December 2011

TGIW | 5 Things Worth the Snap

by Westside on December 21, 2011

Over the holidays we all get a little bit bigger, a lot more lazy, and a tad bit tipsy, but don’t let that trigger finger get out of shape. Here’s a few ideas to keep you snapping.

1| Take A Family Portrait: Yes, your loving family will grunt and groan, and someone is sure to have their eyes closed in every snap, but imagine the pure joy your mum and dad will have when you print those bad boys up for them. It’s the Simple things.

2| Shoot Tacky Epic Light Displays: There’s always one home in the hood that takes the holiday season VERY seriously, and not in a graceful Martha Stewart way. If you’re really brave, knock on the door and see if you can get the mastermind in front of their masterpiece.

3| Take A Go-Pro Toboggan Adventure: Try fastening the Go-Pro onto a helmet and head to the hills with your little ones for some fun footage.

4| Document The Christmas Feast Preparation: Maybe you’ll learn a thing or two in the kitchen with mum and nana. Crack open a bottle of wine and have a chat, snap and learn with the ladies of the house.

5| Christmas Morning: Nothing quite like that feeling on Christmas morning. A stop motion of the kiddies/loved ones ripping into the gifts could be some great future ammo.

Thank god it’s the holidays!


    IN PRINT | Matt and Harry: An Intimate Look Inside

    by Westside on December 20, 2011

    Another Matt Barnes post?!?
    What can we say? The Man just doesn’t stop working.

    Normally I will try and give a different flavour to the words when sharing a MB Blog post, so as to avoid any possible copy/paste syndrome; but today Dylan’s words are too fitting, so I shall do just that.

    Matt was allowed inside the tailor shop at Harry’s flagship store on Toronto’s Bloor Street to collect this gallery of images, which may just be pornographic for the sartorial-inclined amongst us.

    © Matt Barnes
    Click that blog for more words and a whole lot more!


      PHOTOGASM | Mr. B presents: Dimitri From Paris

      by Westside on December 19, 2011

      Recently Matt Barnes had the fortunate pleasure of having Turkish DJ Dimitri From Paris swing by the studio for a quick shoot. The ‘brain of Barnes‘ was in good show that day, dropping the playboy mansion musical connoisseur into a groovy Blaxploitation setting, complete with guns and a sexy-mama. Check it babies.

      Slide on over to Matt’s Blog for an interview with Dimitri hosted by writer Dylan Childs where the boys talk music, photo, and fashion, but first watch this BTS video!

      Now hit that blog ya hear?
      Image/Video © Matt Barnes


        IN PRINT | Vicky Lam and The Flying Doll Papers

        by Westside on December 16, 2011

        Back in late October the studio opened its doors to two students from Sheridan looking to get their work-terms completed by doing whatever I told them to do. It was set to be a pretty slow week around 70 Ward, which I was pleased about as it would fare well for my list of things that needed cleaning. Fortunately for them, Vicky Lam came to the rescue and shot some work for The Globe and Mail: Report On Small Business. Here’s Vicky with the lowdown on her project.

        ROSB‘s photo editor, Jordan MacInnis, originally approached me about shooting some still life images featuring the catalogues of Maplea Girls Dolls, an Ontario-based company that creates 18-inch-tall Canadian themed dolls. In a digital age, it’s quite interesting to hear that Maplea Girls has strived and flourished because of their print catalogues.

        The article, written by Simon Houpt, is more about the success of the print catalogue and less about the actual dolls. So, for this instance, both Jordan and I pondered different ways of showcasing the catalogues in an interesting way. I’ll often do thumbnail sketches, but wanted to explore the option of doing a digital sketch this time around. It really gives me a better idea of composition and lighting if I plan these things ahead on paper. Here are some of the ideas I originally had:

        My minions James & Jason, although excited about all their cleaning, were more than happy to assist Ms. Lam in making her designs come to life. However they would not be completely free of the lash. Some behind the scenes images was their task, and the boys did well.

        A big thanks to Vicky for her insights.
        A tip of the hat to both Jason and James who did a bang up job durring their work-term, assisting pretty much every facet of the studio over the week. Good work gentlemen.


          5+ | Anne Maureen McKeating

          by Caitlin on December 14, 2011

          Hey All,

          This weeks 5+ is coming at ya from one pretty incredible lady, Anne Maureen McKeating.

          She’s not only a client, but an advocate for great photography and passionate about the industry as a whole. You can always have a good gab with Anne Mo and chew the fat on all things photography and advertising.

          Derek Shapton and I were fortunate to spend a lovely afternoon with Anne Maureen a couple weeks back. She was a bit hesitant about having her photo taken, but after a bite to eat (along with a pint), she was ready for her “close-up”.


          Anne © Derek Shapton

          I like to peek into corners, so I tend to be inspired by folks who create outside of established systems. Here’s a brief list of people/places/experiences that have made me oooh and ahhh over the last year.

          Museum of Jurassic Technology in LA
          Founder David Wilson used to work in film. One day he asked himself why he was dedicating so much time and energy to an industry that ultimately left him dissatisfied? So, he bravely left his previous life behind, acquired an old mortuary and created a museum. Where else could you find out that eating mice on toast cures bedwetting or see strangely haunting tributes to trailer parks and Soviet space dogs? MJT is an amazing, complex collection of beautiful oddities. Wilson is genius.

          Elsewhere Collaborative in Greensboro, North Carolina
          For close to 40 years, proprietor Sylvia Gray ran a three-story, 12,000 square foot, thrift store where nothing was for sale! After her death, grandson George Scheer and colleague Stephanie Sherman re-envisioned Sylvia’s vast, unwieldy collection as a living museum, international residency program and creative laboratory. They have turned what might have been “the dark family secret” into an imaginative space where art and life become one and the same. The project is now partially funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation. Sylvia would be proud!

          Creativity Explored in San Francisco and the Creative Growth Center in Oakland
          These non-profit visual arts spaces provide studio and gallery opportunities for adults with developmental differences. The caliber of work coming out of these centers always blows my mind and I inevitably make a purchase (or two). The last time I visited, I purchased a text-based work by John Patrick McKenzie. Many of his works refer 1970’s era television in general and Joyce DeWitt in particular. I also bought a William Scott, whose meticulous paintings attempt to depict an “elusive normal life”.

          The Larry Spring Museum of Common Sense Physics in Fort Bragg California
          Fort Bragg is a beautiful, scrappy, eccentric logging town on the Mendocino coast. My friend Heather Brown and myself are co-crating a storefront museum there, called the Larry Spring Museum of Common Sense Physics. Larry was an explorer of radiant energy. He published and experimented tirelessly to disprove Einstein and to advance his own theories. Larry embraced the DIY aesthetic well into his 90s! All of his experimental works are constructed from found materials and many are solar powered. There is something amazing about walking into the storefront and experiencing his works in motion without Larry’s living presence. Website, blog and Facebook page are in progress.

          larry spring Larry Spring Image © Heather Brown

          Gallery 44 Outreach Program in Toronto, Ontario
          Gallery 44 is a non-profit artist-run centre committed to contemporary photography and related practices. G44 also runs an outreach program that offers photography workshops to youth without access to image making tools. The workshops culminate in the publication of a zine (distributed across Canada), an exhibition of works at the gallery and cash awards to promising young artists so that they may continue their creative exploration. A BIG THANK-YOU to the Toronto photo community who have heeded our call for donations. Your sensitivity and generosity is truly inspiring!!

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            TGIW | Things About Us, You Don’t Know

            by Westside on December 14, 2011

            Every wonder what lies behind that big ol’ W of ours!!??

            Our old logo was a cactus. Very Miami.

            Tom Nesbitt, Chris Gordaneers‘ amazing producer bikes to the studio everyday.

            Matt Barnes joined a dirt bike gang yesterday.

            Phaedra Kennedy, one of our powerhouse producers here has ran two Iron Man’s!!

            Chris‘ assistant Aric proposed to his girly pal this year, she said yes!

            Caitlin Robinson just purchased a really cool townhouse with her man friend.

            Vicky Lam is 5 ft even, but 7 ft in spirit.

            Chris Gordaneer has a really big truck.

            Derek Shapton‘s office is beside mine. He plays music really loud. I like it.

            Frank Hoedl just cut his hair and nobody knows who he is anymore.

            George‘s assistant, Gabe Nivera is really smart.

            George Simhoni cares about the environment.

            John Stevancec is in Disney World right now, alone.

            Nikki Ormerod has a book that farts, and pages fart noises over the intercom often.

            Russell Monk is in Mexico and plays guitar and builds houses.

            Lindsey Harrison has beautiful ginger hair and looks like she’s getting younger not older.

            Ryan Enn Hughes wears scarves 6 months of the year.

            Spenser Forrest will do anything. And he’s good at it.

            Tara O’Malley is tiny in real life.

            Sandi Wall really likes cottage cheese.

            Shanghoon is a ninja.

            Shelley Hayes is not Shelley Hayes’ real name.

            Tom Feiler has good self esteem.

            Tyler Gray looks a lot like Caitlin Robinson’s boyfriend.

            Jean Malek speaks french very well.

            Matt Le Blanc wore sandals up until yesterday.

            We love our jobs.

            TGIW friends!



              by Westside on December 13, 2011

              As we near the years end, holiday parties are occurring on a nightly basis around the globe, and if there’s one thing people like to do at parties, it’s cutting loose and gettin’ a good boogie on. Despite having little to do with todays photogasm, I thought conjuring up some thoughts of co-workers or loved ones doing the Elaine would be a nice little introduction to Nikki Ormerod‘s latest creative work.

              Shot this little creative a few weeks ago. I hired the beautiful Lina from Sutherland Models and her dance partner Mentor to dance for me all day.

              My setting choice for this series comes from the fact that I really love ‘the city’. I live right in the heart of downtown and I’m in love with the buildings. I think they’re really beautiful. I’m not normally found shooting this side of things so I wanted to incorporate my style into this – combine 2 sides – I love the juxtapose of the hard and the soft. It’s romantic and unusual.

              Here’s the first image in the series. It was amazing to watch, and SO SO cold outside. We went all over the place. Stay tuned for more to come :D

              Photographer: Nikki Ormerod
              Hair & Make-up: Vanessa Jarman
              Stylist: Corey Ng
              Models: Lina & Mentor
              Assistants: Thomas Dagg, Dex Anderson


                IN PRINT | Shanghoon Gets ‘The Call’

                by Westside on December 12, 2011

                Oh December. A wonderful month when the snow starts to fall, lights start showing up on houses, people are generally happier (at least when not shopping), and on one special day, something starts that has the power to bring even the most distant Canadian families together under one roof. For 10 days fathers and sons set aside past quarrels, brothers and sisters find the ability to sit in a room without attacking one another, but the most amazing thing of all is that for most of them this reconciliation takes place around the ol’ tv box. In case you’re still lost I’m talking about the World Junior Hockey Tournament, and this year our very own Shanghoon made the team!

                Recently I did an editorial for Sportsnet Magazine. My image accompanies an article about the Canadian World Junior Hockey team; how they train together at camp and only a few select players get ‘the call’ from the coach at 6:00 AM telling them they have made the cut.

                Photographer: Shanghoon
                Assistant: Abe Roberto
                “The Call” built by Franc Madden

                The Juniors are back on home soil this year so tune in December 26th and cheer on the boys.


                  DEAR PHOTOGRAPHER | Dream Job

                  by Westside on December 9, 2011

                  Dear Photographer,
                  You guys and gals at Westside seem to get a really wide variety of clients.
                  Assuming you haven’t worked it already, what is your dream job (ie. client or project)?

                  George Simhoni
                  I have had many, but my dream job would be a tourism gig for Tourism Canada to promote adventure tourism in all those places you don’t see repeatedly advertised, and I am allowed to photograph and film with a small crew and art director in all those wonderful places.

                  Ryan Enn Hughes
                  I have a music video idea for “The Throne”…which if I ever got the chance to make would be the crowning achievement of my career. Swag.

                  Matt Barnes
                  I would love to shoot the Pirelli Calendar later in life! I think that would have to be one of the raddest assignments in the world.

                  Andrew B. Myers
                  I always thought it would be the grandest thing in the world to make imagery that would end up on the side of a jumbo jets.

                  Tyler Gray
                  Might sound cliche but the whole thing is a dream job. I mean, I take pictures for a living. Ultimately though I guess my dream job would have been to meet and shoot Johnny Cash, that aint happening though. I guess I could settle for Bruce Springsteen. Both are/were unbelievable story tellers and I draw a lot of my inspiration from this in my personal work.

                  Jean Malek
                  I would like to shoot a big project with a hollywood star. I’m not really a groupie, but I think it would still be nice to have someone like Scarlett Johansson in my shots, or Zooey Deschanel… superstars you know? ;D

                  All Images © Respective Photographers

                  An oversized thank you to Ryan and the same to all the photographers for sharing. Keep those questions coming kids, within reason we will answer just about anything. CLICK ME.


                    IN PRINT | Barnes and the Bomb Girls

                    by Westside on December 8, 2011

                    Coming up in the new year, Global Television will be priemiering a new mini-series titled Bomb Girls, a time piece profiling the life changing experiences of five Canadian women working in a munitions factory during World War II. No stranger to shooting promotional work for television, Matt Barnes and his team geared up and threw down, coming away with some beautiful work for ya’ll to enjoy.

                    Leading the six part series is Oscar nominated Canadian actress Meg Tilly (pictured above). At her side will be Jodi Balfour and Ali Liebert.

                    All Images © Matt Barnes

                    For more info and images, head over to Matt’s Blog and check out this Passing Shot.