October 2011


by Westside on October 31, 2011

© Matt Barnes


    On his recent trip down to New York City, Matt Barnes had the opportunity to shoot fashion advisor Nick Wooster in all his fine-style-glory. Here’s a look at Matt’s passing shot.

    In addition to some top-notch images and a nice BTS video, the post over on Matt’s blog features a great interview with Mr. Wooster courtesy of Dylan-Thomas Childs. READ IT


      5+ | Paul Riss

      by Caitlin on October 27, 2011

      The Man. The Myth. The Birdwatcher. Ladies and gentlemen, Associate Creative Director over at DDB, Paul Riss.

      Paul© George Simhoni

      My family
      I’m sure lots of people use this one. It’s kind of an easy out I guess. Plus, when your wife reads the 5+ blog post and she’s not in there, look-out. I’m kidding actually, my wife is a great inspiration to me. She is a super creative person with a seemingly endless supply of interesting ideas. She is also one of the few people that is 100% honest with me. If I have a lame idea, advertising or otherwise, she’s the first to say so. On the flip side, she’s my biggest fan as well. She also created my children. Sure I helped a tiny bit but let’s be honest, she did the lion share of the construction work. They, my twins Georgia and Shepard, represent the other part of my family that inspire me. They are just under 4 years old and they help me see things more clearly and in ways I’d never be dumb enough to on my own. When I say ‘dumb enough’, I mean that they just aren’t educated enough to not ask the questions nobody else will. Does that make sense?

      Surprise surprise on this one too. If you know me at all, you know I’m nuts for birds. I spend more time with them than with people. And I like it that way. I never have a bad time with them. It isn’t always so easy finding them but when you do, it’s worth every second spent looking. They are free to roam in a way that we can’t even understand. They are perfect at everything they choose to do and they always look stunning, even when they are terribly ugly. I have been enthralled with them since I was about 10. I never take pictures of them, only memories. Each of the approximately 600 species I’ve seen around the world has a special place in my brain (and usually, I can tell you exactly where I saw them the first time). Special thanks to Mark Peck at the ROM for allowing me to sit among their superb specimen collection for my portrait by George.

      I’m feeling awfully predictable with my inspirations here. Hopefully my take on this is unique. Music is a huge part of my life. It has been ever since my parents owned a record store when I was 8 years old. I’d spend all summer there with my mom, playing record after record, day after day. It seems music is the perfect form of creativity. You can be very direct about your message or very indirect. You can say it fast, slow, loud or quiet. Nobody can tell you it’s wrong because you are the only one that knows. I am amazed by musicians on a constant basis. There are literally millions (maybe billions?) of unique songs. All made with a relatively small array of instruments. I’m not sure there’s another form of creativity as pure. I’m unlucky in that I play none of those instruments but lucky that I’m friends with many musicians and that I get to see the process first hand. I also get to do gig posters for them. It’s as close as I can get to their creative freedom.


      Who wouldn’t be inspired by change?

      Ad people (when they aren’t doing ads)
      As an advertising creative, my hands are often bound by legalities, client comfort levels and so many other things. That’s why I do things creatively that are just for me. You may or may not enjoy them but I honestly don’t give a shit (they’re for me anyway). Two such things; I’m trying to make a documentary about birdwatching (what kind of advertising professional would I be if I didn’t use every piece of media to try and get more eyes on my side project). How often have you met an ad person that has a script or a TV show they’re working on? They almost all do, it’s like we are all looking for a way out of advertising; a bigger, more exciting option. I am however inspired by these people that are actually making things happen on the side.

      Jon Murray, writer, BBDO.

      Adam Bailey, writer/ACD, DDB.

      Pete Ross and Aaron Doyle


        PHOTOGASM | Tyler Gray: Woodsman

        by Westside on October 26, 2011

        Tyler Gray likes the woods. A lot.

        He spends a fair amount of his personal time there doing such things as: taking time for personal reflection, embracing nature, tracking wild game, and tapping maple trees for delicious sugary nectar. But as we have seen in the past, not all of Tyler’s trips to the bush have him return empty handed, sometimes he returns with a handful of photogasm. This is one of those times.

        So my younger brother has a pretty serious collection of vintage snowmobiles. Not exactly sure how many he has, but he lives up on Manitoulin Island and has a barn on his property that is jammed full of old Arctic Cats, Scorpions, Moto Ski’s and countless others. This particular weekend a friend of mine brought out a 1978 Arctic Cat Jag. My bro pulled out a 1973 Scorpion Stinger II for me to ride and he pulled out (of all things) a 1972 Scorpion Stingerette painted in its original pink metal flake. So cool!! The day wrapped up with some tasty ham and swiss on english muffin sandwiches cooked over an open fire. Who says Canadian winters suck?

        Thanks to Tyler we have a little BTS video for you to enjoy (featuring the sultry sounds of musical legend ‘Stompin’ Tom Connors), as well as some shots of the boys day in the snow.

        Big thanks to Tyler for sharing.


          TGIW | Grab Your Partner Do-Si-Do

          by Westside on October 26, 2011

          The most beautiful and cherished photographs are often of your one true love, your wife, your partner, your best friend. Like Helmut Newton’s June and Annie Leibovitz’s Susan, here is a quick glimpse of some of our photographers results when photographing their partners. So grab your partner and do-si-do.

          © Russell Monk

          © Nikki Ormerod

          © Derek Shapton

          © Frank Hoedl

          © Chris Gordaneer

          © Matt Barnes



            A big day for Ms. Nikki Ormerod with the unveiling of The Royal Collection, shot for Zancor back in September. Working with creative directors Marco Marino and Mo Solomon from Blackjet Inc, Nikki and her team created a stunning series of images featuring some beautiful makeup and wardrobe. Here’s a look at the first image, which can be found on the homepage over on Zancor’s website.

            Photographer: Nikki Ormerod
            Client: Zancor
            Agency: Blackjet Inc.
            Creative Directors: Marco Marino & Mo Solomon
            Art Director: Marco Marino
            Stylist: Marie-Eve Tremblay
            Hair & Makeup: Adriano Morassut & Christopher Mooyer
            Producer: Phaedra Kennedy
            Model: Kaitlyn M
            Assistants: Thomas Dagg, Jamie Rosenthal, Kirsten White, & Gabe Nivera

            With a shoot such as this, it is only appropriate that we include a good number of BTShots which, thanks to Nikki’s crew, we have plenty. Starting us off is bosslady Nikki O looking happy about the days work & stylist Marie-Eve smiling through an inevitable pheasant attack.

            The Assistants, minus Gabe.

            Thomas “Dragg” and Marie-Eve doing what they do best.

            Kaitlyn getting dolled up by makeup artist Adriano Morassut, while Nikki and the boys look on in anticipation.

            Getting closer to shoot time as the wardrobe, accessories, and props enter the equation.

            Makeup artist Christopher Mooyer does some finishing touches as Nikki finalizes things before clicking that button.

            For more info on the shoot, and a look at the images to come from The Royal Collection, head over to BLOGEROD.


              DEAR PHOTOGRAPHER | Shapton shoots People

              by Westside on October 21, 2011

              In todays installment of Dear Photographer, Derek Shapton reassures a young shooter that people are hard… at first.

              Dear Photographer/ Derek Shapton,

              As an aspiring shooter I am hoping you can shed some light on my current “obstacle”.

              I have always been drawn to landscape and still life work, but as of late have been trying to overcome my fear of shooting people.

              I find that I tense up when Im shooting portraits and the disconnect between myself and my subject is very evident in my images. Although I understand this will take time to work through, I am hoping you might be able to share some “tricks” you might have for making your talent look so comfortable in your images.

              Rachel C

              Hi Rachel C,

              I totally understand how you feel, I had to overcome similar fears — in fact almost everyone I know admits to having had a certain amount of trepidation about shooting people when they were first starting out. The key is really just to practice, practice, practice. Over time you’ll figure out your own approach and arrive at some kind of comfort level.

              That being said, here are a few things to consider:

              • If at all possible, don’t get the camera out right away. Chat with the subject, ask them lots of questions, try to put them at ease. Odds are they’re just as nervous as you, if not more so. It might feel like you’re wasting time with idle chit chat but really you’re creating an atmosphere where everyone (including yourself) is comfortable.
              • Keep it simple at first by taking pictures of people you know. Friends and family make great subjects, they’re usually quite patient and willing to try things strangers might not. And remember, a good, strong portrait of your aunt (for example) is just as valid a portfolio piece as a celebrity portrait.
              • Keep your setup simple and straightforward as well, at least for the first little while. Trying to pull off really complicated lighting or using equipment you’re not familiar with can just add to your anxiety. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time to experiment as working with people becomes more natural for you.
              • Try shooting the the same people multiple times. You’ll be surprised how quickly a rapport can develop. You’ll likely find the experience of working with someone more than once quite rewarding, it can become very collaborative, and you’ll get a good sense of how to tell when something is working and when it isn’t.
              • Last but not least, don’t be discouraged when things don’t go as expected. Everybody has off days. In a few weeks you’ll barely remember that shoot that didn’t go so well.

              Most importantly, take lots of pictures of lots of different people. Before you know it you’ll have a full portrait portfolio to show alongside your landscape and still life images!

              Good luck!!


              *Update* Just remembered this oldie but goody from over on Derek’s blog, Planet Shapton, where Derek reminds us that getting our photo taken is always educational. CLICK HERE.


                PHOTOGASM | Barnes, Banks, and the Big Apple

                by Westside on October 20, 2011

                Late last week Team Barnes loaded up and took off to the “Toronto of America”, New York City! Their reason behind the quick trip south of the border? To meet up with rising star Azealia Banks and do what team leader Matt does best, make delicious eye candy. Here’s his passing shot.

                For more info on his trip head over to Matt’s blog.


                  TGIW | So you think you can shoot?

                  by Westside on October 18, 2011

                  As a photo agent here at Westside I am always on the prowl for new shooters that rock my world. As agents there are many qualities we look for in a photographer, but in short it all boils down to this: New vision with a winning personality.

                  Since its midweek I thought I’d share some helpful advice.

                  So you think you can shoot?

                  1. Don’t Just Stand There, SHOOT!!!
                  Don’t paralyze yourself with the thought that taking good photos costs a lot of money. Shoot anything. Shoot your mother, your dog, your best friend’s stereo from the 80′s, your cell phone, your cell phone in the woods, just shoot. Every time you set out to take a picture it will be better than the last. Your style will reveal itself with the constant watering of picture taking. Be true to this reveal.

                  2. Seek Inspiration!
                  Get inspired! Don’t let the television be your main inspiration because I’ll bet you $ that you, and the next one will be shooting the exact same thing at the exact same time. Dig a little deeper, look a little higher. Do research and pay attention to details.

                  3. Promote Yourself!
                  Get your stuff on the internet, in front of your friends, start a blog, and get your pals on board and excited about you. Get out and meet people, important people, and tell them you’re a photographer. Tell them you’d love to send them some of your work, and then here’s the kicker, send it to them. Follow up the next day. Network!

                  4. Learn the Art
                  Anyone can buy a camera, and anyone can take a pretty good snap, but very few strive to master the art. And in all honestly I hope you never master the art. Once you believe you’re a Zen Master Flash then, well…it’s unfortunate, but you stop learning and growing as an artist. Your journey to being the best you can be will never be complete. As an artist you should never be satisfied. This is the key to being a great artist. Its called drive.

                  5. Till Debt Do You Part Shooting and Get a Lame Full Time Job
                  Don’t buy all sorts of fancy gear off the bat. Please! Get the very basics and rent the rest when you need it. You’d be surprised what a little facebook shout out can bring to your door step. Use your resources!

                  6. Try to Make Some Money, Honey!
                  Charge for your services. What a concept! Learn about usage and what you’re worth as a photographer.

                  7. Good Luck!
                  There’s a little bit of luck involved but not much. Most success stories involve thousands and thousands of hours of blood, sweat and tears. Work your little tush off, set some realistic goals, set some unrealistic goals, and go get it!! Stay Motivated.

                  TGIW! xo

                  PS. No post is complete without a great visual.

                  © Matt Barnes


                    Surprise! Turns out later in the week actually means the next day! So sit back and allow yourself a moment to relax because you’re going on a magical journey to Africa with Chris and Aric. To start off we’ll take another look at that rhino shot from yesterday, then 1st assistant Aric Guite will give us the low-down on their trip to the worlds second largest continent.

                    As you can see by the work here, our recent trip to African Lion Safari was a resounding success. They’ve really done some work on that concession stand.

                    Just kidding.

                    As you may recall from a couple of months ago, while Russell visited Hong Kong and George toured Copenhagen, we did an epic driving tour of eastern South Africa. Our car rental agency messed up and gave us possibly the most uncomfortable vehicle ever made, but we persevered. In our van (the radio seemed to only play one song), we drove 4200 km, with stops in Kruger National Park, Swaziland, Kwazulu Natal, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park, St Lucia and Durban over 10 days. We grew attached to that van, and at one point Chris and the Van had to be separated. I leave the reasons to your imagination – let’s just say it was a tearful goodbye.

                    It was a bit of a whirlwind, but I have to say this: if you are going to South Africa, and you’re at a loss of where to go, visit Kwazulu Natal (the birthplace of the Zulu warriors), and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park – it is simply the most beautiful place I have ever been. Imagine stereotypical African savannah (with the grasses and umbrella trees) on mountains by the sea, and you’re about halfway there.

                    I asked Chris if there are any good luck charms he relies upon when doing such extensive travel. Knowing Chris to be a big hockey fan I suspected something along the lines of a rabbits foot, or perhaps a lucky pair of Leaf’s socks, his response came much to my surprise.

                    I learned something very important on my last trip to Africa and that is to come prepared. I highly recommend a solid iPod playlist consisting of Toto’s 1982 smash Toto IV, Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s self titled record (which features Marrakesh Express), and wrap it up with a little Peter Gabriel and his 1980 jam “Biko”.