April 2012

If you ‘Like’ us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, you’ve probably been subjected to various shares regarding a little box of Kleenex that’s making some big waves in the realm of Planet Shapton. Then again, maybe you haven’t come to the Westside yet, and are now intreaged as to what the big deal about some snot tissue is; well if that’s the case, great. Prepare to get wet.

We’ll kick it off with an excerpt from Derek’s first post, Hey Art Directors! (An Apology), where our hero has his epiphany.

I had a meeting a few months ago with the studio partners, and when the subject of printed mailers came up, I politely expressed my views; I think my exact words were “Forget it. Not doing one. Waste of money. Too bad I can’t just print some shots on Kleenex, that way they’d at least be useful on their way to the garbage…” — and that was the Eureka moment. Yes, it’s true, I’ve done a promo – but not a mailer. I couldn’t find anyone who printed on Kleenex, but we came up with the next best thing…

Before you could say gesundheit, the post was featured on APhotoEditor, where it made rounds through the photoblog world like a spring cold in a kindergarden class. Eventually finding itself on big draw blogs such as the tech-savvy PetaPixel and most recently, portfolio guide blog No Plastic Sleeves. Grateful as he is for all the loving exposure, as Derek says in his most recent post, Mission Accomplished; the most exciting feedback for his promo has come from the people he sent them out to.

I’ve actually had people call and email to say thanks! Imagine that, people actually getting in touch to express gratitude for a photography promotion! Even better, some folks who weren’t on the original list – and let’s face it, no mailing list is ever totally up to date – have called and emailed wondering where they might get one.

Without a doubt the tissue boxes are one of most practical forms of self promotion you will find on an AD or CD’s desk, and we are ecstatic that Derek‘s promo has been received with such open arms. Be sure to head over to Planet Shapton for the full story regarding his innovative solution to the postcard promo problem. Congrats Derek!
All Images © Derek Shapton


    PHOTOGASM | Girls, Guns, and One Sexy Gent

    by Westside on April 25, 2012

    Back in March when Matt Barnes gave me his images from his shoot for MMA clothing line Headrush, all I could think to say to him was, “Next time I want to be on that assistants list.” He gave me that charming smile of his and told me he’d see what he could do when the time came; wisps of ‘maybe when you’re older son’ in his voice.

    A couple weeks passed, and I had almost forgotten my request to Mr. Barnes, when he poked his head into my office and blew my mind with his words.

    We’re shooting another HEADRUSH series. This time it’s with guns. You want to play the lead security guard?

    It was a tough decision, but I agreed, and today I happily get to share Matt’s latest work, shot on what coincidentally(;D) ended up being one of the greatest days of my life.

    The boys from Spot Cinema came along for the ride to put together a killer cinematic viewing of Mr. Barnes’ angels, and as past experience has shown, their work with Matt is not to be missed.

    There’s a whole bunch of sexy happening over on The Passing Shot, complete with BTS Video from Matt and many more images from the shoot so CLICK THROUGH and enjoy kids.

    All Images © Matt Barnes
    Video © Spot Cinema

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      TGIW | Thank God For Lindsey

      by Westside on April 25, 2012

      Every time, same lovely voice, “Good afternoon Westside Studio, Lindsey speaking.”

      If you haven’t had the pleasure to be greeted on the phone and/or in person, well… you should probably just call right now (416-535-1955), its all warm and fuzzy and I like that. You should tell her “Happy Admin Day!”

      Lindsey has been the administrative assistant at Westside for 6 years. She is a ray of sunshine and terrific at her job to boot. She is the central hub for all things Westside and without her, we would be lost.

      So Lindsey, today we salute you!

      Image © Jeff Jamieson

      Thank you for being part of our team!!



        As the NHL Playoffs get closer to wrapping up the first round, facial hair lovers everywhere are relishing in the glorious tradition that only real men can partake in, the Playoff Beard.

        It’s a time honoured practice that has grown into something much larger than just simply putting down the razor. With fundraisers like the NHL’s Beard-A-Thon, fans can use their face fuzz to help out various charities such as the Canadian Heart & Stroke foundation.

        In celebration of the seasonal scruff, Proline has some new print ads aiming to get people Way Into the Playoffs, and the team from The Hive called upon Tyler Gray to make some photo magic happen. A continuation of their Sports-Gut campaign, the images are geared towards the hockey fanatic within and take the Playoff Beard to a new extreme. Here’s a look.

        Photographer: Tyler Gray
        Client: Proline
        Agency: The Hive
        Art Director: Brad Van Shaik
        Copywriter: Klint Davis

        Wether it be to show support for your team, raise cash for charity, or just an added challenge in your hockey pool; we here at The Blog thoroughly encourage you to free your inner cave-man and enjoy this years Stanley Cup Finals the right way. For more info and a peek at the final layouts, go hit up The Buzz.
        Images © Tyler Gray


          PHOTOGASM | Take A Spring Ride With Nikki O

          by Westside on April 23, 2012

          With an earlier than expected end to her shoot last Thursday, Nikki Ormerod was faced with a situation that (I’m sure) many young photographers dream of. Free time to shoot whatever came to her mind, complete with all the fixin’s: marvelous hair + make-up artist, sensational stylist, stunning model, highly capable assistant, and (insert photo instructor voice) some absolutely gorgeous natural light.

          So what happens when you mix these things together and throw in a Harley Sportster for good measure? A sweet sweet photogasm, all for you.

          Hair/Make-Up: Jukka
          Stylist: Marie Eve Tremblay
          Model: Genevieve P
          Assistant: Thomas Dagg
          All Images © Nikki Ormerod


            Established in 1964 by The ADVERTISING Club of New York, the ANDY Awards celebrate creativity in advertising by recognizing both the individuals and companies behind ads they believe raise the standards of craftsmanship in the industry. Held a little over a week ago in NYC, this years big (and only) Canadian winner was agency Leo Burnett Toronto, who’s ‘Nothing But Potential’ campaign for Raising The Roof took home 7 heads!

            The shining star of the campaign was “Red Chair”, shot by Frank Hoedl, which nabbed 4 golden heads including: Outdoor Advertising, Copywriting, and Public Service (NPO), along with a Silver for Newspaper. Also awarded for Public Service (NPO) with both Silver and Bronze were Frank’s “Potato” and “Plant” images from the campaign.

            Here’s a look at the winners.

            Frank Hoedl

            Photographer: Frank Hoedl
            Creative Directors: Judy John & Lisa Greenberg
            Art Director: Anthony Chelvanathan
            Copywriter: Steve Persico

            Huge congrats to Frank on his continuous wins for “Red Chair”, and big ups to Leo Burnett International for their combined 18 wins!

            Images © Frank Hoedl


              TGIW | The Assistant Door

              by Westside on April 18, 2012

              Since taking the Studio Managers crown here at Westside I have come to learn that although every week is different, I can always rely on their being 1 or 2 calls from some fresh meat…AHEM, I mean hopeful assistants. My standard response when a voice is telling me about their photographic hopes and dreams, is to provide my e-mail address and request that they do the following: write me a letter detailing their 5 Ws, provide links to where I may view their work, hit send, and sit tight. Assuming all’s looking good you’ll probably hear from me in a week or two to set up an “interview”.

              This brings us to today’s TGIW, in which I would like to dust off the ol’ soapbox and lay down some do’s and dont’s for when it comes to making that first knock on the assistant door.

              Image © Derek Shapton

              THE LETTER
              DO write a professional, personalized, and (to the best of your abilities) grammatically correct letter. This isn’t an english exam, but like any cover letter or resume, sloppiness isn’t going to get a potential employeer (APE) champing at the bit for a meeting, especially if you don’t know their name.

              DON’T name drop. Unless it’s a direct referral from someone APE might expect, telling them that you worked for so-and-so isn’t going to woo them into getting you on set. Instead, use those words for highlighting your strengths as an assistant. Haven’t worked on a pro-level set before? Tell APE that, but also tell them why that’s no biggie because you work great with people.

              DO include all your contact information. Regardless of what your area code is, include your phone number; APE might have some long distance minutes they are looking to use on you because your letter was so righteous.

              LINKS TO YOUR WORK
              DO include links to your portfolio no matter where it is being hosted. Yes, your own personal website looks more professional, but maybe the idea of going to your Deviantart page will get a laugh and a call back. Who knows?

              DON’T include a link to your Facebook page unless APE can view your work without having to ‘Like’ your page. Your timeline cover is not enough to make APE ‘Like’ you.

              DO have a properly formatted LOW-RES PDF of your SELECTED work availible for direct download, or if you don’t share anything on the internet at all, attach it to the e-mail. APE doesn’t need a 20MB file in their inbox, nor do they need to be able to zoom to minute details of your image; a nice clean organized layout, combined with smart image selection will go further than you might think.

              DON’T attach JPEGs. Unless maybe it’s one single image that serves as your assisting promo, do not do this. APE doesn’t enjoy getting e-mails that have the maximum number of attachments in them.

              Image © Frank Hoedl

              SITTING TIGHT
              DON’T expect an immediate response from APE. They have a job and may not have time to get back to your offer of assistance for a few days, maybe even weeks.

              DO follow up 2-3 weeks later if you never heard back from the first e-mail. Preferably by e-mail, but if there’s a phone number listed on their website APE can’t get mad if you try to drop a quick, “Hi there, I’m Fresh Meat, I sent you an e-mail, blah blah”. Chances are, if you can get APE on the phone, you’ll find out if a face-to-face is a possibility.

              DON’T be discouraged if it takes a while to get your foot in the assistant door. Like photography, assisting is a competitive business. A little persistance and positivity will go a long way.

              TGIW kids.


                With summer heat just around the corner, a common sight around Toronto right now is annual set up of everyones favorite place to enjoy a libation, the patio. In keeping with this change of swigging scenery, Coors Light has launched a new product that is sure to be seen in the hands of many’a citizen trying to beat the heat.

                For the stills of their new brew, our own beer baron Shanghoon was brought in to help get your taste buds going; here’s a little teaser from the Spring issue of Food & Drink.

                Figure out what their summer beverage is yet? No? Well, by combining the world’s two most consumed liquids (after water), Coors is offering up a new twist on refreshment with Coors Light Iced T. Offered exclusively in Canada, the Iced T is availible now in all liquor stores from coast to coast, and according to one beer blogger, if your into flavored light beers, “this one is the most palatable.”

                Here’s the final image from Shanghoon.

                01Photographer: Shanghoon
                Client: Coors Light
                Agency: DraftFCB
                Art Director: Graham Tingle
                Creative Director: Patrick Weir
                Assistants: Colin Rycroft, Kirsten White & Abe Roberto

                Being the beer giant that they are, it’s only fitting that the ads for Coors Light Iced T be giant as well, right? Right, and here’s one that Shanghoon spotted while making a recent trip to The Beer Store on Bathurst.

                Images © Shanghoon
                Food & Drink Image courtesy Colin Rycroft


                  Here’s Vicky Lam to tell you about her latest images shot for The Globe and Mail.

                  Out today and exclusively for Globe and Mail subscribers, is the Globe Style Advisor. I’m so happy to be included in the first bi-annual issue of Style Advisor. This issue is all about spring and pastels. Thanks to art director, Kate LaRue for having me on board for such a fun shoot! It was so neat to see the story come alive with the help of food stylist Sasha Seymour and our little miniature friends (each miniature was about 3/4″ tall!).

                  Photographer: Vicky Lam
                  Art Director: Kate LaRue
                  Photo Editor: Clare Jordan
                  Food Stylist: Sasha Seymour
                  Assistants: Alex Beetham & Thomas Dagg

                  It’s so exciting to be included in the inaugural issue of such a well designed publication and to be featured amongst other great photographers. For non-subscribers, be sure to check out the free iPad app to see the full-bleed pictures in all their glory!

                  Here are some behind the scenes shots from our shoot,

                  It’s a marshmallow world (from Alex Beetham)

                  To get an idea of scale (from Thomas Dagg)

                  Oh the endless possibilities we had with the little miniatures! (from Vicky Lam)Images © Vicky Lam
                  BTS © Vicky Lam, Thomas Dagg, Alex Beetham

                  Big thanks and a job well done to Vicky for sharing. Happy weekend everyone!


                    If there’s one thing our guy Shanghoon has got in spades, it’s mouth watering food photography, and the collection gets a little bigger with todays post.

                    Recently visited by DDB viking Jorgen Stovne, Shanghoon and his crew went to work on some new print material for the blood cholesterol lowering butter substitue, Becel; and lucky for us Prop Stylist and Assistant Kirsten White took on the roll of film maker as well, putting together this BTS motion piece for you to enjoy. Looks like it was a day full of smiles, laughs, and buttery… err, margarine-y goodness.

                    Now try not to drool as you view another job well done from Shanghoon.

                    Photographer: Shanghoon
                    Client: Becel
                    Agency: DDB
                    Art Director: Jorgen Stovne
                    Food Stylist: Chantal Payette
                    Prop Stylist: Kirsten White
                    Assistants: Colin Rycroft & Kirsten White
                    Images © Shanghoon
                    Video © Kirsten White