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.
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 you might know, we consider ourselves to be specialists when it comes to shooting flames, but you could say that THESE guys are REALLY the specialists when it comes to fire. Last week we managed to hook up with them at the Fire Academy to, well, capture fire.
Firesound is a band comprised of real live fire fighters from across the City of Toronto, this group plays high energy pop, rock, and soul music and probably knows every song that remotely has to do with fire. You’d be surprised how many of those there are really.
You can learn more about Firesound by visiting their website or better yet, if you have an event that you are organizing and are in need of a band with huge energy, massive talent, and on top of that the heart to perform for charity (all of their fees go to charities such as Camp Bucko, a camp for children with burn injuries) then give them a call and see what kind of show they can put on just for you.
Their next CD will be coming out soon, and will feature the photos you see above. When it is available, we will let you know, so watch our twitter feed.
One early morning in July we spent a few hours photographing the interior of the newly renovated Holt Renfrew store at Yorkdale Mall. Our objective with this shoot was to capture the lighting and the way it illuminated and complimented the merchandise in various departments.
Although we were surrounded by a plentiful selection of this season’s top fashions and timeless classics from a variety of designers we decided not to take the opportunity to browse – or look TOO closely – at the pieces on offer. That was probably a good choice, as the temptation to do a bit of shopping while we were there might have just been too much.
At the end of May a new library opened in the neighbourhood of Bathurst and Front St. at Fort York Blvd. This new branch not only lends out books, DVDs and other material, but also includes a computer lab and multi-media rooms within which programs and classes are held. It is very modern and is a central spot for the residents of the newly named “Library District” to gather and learn.
The lighting is another key point, especially the strip of light under the massive staircase that leads to the second floor. We shot the library for Salex, one of our clients and the company responsible for designing the ‘look’ of the lighting and choosing the fixtures to achieve this look. The library itself it airy and bright, the lighting matches this perfectly.
After the winter that we all just endured the weather has finally warmed up and people are out and determined to enjoy it. One of the best places in Toronto to enjoy the summer weather – complete with cool lake breezes – is the waterfront.
During the Doors Open festival in May we shot some material for the Waterfront BIA, capturing images of people enjoying the first warm weekend we’d had in a long time. People were out running, biking, walking all shapes and sizes of dogs, and generally partaking in all the waterfront has to offer.
Some of those fun-loving people (and their dogs) even made it into our blog.
Last weekend all across the city, the doors to architecturally, historically, culturally, and socially significant buildings usually closed to the public were thrown open for the 15th annual Doors Open Toronto. Down on the waterfront Doors Open turned into Gangways Open as ships usually not accessible to curious by-passers welcomed crowds of happy locals and tourists alike onboard to discover these ships.
Over the course of the weekend plenty of pirates – presumably drawn to the area by the lovely new boardwalk, the numerous restaurants and retail outlets (including the amazing new Amsterdam Brewhouse), or by the sandy beach at H2O Park complete with cozy muskoka chairs – were found roaming the area. After all, what pirate wouldn’t want to take some time out from their busy plundering to relax in the cool breeze of the waterfront?
At the end of the day we had a few minutes to grab a few of these pirates, quickly set up lighting onboard the Empire Sandy tall ship, and in between the mild chaos of setting up the shot, corralling those happy locals and tourists into areas of the ship NOT in the shot, and managing the breeze that threatened the shooting umbrellas, were able to capture this photo above. It tells the story of the day: blue sky, puffy clouds, a tall ship… and some rogue pirates.
In the end, what else would you want from a weekend on the water?
In late February we spent a couple of days shooting for Art of Fashion. They had asked us to be involved in a fundraiser whereby their designers would have access to professional photography services in order to get a professional head shot that could be used in promoting themselves and their design collections.
For years we have noticed how many people try and promote themselves – and by extension their personal brands – on social media channels and personal or professional websites with photos that they have taken themselves (the dreaded selfie), cropped from a larger photo, or in some cases photos that have been taken by a ‘friend with a camera’. The result is invariably bad, bad, bad and only now are people generally starting to realize the value of a professional profile photo. A poor photo can potentially create a poor first impression, especially in the creative fields, so with this in mind we agreed to help raise money for Art of Fashion while providing a wide variety of people (a much wider variety than just the designers) with a head shot that they can use to promote themselves.
From opera singers (two of them!) to business professionals, to actors and those there just for fun, we tried to create something that expressed a bit of what each person was about.
This past week we donated our time and skill over the course of two days and produced a LOT of head shots and portraits as a fundraiser for Art of Fashion, an organization that supports up and coming fashion designers in their efforts to build their careers and their collections. Next week we will share with you some of our favourite frames from the 45 sessions we completed. The sessions were open to everyone – some people needed photos for corporate profiles or business use, some for more creative endeavours, and some people like Anna, above, just thought it would be cool to help raise money for a good cause and have some fun in the process.
Anna came in late on Monday – she was the last person we shot that day – and we were SO happy she decided to participate. After a 12 hour day she brought so much fun and laughter to the room it was incredible. We are big fans of Anna now, we may even have found a muse, and given that she ended our day so well on Monday we thought we’d share this photo of her to end our week on Friday.
You will (we hope) be seeing even more of Anna on our blog pages in the future.