Tyler’s Slipping and Sliding Over the Finish Line

by Alex Beetham on February 9, 2016

For those of you who have run a half marathon, you understand it’s a great feat of effort.  What better way to make it even more challenging, then to do it in the snow!  That’s exactly what the Peterborough Half Marathon (in support of the YMCA Strong Kids campaign) is all about!  The snow and ice can have you finding yourself head over heels before you know it.  That’s exactly what Tyler’s depicted to promote the run. You may spot some familiar faces… Take a look:


Its never a simple task getting the layouts that are largely based on what we have zero control over….mother nature.  It was no different in this instance considering the mild winter we’ve had and.  With a little luck, lots of patience (waiting for weather) and countless hours of retouching we were able to produce this super fun campaign for the Peterborough Half Marathon in support of the YMCA Strong Kids.



The initial phone call with Klint involved 1 main ad that would run in local media, he also had this idea of taking things outside the realm of where our client might feel a bit uncomfortable.  He send me a bunch of super rough sketches that only a copywriter could hash together and the whole thing began to take on a life of its own.  We had some time to work with it and ended up with 7 solid pieces to use.



Special thanks to the smokin’ hot runners who modelled for me in the -15 weather.  Caitlin, Kirsten, Shanghoon, Dave and particularly Tom for putting his balls on the line (or should I say frozen hydro pole) for us.     – Tyler

YMCA_2016Run_FULLSET_rev1-6Client:  YMCA Half Marathon
Agency:  BrandHealth
Photographer:  Tyler Gray
  Rick Kemp
ACD:  Klint Davies
AD:  Dave Snider

YMCA_2016Run_FULLSET_rev1-7A quick peak of how the magic is made… so very graceful.
IMG_3905All Images © Tyler Gray


    Shanghoon Gets His Glow on for Adidas

    by Alex Beetham on February 8, 2016

    TMAC BLUE Background 06 NO GLOW_RGB It sure didn’t take Shanghoon very long to get back in the studio.  Days after his plane landed bringing him home from an educational few months abroad (more on that soon,) he was approached by Adidas Canada.  You haven’t heard from him recently, so here’s the man himself to give you the low down on some sweet new kicks:

    It’s no secret to those who know me that my favourite sport is basketball. So it’s an exciting time in Toronto these days, with the NBA All-Star game just around the corner.

    When Adidas approached me to shoot the brand new shoes for Damian Lillard (Portland Blazers), James Harden (Houston Rockets) and retired Raptor Tracy McGrady, I was super excited, especially because they gave full creative control – as long as it involved Aurora Borealis and snow, in keeping with the theme of the series. It was a challenge to make the shoes glow for a long period of time – thanks to Bryan last name, we were able to track down the right LED UV lights to get it done. Thanks also to Franc Madden for helping to create these awesome snow explosions.


    It’s been incredibly rewarding to see these shots spread through the sneaker head community online this week, with hundreds of Instagram posts from all around the world, including one from Damian Lillard himself.

    Thanks to Connor and John from Adidas for trusting us with this execution and for guiding me through the creative.

    ps – The Aurora shoe is now my go-to pair for my Friday night pick up games, so I can personally vouch for how great they are!     – Shanghoon

    GlowFinal#2Client:  Adidas Canada
    Photographer:  Shanghoon
    Creative Team:  Coner McAvoy,  John Febbraro
    Assistants:  Bryan Ulrich, Jon Wayne Brown, Jeff Jamison, Hassan Mohamed
    Proping:  Franc Madden


    TMAC GREEN Background 06_NO GLOW_RGB Potato snap of Shanghoon behind the camera:

    IMG_4060 IMG_4054

    These kicks are already getting love around the interwebs, from sports figures to sneaker aficionados alike:

    -  Adidas Basketball
    -  Sole Collector Announcement
    -  HoopedUp

    More on Shanghoon coming soon…

    All Images & Video © Shanghoon


      Nikki RETHINKs Breast Cancer

      by Alex Beetham on January 21, 2016

      Nikki is no stranger to breast cancer.  Not only has she shot previous campaigns on the subject, but her mom is also a survivor.  It’s something that has touched so many of us in one way or another.  When Nikki was approached by RETHINK to direct a series of spots to promote breast health education, she was more than thrilled to jump on board.  Here’s what it looks like:


      Client: Rethink Breast Cancer
      Director: Nikki Ormerod, Westside Studio
      Executive Producers: Alison Lawler-Dean, Shawna Ginsberg, Rethink Breast Cancer + Marni Luftspring, Carlo Trulli, Spy Films
      Head of Production: Scott Houghton, Spy Films
      Producer: Robbie MacNamara, Spy Films
      DOP: Michael Banasiak
      Editor: Kat Webber, Panic & Bob
      Designer: Paulina Perzynska, Rethink Breast Cancer
      Colour: Conor Fisher, Alter Ego
      Online: Eric Perella, Alter Ego
      Media Planning: Media Experts
      Donated Media Space: One Stop Media Screens, Astral, Mega Poster Hair & Makeup: Vanessa Jarman, Page One
      Styling: Jessa Bissett, Judy Inc.
      Models: Josh (Push), Ben (EO), Abel (EO), Jason (EO), Jordan (EO), Carlton (EO), Charlotte (B&M), Berlange (B&M), Jana
      Music: Goapele “Play” + Tei Shi “Get It”
      Behind the Scenes video editing: Scarlett Street
      Intern: Nicole Aarssen


      See all the spots below:

      All Video © Nikki Ormerod


        Matt’s Up Schitt’s Creek. Again.

        by Alex Beetham on January 6, 2016

        Matt Barnes has once again found himself up Schitt’s Creek.  No paddles necessary!  Matt was thrilled to be approached by The Young Astronauts (very rad people) to reprise his role shooting promos for the second season of CBC’s Schitt’s Creek. As always, Matt delivered the goods.  I’m sure you’ve seen bits of these plastered ALL OVER the city ramping up to next weeks season premier, but here they are in all of their glory!

        GROUP-1Annie Murphy:
        Catherine O’Hara:
        Chris Elliot:
        Dan Levy:

        Photographer:  Matt Barnes
        Photography Producer:  Natalie D’Urbano
        Agency Executive Producer:  Alyssa Pankiw
        Creative Director:  Nev Todorovic
        Line Producer:  Jason Aita
        Assistants:  Papi (Kyle Topping), Gabe Roberto, Eric Brazier, Alexander Mavian, Andrew Gabura

        GROUP-2 GROUP-3-b

        You won’t see this one anywhere, but Matt couldn’t resist getting a frame in with Catherine!
        Speaking of this work being all over the city, just about every 2nd bus shelter and billboard are covered in Matt’s work!  Here’s a current look at the Bloor/Younge station take over.  Looking mighty Schitty!  (sorry… couldn’t resist)

        Season 2 premiers on CBC next Tuesday @ 9pm.  Check it out!

        All Images © Matt Barnes


          Toys Beware, Black Friday is Here!

          by Alex Beetham on November 27, 2015

          Nothing brings home the holiday spirit quite like trampling someone for a cheap TV.  Do you see the terror in these toys eyes?  Good.  That means that Vicky Lam and retoucher Robyn Nowoczin have done their job, and executed flawlessly at that!  Approached by Open for a Toys’R'Us Black Friday promo, the smiling faces of many a popular character needed to be transformed into terror…  ”Please don’t tear us apart, you savages!!”

          Client:  Toys R Us
          Agency:  Open
          Art Director:  Tyler McKissick
          Project Manager:  Nicolas Rouleau
          Copywriter:  Samara Luck
          Creative Director:  Martin Beauvais
          Retouching:  Robyn Nowoczin
          Photography Assistant:  Rebecca Leach

          A different variation:
          Toys_FRENCH_webHere’s a little look at before & after retouching:
          Turtle compareDid you spot our favourite minion covering the Toronto Star yesterday?
          Toronto Star Cover

          Be safe out there folks!

          All Images © Vicky Lam




            Muskidermy, by Liam.

            by Alex Beetham on November 24, 2015

            Our Liam Mogan is a multi-talented individual.  Known for his gorgeous food, he can tackle just about any situation you put in front of his lens.  Take for instance, when Sharp Magazine (a long time client of his) approached Liam to shoot this seasons cologne with stuffed animals.  And by stuffed animals, I of course mean fine examples of taxidermy.  Bear with us and take a merganser at how our deer friend Liam made it happen:  (sorry not sorry)

            boss_flat burberry_flat
            It’s a great feeling when a pervious client comes back to you with a killer brief. So, needless to say I was pretty pumped when I heard from Evan Kaminsky, AD on Book for Men, about photographing designer fragrances with high end taxidermy. On top of a cool idea, our shoot would be an eight page feature. Now the kicker; we had to shoot in on location, a few hours away, in a garage without ac, on the hottest day of summer. No problem, although I may have lost a few pounds in sweat by the end of the day, I think the images turned out quite exceptional. Thanks, Even, Jo, and Allie for sticking out in the trenches with me.     – Liam

            D&G_flat dior_flat prada_flat zenga_flataustral_flatCheck out the spreads in the latest issue of Sharp, on shelves now!

            Liam_SharpLiam_Sharp 2Liam_Sharp 3

            All Images © Liam Mogan


              Nikki Is Wildlife (We All Are)

              by Alex Beetham on November 13, 2015

              The iconic black and white panda logo hasn’t had a new campaign out in the world for 7 years.  John St. took this challenge head on and brought in Nikki to capture their concepts visuals.  Once again, they created something beautiful together:

              WWLBRD15015_WWF We Are All Wildlife_24x36-3

              I was approach by John St To work on WWF and the creative immediately spoke to me. I have been a long time supporter of WWF and the amazing things they do for animal kind and our environment . This new campaign just ties us all together so beautifully. We all spend so much time and effort caring for our own families. We work so hard towards pro creating . We need to recognize that we are all animals and should look to the wild life on our planet as just extended family and work just as hard to protect them. “When animals thrive – humans thrive.” – WWF

              I always love working with the John St peeps and always jump on anything they pass by me because I know it’s going to be well crafted and poignant . I’m so in love with the custom type Mo built. Amazing team all round . Can’t wait until next time :) – Nikki

              WWLBRD15015_WWF We Are All Wildlife_24x36-4 WWLBRD15015_WWF We Are All Wildlife_24x36-5 WWLBRD15015_WWF We Are All Wildlife_24x36-6Strategy already picked up this campaign and sung it’s praises.  You can also check out the motion component there too!

              Keep you eyes peeled for this work in a couple different formats around town.

              WWLBRD15015_WWF We Are All Wildlife_35x11_rev-1WWLBRD15015_WWF We Are All Wildlife_35x11_rev-3 WWLBRD15015_WWF We Are All Wildlife_35x11_rev-4


                Vicky Kicks Off Diwali With Kia

                by Alex Beetham on November 11, 2015

                Vicky Lam painstakingly worked her tail off with stylist Dee Connolly on this automotive Rangoli design.  I’ll let Vicky tell you all about it:

                Happy Diwali!

                Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights and is the most important holiday of the year in India.  It is the largest and brightest of festivals and marks the triumph of good over evil.  To mark this occasion, art director Jeff Popovich and copywriter Jonathan King got in touch with me to create a Rangoli design for Kia. Rangoli designs are traditional floor decorations created from coloured flour, rice grains, fine sands or with flower petals.  They are often created near entrances of houses and in courtyards to welcome goddess Lakshmi and to bring good luck.  I was so excited to be asked to create something so colourful and beautiful, yet so meaningful.  Here it is:


                I knew creating a design entirely out of fine powders would be challenging and require the utmost patience, so I asked stylist Dee Connolly to help me on this project.  With the tight deadline (shot just last week!), we had to get creative with our materials and approach.  Traditional Rangoli is usually traced out on the floor with chalk or paint and filled in with coloured powders.  We however, worked with a template of the design Jeff created as our base.  We were not able to find enough true Rangoli powders, so we looked towards powdered paints and even powdered drink mixes and spices.  Finally with a little help of retouching by Robyn Nowoczin, the colours of the design really came to life.

                After spending a long day and night creating only half of the 3ft wide design, I have much admiration for professional Rangoli artists who are able to whip things up freehandedly and so quickly. Rangoli designs really are an art of their own and a unique expression of a beautiful festival.

                Client: Kia
                Photographer:  Vicky Lam
                Agency: Innocean
                Art Director: Jeff Popovich
                Copywriter: Jonathan King
                Stylist: Dee Connolly
                Retouching: Robyn Nowoczin

                Check out some of the progress pictures with a little BTS action.

                _MG_4324 _MG_4318 IMG_6477 IMG_6486 IMG_9590

                All Images © Vicky Lam


                  A great Canadian rye meets a great Canadian photographer, what a lovely synopsis to set the stage for what is certain to be amazing images.  …or night out…  Well anyways, this may not be the first time Chris Gordaneer and Crown Royal have met, but it’s certainly the most beautiful, that is for sure.

                  These new images that Chris shot for the the Canadian rye company take classic Chris Gordaneer landscape photography and match it up with his studio technique.  Those amber colours pop off of these backgrounds and that bottle of liquid gold really demands your attention, doesn’t it?  Or am I just thirsty?  Check out these additional photos that Chris shot for Grey, New York for the American market.

                  15006-BARREL LAKE FINAL-b

                  15006-CROWN ROYAL GRAIN FINALb

                  Westside Team:
                  Photographer:  Chris Gordaneer
                  Producer:  Kirsten White
                  Assistant:  Brendan Smyth

                  Traffik Group team:
                  Art Director: Alex Rodriguez & Ed Jover

                  Grey New York team:
                  Writer: Pieter Melief
                  Group Creative Director: Anthony DeCarolis
                  Creative Director: Stu Mair
                  Group Creative Director: Han Lin
                  Designer: Ryan Hoelting
                  Account Supervisor: Lyz Montague
                  Account Executive: Nicole Murphy
                  VP/Producer/Director: Floyd Russ
                  Art Producer: Sarah Guidotti


                    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