The collodion – or wet plate – process was developed in the 1850s and was a popular yet somewhat inconvenient way for photographers to produce portraits. This form of photography required the photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes and this inconvenience was probably one of the reasons that the process was largely replaced by dry gelatine emulsion in the 1880’s. Nowadays the look originally achieved by this process can be replicated by skilled photographers using a digital darkroom.
At the end of August we shot a number of performers over the course of one afternoon. The photos were lit to help create the wet plate ‘look’ that would be further enhanced in the digital darkroom. Circus is an age old form of entertainment and the performers that we shot are some of the best in the world… they are the type that, in a different century, might’ve made their living travelling the world entertaining people young and old.
This is the way that we envisioned their ‘promo’ posters might’ve looked back then, developed using the collodion process.
Back in May we spent a day at Mississauga’s Clarkson Pool photographing three triathletes who, in their master years, showed us what fitness is all about. These three were a lot of fun to work with – so many laughs were had – and when it came to keeping up with our demands i.e.: swimming back and forth over and over…and over to get JUST the RIGHT shot, they were patient and they were tireless.
The photos that we eventually captured will be used for promotion of the facilities and programs available to Mississauga’s older adults and these three could certainly inspire the population to come out and participate, their fitness had me questioning why at two decades younger I don’t have nearly the energy that they do! If I were a Mississauga resident perhaps I would be looking into ‘doing whatever they’re doing’ because they seem to be doing it right.
As it happens Marta – the powerful looking lady in the blue swimsuit at top – has a son who, as a linebacker, has won two Grey Cups in his CFL career. We would like to shoot Marta and her son together one day – he may have trained hard over the years to earn those rings, but we’re pretty sure he could still learn a lot from his mom about staying strong, healthy, and active into his senior years.
We probably all could.
This year we spent the Doors Open weekend down at the Waterfront shooting images from this area of the city for use in marketing material promoting all the area has to offer. The waterfront has undergone a lot of changes and redevelopment over the past two years. If you haven’t had a chance to spend time in the neighbourhood since it underwent construction, now might be a good time to visit.
These people – and pirates – all seemed to think so.
Over the past few years we have been fortunate to work with the team at the YWCA Toronto in creating photography for a variety of their publications. The team that we work with are wonderful, compassionate people and the whenever we have worked with the YWCA program participants (often women who have each faced enormous challenges and have then become the subject of our photos) we’ve felt honoured that they allow themselves to feel and convey in front of us the true emotion that we hope comes across in the photos.
Recently we worked with the YWCA to create visuals for their 2014 Annual Report. Again we worked with participants of the YWCA’s programs – programs to help women who had been abused, women who had faced poverty, and women who were experiencing homelessness. One of the participants was Sasha – above. Sasha is an absolute success story. A strong and ambitious woman who with the help of the YWCA has been able to rebuild her life and even start her own business. She continues to thrive.
On the evening that we met Sasha she arrived composed, self confident, and her strength came through in every frame. After the final shots had been delivered to the client we fooled around a bit with this outtake in post production and liked the way it came out.
Sasha makes a fine ambassador for the success stories that are written through the tireless work of those at the YWCA and the programs made possible by the donations they receive.
Back in January we were fortunate enough to work with Claire Carver-Dias, a bronze medalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. During our photo shoot we learned a little bit about synchronized swimming and the training one must go through to reach the level that Clair has reached. We also got a chance to feel for ourselves just how heavy an olympic medal really is – it is quite heavy!
Claire has moved on from the life of an athlete and through her company Clearday Communications now offers corporate communications services as well as coaching. Claire is also an accomplished author who has just seen her first novel put into print – an all around accomplished individual and a real pleasure to work with.
So way back in May just as we – and the rest of the city – were digging out from that intense winter and were beginning to enjoy the warmer temperatures, we began working with the City of Mississauga. The first assignment that we shot for them was, as it happened, the cover and some interior shots for the City of Mississauga’s Fall/Winter Active Guide. So essentially on the first really warm day in May we went into a giant freezer and didn’t come out for 6 hours. Why not?
Two of the models that we used for the shoot – the two you see above – are children of a client we worked for at Downsview Park. We had used these kids for a few projects at the park over the years, and in all honesty they are two of my favourite kids. They were really patient and tireless skating around all day to produce the shots we needed. Awesome kids. When all the necessary shots had been captured we did portraits with each of them – and as it turns out they might end up being banners in the arena, we’ll have to wait and see, but I’m hoping if I ever go back into an arena in Mississauga I see my two favourite kids up there on posters – larger than life.
In September we began working with Marketplace Events – the company responsible for bringing Toronto the very popular Toronto Fall Home Show each year. This year one of the main features of the show was the Casalife Feature Home designed by FLOROHome Creative Director Emmanuel Belliveau and Project Manager Maria Perketa.
While shooting promotional material for media before the opening of the show we spent a couple of hours in the design space and during that time shot a few editorial portraits of Emmanuel, above. Note the custom built kitchen island in the first shot – just one example of Emmanuel’s design and build creativity. You can see more of FLOROHome’s work on their website: check them out.
You might not recognize Jo Lalonde – aka Chalk Chick – but if you spend a lot of time in downtown Toronto you have probably seen her work. Jo is an established artist who not only works with corporate clients (you can see a list of past clients on her website here) but spends time out on the streets doing her part to make the city of Toronto a little more colourful.
Believe it or not the portraits of Jo that you see above were taken after she took a break from her latest masterpiece and got ‘cleaned up’. She’s awesome. This is one artist who gets RIGHT into her work and isn’t afraid to get dirty.
Just the way it should be.
At the end of the NBA season last year the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat to win – for the 5th time – the NBA Championship and take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy. What was different this time was that after the celebrations ended in San Antonio, the trophy – ‘Larry’ as it is called – went on a bit of a tour. For the first time, members of the winning team were allowed to bring the trophy home and share the celebrations with the family and friends who had supported them through their early days and saw them through to securing their place in history as NBA champions.
Earlier in the week we had covered the celebrations as Cory took Larry to his high school; on that day the school retired his number 5 jersey. The energy was running high as local kids got the opportunity to see, touch, and covet the trophy, a symbol of goals reached and success achieved – hopefully encouraging them to pursue their own dreams.
The weekend, however, was reserved for Cory to celebrate his stardom with those closest to him… and well… for some photography with Larry.
We spent quite a bit of time with Cory’s family, with his agent Fara at Klutch Sports Group, and of course with Cory himself – who remains humble despite his accomplishments. Lovely people. I guess no matter how big of a star you become on the court, if you started your life with a couple of older sisters they will never let you forget that you are STILL their younger brother… and just as the shutter clicks on a family photo, one of them just might instil some humility by pulling your ears.
What an awesome family – they have taught Cory well.
Let us just say right from the start that working with NBA star Tristan Thompson and his family – mother Andrea and youngest brother Amari – was a complete pleasure. Recently Tristan launched the Amari Thompson fund in partnership with Epilepsy Toronto to provide support to those in our community who aren’t fortunate enough to have the advantages that Tristan’s family does in terms of financial support and the access to medication and services that they might find they need to not only live, but to live their fullest life while managing epilepsy. You can learn more about Tristan’s initiative here and watch his video here:
We came away from the shoot that we did with the Thompsons with a very real admiration for not only Tristan – who immediately upon finding himself able to give back, did just that – but for his mother Andrea, who is clearly very much responsible for the huge heart and the strong character rooted in Tristan.
Amari has been through a lot in his young life. He is one of the 1 in 100 in our community who live with Epilepsy every day. With the generosity of those who have already contributed to the fund in its first week – and those of you considering making a donation soon – it is a very real possibility that all the OTHER ‘1 in 100’s in our community will have the opportunity to access services they need regardless of their circumstances. That’s a pretty awesome possibility.
As Tristan would say “Let’s do this”.