Matt Barnes Ships Mercy

by Alex Beetham on May 25, 2016

Being a successful professional photographer is a daunting amount of work. Wrenches are constantly thrown into productions, flagged emails just keep piling up, retouching never ends, and there are just never enough hours in a day. But sometimes an opportunity presents itself that makes one step back and reevaluate not only your job, but life as a whole. This is what happened to Matt Barnes when he travelled to Madagascar to capture the work of Mercy Ships.

Mercy Ships uses hospital ships to deliver free, world-class health care services, capacity building and sustainable development to those without access in the developing world. Founded in 1978 by Don and Deyon Stephens, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1 billion, with more than 2.35 million direct beneficiaries. Each year Mercy Ships has more than 1,200 volunteers from over 40 nations. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, health care trainers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort. Mercy Ships seeks to become the face of love in action, bringing hope and healing to the poor.

MERCY-05Every picture tells a story. In Africa, where nearly 50 percent of people have no access to a hospital or doctor, there are hundreds of stories of once-vibrant children, women and men plagued by poverty and preventable diseases, untreated illnesses and neglected injuries. These are stories of a simple toothache or scratch becoming a life-threatening crisis, and stories of the Mercy Ships medical professionals that come to the aid of the affected people. These are the stories that Barnes captured while visiting the Africa Mercy hospital ship in Madagascar to bring this campaign to life with gripping honesty and beauty.


‘MERCY’ by Matt Barnes, presented at Struck Contemporary Art Gallery May 26 – June 5 features twenty-five powerful images as part of Toronto’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. The original collection will be sold at the gallery and limited edition prints will be sold through an eBay auction. 100 per cent of all proceeds will be donated to Mercy Ships.


Words from Matt:

My time on the Africa Mercy hospital ship in Madagascar was one without parallel. The smells, the sights and the sounds were all new and exciting, but it was the children of Madagascar that left the deepest indentation. They had nothing, but still they wanted nothing. They were happy. I was honoured to have intimate access to such beautiful people, and the images reflect how wonderful they made me feel. I can’t imagine I’ll ever forget that feeling.     – Matt


Come and show your support on Thursday, May 26th @ Struck Contemporary.

Mercy_Evite_Apr27Matt also directed 3 spots while on board:

So much thanks to go around to the huge team that made this possible.  Credit where credit is due:

Geometry Global | Canada
Gillian Newing, Brian Quittenton | Writers
Darra Naiman | Media Supervisor
Nuala Byles | Executive Creative Director
Nancy Madonik | Managing Director
Annie Rowe | Strategic Planning Director
Greg Muhlbock, Caroline Brown | Art Directors
Cameron Miller | Account Executives
Philip Luisi | Project Manager

Ogilvy & Mather | Canada
Ian MacKellar | Chief Creative Officer
Shenny Jaffer | Broadcast Producer

Neo@Ogilvy | Canada
Nikki Defelice, Kyle Sergeant | Media Coordinator=
Juan Barahona | Search & Analytics Director

OgilvyOne Worldwide | Canada
Lindsay Renwick | Director, Social Media Strategy
Periyeh Iftikhar | Content Manager

NEAT Marketing Communications | Canada
Tara McCarthy | Public Relations

Photography Production
Matt Barnes | Photographer
Production Company | Westside Studio
Natalie D’Urbano | Producer | Westside Studio
Kyle Topping | Digital Tech
Scott Watson | Assistant

Film Production
Matt Barnes | Director
Liane Thomas | Broadcast Producer | Skin + Bones Film Company
Natalie D’Urbano | Producer | Westside Studio
Kyle Topping | Director of Photography
Scott Watson | First AC/Camera Technician
Caitlin Schooley | Executive Producer | Alter Ego
Wade Odlum | Colourist | Alter Ego
Steve Gadsen, Christine Leslie | Sound & Voice | TA2 Sound + Music
Robin Haman | Editor | Saints Editorial

Tim Maloney | National Director | Mercy Ships

See you at the opening!

All Images & Video © Matt Barnes


    360 Slam Dunk for LG

    by Alex Beetham on May 19, 2016

    Ok so not literally dunking, but Dave can play a mean game of half court. He also can shoot and direct on the court without missing a beat! We’re excited to share this latest project for LG Canada with Cory Joseph for the new LG G5! 360 cameras, VR goggles, the works. All sorts of fun toys on this one!  From Dave:

    Any campaign where I get to both shoot the stills and direct the motion spots is a really great day for me! Being able to bring my thoughts and aesthetic to both parts of the job allows me to create work that feels much more thought through and complete than just creating one nice image or two.

    Working with Cory was a great experience – Crazy respect for this guys game and for being a total pro on set.

    -  Dave

    Check the spots!

    And let’s not forget about the stills component!



    Client: LG Canada

    Agency: PUBLICIS
    Art Director: Lucas Longman
    Copy Writer: Dean Horne
    Agency Broadcast Producer: Mark Pan
    Account Supervisors: Lisa Smith & Jana Masiewich

    Production: Westside Studio
    Photographer & Director: Dave Delnea
    Executive Producer: Tom Nesbitt
    Production Manager: Taylor Bateman
    PA: Alex Mancini
    Location Scout: Lance Creighton
    Hair & Makeup: Lisa Vella (Stills) & Sandra Yang (Motion)

    DOP: John Ker
    Gaffer: Alex Knisch
    1st AC: Chris Gruggen
    2nd AC: Alex Motley
    Camera Utility: Calvin DaSouza
    DMT: Andrew Easson
    Stills Assistants:  Jeff Jameison, Jon Brown, Mike Smith, Logan Allmendinger, Allie Mavian

    A huge thanks to everyone for your amazing hard work!

    Want to see how it came together?  A little BTS video & stills from Alex Beetham:



    All Images & Video © Dave Delnea
    All BTS © Alex Beetham



      Vicky Lam Feels the East Coast Love

      by Alex Beetham on May 18, 2016

      Have you seen any of these plastered all over billboards and bus shelters yet!?  Vicky Lam’s campaign with DDB for Nova Scotia Tourism is live and can be found all over the streets of Toronto, Montreal, and Boston!  Take a gander at a couple examples, and Vicky is going to walk you through how this job came to be!

      E63295_DigiSuperboard_Static_E_R1[4] TNS-[IYOK] TNS-[IYOK]-Web-billboard-BostonGlobe-Mobile-Static TNS-[IYOK]-Web-billboard-BostonGlobe-Tablet-Static

      Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 3.21.39 PM

      A couple months ago, I was so excited when I received a call from DDB to create a colourful campaign for Nova Scotia Tourism.  Although, I can’t say I’ve ever been to Nova Scotia prior to my shoot, but I definitely want to make a trip out there soon after learning so much more about it.  Each item that we photographed was unique to Nova Scotia and was unexpected – tying it back to the whole If you only knew idea.  Here are the final images:

      NSTourism_096Rope NSTourism_179 HERO NSTourism_308 PRINT NSTourism_520 raft_125 HERO_emailNSTourism_451

      There were a lot of elements and people who came together to make this all happen including the client herself when she brought drift wood and a fiddle all the way to Toronto from Nova Scotia!  (Thanks Dana! )

      It was so great to be asked to photograph such a fun and colourful idea.  One of the ideas included the largest items I’ve ever had to photograph – a 15ft raft!  Not only was it a daunting task, but the raft was very specific to Nova Scotia and the experience of tidal bore rafting.  It was impossible to find the same model in Ontario, but prop stylist extraordinaire Donna Irvine did some sleuthing work and found someone who came to our rescue.  Steve Elder from Urbania, Nova Scotia showed us some true East coast spirit by towing one of his rafts all the way to Toronto just for our photo shoot!


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      Who knew that the world’s highest recorded tides have been found right here in the Bay of Fundy?  Not only that, but it is home to a unique experience called Tidal Bore (which can be read up more upon here).   I’m definitely going to check this out when I visit Nova Scotia!  I’m so excited to have been asked to be a part of this fun campaign and am really happy to spot some of my work out there already on the streets of Toronto (Montreal and Boston!), but this wouldn’t have come together without the support of these awesome folks:

      Client:  Tourism Nova Scotia
      Art Director:  Rebecca May
      Designer:  Tom Bourke
      Agency:  DDB
      Agency Producer:  Dana Drummond
      Account Director:  Melissa McCaughey

      Production:  Westside Studio
      Photographer:  Vicky Lam
      Prop stylist:  Donna Irvine
      Food stylist:  Ashley Denton
      Retoucher: Robyn Nowoczin
      Tidal Bore Raft wrangler:  Steve Elder of Tidal Bore Rafting Resort
      Producer:  Phaedra Kennedy
      Assistants:  Rebecca Leach, Bryan Ulrich | Eddy Kowal, Logan Allmendinger, Chris Dowswell, Jon Wayne Brown


      NS Tourism 2

      NS Tourism 1

      NS Tourism 4

      NS Tourism 5

      NS Tourism 6

      NS Tourism 7

      Bonus Mandu pic, because he’s adorable.

      NS Tourism

      All Images © Vicky Lam
      All BTS Images © Alex Beetham
      All Rafting Canada Images © Steve Elder


        Dave Conquers Calder with The Marlies

        by Alex Beetham on May 9, 2016

        The Toronto Marlies (aka half of the Leafs) crushed the AHL this year, finishing the regular season first overall by 13 points.  The playoffs are now into the second round, and the boys in blue and white have their sights set on the Calder Cup.  Our Dave Delnea was asked to once again lend his talents, creating some promos for the Marlies playoff run.  From Dave:

        I’ve had opportunity to work with MLSE and the Marlies on a few different occasions – it’s always a blast and it’s usually a total whirlwind as we work to get our shots in with the very limited time we so often have with athletes!

        We’re into round 2 of the playoffs – continued good luck to the team!

        - Dave.




        How you’ll see them out in the wild wild web:
        Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 2.30.32 PM IMG_1733

        Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 3.25.41 PM

        Credit where credit is due:

        Client: MLSE
        Art Director: Sandra Kong
        Production: Westside Studio
        Producer: John Stevancec
        Photographer: Dave Delnea
        Assistants: Jeff Jamieson, Jon Wayne Brown, Logan Allmendinger

        Assistant Logan shnapped a little BTS footy:



        All Images © Dave Delnea
        All BTS Images © Logan Allmandingerh



          Chris Refuels With Chocolate Milk

          by Alex Beetham on May 2, 2016

          Who doesn’t love chocolate milk?  Even the lactose intolerant among us crave it so desperately that they will ignore their bodies warnings and suffer the bloating consequences.  Dammit it’s tasty… and one of the healthiest things to drink post workout!  Chris was brought on by Sandbox for Chocolate Milk to capture some (really) early morning workout sessions.  Definitely worth the early alarm clocks:

          10041_DIPS FINAL CHRIS

          10041_HOCKEY FINAL CHRIS

          10041_RUNNER FINAL CHRIS

          Credit where credit is due:

          Client:  Chocolate Milk

          Agency:  Sandbox
          VP, Co-CD:  Jacob Gawrysiak
          Co-CD:  Michel Lang
          Copy Writer:  Amy Jacobs

          Production:  Westside Studio
          Photographer:  Chris Gordaneer
          Producer:  Kirsten White
          Digital Tech:  Brendan Smyth
          Assistants:  Jeff Jamison, Mike Smith, Christa Michelle
          Location Scout:  Steve Conner
          Retouching: Jorge Chaves
          Make Up:  Angela McQueen & Lisa Vella
          Wardrobe:  Tiffany Briseno
          Prop Stylist:  Cheryl Thompson
          Catering:  Emmas Country Kitchen

          Sandbox’s CD Mr. Lang had his camera out snapping away on all 3 shoot days. Take a look see from his perspective:

          dfc_shoot_001 dfc_shoot_002 dfc_shoot_003 dfc_shoot_004 dfc_shoot_006 dfc_shoot_007 dfc_shoot_008 dfc_shoot_009 dfc_shoot_010 dfc_shoot_011 dfc_shoot_012dfc_shoot_016 dfc_shoot_014
          Can’t beat sunrise shinny… Thanks to all who made this happen!

          All Images © Chris Gordaneer
          All BTS Images © Sandbox



            Chris Captures the River Monster

            by Alex Beetham on April 25, 2016

            Perk #894 of commercial photography:  Escaping Canadian winter to shoot a job on the beaches of the Dominican Republic.  Exactly what Chris Gordaneer did this past winter when he got the call from Animal Planet to help introduce season 8 of the incredibly successful “River Monsters.”  Host Jeremy Wade didn’t think the rivers were cutting it anymore, so the 8th season of River Monsters moved out to open waters.  Take a look at what they captured:

            16001_34612_2376q16001_RiverMonsters-0837c copy16001_RiverMonsters-0746b16001_RiverMonsters-0300b16001_RiverMonsters-0483b

            TheKey Ad with copy:

             I had the pleasure of hanging out in the Dominican Republic with this guy, Jeremy Wade from River Monsters for a week in February this year.  These shots were for the shows 8th season on Animal Planet.  The shoot took place on both a beach, and at the Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios which is a 60,000 square foot water tank!  Amazing!  Great crew, great agency, great client, all around awesome experience.  Jeremy is the real deal.     – Chris.


            Credit where credit is due:

            Client:  Animal Planet
            Jamie Dugger, Vice President of Creative, Animal Planet
            Joe Carey, Producer, Animal Planet
            Shannon Erb, Sr. Director of Talent, Animal Planet
            Selbern Narby, Sr. Editor, Animal Planet
            Jeanne Kopeck, Creative Director, Mrs K’s
            Andrew Turman, Director of Photography, Mrs K’s
            Erin Lofstrom, Producer, Mrs K’s
            Jessica Latterman, Vice President of Marketing, Animal Planet
            Monica Zeitlin, Director of Marketing, Animal Planet
            Lisa McKenna, Production Manager, Marketing
            Blair Staruch, Account Executive
            Anna Fodero, Account Coordinator
            Beth Stewart, Associate Creative Director
            Anand Gahlot, Art Director
            Laura Adams, Photo Producer
            Sheri Wake, Photo Producer

            Westside Studio Producer:  Kirsten White
            Photographer: Chris Gordaneer
            Digital Tech: Brendan Smyth

            Chris’ tech/first assistant Brendan (very talented photographer in his own right) had a few moments to capture some BTS from the 2 set days.  Check’em!

            Day one shooting on our beautiful Dominican beach location:

            34612_517534612_5055 34612_5058 34612_5059 34612_5071 34612_5072 34612_5106 34612_5108 34612_5165 34612_5186 34612_5202 34612_5238 34612_5273 34612_533034612_5496

            Day two, shooting at Pinewood Studios Horizon Water Tank, the “most advanced water tank in the world.”  Making waves.

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            Getting stuck on location for a couple extra days isn’t too bad with good company:

            All Images © Chris Gordaneer
            All BTS Images © Brendan Smyth



              Dave Gets Naked for Lululemon

              by Alex Beetham on April 21, 2016

              It feels like I’m wearing nothing at all… nothing at all… nothing at all

              That’s what it feels like wearing Lululemon’s newest offering of “naked bottoms.”  Last week Dave Delnea was locked into the job at 11pm the night before the shoot, hopped on the first flight out to Vancouver the next morning, and finished the shoot in time to catch the red eye back to Toronto.   How’s that for production turn around time?
              The shots are all over the Lulu home page… check’em:

              Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 3.04.59 PM

              We can’t share the BTS on the blog due to it’s revealing nature, but if interested they can be found here. (NSFW)


              All Images © Dave Delnea


                Dave Goes for a Ride with Mariposa Bikes

                by Alex Beetham on April 20, 2016

                Dave Delnea has been building up all sorts of gorgeous additions to his motion reel. The latest offering is this group of spots for Mariposa Bicycles. Since 1969, Mariposa handcrafts bikes of incredible quality right here in Toronto and deserve to be shown off doing what they do best. Doing so involved a whole lot of hanging expensive gear out of the back of moving vehicles. We think it was well worth it. Check out the results to see for yourself.

                The main spot:

                Individual shorts:

                One of my favourite parts of this job is getting to collaborate with other people who are doing amazing things around this city – Michael and Dede at Mariposa Bicycles are definitely a couple of those people.  It was a great experience getting to work with them and see their passion for the sport and lifestyle of cycling.  Huge thanks to the crew, talent and post production team who helped make this all happen!


                Dave pulled a few stills from that tasty Dragon footage:








                Credit where credit is due:

                Client:  Mariposa Bicycles
                Production:  Westside Studio
                Director:  Dave Delnea
                Producer:  Tom Nesbitt
                DP/Camera Opp:  John Ker
                1st AC:  Calvin D’Souza (Day One)
                1st AC:  Dan Duguary (Day Two)

                Talent: Scott Fitzgerald (Road), Marissa Janes (Mixte) & Chris Mathias (Porter)

                Special thanks to Cote de Boeuf 

                Producer Tom was snapping away on his phone over the 2 days of shooting… take a look behind the lens:










                All Images & Video © Dave Delnea
                All BTS Images © Tom Nesbitt


                  Tyler Introduces The New Toys “R” Us CPO

                  by Alex Beetham on March 31, 2016

                  It’s the executive role every kid dreams of. Well, perhaps not many children are dreaming of corporate employment, but Émile Burbidge is no ordinary 12 year old. This is one of many reasons that Toys “R” Us Canada has hired him on as their new CPO! (That’s Chief Play Officer, for those not savvy with corporate toy chains.) Émile is the lucky (and deserving) new hire, getting his hands on the latest and greatest toys to test and review for kids and parents alike. Now his penthouse office was still under construction during the time of filming, so we had to improvise and retrofit our boardroom into his temporary work space. We think it turned out pretty well:

                  Oh, and he’s completely bilingual too.


                  Client:  Toys “R” Us Canada
                  Agency:  Open
                  Executive Creative Director: Martin Beauvais
                  Copywriter: Samara Luck
                  Account Executive: Nicolas Rouleau
                  Art Director:  Tyler Mckissick
                  Production:  Westside Studio
                  Director / Photographer:  Tyler Gray
                  Producer:  John Stevancec
                  DOP / Camera Op:  John Ker
                  Audio Capture:  Alex Beetham
                  Hair & Makeup:  Lisa Vella
                  Wardrobe Stylist:  Jessa Bissett
                  Assistants:  Jeff Jamison, Logan Allmendinger, Rebecca Leach
                  Adorable Dog: Mandu

                  Émile drummed up a fair bit of press!

                  CBC-News TVA-Nouvelles Newswire CTV-News
                  Congrats again Émile! Oh and of course, a little look behind the curtain…

                  BTS 1BTSBTS 2BTS 3BTS 4 All Images & Video © Tyler Gray


                    Tyler’s no Outsider with AGO

                    by Alex Beetham on March 21, 2016

                    Tyler was approached by Cundari and the AGO to help promote their latest photo exhibit; Outsiders: American Photography and Film,1950s–1980s. This exhibit celebrates the artists who changed the image of American life, including Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Danny Lyon, Nan Goldin, Gordon Parks. Four Torontonians were invited to sit down with the exhibition’s co-curators, Jim Shedden and Sophie Hackett, to discuss what it means to be an insider or an outsider—this is what they had to say:

                    Credit where credit is due:

                    Client: AGO
                    Outsiders Curators: Sophie Hackett, Jim Sheddon

                    Agency: Cundari
                    Art Director: Jake Bundock
                    Copy Writer: Ryan Kukec

                    Production: Westside Studio
                    Photographer & Director: Tyler Gray
                    Producer: John Stevancec
                    Camera Operator & DP: John Ker
                    Audio Capture: Alex Beetham
                    Editor: Taylor Bateman
                    Assistants: Brendan Smyth, Logan Allmandinger
                    Hair & Make Up: Taylor Savage
                    Wardrobe Stylist: Jessa Bissett

                    From the curators description of the exhibit:

                    Harnessing the descriptive and expressive capacities of photography and film, the artists in this remarkable exhibition, Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s, all participated in changing the image of American life. Motivated by a sense that the status quo was untenable, and that current visual expressions of American life did not reflect what they knew and saw of the world, they deployed their chosen media to reflect a more complex, more authentic and more diverse view of the world in which they had grown up.

                    Keep your eyes peeled for these posters all over the city!





                    A look see behind the scenes…

                    BTS 1

                    BTS 2


                    BTS 3The exhibit is running now until May 12th!  It’s a fascinating curation… go check it out!

                    © – Images & Video © Tyler Gray
                    © – BTS Images © Alex Beetham