January 2012

IN PRINT | Mint Images from Matt Barnes

by Westside on January 30, 2012

Last week the Royal Canadian Mint released 5 new coin sets that feature the artwork of acclaimed Toronto artist Gary Taxali. In addition to the funky looking new quarters, the packaging of each set is complimented by an image from our very own Matt Barnes!

The coin sets vary in theme, ranging from Birthday Gift (pictured above) to the Tooth Fairy (below), which ment several shoots over several days. Taking a look at all the images it’s easy to see that Matt and his team went above and beyond for this project.

Let’s take a moment to see how the whole thing unfolded shall we.

Now go check out Matt’s blog for more info and a look at ALL the images. With faces like the ones below, how could you not?

Images/Video © Matt Barnes



    by Westside on January 27, 2012

    Working in a studio such as Westside it comes as no surprise that there’s a lot of cool and interesting stuff going on around here any given day of the week, but sometimes really cool stuff happens right under your nose.

    Like the day I arrived at work back in November, thinking it to be just another Friday, only to discover that the ‘hush hush’ shoot Nikki Ormerod had scheduled was going to feature some big name hockey players for an even bigger name client. All I could think throughout the morning was: who’s it going to be? With the back half of the studio aflutter with people moving between studio F, E, and makeup/wardrobe, I seised the brief moment I was offered and asked Nikki who would be coming in for the shoot. Then she dropped the bomb.

    I shot Alex Ovechkin, Luke Schenn, and Dion Phaneuf, for Nike! How cool is that?!? The idea behind the shots was that we were catching these players just before they’re going to play some shinny. These guys were super cool and totally intimidating. Thanks to Nike and Breadwinner! I had such a great time!

    Client: Nike
    Agency: Breadwinner
    Photographer: Nikki Ormerod
    Creative Director: Ben Motz
    Art Director: Nick Chen-Yin
    Assistants: Thomas Dagg, Jon Brown, Jason Mortlock, & Dex Anderson

    Never shy of revealing the hows of her shoots, Nikki was nice enough to hook you up with a time-lapse of studio F as all the action took place.

    Unfortunately for the non-Leafs fan inside me Mr. Ovechkin was unable to shoot in the studio that day, but understanding that pictures would be enough to please me, assistant Thomas Dagg snapped these shots from their time with Alexander the Great.

    For more behind the scenes pics from when the boys from the Leafs were in the house, head over to the Breadwinner Blog.

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      TGIW | Self Portrafication

      by Westside on January 25, 2012

      Oh the ol’ bait and switch. You thought you were gettin’ Shelley, but instead you’ve got to settle for Matt. But that’s ok kids, I’ve got a great TGIW for you today. So dim the lights, lock your office, and get ready for some hot self portrafication.

      I’ve always been a big fan of self portraits. It’s a subject that should be close to home for the artist, no matter what medium they are working within, as the final product acts as a representation of oneself – offering the viewer a glimpse into their mind/world.

      One of my favorite self portraits is a triptych from Erwin Olaf titled, I Wish/ I Am/ I Will Be, where the Dutchman offers a look at how he views his physical appearance through time (*note* there’s some pretty wild stuff as you dive deeper into his self portrait gallery). So it was with this image in mind that I started looking for more self portraits of well known photographers. Sure enough the internet did it’s thing and informed me of espresso maker Lavazza’s 2012 calendar, in which they got some highly notable names to take portraits of themselves whilst drinking that smooth, rich, flavorful brew.

      Mark Seliger – Erwin Olaf – Thierry Le Gouès © Lavazza

      The awesomeness of this calendar got me wondering what the collection of self portraits is like amongst our crew of shooters here at the studio, and after a small twist of the arm here’s what the gang came back with.

      Chris Gordaneer

      George Simhoni

      Matt Barnes

      Nikki Ormerod

      Ryan Enn Hughes


      Tom Feiler

      Vicky Lam
      All Images © Respective Photographers

      TGIW Kids. Big things coming outta Camp Ormerod tomorrow so stay tuned!


        NEWS | Heather Morton Fundraiser

        by Westside on January 24, 2012

        For those in the know, this coming February 5th marks a very important event. No, I’m not talking about the Superbowl, nor am I referring to International Nutella Day. No this big event is something a bit closer to home as the Gladstone Hotel plays host to the Heather Morton: Art Buyer Fundraiser.

        The event recently got itself a snazzy new promo featuring all the details of night, including a breakdown of all the photographers who have donated an image to the silent auction. Take a look.

        For info regarding the who’s and why’s of the event, I’ll refer you to Heather’s blog where the post Some Good News and Some Bad News will fill you in on all the details. For now though, lets take a peek at some of the Westside(r) prints that will be on the auction block.

        © Andrew B. Myers

        © Chris Gordaneer

        © Derek Shapton

        © George Simhoni

        So unless you plan on watching football or are looking forward to having nutella coming out your ears, you should grab a ticket and join us for what is sure to be a fun night.


          IN PRINT | Planes, Trains, and Chris Gordaneer

          by Westside on January 19, 2012

          Nestled nicely between his trips to South Africa and Nicaragua, Chris Gordaneer found himself headed to the good ol’ U S of A to do his thing for Union Pacific, or U.P. as they like to be called. So grab your satchel, find your inner hobo, and hop on board as we follow Chris’s journey. Choo Choo!

          Mountain Lake, MN

          Logistically the trip would prove to be a difficult one, as unlike most vehicle shoots, Chris’s talent had places to be and was always on the move. Here’s the man himself to fill us in.

          These were working trains on revenue tracks, (i.e. the track is used by multiple railroads to move freight), so we had to be pretty quick with the shots. We’d have no more than 45 minutes – and sometimes as little as 15 – with the train set before it had to move on to it’s destination or clear the track for incoming traffic. Fortunately we had plenty of time for prep, as we always waiting for the steel beasts to come our way. This free time also provided opportunities for shooting motion work that ya’ll will have to stay tuned for!

          Carpinteria, CA

          Edison, CA

          I asked Aric, Chris’s assistant if there were any notable moments from the boys trip cross the mid-west.

          The whole trip was fun, but without question my highlight happened in Texas where the engineer let me sit in his seat and blow the horn. Childhood dream come true. I called my dad that night, he was jealous.

          Fort Worth, TX
          Images © Chris Gordaneer


            Gonna let Master Gray take the reigns on this one.

            I got a call from Jorgen Stovne about shooting this really cool but time challenging project back in October last year. The actual shoot was pretty straight forward but the challenge was to get this pile of coins built within an extremely tight schedule. We explored a few avenues including having the coins built with CGI by an amazing artist out in Australia that I had worked with in the past, but again the scheduling was too tight for this. Enter prop builder extraordinaire, Jamie Oxenham. This guy is amazing, he came back within budget and gave us a super quick turn around on the prop build. Unfortunately for him, the final shot does the detail in the coins no justice. Count them and you should come out at around $20,000.

            Photographer: Tyler Gray
            Client: Manulife Financial
            Agency: DDB
            AD: Jorgen Stovne & Ethan Cole
            Prop build: Jamie Oxenham

            I shot the fountain in Berczy Park where Wellington meets Front Street. It’s a relatively civilized part of the city but like anywhere else it has it’s shady customers. At one point while I was shooting I heard some yelling and a commotion from over my shoulder, I looked back and there was John (my producer) with his knee on top of some dudes head that had just robbed the Winners store across the street. A security guard had chased the guy down the sidewalk and was having trouble taking him down so John, the good samaritan that he is, joined in for the 3 count. I gave John the coin pile as his reward for his civil service (after he washed his hands). I swear there’s never a dull day that goes by here at Westside.

            Snagged the image of the $20,000 pile from Mr Oxenham’s blog, from Aspire to beyond as for some reason none of us were smart enough to take a picture of it. You can follow the making of the coins, start to finish, through the persective of a prop builders eye starting with this post.


              TGIW | Bring Colour to Life

              by Westside on January 18, 2012

              In light of this all this winter grey, a very cool behind the scenes to shine a little colour on your day.

              (highly recommend a 720p viewing)

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                Tom Feiler presents: Lessons I Learned.

                Recently I was asked by a rather smooth talking Grace Feiler to come into her classroom and, here I quote, “take a few pictures of our class.”

                The “few shots” evolved into this full on production for Holy Name School and the Toronto Star’s documentary project called “For This I Give Thanks.”

                Myself and a dedicated crew of six hardworking Grade 7 and 8 students shot the video seen here.

                Vance Schritter was the editor who was also smooth talked by his own 12 year old.

                Lesson learned: Be cautious of smooth talking 12 year olds.

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                  IN PRINT | Vicky Lam Visits Hockeyville

                  by Westside on January 16, 2012

                  With the end of January comes February, which means two things. First, it starts to get really cold outside, and second, Kraft stops taking entries for their yearly search to find Canada’s next “Hockeyville”.

                  Going into its 7th season, the partnership between Kraft Canada, the NHL, and the CBC, is an exciting televised contest where small towns battle one-another in hopes to be named the coveted title of Hockeyville. The winning community recieves: $100K dedicated to upgrading their local home arena, a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast in their community, and the kicker, an NHL pre-season game hosted in their community arena.

                  This years ad for the contest has a great hometown feel to it, and was shot by our very own hockey fanatic – Vicky Lam!

                  Photographer: Vicky Lam
                  Client: Kraft Canada
                  Agency: Maclaren McCann
                  AD: Craig Wing-King
                  Stylist: Christina Yan
                  Assistants: Peter Olson and Aric Guite

                  A quick word from Vicky about the shoot,

                  Nothing like a group shot at the end of the day! Thanks to the team at Maclaren McCann Momentum and the lovely clients at Kraft for giving me the opportunity to shoot something for Hockeyville! So happy to be able to contribute to some good ‘ol Canadian hockey pride.


                    IN PRINT | Matt Barnes and the Time Machine

                    by Westside on January 16, 2012

                    Last week the ever working Matt Barnes booked out the studio time machine and brought the Westside parking lot back to the turn of the century. There he came across a band of classy gents enjoying a bit of R&R, all bedecked in the fine wares of Klaxon Howl‘s fall/winter collection. These brave and nobel men were kind enough to let the man with the camera capture the moment.

                    The shot, followed by proof of the incident. Click any image to learn more about the shoot.

                    Image © Matt Barnes