Joey L takes focus on Canon L Series Lenses

by Alex Beetham on November 27, 2014

It’s a rare full circle moment when the a leading manufacturer rings you up to create ads for the tools you use on a daily basis.  This is exactly what happened when Joey L was approached by the fine folk at DentsuBos & Canon, to create the latest print campaign for the legendary L-series lenses.  Here’s a look at the final images, layouts, and a few words from Joey.


Fortress of Solitude.

Retoucher Nick Leadlay’s mobile fortress of solitude.

Working on the Canon L Series photoshoot was a crazy whirlwind that greatly challenged everyone involved. Any advertisement shot on set was going directly to print in less than 10 days, and going to be seen by thousands (potentially millions?) of people. After shooting a setup, we chose our final image selects right then and there with Dentsubos and Canon, and our retoucher Nick Leadlay began the retouching process immediately on set. No time for second thoughts!  Nick had built a little computer-fort out of V-Flats and set up shop not too far away from the action so we could walk over to his hideaway and give him notes.The photo team would move on to shooting the next setup, and the process would continue like that over 3 days until all the final advertisements were finished. I might sound crazy, but I actually kind of liked this workflow, because it kept us on our tippytoes and when the job was wrapped, everything was already completed and in the can. Sometimes the retouching process can drag out over months, so it was refreshing to simply be done, dust off your hands, and walk away, and hopefully get some sleep finally.And of course, as the shoot was for Canon L series, those were the only lenses we used for the actual shoot, which is not really a departure from my regular kit. – Joey L

Here’s a look at the final image pairings, with original crops from Joey:

Final Comp #1

Final Comp #3

Final Comp #2

Photographer:  Joey L
Client:  Canon
Agency: Dentsu Bos
Art Director:  Kyle Scotland
Producer:  Kirsten White
On Set Retoucher:  Nick Leadlay
Stylists:  Marie Eve Tremblay
Hair & Make Up: Lisa Vella
Assistants: Jesse Korman, Caleb Adams, Rebecca Leach, Adi Saciragic, Eryn Wind

Here’s a look into what happens behind the camera to make these images possible.  From Joey’s GoPro’s:


From the phone of producer Kirsten White:


Images © Joey L
BTS © Joey L & Kirsten White


    Ford + Toronto Maple Leafs = A Chris Gordaneer Special

    by Alex Beetham on November 25, 2014

    Sure there’s always death and taxes, but here are two more certainties in this life –  Chris Gordaneer will always be a Leafs fan, and he will always drive a Ford. This made Chris an ideal candidate to photograph die hard leaf fans that, like Ford says, go further.

    LeafsYearbookBarber LeafsYearbookTattoo LeafsYearbookWedding

    Client: Ford
    Agency: Blue Hive
    Photographer: Chris Gordaneer
    Art Director: Marc Caringal
    Producer: Kirsten White
    Assistants: Brendan Smyth, John Wayne Brown, Adi Saciragic, Paul Swanson
    Tattoo Artists: Maddalena Ruggiero & Alex Richarson
    MUAH: Taylor Savage
    Wardrobe: Marie Eve Tremblay
    Prop Stylist: James Kennedy

    Here’s a look at Chris’s final images, uncropped and outside of the final ad layout:


    Producer Kirsten White was good enough to snap these BTS shots of Chris channelling his inner bride:

    Kirsten BTS Comp1

    Tattoo artists Maddalena & Alex had our talent under their markers for a full a day to create this custom back piece.  First assistant Brendan Smyth snapped these BTS shots:

    Brendan BTS Comp2

    All Images © Chris Gordaneer
    All BTS Images © Kirsten White & Brendan Smyth


      Vicky + Paper + inBusiness = Profit

      by Alex Beetham on November 12, 2014

      November 11th is a day of significance for many.  First off it being Remembrance day – a day in honour of the soldiers who fought and perished in the many wars past and present.  On a lighter note, it is also international Pocky day (or also known as Peppero day) which happens to also be my favourite snack of all time.  But little did I know that it is also Origami day, which brings me to reflect upon one of my shoots from earlier this year.  Although it isn’t truly origami, it still involved some meticulous paper craft and design.  I was asked by art director, Erik Mohr, to illustrate a story for Globe and Mail’s quarterly publication, InBusiness magazine.  Innovation was the theme of this issue, featuring Canadian companies that are the frontrunners in their respective fields.

      This meant that I also had to be innovative in my approach to illustrate five very different companies and create a series that would tie them all together.  Erik had mentioned the idea of exploring paper illustrations. So, it only seemed fitting for me to call Kyosuke Nishida and Dominic Liu of Studio Toki. I’ve collaborated with Studio Toki before on other paper based projects, so I knew they would be the perfect fit for this one.  With their design savvy and eye for detail, we were able to come up with a series of original, 3D paper illustrations.

      It took a lot of brainstorming, sketches, construction, problem solving and a bit of MacGyver to make it all happen.  Although the process was sometimes painstaking and challenging, seeing our ideas transform into a tangible form was really rewarding.  Not to mention, we were left with awesome and cute little paper sculptures afterwards!

      Here is a glimpse into our pre-shoot process with some sketches from Studio Toki:


      Here are the final paper illustrations representing Canadian companies with innovative business approaches:

      Pebble Smart Watch:

      Silicon Sisters Interactive:

      David’s Tea:

      Freed & Freed International :

      A.F. Theriault & Son:

      And finally the opening image –  a structure a bit inspired by M.C. Escher’s surreal drawings:

      Many thanks to Erik Mohr for the unique assignment and also to Kyosuke and Dominic for helping to bring this idea to life!

      Client:  inBusiness Magazine
      Art Director: Erik Mohr
      Paper design and construction: Studio Toki  - Dominic Liu and Kyosuke Nishida
      Photography interns: Christa Guia & Kate Ince

      A look behind the scenes:

      photo 4

      photo 2-1

      photo 5

      photo 3-2



        Matt takes on Movember with Campbell’s Chunky

        by Alex Beetham on November 4, 2014

        Campbell’s just launched their Movember Chunky campaign, which was shot by our very own Mr. Barnes! It looks a little something like this:

        Matt Barnes - Hockey Matt Barnes - Hoser Matt Barnes - lumberjack

        Agency: Real Interactive
        Art Director: Kelly Small
        Photographer: Matt Barnes
        Producer: Tara O’Malley
        Assistant: Gabe Nivera, Lori Waltenburi
        Hair & Makeup: Sandra Yang
        Food Stylist: LeeAnne Wright

        Check’em out on Campbell’s Movember page!

        Campbell's Movember Landing Page


          Vicky joins the Commonwealth

          by Alex Beetham on October 14, 2014

          It’s a rarity for a band to stick it out for over 2 years these days.  How about 2 decades, with it’s original members no less?  It’s also a rarity to hear of bands composed of 4 song writers, all given equal share of the creative pie.  This kind of democracy lends itself to a very fitting 11th studio album title for the Halifax born Sloan:  Commonwealth.  The honour of photographing the album artwork for this record, was given to our very own Vicky Lam.

          I was really excited when I heard I would be photographing Sloan’s LP cover art.  I have never had any work appear on a record before, and the idea of doing so for a great Canadian group like Sloan really made me feel happy.  As a still life shooter, I’m so used to working alone in a dark studio, so I was really excited to know that Chris Murphy and Jay Ferguson from Sloan would be there in person.  Perhaps I was even a little starstruck by the idea.  However, when the shoot day came by and I met Chris and Jay, they turned out to be the nicest and most laid back guys ever! I was even more impressed when I learned that they usually have a hand in designing all of their album art.  This one was not an exception.  It was neat to learn that each item was carefully hand picked by the band members themselves and all have personal significance and history. It’s a great feeling to know that the guys from Sloan take so much care not only in their music, but all the smaller details too. And it’s probably the reason why they’ve held such a successful and ongoing musical career for the last 20+ years.

          If you look closely, you’ll notice all the items tie in to the song titles.  Can you spot them?




          Jay Ferguson, putting the finishing touches on his carefully thought out composition.


          You can read what other people think about Commonwealth, (Noisy, Pitchfork, COS,) but might I suggest you pick yourself up a copy on iTunes/Amazon, or give it a streamy listen for yourself!

          Here’s a little trip down Sloan discography lane…


            IN PRINT | Tyler Feels the Passion

            by Alex Beetham on October 9, 2014

            paSH-uh n/
            1. strong and barely controllable emotion.
              “a man of impetuous passion”
              a state or outburst of strong emotion.
              “oratory in which he gradually works himself up into a passion”
              synonyms: (blind) rage, fit of anger/temper, temper, towering rage, tantrumfury,frenzy

              “he worked himself up into a passion”


            2. finding the right Scion for you
              Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin passio(n-) (chiefly a term in Christian theology), from Latin pati ‘suffer.’

              Use over time for: passion

            From the desk of Tyler Gray:

            One of the coolest things about working in adverting is that the surprises are never ending.  I mentioned it in one of my last posts that hearing my email ding and opening a PDF full of layouts is like Christmas morning over and over again.  Vic Bath at DentsuBos now has the unique distinction of sending me my first layout where a guy had an octopus stuck to the side of his face.  Yep, an octopus.  John and I were out in Los Angeles shooting when this came through and had some pretty good laughs with Vic about how we were going to pull this shot off.  We looked at prop options in Hollywood and were both amazed at how detailed and believable some of the options were.  We hummed and hawed over getting a live one and just throwing it at our talents’ face when he wasn’t looking, we discussed a dead one and we even discussed CGI.  In the end, we decided to go with the live option.  We named him Billy and he now lives and works with Lindsey at front reception.  He’s really good at answering phones and typing. (Editors note: Lindsey also really appreciates Billy’s suckers as an alternative to licking the postage stamps.)

            Big thanks to Vic and Ryan at DentsuBos for the opportunity to work on this.  Oh and an even bigger thanks to our client Mary at Scion for introducing the movie frozen to my Kids that day.  **Twitch**

            - Tyler

            All Ads.indd

            Peep some pixels:


            SCION_PAINTERAll Images © Tyler Gray
            Photographer: Tyler Gray
            Agency: DentsuBos
            Client: Scion
            AD: Vic Bath
            CW: Ryan Grosman
            Bryan Ulrich, Christa Michelle, Olga Kozitska

            BTS-Comp_Scion_Tyler_webAll BTS Images © Alex Beetham & John Stevancec


              Who You Gonna Call?!

              by Alex Beetham on October 2, 2014

              We’ve all heard the panicked recordings.  The breathless cries for rescue in life’s most desperate moments, such as when you’re stuck on a tricky homework problem, or when Burger King doesn’t get your order quite right.  As entertaining as this sample of the human condition are, calling emergency 911 lines for non-emergency matters is a growing issue.  From Cossette:

              Approximately 25% of calls to 911 are non-emergency police matters. These calls tie up emergency lines, taking resources away from where they’re needed most. This public education campaign addresses this issue with a simple but powerful juxtaposition between a non-emergency situation and a real one.

              Clean executions of clear narratives resonate with audiences, leaving lasting impressions. Anthony and team delivered just this for E-Comm 9-1-1, and paired with a print ad makes for an impactful campaign.

              Client: E-Comm 9-1-1
              Advertising Agency:  Cossette, Vancouver
              Creative Director:  Michael Milardo
              Associate Creative Director:  Lisa Lebedovich
              Art Director:  Lisa Lebedovich
              Copywriter:  Pierre Chan
              Agency Broadcast Producer:  Philippa Groom
              Production House:  Redpath Studios
              Production House Producer:  Anthony Redpath
              Dolly Grip:  Darin Wong
              Gaffer:  James Walker
              All Images & Video © Anthony Redpath


                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