Journal

Hong Kong

By | Blog Posts, Travel | No Comments

Sometimes when I finish selecting photos for a blog post I’ll go to write something and not know where to start. I have so many thoughts I want to share, but at the same time, I want to allow the pictures to tell the story. And there are so many stories to tell from our two weeks in Hong Kong, I don’t know where to begin. I love everything about this city and I hope that the pictures we made can communicate just a little of that love. I’ve never been to a city as visually arresting as Hong Kong — you can literally point your camera in any direction and capture something compelling. The density, vibrancy, smells, flavours, colours, and sounds all come at you non-stop, day and night.

We stayed in North Point, five of us in a 300 sf flat on the 14th floor with a view of the harbour. On the mornings when I couldn’t sleep past 5:30 or 6:00am, I found comfort in shooting hoops with the old boys at the basketball court just up the street. In between our hellos and goodbyes we didn’t speak, we just took turns shooting and rebounding for each other (old Asian men seem to love the hook shot). At night, on the same court, I’d play pick-up with the younger crowd, who’d still be going strong at 10:30pm when I would head home. North Point became so familiar so fast: the orange walls of the MTR, the hole-in-the-wall street eats, the industrious old folks pushing carts and walking with canes, the noodles, the egg waffles, the clutter.

This trip was very special to me for a few reasons … I got to experience the city that is so dear to my wife, Valerie. She moved to Canada when she was 6 years old, but Hong Kong will always be home to her, and she got to show us all of the places that are close to her heart, and treat us to all of the food that she loves so much. She also got to introduce Kingsley to her Po Po (grandmother) who couldn’t stop gushing about how “good” and “handsome” he is. I’m so proud of Kingsley; he was so chill on the 15hr flight, charming when meeting new people, game for any adventure even if it required a ton of walking, open to trying new food, strutting down the streets of North Point like it was home … he was just awesome in every way.

There are a lot of pictures in this post. Snapshots of the soulful faces, cluttered and vibrant streets, pastel coloured buildings, and life-changing eats that captivated me. It’s difficult to communicate just how dynamic this city-that-never-sleeps is, but hopefully I captured the essence of our experience.

Tools –> Canon M10 (mirrorless) & Ricoh GRD (point and shoot) Read More

Carley + Peter // Married

By | Blog Posts, Weddings | 2 Comments

Carley and Peter made a lot of great choices on their wedding day, beginning with Carley’s decision to get ready at Studio Bon Soleil, a charming space on Toronto’s East side with gorgeous light, walls of books, eclectic furnishings and a swing! The space was peppered with charming details; floral tea cups, crystal bottles of brown spirits, and details you don’t see (the Mariah Carey playlist, haha). Carley loved her backless Sash & Bustle gown, and her affection for it certainly came across in the photos. But even more so, hers and Peter’s affection for each other made for dynamic captures throughout the day. Peter and his best mates exuded a non-stop joyful irreverence … there was this hilarious moment on King Street when I was photographing them in the middle of the road and a motorist pulled up beside them and hollered, “It’s not too late! Make a run for it!” We got the most out of every location by shooting in the hallways and industrial elevator at the studio, then making our way to the Distillery District in time for the most romantic light of the day, perfect for the guys to pledge their undying love for one another in the large heart adorning the entrance of the distillery, and take a Segway for a spin. They created a romantic atmosphere at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse for their ceremony — warm hues from string lights, delicate and playful field-picked flowers lining the aisle, rich green foliage as a backdrop, and then the fun begins with their DJ spinning their favourite tunes. It’s so much fun to shoot weddings like Peter’s and Carley’s, where the couple can just be themselves in their choice of attire, venue, styling, and environment. Read More

Josh + Sahar // Married

By | Blog Posts, Weddings | No Comments

Josh and Sahar had planned on having an outdoor wedding ceremony in Archeo’s beautiful courtyard, but an hour before the ceremony was set to begin, ominous clouds rolled in and with them thunder, lightning, and a downpour of rain. Fortuitously, with the storm came strong winds that swirled Sahar’s veil and gown around, bringing added drama to the already dramatic gown. And after the storm came the pinks, oranges, and lavenders. I love it when a couple asks that their dinner be kept under a heat lamp to keep it warm so that they can go out in the evening/dusk hues for more photos.

After spending an autumn morning with these two a year ago for an engagement photo shoot, I knew that we were going to have a lot of fun at the wedding, and I knew that we were going to make great images, because of their energy — always smiling and laughing — their style and the way they interact with each other.
Read More

Felipe + Katerina // Married

By | Blog Posts, Weddings | No Comments

Felipe and Katerina booked me last minute for their wedding for a few hours. I met them, more specifically Katerina, for the first time when I pulled up in front of a small Orthodox church tucked away on Henry Street where they were having their ceremony, rolled down my window (Kendrick’s Damn still playing in the background) and said, “Hey! I’m your photographer.” She replied, “It’s just street parking, so drive around until you find a spot.” I later discovered that they had already had a larger ceremony in Mexico, and this one was to make it official in Canada. I had no idea how they found me (I’ve since discovered my pal Leemarc recommended me) but they were very complimentary of my work. They are the warm, inviting type that makes you feel a part of the gang instantly. I loved everything about their wedding: the beautifully adorned church with gorgeous soft light streaming in from all sides, the orthodox traditions, especially the crowns, the priest with the most amazing face full of soulful lines. There were moments that looked like it was set from a Rembrandt in tone, light, and colour. After the ceremony, with very little time remaining, we scooted over to Queen’s Park for a few portraits. I gave very little direction — these two were so natural with one another in front of the camera.
Read More

Lia + Nick // Married

By | Weddings | One Comment

Lia and Nick couldn’t catch a break with the weather. We postponed the first engagement shoot because of a thunder storm and when we finally got out several weeks later, it still rained. Their wedding day was more of the same: rainy, windy, cold. I’m always amazed at brides and bridesmaids on days like this one; they’re in their gowns and dresses while I’m in layers of water resistant Fjallraven and North Face. But harsh weather conditions didn’t seem to dampen Lia and Nick’s spirits and smiles one bit. They are one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever worked with, generously displaying affection for one another. Intimate moments would turn into big bursts of laughter. There were so many details to love throughout the day — Lia getting ready in her parents’ bedroom adorned with their wedding photos, the rich Macedonian traditions throughout the day, Nick bursting into the reception with the energy of an 80s rock star, and Lia’s grandfather overwhelmed with emotion upon first seeing her. I hope that you can also experience the joy of Lia and Nick’s day through these photos. Read More