Shanghoon’s Lovin’ It.

by Alex Beetham on March 6, 2015

Coffee is the life blood of a photo studio.  We creatives crave the magical caffeinated elixir to fuel our mornings, push us through the afternoon slumps, sustain our evening conference calls, and then lighten our eyelids for all night emergency retouching sessions.  Alternatively, procrastinate all day and start work at 11pm because, well, creatives.  It’s amazing what juices flow when one’s over caffeinated at 4:00am…

With that said, it of course made for a perfect pairing when the fine folk from Cossette approached Shanghoon to create some dark roasted magic for McCafe’s new “Perfect Roast.”  Observe:

McFreeCoffee_for blog

Here are a few words from the ‘hoon himself:

My first project of 2015 was for McCafe’s Perfect Roast, and I was glad to spot the shot on billboards all over town this weekend. I love coffee. Drink it every day, a few times a day at least. Hope you guys have a chance to try the new McCafe dark roast!

Credit where Credit is due (AKA, The Magic Makers):

Client: McCafe
Agency: Cossette
Photographer: Shanghoon
Designer & Art Director: Greg LeBlanc
Art Director: Deborah Prenger
Production: Westside Studio
Producer: Phaedra Kennedy
Prop Design & Stylist: Franc Madden
Assistant: Abe Roberto

Keep those eyes peeled for billboard placements all over the 6! (minus the woes)

McDonald's Billboard
And a little BTS look see into Shanghoon’s set for the day:

_DSF3684Jan 15 2015
All Images © Shanghoon
BTS Image © Alex Beetham


    Who Needs Thrones? Chris Has Homes.

    by Alex Beetham on March 4, 2015

    It’s near impossible to discuss Game of Thrones.  The immediate response is either a frantic “SHHHH” followed by hands slapping ears to silence potential spoilers, or the friend next to them launching into a vein popping, sputtering rage since the show has mutilated the holy scripture of Mr. Martin.  Well, there’s a new show we can discuss.  Just swap out the blood sport and incest for power tools and mild asbestos, and you got yourself W Networks new hit show in the making, Game of Homes.

    Our very own Chris Gordaneer was tasked with creating some epic home renovation imagery, and the results look a little like this.  Well, exactly like this:


    In Game of Homes, Host Cameron Mathison guides teams of skilled amateur home renovators as they compete for the chance to trade their skills for the prize of a lifetime. The teams save rundown houses that are marked to be torn down and revive them into dream homes. Each team must redo the houses room by room, as they cope with small budgets, tight deadlines and even tighter living spaces.  -  W Network


    Client:  Corus EntertainmentW Network
    Photographer:  Chris Gordaneer
    VP Creative:  Dolores Keating-Mallen
    Design Creative Director:  Vince Robles
    Lead Designer:  Robin Timmins
    Producer:  Kirsten White
    Prop Stylist:  Cheryl Thompson
    Stylist:  Marie Eve Tremblay
    Hair & Makeup:  Lisa Vella
    Assistants:  Brendan Smyth,  Al Quintero, Mike Smith, Hassan Mohamed
    Interns:  Tiana Gordinho, Ashley Farina, Matt Besenyodi


    You may (will) spot a placement or two down in the tubes that look a little something like this:


    Take a glimpse into some behind the scenes from the day:


    Pre-dressed set with Lion King reenactments, and a dressed set with Chris, God of light.

    Check out the premiere March 17th on W Network!

    All Images © Chris Gordaneer
    BTS Images © Brendan Smyth, Alex Beethan, Kirsten White


      Hungry? You will be.

      by Chris Payne on March 3, 2015

      It’s blue, it’s weird, it’s awesome, and that’s just the way we like it.

      This image of the post-mortem-clucker belongs to one Liam Mogan, the third installment of new blood here at Westside since the new year.  To accommodate we have constructed a new kitchen here and by the looks of things, Liam’s pretty thrilled about his new appliances.  More to come on the reno in the near future, but in the mean time, here’s a sneak peak of the shiny new fridge and freezer, complete with Liam casually lounging about… really casually.


      Liam has spent the past few years shooting food for the grid, among other publications and winning awards with his food photography.  We can’t wait to see what he can do when he is put up against the best food brands in Canada.

      “I’m pumped to be a part of the extremely talented team here at Westside.  Ever since my college days, back in 2005, I’ve looked up to Westside as an inspiration… it’s such an awesome feeling being able to join the gang.  I’m really looking forward to working closely with Tom, Caitlin and Chris!  2015 is going to be a good one!” – Liam Mogan

      20 4032

      His welcome wasn’t complete of course, until he was fully initiated…  with fries.


      Welcome aboard Liam!  You can check out more of his mouth watering work here.

      Delicious Food © Liam Mogan
      Liam Portraits © Alex Beetham


        How To Train Your Drone

        by Tom Nesbitt on February 25, 2015

        Its Wednesday!!

        In celebration of hump day please take the opportunity to check out some fun drone racing & crashing through the woods.

        Thanks to Gary Ogle for unearthing this for us.

        As he mentions on Facebook, Its kind of like Return of the Jedi meets Batteries Not Included.

        Some Credits and Specs……

        Porket Racer 240:

        Full Carbon Frame
        Naze32 Board
        RCX Motors
        ESC 10A SimonK
        Lipo 1300mAh 3S
        Mobius Cam
        Video 5.8GHz

        Infos :



          Photoshop Wizards are a hard breed to tame.  They are able to conjure beauty from mere pixels with the stroke of a wand (wacom pen).  They are such magical beings that some have even been known to survive for days on end by only eating cookies and tea.  At least that is what we have learned after observing ours…

          We are extra excited to announce the addition of Nick Leadlay, to the Westside roster.  Nick is the first digital retoucher that Westside Studio has ever represented (yes, he is that good).


          “I am very excited to be joining the team at Westside Studio after working closely with them on multiple jobs over the past year.  The roster of photographers, along with the studio’s client list speaks for itself.  I am especially excited about the new ground we are breaking in Canada as far as retouchers being represented along side photographers.  Tom, Caitlin, Chris and the Westside family have been so welcoming to me since day one, so a special thank you goes to them.  I am really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together!”- N.L

          Nick has worked his magic with a couple of the photographers here at Westside Studio.  Nikki Ormerod and Joey L have both trusted Nick’s sorcery with some major projects in the past, resulting in images that you have probably seen hundreds of times by now.  Take the following images for example:

           Nikki Ormerod



          Joey L


          When you combine extremely talented photographers with an extremely talented wizard, you end up with simply the best images possible.  What, you didn’t catch his magic in the images above?  Take a closer look at this amazing image by Joey L, shot for the recent Canon Campaign.  Slide the bar back and forth to reveal one of Nick’s latest spells in action.

          Did you catch it that time?  I’m sure you did, but in case you are curious, Deathrider wanted to tell you a little bit about his work.

          “This image was retouched on set during the Canon Camera shoot with Joey L.  The deadline for the image was at the end of the day, so there really wasn’t any time for mistakes.  However, I have worked with Joey before and he creates a really relaxed environment to work in, so that made everything a lot less stressful.

          The basic elements that we addressed in this image were; the focus and angle of the camera, the exposure on the female model and the elimination of any distracting elements in the scene.  We also did some subtle skin and hair work on the models, along with some global color correction/grading. Joey always likes to have a hand in the post production process and prefers to do his color grading at the end of the workflow.  This image was no different in that regard.  The majority of my time was spent on compositing the new camera into the shot from a different frame, as well as manually rebuilding the clothing around the camera and fixing the shadows.”

          So there it is folks, Nick Leadlay  has joined the team and we are pretty stoked about it.  He is currently in Tahiti retouching bikini models, which we are confident he is enjoying quite well.


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            Project Winter Survival With Derek Shapton & Frank Hoedl

            by Chris Payne on February 19, 2015

            Not sure what it might be like where you are, but here in Toronto we are in the middle of a serious cold snap.  Over night temperatures have recently sunk well past minus 20 degrees Celsius.  Prolonged exposure can be deadly.

            The homeless in particular are in tremendous danger at this time of year, which is why when Derek Shapton and Frank Hoedl were recently approached to work on a campaign for Project Winter Survival, they did not hesitate.



            From Derek’s blog: “Frank and I shot two print ads together, an exciting collaborative process that made for a rather unusual workflow. I scouted and sourced the locations, we co-piloted the cameras and co-directed the talent, and Frank applied his post-production magic to the final retouching. Frank has long been one of my favourite photographers and it was great to be able to work so closely with him. The final results are outstanding, and in fact won an Applied Arts Award in the Public Service category back in November.” 


            Frank lying down on the job

            Processed with VSCOcam

            Assistant Rebecca Leach sourcing some props


            Derek in ninja-mode while framing a shot

            “One of the setups also seemed to have some solid potential as a compelling little motion piece, and with the blessing of the creative team at Cundari, we gave it a go. We enlisted the help of Mike Rybinski at Spot Cinema and once the print ads were finished, shot a quick spec spot that turned out surprisingly well.”   See the final result below and visit Derek’s blog to find out more.

            Agency: Cundari
            Creative Director: Andrew Simon
            Art Director: Jason Lee
            Writer: Francesco Grandi
            Assistant: Rebecca Leach
            Motion Camera: Mike Rybinski
            Motion Post Production: Spot Cinema


              George Simhoni revs up the Lexus F SPORT

              by Chris Payne on February 4, 2015

              The thought of ripping around a track in one of the new Lexus F SPORT models is an attractive notion for anyone with, or without a drivers license.  The Lexus F SPORT series is a luxury/performance line up for the car enthusiast, blending technology and automotive engineering to ensure to improve every driving experience.

              Legendary Westside studio photographer George Simhoni teamed up with Greg Trinier at DentsuBos to illustrate the power and beauty of these new slices of automotive heaven.

              “I was asked to photograph the new models of the family of Lexus vehicles.  I knew that the weather would not be my friend in December for outdoor automotive photography.  Greg Trinier and I decided to do something very dramatic and moody since the weather suited that look more.  Our scout Brian Joe sent us pictures from the Flamboro race track in winter.  It is a very lonely and cool place off season.  It was the perfect background to photograph and dramatize the new lines on the cars.” -G.S.
              Staying warm on this shoot looks like it may have been tricky, however it looks like George dressed for the weather while checking focus and preparing to shoot the magnificent beasts.  Producer John Stevancec kept busy by taking these behind the scenes photos.
              Client: Lexus
              Art Director:  Greg Trinier
              Agency: DentsuBos
              Producer: John Stevancec
              Assistants: Gabe Nivera, Abe Roberto, Jon Brown and Bryan Ulrich


                Tyler Gray makes Half of a half Marathon feel complete

                by Chris Payne on January 28, 2015

                When most people envision a Sunday in late February, they may envision a warm cup of tea, the great indoors and relaxation.  It takes a really good reason to turn that vision into a 10.55km run through Peterborough…

                This year’s Peterborough YMCA Half a Half Marathon runners are about to lace up and bundle up to raise money for the Balsillie Family YMCA branch in Peterborough.  BrandHealth’s own Klint Davies and Dave Snider teamed up with Tyler Gray to create an awesome set of photos depicting what half frozen satisfaction looks like .  Check them out!

                Half and Half 1

                Half and Half 2 Half and Half 3

                “Often my favourite layouts are ones that are sketched on a napkin, much like this one, it leaves things relatively open for creative interpretation.  Dave’s sketches gave me a good guideline to work with without being too specific, and Klint and Dave were both really open to my vision.”


                “Klint and Dave are always chill to work with and going into this we knew it would be a bit of a challenge and would rely heavily on photoshop. Thinking like a retoucher and visualizing how it would ultimately come together I decided to shoot all the ice and dirt in individual pieces and puzzle it all together afterward.  The main benefit of doing it this way was the flexibility of being able to move things around as opposed to using heavy makeup on our talent but then having to retouch things out if I didn’t like it completely or if it crossed the centre line.  It can be a bit of a “leap of faith” for the client often as they go home at night without ever seeing exactly what we captured.  In this case, however everybody was on board and understood that this was the best way to do it.  The retouching was a great challenge and totally worth the time spent on it.”

                -Tyler Gray


                These photos were also brought to you by the ever amazing team plaid!

                Agency: BrandHealth

                Associate Creative Director: Klint Davies

                Art Director: Dave Snider

                Assistants: Bryan Ulrich, Abe Roberto



                  Westside’s Bringing the Payne. Chris Payne.

                  by Alex Beetham on January 13, 2015

                  We here at Westside are thrilled to welcome our newest member of the team, Chris Payne.  He is bringing his love of photography & marketing to the table, stepping up as Sales & Marketing Coordinator working alongside our always magnificent agent, Caitlin Robinson.  This is Chris, happily admiring the Westside:


                  3 fun facts about Chris, from Chris:

                  1. My last job was to handle reptiles of various sizes and put on educational children’s shows with them.
                  2. I have played in bands for the close to a decade and have been photographing concerts and musicians for the better part of the last 4 years.  Music is my other love.
                  3. I am a huge dog lover.  On my desk sits a jar of human treats (mints, Werther’s originals, etc.) and next to it sits a jar of doggie treats (milk bones.)

                  Chris In a Nutshell (AKA, A Bio):

                  Chris Payne, born here in Toronto but grew up in Acton, Ontario.  I grew up snowboarding, skateboarding, listening to punk rock and playing music.  Photography found me at a young age, but I began taking it more seriously after high school.  I melded my love for music and photography by photographing local punk shows in restaurant basements, and bands that would break up a week later.  It took a few years until I was shooting some of the worlds most famous musicians at the ACC, Sound Academy and other large venues around Toronto.  Around the same time I began shooting weddings and making money from taking photos.  I wanted to grow my business and decided that I would go back to school to learn how.  For the past 2 years I have been studying business marketing at Humber College here in Toronto.  I fell in love with marketing from my very first class and knew that this was the next big thing in my life.  This education resulted in a job that I never would have thought I could find in my wildest dreams, the perfect meld of my love of photography and business.  Now filling the role of marketing and sales coordinator at Westside Studio.

                  We’re excited to have you on board!  Bring the Payne.  (Turn it up?)


                    Dave Goes for Gold with Nike

                    by Alex Beetham on January 5, 2015

                    Hockey fans eagerly await the holiday season not only for their friends and family, but to cheer on their fellow countrymen in arguably some of the most entertaining hockey of the year.  Every Boxing day the first puck drops for the IIHF World Juniors Tournament, where the best of the best upcoming NHL/KHL super stars take to the ice to bring home the hardware.  And they’re all still in high school.

                    Dave Delnea was hired on by Rethink & Nike to showcase the 100th year anniversary Jersey that the boys are dawning this year.  Take a gander:


                    Client: Nike Canada
                    Agency: Rethink Canada
                    Photographer: Dave Delnea
                    Creative Direction: Lisa Nakamura / Leila Rogers
                    Art Direction: Mustaali Raj
                    Producer: Tom Nesbit & Heather Hyland
                    Digital Artist: Aaron Campbell
                    Assistants: Jamie Rosenthal, Mike Smith, Spencer Robertson, Heather Hylander, Brendan Smyth

                    A look onto Dave’s set on shoot day:


                    All Images & BTS © Dave Delnea