Category Archives: Summer Festivals

ScotiaBank BuskerFest in Support of Epilepsy Toronto 2013 – A Recap

buskerfest 2013 LMP blog postAs you may know, each year we cover the ScotiaBank BuskerFest in Support of Epilepsy Toronto. This year the festival moved to the Downtown Yonge neighbourhood and spanned the area from Queen St. to College/Carlton. Above you will find scenes from the festival and some of the talented performers who provided Toronto with four days of world class street performance.

In its new home on Yonge Street the festival drew enough people (over 2 million) be be officially recognized as the world’s biggest busker street festival. That’s no small accomplishment, and all of the dedicated and talented people that we’ve had the pleasure of working with on and off the pitch over the past 10 years (this is the festival’s 14th year) have all had a part in making it the biggest, and – we think – the best street festival in the world.  Congratulations BuskerFest!

To those performers (and readers of this blog) who asked us about the staged portraits we usually do, we apologize but weren’t able to do them this year… we hadn’t realized that they were quite so popular, so maybe we will arrange something different next year.  Who knows…?

For now, enjoy reliving the fun of the festival’s best moments – above.

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Filed under Buskerfest, Charity, Dream State Circus, Epilepsy, Events, Fire Photography, Our Job is Fun!, Photography, Street Photography, Summer Festivals, Toronto, Uncategorized

Promo for Pyros

Pyromancer by LMPTORONTOOne of the things we seem to have become known for – and in fact Mark has inadvertently become quite an expert in – is fire photography. It takes a specific understanding of lighting and fire, not to mention very precise timing to capture fire the way he does. When we covered Toronto Buskerfest at the end of August we were reintroduced to Pyromancer (David Bolee), one of the world’s best fire breathers and a fantastic performer. He wanted some new promo to showcase the funnier/whackier side of his fire show and so we collaborated to come up with some ideas on how to bring this side of him to light.

We don’t want to toot our own… oh, never mind… but we think we managed to bring out a bit of that fun in the photos above… what do you think??   🙂

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Filed under Advertising, Buskerfest, Fire Photography, Our Job is Fun!, Photography, Portraits, Promotional, Summer Festivals, Toronto

ScotiaBank BuskerFest People’s Choice Award Winners, Dream State Circus

The winners of this year’s People’s Choice Award at the ScotiaBank BuskerFest in Support of Epilepsy Toronto was Dream State Circus – the multitalented duo made up of  Sophie and Jacob McGrath.  We have shot several of Dream State Circus’ performances in past years – they were also People’s Choice Award winners in 2009 – and this year when they approached us to do a full on promo shoot for them in the week following the festival we jumped at the opportunity.

Apart from being a world renowned acrobalance, fire juggling, and highly synchronized circus act Sophie and Jacob are really wonderfully fun and honest people, they are very open minded and our shoot was a complete collaboration of creative ideas – the best kind of situation that we can hope for when shooting promo.  We shot using a few different locations and were enjoying ourselves so much that it seemed the time just flew by (well, it flew by for US – we’re not sure about Sophie and Jacob who were responsible for doing all the acrobatics required and still had to make the trip to Niagara that night in preparation for another festival that weekend)!

At the end of the afternoon we felt we’d created some material worthy of these power performers –  a couple of samples can be seen above.

We also should take a minute to thank Julie Pilkington and the staff at the Novotel Toronto Centre.  We are becoming known for our fire photography and as I’ve mentioned before, when we shoot fire the fire is real – there is no photoshopping or post production to make it bigger, brighter, or more ‘fiery’ – it comes out of the camera just as you see it in the photos and Dream State Circus does BIG fire. With our assurance that all of the necessary precautions and safety measures were in place (Dream State is also very safety conscious) Julie allowed us a perfect location to shoot uninterrupted, so again – our thanks to Julie and of course to Sophie and Jacob of Dream State Circus. We had such a lot of fun.

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Filed under Buskerfest, Dream State Circus, Editorial, Epilepsy, Events, Fire Photography, Our Job is Fun!, Photography, Portraits, Promotional, Summer Festivals, Toronto, Uncategorized

Peter Rabbit and Snap Boogie as 2 on 1

One of the most popular performance duos at ScotiaBank BuskerFest this year was 2 on 1, made up of Peter Rabbit an established drummer and all around entertainer (who we last shot in 2005) and Snap Boogie (aka Cjaiilon Andrade) a blindingly talented dancer who some might have recognized as a semi-finalist from Season 6 of America’s Got Talent.   As 2 on 1, Peter drums on buckets demonstrating his incredible skill in percussion while Snap Boogie displays his talent and passion for dance in a routine that ends with him front flipping over a line of audience members – inevitably to wild applause.

While this duo puts on an energetic and masterful show for the audience, a part of their obvious fan appeal is in the way that they approach everyone who has come to see them perform. Peter Rabbit and Snap Boogie are two very open, friendly, and accommodating professionals and we can tell you first hand they are a real pleasure – and a lot of fun – to work with.

We grabbed each of them individually for a series of portraits in an alley on the grounds of BuskerFest – as you can see we also grabbed a few helpful chefs who came during a break from a nearby restaurant to see what we were up to and ended up standing in for some lighting tests. Both Peter and Snap collaborated fully with us bringing their own ideas, and though their schedules were busy and they had been performing all day they gave us as much time as we needed to bring the ideas to life.

Above a portrait of each.

After seeing the proofs Snap mentioned that he’d like to work with us again because we made him look ‘ripped’ and ‘sexy’… but that’s no trick. The talent, charisma, the positive attitude through adversity that he shares with Peter, and of course – the 8 pack abs – are very real, and combine to assure us that this young performer has a serious future.

And we would never turn down the opportunity to play a part in promoting it.

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Filed under Buskerfest, Charity, Editorial, Epilepsy, Events, Music, Our Job is Fun!, Photography, Portraits, Promotional, Summer Festivals, Toronto

Final Set of Greenroom Portraits From ScotiaBank BuskerFest 2012

 

Above, the final set of portraits from the greenroom of the ScotiaBank BuskerFest in Support of Epilepsy Toronto. We would once again like to thank everyone who stood in front of our camera, allowing to create a collective picture of  all those who are so important in making this festival the success that it is.

Next week we will post some of the portraits that we took outside of the greenroom as well as some photos from a private  shoot that we did with the festival’s People’s Choice Award winners, Dream State Circus earlier this week.

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Filed under Buskerfest, Charity, Epilepsy, Events, Our Job is Fun!, Photography, Portraits, Summer Festivals, Toronto, Uncategorized

More Performers, Crew, and Volunteers of the 2012 ScotiaBank BuskerFest

Another set of portraits from our roughed together greenroom studio set up.

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Filed under Buskerfest, Charity, Epilepsy, Events, Our Job is Fun!, Photography, Portraits, Summer Festivals, Toronto

Some Portraits From the 2012 ScotiaBank BuskerFest Greenroom

Above, a series of portraits featuring some of the performers, crew, and volunteers who made this year’s ScotiaBank BuskerFest in Support of Epilepsy Toronto what it was.

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Filed under Buskerfest, Charity, Epilepsy, Events, Headshots, Our Job is Fun!, Photography, Portraits, Summer Festivals, Toronto, Uncategorized

The Buskers Were Back

For the 8th year in a row we acted as official photographers for The ScotiaBank Toronto BuskerFest in Support of Epilepsy Toronto. Once again the streets of Toronto – Front and Wellington from Yonge Street to Jarvis – were transformed, with the help of a dedicated team of technical crew and countless volunteers, into the grounds of the largest BuskerFestival in North America.

ScotiaBank Toronto BuskerFest is one of our favourite events, not only because the entertainment is world class (and available to everyone equally) but because the whole driving force of the festival is to raise money for Epilepsy Toronto and that goal is accomplished in spectacular form.

As part of this four day festival the world’s top street performers gather and give their collective best at two benefit shows – the thrilling Friday night fire show and the collaborative Sunday night finale – and at the conclusion of the shows the total of all crowd donations is matched by title sponsor ScotiaBank and sent to Epilepsy Toronto, an organization that provides help and support to the 1 in 100 people in the GTA who live with epilepsy. It is an event during which everyone works together in support of Epilepsy Toronto, and we are proud to be a part of it year after year.

A festival of this magnitude can only come together with the cooperation and time investment of a great many people with a wide range of skills and resources to offer. In recognition of everyone who gives generously of themselves in order to make the festival what it is, we like to set up a rough studio in the greenroom each year to capture a portrait of every person who has had a part in bringing the festival together. We feel EVERYONE – centre stage or back – deserves this recognition.  One day we hope to have created archives documenting everyone who has been involved as the festival evolves.  We’re working on it…

So to every performer, crew member, volunteer and of course title sponsor ScotiaBank – who gave and then gave again – we salute you and congratulate you. Together you raised the money needed to ensure ongoing support for 1 in 100 people – you did so by creating an unforgettable festival for over a million more.

Well done.

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Filed under Buskerfest, Charity, Epilepsy, Events, Headshots, Our Job is Fun!, Photography, Portraits, Summer Festivals, Toronto, Uncategorized

Heavy TO Returned to Downsview Park and This Time – Things Got a Bit Messy

The last concert of our 2012 concert season was HeavyTO. We have been very lucky with the weather this year, it has been dry and warm for each of the concerts we have covered – with the exception of  Deamau5’s set at last week’s VELD Festival – but this time it rained leading into the concert weekend and it continued raining on and off all weekend long.

The weather didn’t seem to get the crowd down though – they ’embraced’ the mud and the mud embraced them right back. By the end of the day we were covered in mud but had captured some images that will certainly set this concert apart from the rest when reflecting on the concerts of 2012.

At the end of it all, after the storms had passed, this one even featured a rainbow.

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Filed under Downsview Park, Events, Live Music, Music, Photography, Summer Festivals, Toronto, Uncategorized

The VELD Music Festival Was – HUGE

This past weekend the VELD Music Festival was held at Downsview Park, and as official photographers we were there covering everything from the bands – with Deadmau5 and AVICII the headliners on Saturday and Sunday respectively – to the massive crowds, vendors, and well… the rain that left its mark on not only the throngs of mau5-heads in Saturday’s crowds but also on the not-so-waterproof equipment of the man himself, Deadmau5.

We have covered every concert and music festival held at Downsview Park this year, and with the new event space layout it has really become a prime concert venue.  We have to compliment the Park (and not just because they hire us for these events… ahem) but because we’ve watched Downsview Park evolve over the past 4 years and have witnessed the planning that has gone into creating the kind of event space that can handle events of this magnitude. The events at Downsview Park are well orchestrated and from our perspective (which at times is several storeys into the air – see photos at the end of the strip above) well laid out.

As a whole, the crowd at VELD was the happiest crowd we have experienced this year. And why not?? With a full spectrum of vibrant colours, flashing lights, seamless transitions between pounding beats, and toys of all sorts (who didn’t encounter the seemingly ubiquitous penguin on a stick?) together turning the park into a veritable playground – you really have to love an event like this.

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Filed under Deamau5, Downsview Park, Events, Live Music, Music, Photography, Summer Festivals, Toronto, Uncategorized, VELDFest