Matt Barnes turns up the heat with Taco Bell

by Chris Payne on September 16, 2015

Matt Barnes recently grabbed his camera, took the awesome knob, cranked it as high as it would go and pointed it directly at lucky contest winners from Taco Bell’s fiery DLT contest.  Contestants entered by using the hashtag #fierydlt for their chance to be included in a calendar promoting this new spicy taco.  Matt worked with the exquisite team over at Grip Limited to create a rather spicy calendar.  Check it out below!  Along with a behind the scenes video and some tweets from the talent who we asked about their favourite part of shooting with Matt!



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This blazingly wicked calendar was also delivered in a clever box, adding a physical element to the amazingness.  How about that signature Papi eyebrow for September!  About as suave as the day is long, wouldn’t you say?

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Creative Director: Pat Andrews/Ben Weinberg
Producer: Liz Crofton
Social Content Team:  Jacquie Kostuk/Matt Stasoff
Designer: Olivia Harrison
Director/Cinematographer- BTS video: Kareem Hassanien
Photographer: Matt Barnes
Producer: Natalie D’Urbano
Production Company: Westside Studio
Assistants: Kyle Topping, Anthony Macri, Andrew Gabura, Alex Mavian, Lorne Bradley, Jasson Simmons


    Yes, the rumours are true.  Those gigantic limbs you’ve seen around Toronto’s Eaton Centre belong to Dave Delnea.  Well, not literally.  He is a tall guy though…  What I’m trying to say, is that Dave Delnea put his head together with Yvette Reitner and the awesome folks over at Traffik to create some unique imagery for Cadillac Fairview – Eaton Centre.









    Pretty cool images right?  Well they are currently up around the Toronto Eaton Centre and remember how I said they were huge?  This is what I meant, huge hands and arms and feet.  Like, ten foot tall hands!  … Okay that sounded confusing.  Just check out how these images were used out in the wild!





    This door has been covered with both Vicky Lam’s work for Cadillac Fairview and with Dave’s work for Toronto Eaton Centre.  A Westside door if you will.


    For this project, Dave had 2 different stations set up, one for shoes and pants and the other for hands and shirts.  This allowed Dave to move quickly as there were many shots that all needed to be captured on the same day.  Having the two setups allowed Dave to keep the shoot day moving forward with minimal time between shots, so everything shot on time.  A perfect use of space and equipment.

    Executive Creative Directors:  Cam Boyd & Troy McGuinness
    Senior Art Director:  Yvette Reitner
    Associate Creative Director & Copywriter:  Jake Bogoch
    Agency Producer:  Kathryn Brown
    Photographer:  Dave Delnea
    Producer:  Phaedra Kennedy
    Production Company:  Westside Studio
    Assistant:  Bryan Ulrich
    Wardrobe:  Pascal Alhani


      Tyler Gray gives Okanagan Springs Brewery 3 thumbs up!

      by Chris Payne on September 10, 2015

      What do you do if you like a kind of beer?  You would probably give it a thumb up.  What do you do if you like 2 different beers?  You would probably give the both of them 2 thumbs up, to be fair to each brew and all.  The real question here is what do you do if something pushes the envelope on how many thumbs you can conceivably raise before it just turns to other worldly amounts of appreciation?  Well let’s let Tyler Gray, Tyler McKissick and the lovely people at Open show you how to properly show appreciation for 3 different Okanagan Spring Brewery beers!


      That’s right, you give it three thumbs up.  Logical progression right?  Right.  Well we will let Tyler tell you a little bit about what he thought of the brief and how he went about giving this fella 3 thumbs.

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      We have a very special summer time tradition here at Westside- beer cart Fridays!  This beer cart Friday was stocked with Okanagan Springs Brewery beer of course.  Tasty stuff, give it a try if it is your kind of thing!


      Client: Okanagan Spring Brewery

      Agency: Open

      Creative Director: Martin Beauvais

      Art Director: Tyler McKissick

      Copywriter: Massimo Satira & Samara Luck

      Agency Producer: Nicolas Rouleau

      Photographer: Tyler Gray

      Production Company: Westside Studio

      Photography Producer: John Stevancec

      Assistants: Abe Roberto and John Wayne Brown



        Steven Kim 5+

        by Chris Payne on September 8, 2015

        Instagram is an extremely entertaining platform that has taken so many experiences, places, meals and cats from the corners of people’s lives and shared them front and centre on your smartphone.  Some have become Instagram celebrities while others prefer to keep their accounts private and share with family and friends only.  Over the past few years, someone has been creating a very impressive and extremely undervalued Instagram account right under our noses.  From the depths of the creative department at DentsuBos, Steven Kim has been silently uploading images demonstrating incredible attention to composition, symmetry, matching the aesthetic to the content and to put it bluntly- his photos kick ass.

        This brings us to the next instalment of our 5+ series, where we turn the spotlight on someone outside our walls and have them tell us 5 things that help keep them inspired to create.  So without further adieu, we will pair a few images from Steven’s Instagram account and let him tell you all about what keeps his eye sharp and what inspires him to create such awesome images.

        1.  Mind-blowing creative talent from around the world I’ve found through Instagram.  I love seeing glimpses of virtually every corner of the universe, one tiny square at a time.  There is so much creative use of the platform and such unique styles of image-making out there.  It’s pretty humbling.  Everyday it makes me think about deleting my photos and starting all over again.

        2.  My wife and son.  Both are very active and keep me motivated to stay healthy.  Which can be incredibly challenging at times.  See point 4.

        3.  Almost everything about the ’80s.  The music, the movies, the sitcoms, the WWF wrestlers, the colours, the arcades.  This period is so vivid in my mind and filled with so much energy.  Much more than the next two decades.


        4.  Food. I’ve watched every episode of Man vs Food.  At least twice.  Luckily my wife is an amazing cook so I eat really well at home.  She’s also inspired me to make a few of my own dishes.  Then there are these amazing celebrity Chefs: Roy Choi, David Chang, Chuck Hughes.  These guys always make cooking look cool and sometimes even easy.


        5.  Great magazine covers and beautifully designed spreads with beautiful typography.  Magazines like New Times Magazine, Wired, GQ tend to deliver quality pretty consistently.


        We asked some of our Westside photographers to have a flip through Steven’s Instagram account and pick out some of their favourites.  Their selections suited their own photography styles.  Check out this Westside photographer curated selection.

        “Creating pretty pictures is easy.  In a visual world that already has far more sunset images than it needs, it’s refreshing to look through Steven’s images and see someone who’s willing to get out  when the weather’s crap, when making images is an annoying and uncomfortable pursuit.  The result is fresh and engaging imagery – and creating that is the most difficult of all.  …also I’m a sucker for pictures from Iceland!”

        Dave Delnea

        “I really like how he manages to imbue even the most everyday objects with an air of otherworldliness and even menace, while still somehow remaining playful and even funny.  Good stuff.”

        -Derek Shapton

        “I get a lot of my inspiration through design pages and people I follow on Instagram simply because it’s completely visual.  Steven is one of my 5 or 6 “go to” pages on Instagram, he has a killer design sense and a super cool vintage modern style to his work that kinda makes it timeless.”

        -Tyler Gray

        “I like his images for his compositional skills.  In general he has a wonderful perspective on everyday things and can put it into an interesting and captivating imagery.”
        -George Simhoni

        That is all for this 5+ post.  Please take the time to flip through and enjoy this selection of Steven’s photos that has been curated by Westside photographers and staff.  If you want to follow Steven, please click or tap here and help his following grow by sharing this post around on your socials.  The dude deserves it!

        Photos of Steven by George Simhoni


          George Simhoni and Lilly fight diabetes

          by Chris Payne on September 3, 2015

          George Simhoni has had many a car in front of his lenses this year.  Does that mean he’s forgotten how to shoot a slick set of portraits?  Nope.  George teamed up with Rick Kemp at BrandHealth to introduce Lilly’s new diabetes medication aimed to simplify and improve their patient’s lives.

          “I love working with the crew at Brandhealth, It’s always very collaborative and fun.  We can raise the level of what’s expected when we work that way.  Rick, Klint and Amy are always open and receptive to how to accomplish the goals of the client and make the ads work.”- G.S



          Client: Eli Lilly
          Agency: BrandHealth
          Creative Director & Copywriter: Rick Kemp
          Account executive: Amy Bastianon
          Photographer: George Simhoni
          Producer: John Stevancec
          Production Company: Westside Studio
          Assistants: Gabe Nivera, Alex Beetham, Olga Kozitska
          Wardrobe stylist: Genevieve Hutchinson

          **Editors Note**

          Want a little insight into how to have an incredibly successful 40+ year career as a commercial photographer?  This picture sums it up:

          George BTS

          You’re thinking:  ”But Alex, that’s just George gluing wallpaper… ”  EXACTLY!!  How many photographers have been shooting for 4 decades that still get their hands in the nitty gritty of each shoot?  The successful ones.  You reap the rewards of the work you put in, and George is a prime example.

          Happy long weekend!


            Westside’s Picks – Lindsey’s NETFLIX

            by Alex Beetham on September 2, 2015

            This may come as a surprise to some, but here at Westside we actually do other things either than just create trend setting, world class images.  We occasionally do find time to eat out, get a little (some of us a whole lot) exercise in, hit up a movie, scream along at a concert, etc.  Real life things, ya know?  We wanted to share some of our favourites with you, in a new blog segment titled: “Westside’s Picks.”

            Kicking things off is a Westside veteran.  If you’ve ever walked through Westside’s atrium, you’ve been greeted by her smiling face.  If you’ve given us a call, you’ve heard her angelic voice… It’s the one, the only, Lindsey Harrison.  She’s here to break down her top Netflix picks:

            Almost a year ago now, my partner and I decided we would cancel our cable and sign up for the much cheaper form of entertainment called Netflix.   We are very happy we made that switch.

            I must say it has been a bit tricky trying to narrow down my Netflix Canada top 5.  My top 5 consist of  mini-series and movies that I have watched and have left some sort of impression on me.  To the point where I still think of them from time to time.  That to me is a good watch!  Also not wanting any of these to come to any sort of end says to me that they are some of my favourites.


            #1 –  Misfits – An English drama Sci-Fi that at times I found to be quite humorous.   A group of teens have been sentenced to community service.  A storm rips through and they begin to realize it has brought them superpowers.   It went on for 5 seasons, which included new cast members and the realization that many others in fact had special powers just like themselves.  The only difference was not all powers were used for the greater good.  A movie was rumoured to be in the works.  I still have my fingers crossed that it will happen someday.

            #2 - The Bletchley Circle – I was so fascinated when I watched this British crime/mystery mini-series.   Prior to watching this show I didn’t know anything about the WW2 code breakers that had helped shorten the war by two years.   These former code breakers were sort of like amateur detectives who saw patterns everywhere in their everyday life.  Years after working at Bletchley Park as code breakers, the ladies joined forces again to catch a serial killer that had taken over the London area.  I love problem solving so this series was just my cup of tea.

            #3 – Attack the Block (British Version) – I really didn’t want this movie to end.  It’s an action/comedy with a sci-fi spin.   A group of teenagers are forced to fight back against an alien invasion threatening to take over their block.  Within the first 5 minutes the action starts, and I love that in movies.  You ride along with the movie just waiting for the next crazy thing to happen or jump out at you.  As you can see I have a soft spot for the British productions.  There has been a buzz about a possible mini-series or even an American re-make.

            #4 – Rectify - A slow paced drama and one of the most beautifully shot series I have watched on Netflix.  I was glued to the screen watching this one.  It’s a story of an inmate who has been released after almost 20 years of sitting on Death Row.  It shows not only his sometimes painful adjustment back into the outside world but also the adjustment that his family has had to make since his return home.  They give you only small flashbacks of the events leading up to his imprisonment.  So even at the end of Season 2 you still don’t know what truly happened.  I can’t wait to watch Season 3.


            #5 – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – A very very puny Netlfix series, co-created by Tina Fey.  I must warn you, don’t risk missing something funny only because you are too busy laughing or asking out loud if they really just said that!?!  Kimmy, who is fresh out of a doomsday cult from the Midwest, has to adjust to her new life in New York City.  It’s an easygoing and cleverly written series.  If you do decide to start it, be sure to stick with it at least to the part where you find out what’s behind the giant hand crank mystery.  You won’t regret it!

            Thanks for the recommendations Lindsey!

            If any of you have seen any of these titles or have any recommendations of your own, please let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page, or Tweet us!  Happy watching!


              Did you get a chance to flip through this years Communication Arts photo annual?  We’re giddy like proud new parents seeing our very own Dave Delnea and Nikki Ormerod bringing home the hardware!  Scroll on down to see the winning work for “Excellence in Self Promotion” and “Excellence in Advertising” categories.


              Dave Delnea:



              “I’ve had the pleasure of working with the creative team from Lululemon on a number of projects but this one was remarkable; mostly for how miserable I thought the shoot was going to be.  

              It was a day that most clients would have cancelled or postponed.  When the forecast calls for 50+ mm of rain, you know it’s going to be an absolute downpour all day long.  We made our way up the Sea to Sky Gondola above Squamish, BC to an area we had previously scouted.  Our team and talent took it all in stride laughing and joking despite (or maybe because of) the ankle deep mud we were comically trying to hike through.  We shot all day giving our team and equipment a thorough soaking… which in hindsight wasn’t all that necessary because the hero shots from the day all came within the first hour or so of shooting – but at that stage in the game, it’s always just worth seeing a thing through!”- Dave Delnea

              Nikki Ormerod:



              “I shot this while I was visiting my parents in Florida.  I fell in love with her hair and asked her parents if they would mind if I took her picture.  They said it was okay, but I don’t think she was too into it.”


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                Cadillac Fairview goes back to school with Vicky Lam

                by Chris Payne on August 27, 2015

                You have probably seen it on Strategy or on Marketing Mag.  In case you haven’t, Cadillac Fairview’s new back to school campaign has just turned up in malls all over Canada.  Vicky Lam, Phil Smith and more of the stellar people from Traffik created some fun and unique off-figure clothing images and, well, we will let Vicky tell you all about it!

                “Growing up, going back to school was always so exciting for me.  It was a chance to see friends again, get new clothing and school supplies and get a fresh new start.  This year is no different, as I had the great pleasure of helping Cadillac Fairview kick off their back to school, #whowillyoube campaign across Canada.  The masterminds at Traffik Group came up with an innovative and interactive idea that I absolutely loved.  It’s not often to see a full fledged campaign involving still life photography, so I was very excited to be a part of it. 

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                Bringing life and personality to inanimate objects already has its challenges and is even more difficult when it comes to clothing.  I’ve always thought that off-figure styling is the toughest of all styling techniques to master.  In this case, we brought in the amazing Dee Connolly to make the clothing come alive.”
                “Shooting flat, soft goods is no easy task.  Without a physical body filling in the clothes, every fold and wrinkle is what really shapes each look and brings the clothes to life.  Over two long days, we worked closely together with art director, Phil Smith, to determine what poses would be possible and varying them for 10 different looks. Flashbacks of figure drawing class from art school kept coming to my mind as we pondered over body proportions and positioning.”

                “Each small fold would drastically change the feel of each look or personality as seen in these in-progress shots.  Compared to the finished shots, along the way we had to get creative with how to style these clothes and prop them up to read well on camera.”








                IMG_9019Every tweak and fold went together to create several looks, combining different age groups and wardrobes to target their respective demographics.  The mini manikins did their best to help them as well!

                “And now the final result can be seen in 19 malls across Canada. I absolutely love the interactive nature of the tableaus, and they’re printed almost life-sized!  It’s fun to follow the #whowillyoube campaign online and see people interact with the photos and picking which style they relate to.  Advertising, especially today is a fleeting moment, so it makes me very excited to see people take a few minutes to have fun and connect with our ideas.”

                “Many thanks to Traffik for allowing me to be part of such an innovative campaign and for a great idea that I can share with friends and family across Canada!”-V.L

                Client: Cadillac Fairview
                Agency: Traffik
                ACD: Phil Smith
                Copywriter: Sarah Deziel
                Agency producer: Dylan Welsh
                Agency Account Team: Joe Cameron and Dayla Ledger
                Style Consultant/Wardrobe stylist: Pascal Alhani
                Off-figure stylist: Dee Connolly
                Photography producer: Phaedra Kennedy, Heather Hyland
                Photography assistants: Chris Dowswell and Rebecca Leach
                Retouching: Robyn Nowoczin


                  Shanghoon, anything but bland, boring or routine

                  by Chris Payne on August 7, 2015

                  What do your weekends usually consist of?  Brunch after a rough night out?  Brunch after a chill night in?  PCN (pizza, couch, netflix)?  Well if they are beginning to feel like a routine, you should keep reading.  Shanghoon shot some new images for Fallsview Casino to remind you that it may be time to break the pattern and slam a night or two into overdrive.


                  “We wanted to capture the fun & realism of the concept by making the letters in real life. We spent a lot of time planning ahead of the shoots, trying out different prop options with our amazing model maker, Franc Madden.”- Shanghoon

                  Yes, that’s right- no CGI here folks.  All of those leafy letters and balloon letters are sourced or created in real life by Franc Madden, the prop wizard.  He continues to surprise us all with the fantastic work he does.  Even the ice letters are made of real ice!

                  “For the Same Old execution, each individual leaf was hand glued by Franc. We managed to find the pre-fabricated balloons, which was a huge time saver.  Franc made moulds for every iced letter and froze the letters with boiling water. Every few hours, he would have to stir the water in the moulds to get rid of the bubbles as the water froze.”- Shanghoon

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                  “Hats off to the art director & writer team, Yan Snajdr & Tom Mednick at Blammo for coming up with the fun concepts of these ads. They do really stand out from the rest.  Last but not least, thanks to Victor Tavares who retouched these images with me. Each of us brought so many ideas and passion to this project. I am really proud how these images turned out.”- Shanghoon

                  All images © Shanghoon 2015

                  Photographer: Shanghoon
                  Client: Fallsview Casino
                  Agency: Blammo Worldwide
                  Art Director: Yan Snajdr
                  Copywriter: Tom Mednick
                  Creative Director: Gord Cathmoir
                  Retoucher: Victor Tavares
                  Producer: Phaedra Kennedy
                  Production: Westside Studio
                  Assistants: Bryan Ulrich, Janice Power


                    Into the wild with Chris Gordaneer

                    by Chris Payne on July 29, 2015

                    You’ve read the book or seen the movie where Chris McCandless goes completely off the grid and ends up in Alaska?  Well Chris Gordaneer got the same yearning to see and photograph these epic landscapes for his latest personal project.  Chris has been the king of gigantic, powerful landscapes for years and this latest series continues to reinforce that title with rolling mountains, boreal forests and mosquitos the size of small birds.  So please, allow him to take you through a few scenes of his Alaskan excursion.

                    My assistant Brendan and I traveled to Alaska the first day of June. We spent a week and a half driving and shooting.  The idea behind this series was to emphasize the enormity the state, so when we arrived it was clear… we were in the right place. Its huge!.  I feel these shots convey how the wilderness here will make you feel really small, really fast.”

                    “These photos were taken along the Denali highway 8.  This was the most beautiful area that we went.”

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                    “This is Brendan, hiking up the side of a relatively small hill near the Yukon river south of Fort Yukon.  This was the farthest East we were the whole trip.”

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                    Denali Parkpins

                    “This is Coke Wallace and his son- together they showed us some of their favorite spots.  Coke rescues people who venture out to see the bus made famous in the film “Into the Wild“.  Since the movie came out, people go to see this bus and cross the Teklanika river, which due to flash floods can be a creek at one moment and a raging torrent 100 feet across the next.  People can become trapped with bears, mountain lions and moose.  I met Coke 7 years ago when shooting for Polaris and have kept in touch with him ever since.”


                    “This is the first night that we camped, just North of Anchorage, outside of Palmer.  I was able to shoot this at 12:00am, there are nearly 24 hours of sunlight at this time of year.  You know what that means? 4 to 5 hours of magic hour, I was in my element.”

                    “While diving along, we spotted a campsite that I felt would make a great shot, but it was missing something. Since there were no campers to be seen,  Brendan and I took the liberty of setting up the campfire….. composition complete.”

                    “Heres a shot taken at the end of Stampede Road.  This was where Chris Mccandleuss was dropped off.”

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                    “Thats me just before the Arctic Circle along the Dalton Highway 11.  We didn’t see too many folks up there, but we did come across a hitch hiker from Britain who was cycling from Anchorage up to Prudhoe Bay at the very top of the state.  The area along the Yukon river was too muddy and wet for him to get through and he had been stuck there for 2 days when we picked him up.  Up that highway, there is a point of no return where beyond there is no cell phone reception, no gas, no food, no nothing.”

                    All in all this trip was massive.  Although it looks like Chris and Brendan booted around the most Northern state- they drove thousands of miles and their truck definitely showed that truth- earning it the title “The War Rig”.  This definitely brings new longer-haul meaning to the term “mud’n”.


                    These images will be made into a very limited quantity of signed prints and distributed to a hand picked list of lucky folks by Chris.  Check those packages out below.  Keep an eye out for these to be hanging on walls soon!