Journal

Greg Boyd

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IMG_8772This past Friday I had the opportunity to photograph one of my personal heroes, Greg Boyd. A few weeks ago when I saw that he was going to be in Toronto, I emailed him to see if I could “grab a quick portrait.” He responded that he had “no idea what it means to grab a quick portrait,” but said if it was important to me, he’d be honoured. Greg is a leading thinker, prolific author, passionate speaker, and is considered one of North America’s most prominent and influential theologians. When he speaks, his gregarious personality shines through and his words are constantly trying to keep up with his rapid fire thoughts. He talks about Jesus’ Kingdom with the same excitement and fervour as Neil DeGrasse Tyson talking about stars and planets. There have been so many times over the past few years while listening to Greg when I’ve had an “aha!” moment — his ideas about open theism (God leaving things open to possibilities), the myth and false promises of an American Christian nation, and the lens through which he understands the violent depictions of God in the Old Testament. In short, Greg is a personal hero because he is passionately leading a “Kingdom” movement that looks like Jesus, filled with compassion, empathy, love, peace-making, and acceptance … and that is how I strive to live my life every day.

It was a great experience for me as a portrait photographer. I’ve only experienced Greg via his podcasts and videos online, where he has a big personality and is very animated, so I was a little bit surprised to find that he is much more low key in person. When he got in front of the camera, one of the first things he said to me was, “I’ve never enjoyed having my picture taken,” and then moments later, he commented, “I’ve never understood why photographers take so many pictures when you just need to kinda take [makes a camera motion] one picture.” The funny thing is that this photo is the very first frame of our short session. I guess Greg was right; I really just needed to click the shutter once and be done with it. 😁

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Olga + Theo // Wedding Moments

By | Blog Posts, Weddings | No Comments

It’s apparent Olga and Theo showed up this past Sunday ready to channel their inner Italian movie star in a 60s Fellini flick: Olga with her lush, dark hair, high cheekbones, deep soulful eyes, and effervescent laughter, Theo with his rugged good looks, stoic demeanour that easily breaks into a smile at any moment, well tailored suit, and fedora. What’s in this post isn’t the whole story — I haven’t even seen my 2nd shooter Valery’s pictures — but I wanted to share a collection of moments beginning at Olga’s family home and ending on the 54th floor of the TD Tower. Getting married on the last day of April can be a crapshoot weather-wise, but these two planned well by booking Hart House for a couple hours in the afternoon for portraits. It was cold. It rained on and off throughout the day. But the light that poured in through the windows provided so much warmth, making for some magical, romantic moments.
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Alicia Maternity

By | Blog Posts, Maternity | No Comments

A few years ago I photographed Alicia in Osoyoos, BC, when she was pregnant with her first, Hayden. This past week, she was in town for a few days and is expecting again, so she contacted me for a quick portrait session. I had a small window in a busy week but was able to schedule in a one hour session by setting up a little home studio. I was tempted to do the shoot at High Park with the cherry blossoms in full bloom but just couldn’t find the time and didn’t want to fight the potential crowds. I also wanted the pictures to be about Alicia, her baby, and the connection that they have been sharing for the past few months, focusing on her silhouette, lines, and the shape of her belly. One of my favourites in this set is the one of Alicia’s lovely smile towards the end of the session while talking about the baby’s name.

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Ossington Avenue

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Ossington Avenue, midday Friday to location scout for a wedding Saturday. The plan was to make sure I had a plan, basically. At least a rough outline of some “go-to” spots. But once my camera was out of the bag, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take a few portraits. Here’s a quick snapshot of the sites, sounds, styles, and flavours of a neighbourhood that you love, hate, love to hate, go to on a hot summer’s day to wait in line 45 minutes for an ice cream sandwich, whatever.IMG_5554 IMG_5547 IMG_5534 IMG_5539 IMG_5544 IMG_5562 IMG_5558 IMG_5574 IMG_5567 IMG_5582

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Royal Canadian Riding Academy

By | Blog Posts, Families | No Comments

To be honest, even as a young person growing up, I have never been a horse person. My sister was always very fascinated with them, but I lacked trust. I found horses difficult to read, never really knowing what their next move was. Is this large, powerful animal going to bite me? Kick me? I found myself somewhat unsure around them. So when my client Catherine asked me to come out to the Royal Canadian Riding Academy, it wasn’t that I was apprehensive or disinterested, I was just a little unsure of how things would play out. The kids and I pass by the Academy often on route to their grandparents, so I knew that there would be lots of rustic textures, raw unfinished beams, and dramatic light and shadows to photograph. But the actual horses, that was the unknown variable for me. I began the shoot with a few photos of Catherine and her daughter, Madeline, getting their favourite horse ready for their riding lesson. I wandered the facilities to capture some details of the space as well as a horse show that was taking place at the same time, and then snapped some portraits of several staff members with their horses just outside the stables. The horses egged each other on as I took photos, which made for a few humorous outtakes. I looked to my left and saw a number of them hanging out in the field behind the stables, so I ventured over to see what they were up to — I actually almost abandoned my plans when I came across giant mud puddles that I was certain my low cut Vans couldn’t handle. A few standing long jumps and maneuvers later, I was wandering with the horses in the field, and what followed was ten of the most soulful minutes of photography I’ve experienced in a while. They were peaceful, curious, and had almost human-like qualities and expressions in their eyes. The moments of connection were magical, and at risk of sounding hokey, it was almost as if they were, in full awareness, interacting with me and my camera. I still wouldn’t consider myself a “horse person”, but I came away from this experience with a better understanding of why so many people are.
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