Until this event I never really considered the similarities between a figure skating performance and a rock concert. Both involve music, movement and a light show. And just like at a concert I'm documenting without being able to control the action or the lighting, and hoping to capture some outstanding moments while keeping them in focus.
They gave me a spot right on the ice and it felt like being on stage. The challenge was that the skaters covered way more ground and moved way faster than and band I know.
This event was exciting because these are all world-class athletes. About half of them were part of the Canadian team that won gold at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. And of course Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir who also won Ice Dancing gold, making them the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history! And have since become recipients of the Order Of Canada!
I selected these specific photos because I feel they possess the same energy and evoke the same emotions as concert photography.
I led with Gabby Daleman because of her movement and the nostalgia of an arena rock audience holding up their lighters in the background.
1,2: Gabby Daleman. 3,6,7: Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje. 4,5,8: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir. 9: Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford.
Ocie Elliott is an absolutely fantastic musical duo from my home town Victoria, BC.
Sierra and Jon are two of the sweetest, most talented and honest musicians I know. Their love for one another comes through in their music. They’re warm and inviting. I can't say enough good things about these two. (I have a soft spot for folks from Vancouver Island)
They had a show right across the street from me at the Dakota Tavern, and popped by for a quick photo session.
Do yourself a favour and follow them, listen to them and go see them live!
I spent most of 2019 working on a personal project and also decided to try some new things.
I love animals. I always wanted to work with animals but didn't know in what capacity. In 2018 I started fostering and volunteering with dog rescues in Toronto and it changed my life.
Then I thought it could be interesting to do a series of portraits with rescue dogs and bands. Around that time the Just For Laughs comedy festival was in town so I pitched the idea to some comedians too.
I'm a fan of Todd Barry so I emailed his publicist with the idea, and Todd himself responded to me saying that he'd love to do it!
When he got to the studio the first thing he said was “Am I going to have to touch the dog?”. I assumed he was being funny but it turns out he's a cat person. Apparently our dog Lizzo got the memo. Swipe for her close-up.
Steve-O from Jackass was in town for JFL too, and I know he's a dog person so I reached out and he said yes. When you invite Steve-O for a photo shoot it's easy to come up with some preconceived ideas of how it will go. When have you ever seen him NOT doing something completely insane?
But I try to keep an open mind until meeting a person, because they can surprise you. He brought his own beloved service dog / travel companion / best friend Wendy From Peru.
The moment they walked into the studio, every ridiculous scenario I'd envisioned went right out the door. When Steve-O sat down for the portrait Wendy jumped up on his lap and that was that. These photos make me smile.
Sam Roberts Band asked me to shoot their show at Budweiser Stage in Toronto and I thought “Why not bring a pack of rescue dogs?”. As if backstage right around sound check isn't hectic enough. But the guys were totally down and had a great time. Thanks for being good sports!
What you can't see are the volunteers from the rescue standing behind me with squeaky toys and treats trying to get the dogs to look at the camera. Team work!
For anyone interested, the rescue in Toronto I volunteer for is New Collar Collective.
This was my second time working with Tim. Great guy. This time in addition to portraits he wanted to capture what he does on stage because it's such a big part of who he is. A ton of energy and always on the move.
Tim had the idea of being in a spotlight with nothing else on stage, so we shot it in the studio. To make it feel authentic I had him play his new songs and go as hard as he would on stage. Not the easiest thing to pull off in this setting but he was great.