Tyler Gray Goes Way Back to School

by Alex Beetham on August 27, 2014

The upcoming September long weekend is a significant one.  It’s the one you dread growing up, knowing that it’s festivities are overshadowed by the end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year.  Tyler has been out of school for *cough* just a few *cough* years now, but has had the opportunity since 2011 to annually acquaint himself with the campus of Western University.  Tyler has been producing some gorgeous images for Western over the years, and this is no exception!  Words from Tyler:

…This has been my third year shooting with creative director Terry Rice and designer Scott Woods from the Marketing Dept at Western U.  The early April email full of layouts from Scott has has become a beacon for spring and by the 3rd week of April i’m ripe for my first sunburn of the year.   – Tyler



Photographer:  Tyler Gray
Client:  Western University Alumni Association
Creative Director:  Terry Rice
Designer:  Scott Woods
Project Coordinator: Diana Cunningham

IMG_0320 IMG_0319 IMG_0315 IMG_0159All Images © Tyler Gray

Want to find out whats going on in that last BTS image?? Head on over to Tyler’s Tumblr and he’ll tell you all about it!


    Vicky Visualizes Vimovo’s Wedding Plans

    by Alex Beetham on August 15, 2014

    Todays post brought to you from the desk of Vicky Lam. Take it away!

    The summer months of July and August are high season for weddings.  As I’ve already spent a couple weekends this summer as a wedding guest, I started to reminisce about a shoot I did for AstraZeneca pharmaceuticals earlier this year.  Dare I say, this is by far the cutest photo shoot I’ve done to date.  I was really excited when John St. contacted me to partake in this fun idea.  I loved the concept and the idea of making an unexpected pharmaceutical ad.  This is the kind of wedding photography that is up my alley!

    So what is “Vimovo” you might ask?  Vimovo is the latest osteoarthritis drug that offers pain relief and also protection from stomach ulcers.  To illustrate the union of these two elements, we were in search of some unique cake toppers.


    After seeing their layout I knew this wasn’t something I could easily find, and knew that only model maker, Franc Madden would be perfect for this job. I get so excited when models are made for photo shoots and love seeing the process of a vision coming to life. Here are some in-progress shots of our little couple as they were carefully hand crafted for our special shoot day.

    BTS Comp_1

    Getting cake toppers made was the first step, but it soon started to feel like we really were planning a wedding party. We tracked down some drapery and an oversized cake, and we were set to go!

    BTS Comp_2

    And after some finishing touches on set, the two were styled and camera-ready for this:


    Here’s a closer look at the happy couple:


    Many thanks to the great folks at John St for having me work on such a fun and sweet concept! And many thanks to the talented Franc Madden for all of his meticulous work on bringing our characters to life.

    Client: AstraZeneca, Vimovo
    Agency: John St.
    Associate Creative Director: Stephanie Ferrari
    Agency Producer: Alisa Pellizzari
    Model Maker: Franc Madden
    Photography Producer: Phaedra Kennedy
    Photography Assistant: Rebecca Leach
    Studio Intern: Dan Berger

    Let’s end this week off with a sweet portrait of the two and a glimpse of their first dance:

    BTS DanceAll Images © Vicky Lam


      Nikki Gets Her Tiles Laid

      by Alex Beetham on July 31, 2014

      Knee pads and mortar were strewn about the studio a few weeks back by a talented team who transformed two of our studios into seas of ceramic.  Nikki Ormerod got the call to help bring Union’s campaign for Stone Tile to life.  Nikki will tell you all about it:

      Shooting for Stone Tile was nothing less than a complete pleasure. The team over at Union are so great, and we really had a blast. It was a job with many moving pieces. We built the sets in our very own Westside studio together with the awesome crew from Stone Tile. It took a week to get them completed and they looked awesome!

      Casting for this job was no walk in the park, however. We had to meet with and photograph countless of the city’s hottest men. I knew that even though this part of the job was agony , it would all pay off in the end. ;)

      It was a difficult task to choose only three men from all the amazing talent we saw that day. In the end we landed three of the best to bring our scenes to life.

      Feast your eyes.



      GEN000000009 Azure Bathroom

      GEN000000009 Azure Livingroom

      GEN000000009 Azure Foyer

      Client: Stone Tile
      Agency:  Union
      Creative Director:  Lance Martin
      Art Director:  Lorraine Sit
      Writer: Marisa Faustino
      Photographer:  Nikki Ormerod
      Assistants:  Bryan Ulrich, Jon Wayne Brown
      Producer:  Phaedra Kennedy
      Wardrobe styling: Marie Eve Tremblay
      Hair/Makeup: Cait Mizzi
      Models:  Steve B (Elmer Olsen), Maciel (Sutherland), Eric (B&M)


      Stone Tile BTS
      All Images © Nikki Ormerod


        George Ventures into the Outback for Subaru

        by Alex Beetham on July 21, 2014

        June was a month of relentless travel for George Simhoni. One of his numerous flights landed him in beautiful British Columbia to team up with DDB for some gorgeous work to promote the new 2015 Subaru Outback. A few words from George himself:

        It was a great opportunity to work on the 2015 Subaru Outback campaign with Rebecca and Dom. BC during the summer is a real treat. We usually go there for shoots in the winter and we are dodging rain most of the time. I love bringing people into the mix of car photography because it really kicks up the image and makes them more memorable. I had a wonderful team to help bring these images to fruition, from our photography and digital team, agency team and client. All great to work with.   – George

        George Simhoni_Subaru1 George Simhoni_Subaru2All Images © George Simhoni
        Photographer:  George Simhoni
        Client:  Subaru
        Agency:  DDB
        Associate Creative Director:  Rob Sturch
        Art Director:  Rebecca May
        Copywriter:  Dom Raso
        Producer:  John Stevancec
        Assistants: Sean Best, Mark Cohene, Richard Amies, Mike Phang

        Producer John Stevancec was kind enough to provide a glimpse behind the scenes:


        George Simhoni_Subaru_BTS2

        IMG_4246All BTS Images © John Stevancec



          by Alex Beetham on July 17, 2014

          One of the most endearing parts of summer has to be a trip to the amusement park. What with the games, the food the rides and the nausea. No one loves a good midway more than Anthony Redpath. The proof can be seen right here in his most recent print campaign for Playland, featuring The Playland Hot Seat. The experience took ”losing control” to a whole other level.

          Some background on Playland and the hotseat:
          Vancouver’s premier amusement park, Playland, hosts an event where winners get free tickets to Playland, with a catch: the entire experience is out of their control. Everything from the rides they go on to the number of mini- donuts they eat is determined by an online audience, voting in real time.

          Here’s what  AD extraordinaire Dominic Prevost had to say about the whole thing,

          Anthony’s extreme attention to detail and practical thinking was exactly what we needed to bring slick and stylized world of the Playland Hot Seat to life. Anthony immediately understood the concept and was keen to collaborate with us to find unexpected ways to take the execution up a notch — going as far as literally hanging our talent on ropes to have them dangle like “real” puppets!  - Dominic Prevost, AD

          And the finished product…….



          Creative Director: Ian Grais, Chris Staples
          Art Director: Dominic Prevost, Hannes Ottahal
          Copywriter: Danielle Haythorne, Jordan Cohen
          Photographer: Anthony Redpath
          Studio Artist: Jonathon Cesar
          Producer: Scott Russell

          Check out some other BTS from the day,

          IMG_82051_400_by_600 copyIMG_4843Play Land_Anthony Redpath_BTS

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            Vicky Kicks off the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition

            by Alex Beetham on July 4, 2014

            In honour of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE) starting up today, I have the privilege of turning you over to Vicky Lam who was recruited to bring this years ad to life… only to then melt into a puddle. I’ll let her explain.  - Alex

            Every summer, Nathan Phillips Square plays host to the largest and longest running outdoor art fair in Toronto since 1961.   The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is a sure sign that summer is well under way and is a great chance to see hundreds of local artists at an iconic Toronto landmark.  This year, art director and graphic designer, Una Lee, contacted me to help bring her vision to life.

            Vicky Lam_TOAE_Layout1

            I was excited to work on a local project that would help give exposure to hundreds of talented artists.  However, the challenge was apparent – how could we make our shot look like a blistering hot summer day with melting ice cream? And ice cream letters to boot?   The reality was that it was only the beginning of February in what seemed like the longest and coldest winter Toronto has had in years.  So, I enlisted the expertise of stylist, Christina Yan.  Christina and I have worked on a couple of typography projects before as well as a couple of shoots involving ice cream.  It only seemed fitting that we collaborate once again when the two ideas finally collided in one shoot.  After much deliberation and preperation, we worked with fake ice cream, as well as real ice cream components to get the look for a still image and also animated .gif.  With the help of dry ice, a large chest freezer, letter stencils, lots of ice cream, and a family value pack of Crisco, we embarked into this new territory together.

            Vicky Lam_TOAE_Layout2

            From there, we ended up with this:

            Vicky Lam_TOAE_175_email04

            Vicky Lam_TOAE14_layout

            And here’s a close-up of the great textures Christina created:

            Vicky Lam_detail01_TOAE

            The last challenge was to shoot a melting animated .gif.  Shooting an animated time-lapse meant there was no room for error and no turning back.  We had to use real ice cream to make it happen. We weren’t completely sure just how typographic ice cream shapes would look as they melted, but here it is:

            Vicky Lam_TOAE_Timelapse-03-July

            After two days of careful preparation and styling, we ended our shoot with a giant puddle of melted ice cream on the studio floor:

            Vicky Lam_TOAE_MG_9405

            Many thanks to Una Lee for having us on board for such a fun idea, and to Christina Yan for figuring out how to make the impossible happen!  Be sure to check out the TOAE this weekend and support local artists.  Enjoy the summer sun while you’re at it, and maybe grab an ice cream too.


            Photographer:  Vicky Lam
            Client:  TOAE
            AD: Una Lee
            Stylist: Christina Yan
            Assistants: Michelle Brussolo, Brendan Klem

            All Images © Vicky Lam

            **Editors Note** We (I) deeply regret the loss of perfectly good ice cream used for this shoot.  If you wish to contribute to the memorial, in lieu of cash we (I) would ask that you send pints of Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s to 70 Ward Street, C/O Alex.  We (I) thank you for your support at this difficult time.  



              George gets Deep & Delicious with McCain

              by Alex Beetham on July 2, 2014

              McCain Foods has been a staple in the Canadian diet for generations. You’ve most certainly eaten their fries before (McCain produces 1/3 of the worlds frozen fries,) and at least the kid in you still knows all about sneaking fork-fulls from this guy.  I can’t be the only one, right?  Well making light of all the trendy treats springing up in recent, McCain’s enlisted the talents of Entrinsic and our very own George Simhoni (wearing his directors hat) to bring dessert back to it’s roots in these fun spots.  Check’em:

              Motion © George Simhoni

              Director: George Simhoni
              Client: McCain
              Agency: Entrinsic
              Executive Creative Director: Anthony Wolch
              Copywriter: Kyle Carpenter
              Content Manager: Rebecca Brown
              Account Manager: Sasha Bricel
              Producer: John Stevancec
              Assistants: Jon Brown, Alex Beetham, Logan Allmendinger

              McCain BTS_George SimhoniBTS © Alex Beetham & his potato



                by Tom Nesbitt on June 24, 2014

                Winters in Canada can be pretty brutal and this past one was no exception. Polar Vortex anyone? Remember that just 6 short months ago it was dark when you woke up and then again just shortly after lunch? I know that I won’t soon forget. But, all that aside, when winter serves up ice make margaritas or something like that.

                This past winter Chris Gordaneer teamed up with Italo Siciliano from DDB to work on some sweet new ESSO imagery. As soon as we read the “open on palm tree” line, we didn’t hesitate and started packing our flip flops & sun screen

                This project included several layouts that conveyed the best parts of the summer road trip theme. There were both still and some moving images to be captured. The time line was tight, but like a true pros, Chris and his team made it all fit within a days work.

                I know what you are thinking, how could they manage down there in that heat and the humidity. All I can say is these guys and gals are total pros, and they didn’t let a little sand, sun and surf stop them from delivering the goods. Have a look at just some of what they came back with……








                all images Chris Gordaneer Photography ©

                When the stills were all wrapped for the day, Chris dawned the motion rig and directed the talent through these scenarios……

                Beach Holiday

                Grama’s House

                Credit where credit is due….
                Client: Esso Exxon Mobil
                Agency:  DDB Canada
                Creative Director: Barb Williams
                Creative Group Leader:  Italo Sicilliano
                Associate Creative Director:  Brendan Sack
                Digital Tech / Assistant: Aric Guité
                Producer: Kirsten White

                Check out some BTS courtesy of Kirsten White and Aric Guite




                Before we sign off, let me leave you with this little ditty.


                  With a list of features longer than a cats arm the new KIA Forte Koup is a well stocked automobile. And for just shy of 21K this is a well appointed piece of technology. One feature that is worth celebrating though is the Cooled Ventilated Seats. Yup, you read that correctly. The seats of the new KIA Forte Koup are both cooled AND ventilated. No need to make your whip look like a taxi cab with those beaded seat covers No sir. All you need to do is get yourself buckled into one of these and you’ll no longer need to pack a change of clothes to bring to the office anymore. Here’s what KIA has to say about the whole thing……

                  Drives on hot summer days are more comfortable with the Ventilated Driver’s Seat. Three fan speeds circulate cabin air through perforations in the seat leather, helping you stay cool.


                  Earlier this year Tyler Gray teamed up with Jon Lane and Brendan Sack from Innocean on a fun bit of advertising. The idea was to showcase the perils of driving cars with NON ventilated drivers seats. From the results, I think you’ll agree, it can be a terrifyingly sweaty experience.

                  Here are a few words from Tyler himself on his experience….

                  “Had a blast shooting this with Jon and Brendan, we shot during the Sochi Olympics and as you can see in the BTS of Gabe and Mike, we had the Canada vs Latvia hockey game in the background monitor and US vs Czech game in the foreground monitor”

                  They weren’t too distracted by the games and the results a pretty awesome.




                  Client: KIA
                  Agency:  Innocean
                  Associate Creative Director :  Jon Lane
                  Associate Creative Director :  Brendan Sack
                  Digital Tech : Gabe Nivera
                  Motion Capture : Mike Rabinski

                  And here are some BTS to keep things real…….







                    Nikki you are cleared for take off!

                    by Alex Beetham on May 23, 2014

                    A photographer works for years developing their own unique style. In the service of their craft, they become ingenious problem solvers, master technicians, and tireless perfectionists. With each new project they take on, they use their technical skills and creative vision to satisfy the needs of the specific job. While not every project can claim a perfect pairing of craft and creative, once in awhile, a job comes along that is so well suited to a particular photographer’s style, it would be criminal for anyone but them to shoot it.
                    This was the case when JWT’s Nicole Ellerton created the new campaign for Air Canada’s rebrand — there really was no choice other than Nikki Ormerod. We think it’s a perfect fit. And when the shoe fits as well as it does here, the results are nothing short of amazing.

                    May I present Nikki Ormerods perfect fit:  Air Canada’s “Your World Awaits” Campaign.

                    Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_1 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_2 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_4 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_3Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_5 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_6 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_7

                    A few words from Nikki herself:

                    I felt an instant connection to the artwork for the Air Canada Rebrand. I appreciated the beauty Nicole Ellerton and JWT were trying to capture in this campaign. There really is a romantic aspect to the creative and this is a style of shooting that embodies what I truly love to shoot.  I also knew that the nature of the creative would require more work than I’ve had to do for any other project in my career to date. I was just a little excited (a lot) when I found out I had won the job. **Sorry to Nicole for screaming on the phone***.From that point on I was lucky enough to be able to really sink my teeth into every aspect of the process. It was really amazing to work alongside Nicole From talent selection to the pairings of what character belonged in what destination. It was really a delicate process. The post production which I shared with Nick Leadlay was – and still is – incredibly intricate. It’s a completely custom job every time we marry a profile with a background. Every shot deserves a completely different approach. It’s been such a huge opportunity to really let my creativity out. It has become my life for the last month and I’m looking forward to the next phases of the project. The really amazing thing about this concept is that it really is boundless – it has the potential to grown in so many different ways. I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
                    - Nikki

                    JWT won the Air Canada account just this past September. Here are a few thoughts form the agency side…..

                    The breaking campaign, by JWT Canada, Air Canada’s new AOR appointed in September, connects the evolution of Air Canada’s product and service strategy with an ongoing commitment to deliver the world class travel experience today’s traveller expects. It also builds on a key insight from consumers that the richness of their experiences when they travel become a part of them and form a part of who they are.

                    The work launches a new tagline, “Your world awaits.” which serves as an invitation to the Air Canada experience and celebrates the sense of curiosity and pursuit of excellence that the airline shares with today’s global traveller. “It’s a new voice, tone and manner for Air Canada, yes, but is also about listening to our customers,” says Selma Filali, Director Marketing Communications at Air Canada. “For us, it’s about reflecting our commitment to meet the highest expectations that will help the globally minded traveller make the most of the experiences ahead of them,” Filali explains.

                    A fresh, sophisticated photographic look, a premium and global sensibility, and a more provocative tone of voice support the invitation to the enriching experience that the tagline evokes.

                    You’re going to be seeing a whole lot of these gorgeous images, both online & in person.  You may have already seen some of these in your browsing:

                    ac_twitter AC_website fbook youtube
                    Or perhaps in the paper?

                    Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_Media

                    I challenge you to find a wall in Eglinton station that DOESN’T have Nikki’s work all over it.  Total media take over.

                    Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_EglintonNikki-Ormerod_Air-Canada_Eglinton_2Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_Eglinton3

                    It takes an incredible team to execute such an elaborate undertaking, and this group is the cream of the crop.

                    Photographer:  Nikki Ormerod
                    Client:  Air Canada
                    Agency:  JWT
                    Associate Creative Director:  Nicole Ellerton
                    Associate Creative Director:  Mark Lewis
                    Retouching:  Nick Leadlay & Nikki Ormerod
                    Hair & Make-Up:  Juuka Sutari & Claudine Baltazar
                    Wardrobe:  Nadia Pizzimenti
                    Assistants:  Gabe Nivera, Abe Roberto, Michelle Brussolo, Joanna Gigliotti

                    Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_2Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_3Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_5Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_6Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_1Images © Nikki Ormerod

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