While I was working down in LA I got a call from Jon Lalanne (LaLa surfboards.) who I have shot for a couple times. He happened to be in central California for a while so I made the trip up to a small fishing town called Morro Bay over the weekend to surf off the giant rock and snap some new LALA Surfboard shots for him!
It was awesome to catch up with Jon I seem to always be somewhere really cool when we set up shoots, Jamaica, Hawaii and now central Cali! Here is an outtake from the weekend.
Right before I left to LA for a couple shoots I met up with Mark “Suki” the current host of YTV’s The Zone and The Next Star. Suki is one of those guys I run into at industry events and every time I talk to him the conversations get pretty hilarious. We had planned on setting up a shoot for a while but are both all over for work so I was excited finally meeting up to nail this photo set and catch up! We ended up in the Badlands with a few strobes and a sweet pineapple tee shirt so as you can imagine the shoot turned out amazing!
Over the past month I was fortunate enough to shoot a portrait of Kevin O’leary for the Retail Council of Canada Store event. I can honestly say that hearing Kevin talk in person is just as informative and brutally honest as what you hear on TV! It was definitely as entertaining to shoot him as it was to hear everything he had to say and I got a lot more out of the portrait than just a photograph!
As many of you know I’m stranger to the MMVA Red Carpet or the stage performances. Years ago I met a good friend and producer at Much Music while on set with a band from EMI and was invited out to be the MuchMusic.com Photographer for the awards. I have since shot every MMVA for the team and its more like hanging out with family than being on a fast paced set!
If you look back in my blog you can see photos of everyone from Justin Bieber, to Katy Parry, Psy, Dallas Green, Ed Sheeran, you name it. This year I was just as impressed with the performances as I got to shoot the fine gents in Hedley again and I met the laid back dudes in Imagine Dragons!
Ill drop a couple photos in here for you to see what this year was like! check out http://muchmusic.com if you want to see more!
A couple weeks ago I met up with my team really early in the morning to blow up hundreds of balloons in the studio for a shoot for the really rad up and coming gents from Wassaga Beach, “High 75!” These Canadian locals just finished their recordings with my family over at Cloud Empire and have some huge things on the horizon for the tail end of 2014 so keep an ear out! Until then I’ve added a couple photos to the post for you to see what we got up to on set.
Over the weekend I went down to the states again to meet up with some good friends at Crossfit GSP to shoot their new lifestyle series. This was my first time ever stepping foot in a Reebok gym and it has to have been the coolest layout I have ever seen!
I was on set the entire day between shooting a couple ad campaigns and doing a bit of video work so I wasnt able to train in the gym but I got the invite to come back and train in a month and I am definitely heading down to try it out!
Here is a sneak peek from the first series!
While I was down in Cuba with Banko Media getting work done for the documentary and helping with the “Do It For Others” team I also found myself engaging with strangers whenever I ran into them. The Cuban people are honestly some of the nicest people Ive ever met and even though sometimes there is a bit of a language barrier (I know about as much Spanish as any kid who has seen Dora the explorer.) they are always willing to try. I decided to do this post of a couple strangers I met in my travels to give a face to each of the stories.
One morning I decided to walk further down the road from where we were staying in Santa Maria. The road slowly got more run down until it was a sand road with street lights. At the end of the road was a broken bridge. My assistant and I decided to wade through the water to the other side and ended up in a small run down beach town. as we were trying to decide which way to go I turned around and saw this man walking with a 20 ft bamboo rod with a big steel hook on the end. I decided to go up and ask him what he was doing with the hook and he showed me it is what he uses to get coconuts out of the trees. We talked a bit and he pulled down another couple coconuts cut them open and offered them to us.
The women below I came across while aimlessly wandering the streets of old Havana before meeting the team to go help repair the skatepark. She was sitting off the side of a narrow road in an old rocking chair staring off into the distance. As I introduced myself I realized she had no experience with any English. My Spanish isn’t that good so we had a couple laughs while trying to make out what each other is saying. When I asked her to take a photo before leaving she said she was too old for that and laughed.
I actually met several children who were super creative with the cardboard they found. anything from using them to build little forts to using them as toboggans to go down ramps. This kid in particular made himself wings so he could fly. When I stopped him to take his picture he taught me how to do a cartwheel.
These boys spotted me from a mile away with the camera and asked me to “click” them together.
This is Miguel. The team had to cab into Havana every day with more shoes more boards, concrete etc and cabs can be expensive when you’re driving 30 minutes in and out of town every day. Miguel could speak English very well and figured out what we were doing for the youth of Havana so he gave us his phone number and offered to drive us into town for a lot less. We had a complicated indecent one of the days where we had to run all over the city and do a lot of waiting around and Miguel hung around the whole day to take us from place to place and was happy to just hang out. I snapped this photo of him the second day I met him. Because I had his contact information I printed the shot and mailed it out to him. Hopefully he likes it!
These two below were strangers when I first met them and ended up becoming good friends by the end of the trip. The first shot is “Burger.” Nathan Burger was part of Scott’s team on the “do it for others” project. He was always the first to offer a hand to the camera crew and was always around for a good laugh. The second shot is Che who is commonly known as the father of the Havana skateboard community. Che is known for keeping the active youth in check around the city and is also known for being the man who repaired the broken skateboards. In the upcoming documentary you will see what a huge roll Che plays in helping the skateboarding community in Havana stay alive.
Five years ago an old friend of mine Scott Mcdonald started a project on his own that has been recently known as “do it for others.” As a recognized name in the Canadian skateboard scene Scott has been collecting old boards and shoes from all the friends he can across Canada every year and bringing them down to the youth of Cuba at his own expense. I had talked to him several times about why he does it and his answer is simple “because I can.” He goes on to explain how the first time he saw the Cuban skate culture he couldn’t believe how big it was and how distraught a kid would be if he broke his skateboard because he would have to wait several months to have any chance of buying a new one. Not to mention there is not really any skateboard shops in Cuba. It isnt uncommon to see kids with a broken skateboard screwed to another broken skateboard so they can still play.
In the 5th year of this project Scott was fortunate enough to gain support from Blind Skateboards, West 49, Red Star and a few other companies who were happy to donate last year model brand new boards and shoes on top of the stuff he collected since the last trip.
I teamed up with my family at Banko Media and we headed down with Scott’s team to not only help but film and document for an upcoming project and to help raise awareness of what it is really like down there. On top of the 14 people maxing out our luggage weight with product for the youth Scott still fronted a couple thousand dollars to get the rest of it on the plane along with MC-crete to help repair the broken down parts of their skatepark in Havana.
Below is a couple photos from the trip. The Banko Media team is actually going back to Cuba next week and is also going to be back there one more time to continue documenting and we are hoping to have a full length documentary up in the next year or so so keep your eyes open!
Huge thanks to the team that went down to help and to Steve Wharton who last minute joined in as my assistant to help with carrying gear across half the island!
I had one day back in Canada between the shoots in Europe and shooting down in Dominican. If it had been any other shoot I probably would have pushed the date back but its always a blast working with Karl Wolf so how could I say no?
We met up on New Years eve to shoot two single covers and album artwork for Karls up and coming project. I got a chance to check out the upcoming album while I was on set and I definitely can say the images we shot reflect the new style hes going for with the new music.
Here is one of the single covers that has already been released. Ill post the rest as they get released to public!
The portrait for theater actor Nick Bijl was going to be in a small town outside of Paris called Puteaux. Knowing that everything in the Paris area is really nice and also really busy I planned to spend the first day finding a cool area that wasn’t as crowded with tourists so we could set up for a couple portraits. Oddly enough the first place I looked was out of my hotel window which ended up having one of the best views of the entire trip. Stunning considering the hotel was booked based on sticking to a tight budget!