Tyler Gray makes Half of a half Marathon feel complete

by Chris Payne on January 28, 2015

When most people envision a Sunday in late February, they may envision a warm cup of tea, the great indoors and relaxation.  It takes a really good reason to turn that vision into a 10.55km run through Peterborough…

This year’s Peterborough YMCA Half a Half Marathon runners are about to lace up and bundle up to raise money for the Balsillie Family YMCA branch in Peterborough.  BrandHealth’s own Klint Davies and Dave Snider teamed up with Tyler Gray to create an awesome set of photos depicting what half frozen satisfaction looks like .  Check them out!

Half and Half 1

Half and Half 2 Half and Half 3

“Often my favourite layouts are ones that are sketched on a napkin, much like this one, it leaves things relatively open for creative interpretation.  Dave’s sketches gave me a good guideline to work with without being too specific, and Klint and Dave were both really open to my vision.”


“Klint and Dave are always chill to work with and going into this we knew it would be a bit of a challenge and would rely heavily on photoshop. Thinking like a retoucher and visualizing how it would ultimately come together I decided to shoot all the ice and dirt in individual pieces and puzzle it all together afterward.  The main benefit of doing it this way was the flexibility of being able to move things around as opposed to using heavy makeup on our talent but then having to retouch things out if I didn’t like it completely or if it crossed the centre line.  It can be a bit of a “leap of faith” for the client often as they go home at night without ever seeing exactly what we captured.  In this case, however everybody was on board and understood that this was the best way to do it.  The retouching was a great challenge and totally worth the time spent on it.”

-Tyler Gray


These photos were also brought to you by the ever amazing team plaid!

Agency: BrandHealth

Associate Creative Director: Klint Davies

Art Director: Dave Snider

Assistants: Bryan Ulrich, Abe Roberto



    Dave Goes for Gold with Nike

    by Alex Beetham on January 5, 2015

    Hockey fans eagerly await the holiday season not only for their friends and family, but to cheer on their fellow countrymen in arguably some of the most entertaining hockey of the year.  Every Boxing day the first puck drops for the IIHF World Juniors Tournament, where the best of the best upcoming NHL/KHL super stars take to the ice to bring home the hardware.  And they’re all still in high school.

    Dave Delnea was hired on by Rethink & Nike to showcase the 100th year anniversary Jersey that the boys are dawning this year.  Take a gander:


    Client: Nike Canada
    Agency: Rethink Canada
    Photographer: Dave Delnea
    Creative Direction: Lisa Nakamura / Leila Rogers
    Art Direction: Mustaali Raj
    Producer: Tom Nesbit & Heather Hyland
    Digital Artist: Aaron Campbell
    Assistants: Jamie Rosenthal, Mike Smith, Spencer Robertson, Heather Hylander, Brendan Smyth

    A look onto Dave’s set on shoot day:


    All Images & BTS © Dave Delnea


      If you’ve spent any time with Shanghoon, you know that he’s essentially the Korean P.Diddy.  So it was really no surprise to me when I heard Traffik Group approached him to pop bottles, strut with models, and make that Vodka sparkle like only Shanghoon can.   Behold:



      When I first saw the Ciroc layout, I wasn’t sure how the talent and product shots were meant to be handled together – and the project presented an extra challenge for me, because I don’t usually shoot people. But doing a test shot helped me figure out the proper angle and way to manage the talent in the background to get all the elements to fit in the picture. It was a great experience, and it turns out that I do love shooting people! It was also fun to get out of the studio and spend a day in a club – we had a blast.

      Thank you to everyone from Westside and Traffik who came out to be in the shot!

      Enjoy Ciroc during your holidays.  -  Shanghoon

      Client:  Ciroc
      Agency:  Traffic Group
      Photographer:  Shanghoon
      Producer:  Phaedra Kennedy
      On Set Producer:  Kirsten White
      Creative Director: Dylan Welsh
      Art Director: Phil Smith
      Beverage Stylist:  Sarah Sweeney
      Wardrobe Stylist:  Nadia Pizzimenti
      Hair & Makeup: Taylor Savage
      Assistants: Jeff Jamison, Bryan Ulrich, Brendan Smyth

      2014-11-04 10.59.21

      Brendan, Jeff, & Bryan look on as Shanghoon lays out the battle plan.


      Hey! If it isn’t our very own super-agent/model hybrid, Caitlin Robinson!

      Stay tuned for some exciting new work from Shanghoon in 2015!

      Images © Shanghoon
      BTS Images © Kirsten White


        Derek Shapton Envisions “Possibility” for United Way

        by Alex Beetham on December 19, 2014

        What you are about to witness, was created with only still images from Derek Shapton, and post production magic from one incredibly talented Joe Fellows.  Observe:

        I’ll answer your question before you ask.  That gorgeous technique you just witnessed is named the “Parallax Technique,” from Make Productions. Mr. Shapton explains:

        “In essence, and without giving too much away, the Parallax method is a way of using various digital transforms, effects, and animations to breathe light, life, and a sense of depth into a series of still photographs.”

        For more insight into the day, and to learn more about the Parallax technique, Derek has assembled some words up on his blog.  Here’s who had a hand in creating this piece:

        Client:  United Way
        Agency:  TAXI
        C0-Director / DOP:  Derek Shapton
        Co-Director / Post Production: Joe Fellows / Make Productions
        Producer:  Phaedra Kennedy
        Creative Director: Steve Mykolyn
        Copywriter: Jake Bogoch
        Art Director:  Yuko Brown
        Broadcast Producer: Nicole Poon
        Print Production Director: Sharon Govang
        Stylist:  Cheryl Thompson
        Assistants:  Jon Brown, Gabe Nivera, Peter Olson
        Production Company: Westside Studio

        A few looks into the shoot days snapped by producer Phaedra:


        Gabe with flawless typing form on the left, and the ol’ location laptop huddle on the right.


        Derek capturing hoop angle variations.


        Shoot essentials: Good coffee, Sugar. Shoot Bonuses: Working lunch patio pints & beers.


        Derek caught this moment between shots. A trio of assistants, and one post production magician.

        And while we’re on the topic of Derek Shapton, are you acquainted with his alter-ego Thunder_Pino?  I’d suggest you give him a follow.  Here are a few of his observations from the scout & shoot days:

        Thunder_Pino_Assembled“Possibility” Video © Derek Shapton
        BTS Images © Phaedra Kennedy & Derek Shapton
        Thunder_Pino © Derek Shapton

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          Toyota’s 2015 Camry got #Hoedlized.

          by Alex Beetham on December 12, 2014

          1.   To experience a Frank Hoedl set, generally containing a minimum crew of 20, at least 2 cube trucks crammed with gear, bi-tubes rigged higher than any one light stand can handle, and quality espresso. Example: “Oh man,  today I had to figure out how to rig a window light 3 stories up during a mild hurricane… totally got Hoedlized!”

          The experience of a Frank Hoedl shoot has become that of legend in Toronto photo circles.  He and his team work long, hard days (and nights) to bring his images to life.  But after one look at the final product, it’s immediately worth the effort.  This gorgeous campaign for example, just went live for the 2015 Toyota Camry:

          2964 TCi-14-143C 10x11.5.pd2964 TCi-14-142A 10x11.43.pd2964 TCi-14-141A 10x11.43.pd

          Allow me to introduce one of Westside’s long time producers John Stevancec, to break down Frank’s latest campaign with Toyota!

          Once again, Fridays seem to be the day clients call us to make campaigns come to life for them with very tight deadlines.  They obviously know we are always up for that challenge here at Westside!  Joel Arbez from Saatchi & Saatchi had three very impressive layouts for Frank Hoedl to work on for the new 2015 Toyota Camry.  The only issue was they needed to be produced and Shot in 1 week… No problem! We basically scouted over the weekend, Monday was a tech scout with Frank Hoedl, Joel Arbez, Brian Joe (our location scout), and myself.  We looked at various locations that day, made some executive decisions, then sent the client some  recommendations later that evening.  Tuesday we waited for client approvals, but had to start the permit process anyways that morning because it would never have gotten done in time otherwise!  We were really happy our client was onboard with the recommends, as they finally approved the locations on Thursday morning! Good thing we took the initiative to start the process right away!

          Our first Day was shot in Northern Ontario on some amazing roads, that was fun, but near the end of the shoot Coyotes were getting closer and closer to us, a little too eerie in a dark forest in the middle of nowhere and I’m not kidding!

          Comp #1 copy

          Left to Right: The cube truck convoy taking over a Northern Ontario highway, crew watching fog applications, & assistant Gabe Nivera keeping cameras dry.

          Day 2 was going to be, quite literally, a day at the beach, but Joel wanted it to look like snow had just started falling and our talent was running towards the lake for a quick dip! No problem, once again! We had dressed the set with fake snow, had snow cannons for falling snow, and our talent was actually quite warm in their swim suits that day. It was about 15 degrees celsius which was quite the surprise for all of us at the end of October! We got lucky with weather once again! (editors note: *Knock wood*.)

          Comp #2

          Assistant John Wayne Brown keeping tabs on a bi-tube (on a grip arm, in c-stand, in a sky-high), a look back into the set, and an additional angle of the talent on the move.

          Day 3 was shot in Kensington Market, as you know it’s a very busy location with so much happening there at any given time, but throwing in a large production stills shoot, hero car on the road, 20 talent, set dressing, lighting, generators, Police officers, Wardrobe stylists, Prop Stylists, 6 Photo Assistants, and interesting shop owners, the day went very smoothly, and that’s why they hired us in the first place!

          Comp #3

          Frank looking thrilled that his picture is being taken, and a look at setting up shop in the middle of Kensington Market.

          Frank did his magic once again as you can see, the final ads are quite beautiful!  A big special thanks to our crew who worked endless hours, it was fun!

          Lets do it again!

          – John Stevancec, Producer

          Client: Toyota
          Agency:  Saatchi & Saatchi
          Photographer:  Frank Hoedl
          Producer:  John Stevancec
          Executive Creative Director:  Brian Sheppard
          Group Creative Director:  Joel Arbez
          Senior Account Executive:  Kat Ledgett
          Assistants:  Bryan Ulrich, Abe Roberto, Jon Wayne Brown, Gabe Nivera, Peter Olson, Logan Allmendinger
          Casting:  Milo Casting

          Photographer Frank Hoedl shares a great tip for location scouting (ask the locals!), and other insights into this campaign:

          The very tight timeline turned out to be a great motivator and led to my discovery of the best road I think I’ve ever driven in Ontario.  Hwy 13, Southwood Rd, between Hwy 11 and 169 near Bala.  While on my way to another potential location, I stopped at a Motorcycle shop and asked the local mechanic which were the best roads for riding.  He was right about the road.  The beach execution allowed me to discover the beaches on Lake Eerie and drive my 4×4 on the sand.  I had the best espresso in Toronto, in recent memory, in Kensington Market at Casa Acoreana Cafe, the corner of Baldwin & Augusta.  All my locations from now on will hopefully be within 100 ft of a coffee shop.

          Sure the timelines were crazy and yes, we got a car stuck on a beach briefly.  Yes, the locations were approved before we got their permission but we got it done!  As usual, the team at Westside led by John the producer, performed above and beyond the call of duty.  The Toyota job was fun because of the people involved, and the team at Saatchi were great to work with.   – Frank

          All Images © Frank Hoedl
          BTS Images © John Stevancec, Abe Roberto


            Vicky sizes up Bayer

            by Alex Beetham on December 3, 2014

            Vicky Lam dusted off her writing chops to give you a first hand look into one of her recent assignments. Take it away Vicky!

            I feel like I’ve had my fair share of shooting miniature scenes over the years so I was delighted when the team at MacLaren McCann approached me to work on a unique project for Bayer Crop Sciences.  Miniatures are always fun to shoot, exploring the different ways of bringing life to tiny characters.  However it’s also because of the miniature size that makes it challenging too.  The slightest movements make the biggest differences.  Thankfully, I had help from prop builder extraordinaire, Jamie Oxenham to create our tiny construction team and stylist, Christina Yan, to build our landscape of bread.

            Here are a few shots from our shoot and how it all came together.

            To give a sense of scale, each figure is about 2-3 cm tall and was custom made based off of moulds and altered for body positioning. Each piece was then carefully hand painted!

            BTS comp1

            Our construction site consisted of breads from all over the world.  It was carb overload at the end of the shoot day.


            Our little figures hard at work:


            Stylist Christina Yan, and assistant Christa Guia carefully start slicing down the the baguette tower for the construction workers:

            IMG_6824 IMG_6834

            And here is the final ad:

            10244195-BCS 6.875x10-4C.indd

            Concepts like this are always fun to shoot, and it is what keeps me excited about studio photography.  This shoot was even more of a surprise when I realized that the ad would appear in National Geographic magazine!  As a studio, still life photographer, I never imagined any of my work would ever appear in National Geographic magazine.  I’ve always thought of National Geographic to be a staple of top notch photojournalism and the best of the best of wildlife photography.  Ok, so maybe I didn’t shoot a story for National Geographic, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel just a little giddy at the idea of even appearing in a global publication.  And it was all thanks to Bayer and MacLaren McCann for giving me the opportunity to do so. – Vicky

            Client: Bayer Crop Science
            Agency: MacLaren McCann
            AD: Steven Davenport
            Prop builder: Jamie Oxenham
            Prop stylist: Christina Yan
            Photography producer: Phaedra Kennedy
            Assistants: Rebecca Leach and Christa Guia
            Retouching: Robyn Nowoczin
            All Images & BTS © Vicky Lam


              Dave + Yoga Pants + ??? = Profit

              by Alex Beetham on December 2, 2014

              We’re thrilled here at Westside to have Dave Delnea join us full time in Toronto. A few differences from Vancouver: Less mountains, more snow, and a far superior hockey team.  But that goes without saying…

              Dave recently reunited with a familiar client, and created some new lifestyle work for Lululemon.


              Wet, cold and muddy… perfect for a day on location.

              We were back at it with the crew from Lululemon last month on the west coast.  A change from our past yoga and running shoots, we were able to have some fun scrambling around a few Squamish rock faces in a rain storm.

              Most of my talent direction ended with “… and try not to fall off the cliff”!  - Dave


              I’m pretty sure this sign means that you should try and reach for the giant floating “R” above all cliff edges as a last ditch effort as the ground gives way under you.

              BTS compAll Images & BTS © Dave Delnea

              Stay tuned for more from Dave & team!


                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