tightened things up where they needed it and worked his magic to finish it up, which brings us to where we are now:
Next up: portfolio etching, leave behinds and maybe a tattoo on my face.
Apr 23, 2012
Apr 11, 2012
So, I got some of my newer work printed up in an effort to update my book. This made me think it would be a great time to update my website. Now, for the last 2-3 weeks all of my time, when not shooting, has been dedicated to building a brand new website (one that will hopefully have this here blog embedded, for those that are stumbling upon it that way).
I also spent some time working with a very talented designer on a little bit of “re-branding,” which I’m excited to blog about shortly!
In the meantime, here’s some pollution courtesy of Sudbury, Ontario.
Mar 21, 2012
There’s a new(ish) magazine in town! Sportsnet Magazine started up here in Toronto about 6 or so months ago, which is exciting news for all photographers and illustrators who moonlight as beer league hockey stars (all 3 of us). I’m glad to say I’ve had a couple assignments for Sportsnet thus far, and I hope there are more to come.
One such assignment happened just before Christmas. I was tasked with traveling to Guelph, Ontario, to shoot a portrait of the OHL’s Guelph Storm assistant coach Bill Stewart. Bill, a former NHLer, has a bit of a rocky coaching past, but has been given another shot at it in Guelph. I found him to be extremely down to earth, positive, excited and very refreshing. Definitely not quite how I remember my hockey coaches being when I was the age of his players, though I suppose it wasn’t in his best interest to be screaming at me to skate harder at the time. These images were all shot in and around the Storm facilities in Guelph, which is apparently attached to a shopping mall. Crazy.
Also for Sportsnet, I had the opportunity to shoot portraits of professional soccer player Ashtone Morgan. Ashtone plays in the MLS for Toronto FC, and is also a member of Canada’s national men’s soccer team at the ripe old age of 21 (though he was 19-20 when he first started playing with the big boys). These images were shot behind the scenes at BMO Field. Unfortunately, it was during the off-season and we weren’t permitted on the pitch. It was also freezing that day, but Ashtone sucked it up and donned the shorts anyways while I shot from the comfort of my coat.
Mar 16, 2012
I haven’t done a Grid post in awhile, so let’s change that. Here are a couple portraits that were shot a few months back, near the end of 2011.
Back in November I was asked to shoot some portraits of Steven Page (previously of Barenaked Ladies fame). We met up at Mercury Espresso Bar, a cafe in the east end. The cafe people (and their customers) were kind enough to let us shoot there, even if half of the customers had no clue what was going on. It all went off without a hitch however, and Steven was a really great subject as well as a snappy dresser.
Equally as great a subject, though somewhat more flexible, I also shot Guillaume Cote for The Grid. Guillaume is a principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada and, despite us having the exact same chiseled body, we’re not actually related. I shot Guillaume at the National Ballet HQ, and while he was an extremely nice guy, there is something strange about having a serious conversation about grocery shopping and rock music with a guy who’s doing the splits.
Mar 12, 2012
Another one from the fall! I shot a neat little assignment for The Walrus back in late October, which appeared in their Jan/Feb issue. This assignment was a bit different, more of an architectural documentary (if that’s a real thing) kind of gig vs. the portraits I typically shoot. I was tasked with shooting some key locations in Waterloo, the centre of Canada’s tech world, to go along with an interesting piece about the tech, architecture and city itself. Check out the article here.
Mar 8, 2012
In an attempt to get current with everything, I think I’m going to do a few rapid-fire posts, grouped by magazine. How does that sound?
First up, some late fall/early winter work for Marketing Magazine. The first portraits are of Facebook Canada CEO Jordan Banks, shot on location at the FB Canada offices. Yes, they had video games.
Next up was Jacqueline O’Sullivan, head of advertising at Microsoft Canada. You guessed it, shot at one of the MS offices here in Toronto. No video games here, but I did get a custom visitor pass with my photo on it. I had to give it back unfortunately.
Last but not least, a cover feature on Stephen Graham of Maple Leaf Foods. I learned a bit about Sidney Crosby’s pre-game meal plans from Stephen. Needless to say, it didn’t work out quite the same for me.
Feb 16, 2012