Westside’s Picks – Lindsey’s NETFLIX

by Alex Beetham on September 2, 2015

This may come as a surprise to some, but here at Westside we actually do other things either than just create trend setting, world class images.  We occasionally do find time to eat out, get a little (some of us a whole lot) exercise in, hit up a movie, scream along at a concert, etc.  Real life things, ya know?  We wanted to share some of our favourites with you, in a new blog segment titled: “Westside’s Picks.”

Kicking things off is a Westside veteran.  If you’ve ever walked through Westside’s atrium, you’ve been greeted by her smiling face.  If you’ve given us a call, you’ve heard her angelic voice… It’s the one, the only, Lindsey Harrison.  She’s here to break down her top Netflix picks:

Almost a year ago now, my partner and I decided we would cancel our cable and sign up for the much cheaper form of entertainment called Netflix.   We are very happy we made that switch.

I must say it has been a bit tricky trying to narrow down my Netflix Canada top 5.  My top 5 consist of  mini-series and movies that I have watched and have left some sort of impression on me.  To the point where I still think of them from time to time.  That to me is a good watch!  Also not wanting any of these to come to any sort of end says to me that they are some of my favourites.


#1 –  Misfits – An English drama Sci-Fi that at times I found to be quite humorous.   A group of teens have been sentenced to community service.  A storm rips through and they begin to realize it has brought them superpowers.   It went on for 5 seasons, which included new cast members and the realization that many others in fact had special powers just like themselves.  The only difference was not all powers were used for the greater good.  A movie was rumoured to be in the works.  I still have my fingers crossed that it will happen someday.

#2 - The Bletchley Circle – I was so fascinated when I watched this British crime/mystery mini-series.   Prior to watching this show I didn’t know anything about the WW2 code breakers that had helped shorten the war by two years.   These former code breakers were sort of like amateur detectives who saw patterns everywhere in their everyday life.  Years after working at Bletchley Park as code breakers, the ladies joined forces again to catch a serial killer that had taken over the London area.  I love problem solving so this series was just my cup of tea.

#3 – Attack the Block (British Version) – I really didn’t want this movie to end.  It’s an action/comedy with a sci-fi spin.   A group of teenagers are forced to fight back against an alien invasion threatening to take over their block.  Within the first 5 minutes the action starts, and I love that in movies.  You ride along with the movie just waiting for the next crazy thing to happen or jump out at you.  As you can see I have a soft spot for the British productions.  There has been a buzz about a possible mini-series or even an American re-make.

#4 – Rectify - A slow paced drama and one of the most beautifully shot series I have watched on Netflix.  I was glued to the screen watching this one.  It’s a story of an inmate who has been released after almost 20 years of sitting on Death Row.  It shows not only his sometimes painful adjustment back into the outside world but also the adjustment that his family has had to make since his return home.  They give you only small flashbacks of the events leading up to his imprisonment.  So even at the end of Season 2 you still don’t know what truly happened.  I can’t wait to watch Season 3.


#5 – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – A very very puny Netlfix series, co-created by Tina Fey.  I must warn you, don’t risk missing something funny only because you are too busy laughing or asking out loud if they really just said that!?!  Kimmy, who is fresh out of a doomsday cult from the Midwest, has to adjust to her new life in New York City.  It’s an easygoing and cleverly written series.  If you do decide to start it, be sure to stick with it at least to the part where you find out what’s behind the giant hand crank mystery.  You won’t regret it!

Thanks for the recommendations Lindsey!

If any of you have seen any of these titles or have any recommendations of your own, please let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page, or Tweet us!  Happy watching!


    Did you get a chance to flip through this years Communication Arts photo annual?  We’re giddy like proud new parents seeing our very own Dave Delnea and Nikki Ormerod bringing home the hardware!  Scroll on down to see the winning work for “Excellence in Self Promotion” and “Excellence in Advertising” categories.


    Dave Delnea:



    “I’ve had the pleasure of working with the creative team from Lululemon on a number of projects but this one was remarkable; mostly for how miserable I thought the shoot was going to be.  

    It was a day that most clients would have cancelled or postponed.  When the forecast calls for 50+ mm of rain, you know it’s going to be an absolute downpour all day long.  We made our way up the Sea to Sky Gondola above Squamish, BC to an area we had previously scouted.  Our team and talent took it all in stride laughing and joking despite (or maybe because of) the ankle deep mud we were comically trying to hike through.  We shot all day giving our team and equipment a thorough soaking… which in hindsight wasn’t all that necessary because the hero shots from the day all came within the first hour or so of shooting – but at that stage in the game, it’s always just worth seeing a thing through!”- Dave Delnea

    Nikki Ormerod:



    “I shot this while I was visiting my parents in Florida.  I fell in love with her hair and asked her parents if they would mind if I took her picture.  They said it was okay, but I don’t think she was too into it.”


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      Cadillac Fairview goes back to school with Vicky Lam

      by Chris Payne on August 27, 2015

      You have probably seen it on Strategy or on Marketing Mag.  In case you haven’t, Cadillac Fairview’s new back to school campaign has just turned up in malls all over Canada.  Vicky Lam, Phil Smith and more of the stellar people from Traffik created some fun and unique off-figure clothing images and, well, we will let Vicky tell you all about it!

      “Growing up, going back to school was always so exciting for me.  It was a chance to see friends again, get new clothing and school supplies and get a fresh new start.  This year is no different, as I had the great pleasure of helping Cadillac Fairview kick off their back to school, #whowillyoube campaign across Canada.  The masterminds at Traffik Group came up with an innovative and interactive idea that I absolutely loved.  It’s not often to see a full fledged campaign involving still life photography, so I was very excited to be a part of it. 

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      Bringing life and personality to inanimate objects already has its challenges and is even more difficult when it comes to clothing.  I’ve always thought that off-figure styling is the toughest of all styling techniques to master.  In this case, we brought in the amazing Dee Connolly to make the clothing come alive.”
      “Shooting flat, soft goods is no easy task.  Without a physical body filling in the clothes, every fold and wrinkle is what really shapes each look and brings the clothes to life.  Over two long days, we worked closely together with art director, Phil Smith, to determine what poses would be possible and varying them for 10 different looks. Flashbacks of figure drawing class from art school kept coming to my mind as we pondered over body proportions and positioning.”

      “Each small fold would drastically change the feel of each look or personality as seen in these in-progress shots.  Compared to the finished shots, along the way we had to get creative with how to style these clothes and prop them up to read well on camera.”








      IMG_9019Every tweak and fold went together to create several looks, combining different age groups and wardrobes to target their respective demographics.  The mini manikins did their best to help them as well!

      “And now the final result can be seen in 19 malls across Canada. I absolutely love the interactive nature of the tableaus, and they’re printed almost life-sized!  It’s fun to follow the #whowillyoube campaign online and see people interact with the photos and picking which style they relate to.  Advertising, especially today is a fleeting moment, so it makes me very excited to see people take a few minutes to have fun and connect with our ideas.”

      “Many thanks to Traffik for allowing me to be part of such an innovative campaign and for a great idea that I can share with friends and family across Canada!”-V.L

      Client: Cadillac Fairview
      Agency: Traffik
      ACD: Phil Smith
      Copywriter: Sarah Deziel
      Agency producer: Dylan Welsh
      Agency Account Team: Joe Cameron and Dayla Ledger
      Style Consultant/Wardrobe stylist: Pascal Alhani
      Off-figure stylist: Dee Connolly
      Photography producer: Phaedra Kennedy, Heather Hyland
      Photography assistants: Chris Dowswell and Rebecca Leach
      Retouching: Robyn Nowoczin


        Shanghoon, anything but bland, boring or routine

        by Chris Payne on August 7, 2015

        What do your weekends usually consist of?  Brunch after a rough night out?  Brunch after a chill night in?  PCN (pizza, couch, netflix)?  Well if they are beginning to feel like a routine, you should keep reading.  Shanghoon shot some new images for Fallsview Casino to remind you that it may be time to break the pattern and slam a night or two into overdrive.


        “We wanted to capture the fun & realism of the concept by making the letters in real life. We spent a lot of time planning ahead of the shoots, trying out different prop options with our amazing model maker, Franc Madden.”- Shanghoon

        Yes, that’s right- no CGI here folks.  All of those leafy letters and balloon letters are sourced or created in real life by Franc Madden, the prop wizard.  He continues to surprise us all with the fantastic work he does.  Even the ice letters are made of real ice!

        “For the Same Old execution, each individual leaf was hand glued by Franc. We managed to find the pre-fabricated balloons, which was a huge time saver.  Franc made moulds for every iced letter and froze the letters with boiling water. Every few hours, he would have to stir the water in the moulds to get rid of the bubbles as the water froze.”- Shanghoon

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        Ciroc-CastingIMG_1874 Screen-Shot-2015-05-11-at-3.19.58-PM

        “Hats off to the art director & writer team, Yan Snajdr & Tom Mednick at Blammo for coming up with the fun concepts of these ads. They do really stand out from the rest.  Last but not least, thanks to Victor Tavares who retouched these images with me. Each of us brought so many ideas and passion to this project. I am really proud how these images turned out.”- Shanghoon

        All images © Shanghoon 2015

        Photographer: Shanghoon
        Client: Fallsview Casino
        Agency: Blammo Worldwide
        Art Director: Yan Snajdr
        Copywriter: Tom Mednick
        Creative Director: Gord Cathmoir
        Retoucher: Victor Tavares
        Producer: Phaedra Kennedy
        Production: Westside Studio
        Assistants: Bryan Ulrich, Janice Power


          Into the wild with Chris Gordaneer

          by Chris Payne on July 29, 2015

          You’ve read the book or seen the movie where Chris McCandless goes completely off the grid and ends up in Alaska?  Well Chris Gordaneer got the same yearning to see and photograph these epic landscapes for his latest personal project.  Chris has been the king of gigantic, powerful landscapes for years and this latest series continues to reinforce that title with rolling mountains, boreal forests and mosquitos the size of small birds.  So please, allow him to take you through a few scenes of his Alaskan excursion.

          My assistant Brendan and I traveled to Alaska the first day of June. We spent a week and a half driving and shooting.  The idea behind this series was to emphasize the enormity the state, so when we arrived it was clear… we were in the right place. Its huge!.  I feel these shots convey how the wilderness here will make you feel really small, really fast.”

          “These photos were taken along the Denali highway 8.  This was the most beautiful area that we went.”

          Denali Highwaypins

          “This is Brendan, hiking up the side of a relatively small hill near the Yukon river south of Fort Yukon.  This was the farthest East we were the whole trip.”

          Fort YukonPin

          Denali Parkpins

          “This is Coke Wallace and his son- together they showed us some of their favorite spots.  Coke rescues people who venture out to see the bus made famous in the film “Into the Wild“.  Since the movie came out, people go to see this bus and cross the Teklanika river, which due to flash floods can be a creek at one moment and a raging torrent 100 feet across the next.  People can become trapped with bears, mountain lions and moose.  I met Coke 7 years ago when shooting for Polaris and have kept in touch with him ever since.”


          “This is the first night that we camped, just North of Anchorage, outside of Palmer.  I was able to shoot this at 12:00am, there are nearly 24 hours of sunlight at this time of year.  You know what that means? 4 to 5 hours of magic hour, I was in my element.”

          “While diving along, we spotted a campsite that I felt would make a great shot, but it was missing something. Since there were no campers to be seen,  Brendan and I took the liberty of setting up the campfire….. composition complete.”

          “Heres a shot taken at the end of Stampede Road.  This was where Chris Mccandleuss was dropped off.”

          Arctic Circlepins

          “Thats me just before the Arctic Circle along the Dalton Highway 11.  We didn’t see too many folks up there, but we did come across a hitch hiker from Britain who was cycling from Anchorage up to Prudhoe Bay at the very top of the state.  The area along the Yukon river was too muddy and wet for him to get through and he had been stuck there for 2 days when we picked him up.  Up that highway, there is a point of no return where beyond there is no cell phone reception, no gas, no food, no nothing.”

          All in all this trip was massive.  Although it looks like Chris and Brendan booted around the most Northern state- they drove thousands of miles and their truck definitely showed that truth- earning it the title “The War Rig”.  This definitely brings new longer-haul meaning to the term “mud’n”.


          These images will be made into a very limited quantity of signed prints and distributed to a hand picked list of lucky folks by Chris.  Check those packages out below.  Keep an eye out for these to be hanging on walls soon!


            Liam Mogan’s new creative is just the cheesiest

            by Chris Payne on July 21, 2015

            When you think Kraft dinner- what do you think of?  Rainy mid-day meal?  A savoury snack in the wee hours of the morning after a night of drinking?  Fond memories of how much you ate during college?  Whatever the case may be, it is hard to find anyone who doesn’t harbour at least one memory of the golden yellow pasta dish.  Liam Mogan recently decided he would put a new spin on KD, where he put his head together with food stylist Andrew Bullis and art director Taylor Shute to create dishes that would stir curiosity in even the most upper crust of fine diners.  Did you catch those puns?  Ladies and gentlemen, may we present to you- Kraft dinner five ways.

            1.  Kraft Dinner Crostini with smoked and pickled cherry tomato, “haute-dog” foam, chimichurri, micro basil and ketchup reduction.Polenta

            2.  Kraft Dinner White Cheddar Spirals on dandelion greens with hotdog petals, powder cheese foam and duck egg yolk.


            3.  Kraft Dinner “Cubist” Croquette twice fried with albacore tuna, baby kale and lavender on Balsamic reduction and ketchup gastrique.

            4.  Kraft dinner polenta with summer sausage, heirloom radish, chervil, yellow asphodel and cold pressed olive oil.


            5.  Kraft Dinner white cheddar puree with Spam.  Sea asparagus salad with Kraft Dinner vinaigrette and cheese rimmed Kraft Dinner Miso.


            Liam had these images printed out and has been dropping them off to a few folks around town.  The outer wrap of these prints has been known to instantly provoke an intense craving for mac and cheese, so please look on with caution below!



            Photographer: Liam Mogan
            Food Stylist: Andrew Bullis
            Art Director: Taylor Shute

            All images © Liam Mogan 2015


              Nikki Ormerod and a project called IF

              by Chris Payne on July 15, 2015

              Last Thursday evening at 7:00PM, the Westside Studio doors were open to those who would attend Nikki Ormerod‘s show curiously named If.  If was comprised of two dozen black and white portrait photographs in various print sizes.  These images accompanied a motion instalment that represented Nikki’s push into the world of directing along with her partnership with Spy films.  I would say things are going pretty will for Nikki aren’t they?!  For your viewing pleasure, please check out only a selection of images from the project and watch the motion spot below.


              “This project initially began as a personal project that would help me to bridge the gap between my stills work and my motion work. I have been shooting commercial and editorial stills for years now and have always wanted to get into directing.  The way I see it – being a photographer is directing.  I direct my set, my aesthetic, my light and my talent.  I feel that having the experience in the commercial world and the background in photography gives me a leg up.  Directing moving pictures just seems like the next step for me.  I wanted to work on a project with people I trust and also creative thinkers who would allow me the freedom to experiment and have the patience to let me learn.  It has been an incredibly huge learning curve and I was very humbled when some of the industry’s best offered their help on this project.

              Stuart Campbell and I met a few years back when he was still working as an art director.  As he began to make the shift from Art Director to Director of Photography it really made me think.  It was a huge inspiration and I knew that I wanted to collaborate with Stu from the beginning.  Marni and Carlo from SPY took notice of me a while back and helped with the project from the start.  They connected me with the right people and helped to get the best team of people working on this with me.  I really could not have done it without their amazing guidance and leadership through everything.  Graham Chisholm from Married to Giants was the editor on this spot.  IF was truly a collaboration between Graham, Stu and myself. It wouldn’t exist without them.  Wade Odium from Alter Ego Post did the colour for this project.  Since Wade has a background in photography it was incredibly easy to work alongside him. I was able to show him my vision through my stills and he immediately saw it.
              Since the content for this project was so minimal, the casting was paramount.  It took me weeks to cast for this.  I worked with casting director Stephen Milo to help find the right mix of people for this.  I also personally did street castings and skimmed through old casting sheets.  After hand picking almost 100 people to come shoot out of over 400 submissions, I was finally able to write parts and plan my approach.” – Nikki Ormerod
              “I had always planned for this project to work as my promo for the year as well.  I shot still portraits along side the motion – a task that is becoming more frequently required in the industry, but luckily something I love to do.  I was connected with designer Tia Hughes who really brought this promo to life.  In the end she worked on an entire rebrand for me and everything ended up playing together beautifully.  From there I planned to have a formal screening and art show with the final pieces.  I’m represented by Westside Studio for Stills photography and they offered the studio space up for this event.  I showcased the final film spot along with 24 large format prints.  Erika Jacobs and Tom Nesbitt help to make this night a total success.  
              For those wondering about the title of the project; IF  is a poem by Rudyard Kipling.  When Graham brought the clip of Dennis Hopper to the table everything fell into place.  The tone of the reading was what tied everything together.  I’ve always loved this poem and even loved it when Dennis Hopper recites parts of it during his rant in Apocalypse Now.  As he states: “IF is the middle word in life”.  This poem is a timeless and poignant mantra to life and self development.  It was really beautiful to direct all of the talent through the poem and allow them to interpret it in their own ways.
              Thank you to everyone who was involved!” - Nikki Ormerod


              If from Spy Films on Vimeo.

              Pretty impressive, no?  Nikki’s show was a hit with all who attended.  Special thanks to sponsors S M L and Junction Craft Brewing for helping to make this night a pleasure for our guests eyes and taste buds.  Check out some of the photos from the night below!

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              Director: Nikki Ormerod
              DP: Stuart Campbell
              Production House: Spy Films
              Stills Production: Westside Studio
              Executive Producers: Marni Luftspring / Carlo Trulli
              Editor: Graham, Chrisholm – Married to giants
              Colour: Wade Odlum – Alter Ego
              Music By: Andres Lara & Spencer Edwards
              Sound Mix: Apollo Music
              Casting: Milo Casting
              Designer: Tia Hughes- Art and Mechanical
              Print House: SML Printing
              Producer: Erika Jacobs
              Thanks to: Tom Nesbitt, Erika Jacobs, Tia hughes, Tom Smith, Eric Perrella, Cheyenne Bloomfield, Alain Elliott
              Assistants: Christa Michelle, Spencer Blackwood, Jamie Rosenthal, Hassan Mohammad


                Liam Mogan in Sharp Magazine

                by Chris Payne on July 9, 2015

                Things have been smelling great in the hallways here at Westside since Liam Mogan has started shooting.  Some days- it smells like maple bacon, some days it smells like butane…  Either way- it always smells like progress, the best smell of them all.  Recently Liam’s work landed on a 6 page spread in the summer edition of Sharp Magazine and a contents page as an added bonus!  If you weren’t hungry before reading this, you may want to have something to snack on close at hand.

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                I’ve been working with Sharp for a few years now.  It’s always a very fun, creative, and even an award winning experience.  Typically we’ll do still life stories but this time they asked me to shoot one of their first food features!  It was a fantastic shoot filled with delicious food and lots of fire and lighter fluid!“- Liam Mogan.

                Hope you find a copy of Sharp mag on the stands and pick it up.  An awesome group of people are behind this magazine and have been making amazing content for a while now.  Check out Liam’s work for this issue below!









                Food images © Liam Mogan 2015

                Photographer: Liam Mogan
                Food Stylist: Andrew Bullis
                Art Director: Evan Kaminsky
                Graphic Designer: Stevie Visser

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                  George Simhoni & the INFINITI Q50 Limited

                  by Chris Payne on July 6, 2015

                  Back in the midst of the polar vortex, George Simhoni decided 2015 was going to be all about automotive photography.  When George sets goals, he sure is driven to fulfill them.   He’s had the pedal right down to the metal (floor mat?) so far this year, as one of our rosters busiest shooters!  We are most pleased to share one of his latest jobs, done with Lance Martin, Josh Day and the fine folks at UNION for INFINITI.  Check out their latest whip, fresh in off-white:  The Q50 Limited.


                  Right?!  George then brought another into the studio, to properly show off some details.  She’s got curves in all the right places…

                  “It was so great to have the opportunity to be part of the Infiniti Q50 project.  Working with Josh Day was a wonderful collaborative experience.  The car was beautiful and fun to work with too.  I am proud of our accomplishments and the images we produced are fantastic.”- George Simhoni

                  Here’s a little BTS look at one of the location days:

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                  All Images © George Simhoni

                  Creative Director: Lance Martin
                  Art Director: Josh Day
                  Copywriter: Caitlin Keeley
                  Agency Producer: Jen Dark
                  Agency: UNION Advertising Canada LP
                  Photographer: George Simhoni
                  Photography Producer: John Stevancec
                  Assistants: Logan Allmendinger, Peter Chan, Jeff Jamieson


                    Vicky Lam Looks Smart in Tangerine

                    by Alex Beetham on June 25, 2015

                    It’s amazing what creativity can come from being conscious of pinching pennies.  Perhaps it was dorm days in college, perhaps the first few months in your own pad.  We’ve all been there, channelling some DIY resourcefulness mixed with a dash of MacGuyver.  Not always the most effective methods, but hats off for creativity to say the least.  The folks at John St. and Tangerine had far too much fun coming up with some “life hacks” to drive home some smart banking choices.  Vicky and team also had a blast creating and photographing these contraptions.  From Vicky:

                    Surprisingly, all of these life hacks exist out there (and work!). Whether they are the smartest money saving ways, I’ll let you decide. And fyi, the scrubbing drill actually works!     – Vicky

                    Take a look!

                    Client:  Tangerine Banking
                    Agency:  John St.
                    Photographer:  Vicky Lam
                    AD:  Jenny Luong
                    Copywriter:  Kohl Forsberg
                    Agency producer:  Jen Shapiro
                    Photography producer:  Phaedra Kennedy
                    Photography assistants:  Bryan Ulrich & Daniela Garcia


                    You may have spotted some of these scrolling through your Facebook wall:



                    All Images © Vicky Lam