Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ashes to Ashes

For anyone who has dropped in on this little piece of the internet over the past few years, you know that my family suffered a terrible loss when my father passed away two years ago.
My mom called me recently and told me that she felt ready to part with my dad's ashes, so I hopped on a plane and made my way west.
This is a quick little video that I made of the day we spread my dad's ashes on some of his favorite beaches on the island he lived with my mom on.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

24/7 Blog: 24 Things I Did Instead of Shooting For This Blog

I'd like to get the fact that it's been a "little" while since my last blog post out of the way. 
There it is. It's been awhile. 
I've been beating myself up enough about it over the last few months that I don't think it's necessary to display that kind of self-inflicted abuse in front of you.
Firstly I'd like to thank my nearest and dearest for all of the guilt trips, the whiny voices and sad-eyed looks that said "it's a pity you stopped blogging", because I took those pitiful glances as a kind of compliment, thankful that there are at least a few of you who enjoyed my weekly typological photography blogging.
The photo above is a quick list I scribbled out of 24 things I did instead of take pictures for this here blog. I'm almost positive that I've accomplished more than 24 measly things in the last 7 months, but nonetheless, those are the first 24 I could think of (turns out cheap tequila makes it onto more than just my grocery list)
So although I can't guarantee that I will be continuing with the "24/7" concept of shooting a roll of 35mm film a week, I can promise to start posting more on here about what kinds of work I've been doing (personally and professionally). 
ALORS MES AMIS, let us begin.
A great new addition to my photography life has been shooting as a contributing photographer for Fashion East. This is a Halifax-based street style blog that my good friend Krista Comeau asked me to be a part of. I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to shoot for a blog collaboratively with photographer friends who's work I admired. 
Here are some of my favorite pictures I've taken for the blog:
Fashion East:

Shooting for a street style blog has been a great way to break in my new camera. Right around the time when we were starting up Fashion East, I was in the market for a new DSLR. I have to give credit to the Canon Rebel that carried me through countless school and work assignments, but I really had outgrown it. Truth be told, it was as soon as I took a few snaps from behind Riley's 5d, the love affair with my tried-and-true starter camera was nearing its end.
Nowadays you can see me walking the blustery streets of Halifax searching out street style subjects with my 5d MkII slung across my body, not unlike the way a mother slings a precious newborn across her chest. My new camera re-invigorated my love for shooting digitally.
Regardless, I'll never lose my love for the look of film, and in the past few months I was still shooting rolls including some medium format:

The Coast:
One of the most fun covers I've shot for The Coast was during Pride Week. Loukas at The Coast let me have free reigns as far as concept and so this is what I came up with:

I was really excited when fellow Fashion East contributor Christina Arsenault asked me to submit some photos for a group show for Nocturne of self portraits done by local female photographers. The beautiful poster for the event was designed by Colleen Sweeney, who also designed our Fashion East logo.
Here is one of the images I submitted to the show:

So you see? I was just busy doing other things with my cameras. I'm back now though, and I'm so glad to have this blog as yet another creative outlet.
Thanks for dropping by!
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Monday, June 20, 2011

24/7 Blog - 24 Words to Describe Our Dads

Click Image for Larger View

This week I asked 24 people to write down a word or two that best described their dad. Some people immediately chose a word as though it had always been paused on the tip of their tongue, while others struggled to narrow it down to just one or two adjectives. I love that there were no repeated words, and that everyone had a bit of a backstory for the word that tied them to the thought of the man who raised them.
I couldn't choose some images over the others this week, as I wouldn't want to choose one person's word over anyone else's. I think each word speaks volumes.

I have to admit, this has been a hard blog post for me to write. As some of you know, this is my first fathers day since my wonderful dad Don passed away. The last Fathers Day that we spent together as a family was last year at the palliative care unit in a hospital in Nanaimo, BC.
My dad wasn't able to get out of bed much in those days, so in the week leading up to Father's Day, my brothers and I decided to finish up some projects that my dad had started before being admitted to the hospital. He and my mom loved to garden and do landscaping together on their lush cliff-perched property on Gabriola Island. He had always wanted to add another pond to the property, right beside the vegetable garden, and it was amazing how much of it he had gotten accomplished on his own before we took the project over, considering his deteriorating strength.
I fondly remember the dry hot summer day that my brothers and I worked side by side at my parents house, with the cicadas singing around us.  We did anything and everything we could to fix up and improve the property, things that my dad would have been doing had he not ended up in palliative care. It felt as though we were easing some of my dad's pain by tying up some loose ends for him. I made sure to photograph all of the work we did, from my brother Ryan two stories up on a ladder cleaning out the gutters, to my brother Jamie building and staining some new fencing. We bought dozens of plants for the pond, and placed one of my dads beautiful stone Buddha statues on the rocks surrounding the water.
On Fathers Day, we all surrounded my dad's bed at the hospital to show a slideshow and videos of the work we completed. He was so excited to see the photos of us three kids, working together on the home and property that he so loved. I remember that at that point, we were still looking forward to bringing him home to see it all for himself.
My dad could fix anything, make anything, and in my mind, do anything. To me he was superman. He was a barrel-chested giant of a man at six foot four with a heart made of gold. I remember one Fathers Day card that I gave to my dad when I was about 10 years old that had a rhyme which described him as "gentile". He giggled and taught me the proper spelling.
Thanks to Doobie for taking the 25th picture for this post, and to all who took the time to think up your dad-word. Please feel free to email me for a printable version (4x6) at twentyfoursevenblog@gmail.com
Thanks for reading :)
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Monday, June 6, 2011

24/7 Blog - 24 Halifax Dogs (and their walkers)

I don't own a dog myself, but this week I decided to shoot some of Halifax's dogs while I was out and about in the sunshine last weekend when Bike Week was wrapping up. A trip over to Point Pleasant Park gave me ample photo blog opportunity (13 pooch pics in one hour), and the rest I snapped whenever I had the time before and after my nine-to-five.
I really thought shooting dogs would be a sinch, but it turns out that they don't take simple modeling instructions quite as adeptly as their human counterparts. Looks like I'm going to have to stick with my two-legged subjects after all :)
There were a few shots where I was fast enough to snap a pic before the distracting scent of a wafting smell pulled my furry models away, and here they are.

To any of the dog owners: if you'd like me to email you a printable image, pls send me an email at twentyfoursevenblog@gmail.com! And thanks to Dolce, Joey, Roy Rogers, Bowie, Kaspar, Judique, Charlot, Quila, Oliver, Abby, Gojirra, Maggie, Gambit, Jesse, Jacob, Tosca, Menon, Lucy, Finlay, Molly and Sirius Black for being my (mostly) willing models!
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Monday, May 30, 2011

24/7 Blog - 24 Halifax Cyclists

Last week I was asked by Loukas at The Coast (Halifax's local weekly paper) to shoot the cover of the paper with both Halifax Bike Week, and street style in mind. I was super excited to combine three things I love on the cover of the paper; cycling, style and photography. I had always shot past assignments and covers for The Coast on my digital camera, but after the 15 rolls of film I've shot for this blog over the past few months, it only felt right to shoot the cover with the Canon AE1 that is slung across my back every day that I bike around this beautiful city.
So, I sought out a few stylish people who, like me, use bicycles as their main mode of transportation, and who were willing to see their faces on newstands around Halifax for a week. Here is the result:
And of course it wouldn't be prudent to turn down the opportunity for yet another blog post, so I then started seeking out 18 more willing cyclist-subjects to round out the 24 needed for my 24/7 project.
Here are some of my favorites.

I also shot my first roll of colour 120mm film on our Yashica medium format camera when I was shooting for the cover, and I think I'm hooked. Look forward to a 120 post soon. Here are a couple of my favorites from that roll:

Thanks to all the bikers this week, those who I shot for the cover, and the ones I stopped in the street!
Tune in next week to check out a few furry friends making their dog-blog debut!
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