The New Q with Shad

by Alex Beetham on April 20, 2015

Today, Monday April 20th, CBC Radio One is set to relaunch “Q” with it’s new host, Shad. Not familiar with him? If you’re a fan of hip-hop or 5 panel hats, you need to give his discography a serious listen. He did beat Drake out of a Juno in 2011 after all…

Our Matt Barnes had the privilege of heading down to CBC headquarters to shoot some promo material for the upcoming launch.  Check it:

Q airs weekdays @ 10:00am and 10:00pm on CBC Radio One.  Be sure to tune in today for Shad’s launch!


    Joey L and his Dudes With Cameras

    by Chris Payne on April 16, 2015

    When you pop open a portfolio and are immediately greeted by the gaze of an A-list celebrity, some of the most traditional cultures in the world or images you have seen a thousands of times on billboards and in magazines…  there is a good chance that the front of that book may read “Joey L”.

    Have you ever wondered what the life of one of the best commercial photographer looks like?  What it is like to look through a lens and see some of the worlds most rich and famous?  What would it be like to get the perfect shot and then be flown across a continent or two to do it all over again?  Joey L lives a hectic, but incredible life because of his talents.  Recently he published a new series of videos offering you a look into his life has a commercial photographer.  It is called Dudes with Cameras.

    Dudes with cameras is an answer to all those questions and maybe more.  It will make you laugh and give you a little peek into how awesome it is to work with Joey L and his team.  Check out this video below of the shoot that Joey did with us for the folks at DentsuBos and Canon.  You will also spot our very own Nick Leadlay retouching and Kirsten White producing!


      A Very Matt Barnes Ballroom

      by Chris Payne on April 6, 2015

      Have you heard the one about a tiger, a peacock,  and 19 lavishly dressed people that walk in to a ballroom?

      Yeah, we hadn’t either – that is until Matt Barnes showed up.

      Byblos is an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant here in Toronto, but they have recently opened another location in Miami beach, Florida.  It is difficult to convey concisely how incredible these restaurants really are.  They combine classic cooking techniques with a unique atmosphere to leave every patron satisfied by food and experience alike.  The food in the photo was all sourced from Byblos Toronto, so given the full octopus, lobster platter and the plethora of pomegranates, you could imagine what you are in for.

      So how exactly do you differentiate the Miami beach location from the Toronto location in order for them to live as their own separate restaurants?  Your sentence may sound something like “I bet Matt Barnes could do something cool, lets see what he comes up with”.  Matt was given 100% creative control to come up with the concept, cast the talent, design the set, etc. etc. and the result, well, let’s just say we are damn proud of the result.

      The photo speaks for itself, but it is the culmination of hard work by Matt & his team, incredible vision and top notch production.  We are happy to provide a little bit of behind the scenes for your viewing pleasure, should you be so curious!

      This slideshow requires JavaScript.



      Photographer: Matt Barnes

      Art Director: Jay Pooley

      Producer:  Kirsten White, Elissa Parante

      Styling: Maeve Mckee

      Food Styling: Nicole Young

      Hair & Makeup: Nina Farrauto

      Client: Byblos Miami




        Derek Shapton feeling the love from AI-AP

        by Chris Payne on March 31, 2015

        If you are wondering, AI-AP stands for American Illustration and American Photography.  They were so nice to have written one of their Profiles (pro-files, get it?) on our very own Derek Shapton.  It is a pretty awesome article that takes you from Derek’s feelings about where motion is going, how he started being a photographer and how he feels about Canada as a photo market.

        “The opportunities are there now for moving into motion in a seamless way,” Shapton says. “That’s intimidating for a lot of people, because it’s not something you’re taught when you go to college for commercial photography.”

        To read the rest of the article, click here!  Or click here for our blog post on Derek’s united way campaign with the folks at TAXI.

        Here is a quick photo from one of Derek’s shoots this week.


          5+ | Franc Madden

          by Chris Payne on March 24, 2015

          Yep, it is time again for us here at Westside to turn the attention to someone outside our immediate flock and add another installment of our 5+ series.  In this series we ask industry people from all roles to let us in on 5 things keep them inspired and able to relentlessly kick ass.  We wanted to turn the focus towards someone who many of us here at Westside have had the pleasure of working with over the years, the tremendously talented model maker, and all round solid dude, Franc Madden.
          Image © Shanghoon
          For those who know Franc, none of this will come as a surprise. For those that don’t, here is the deal…
          Franc Madden is a problem solver, magician and artist all rolled into one.  He is a tireless craftsman.  He remains calm when under pressure and is a true pleasure to work with.  He always goes the extra mile.
          As seen here, while the world around moves quickly around him, Franc still has a sense of humor and an infectious smile. He has been an invaluable part of the photography landscape of many, many, many years.  Here are what a few Westsiders had to say about working with Franc…
          “Franc is a Solid and Reliable man, he can basically make anything you request, what more could you ask for?”-  John Stevancec, Producer
          “Photography and in particular advertising, is about problem solving.  Model making still plays a vital role and Franc’s experience and skill is invaluable.  Being able to capture the majority of your image in camera is still the best and most simplistic route to success.  Without Franc, I couldn’t do most of my jobs.”- Frank Hoedl, Photographer
          “As much as I love working with new technologies like photo manipulation & cgi, sometimes nothing can beat the true craftsmanship of model making.  Franc is my go-to model maker, and I have complete trust in his ability to make ideas come to life. I’ve certainly challenged him to create quirky things for me over the years, including a deflated rubber turkey to a car-shaped popsicle. His extensive knowledge and determination in figuring things out, as well as his easy-going nature, makes him a great working partner and a true inspiration.”- Shanghoon, Photographer
          “Franc is a magician. I have never seen anyone else create a magical landscape with broccoli toothpicks and lint.”- George Simhoni, Photographer


          Without further adieu, here are Franc Madden’s 5 inspirations.  We hope that they may inspire you as they have inspired him.

          1.  Last year some guy “died” for a few minutes on the operating table.  His recall was the familiar out of body thing; he floated euphorically above his life, viewing everything through a misty tunnel.  My first thought was that he was riding a dirt bike, as that is how it feels when you launch one.  I love motocross at all levels, from the top guys down to the kid bouncing around his yard on a jalopy.  The sound, smell and rush of it never gets old.  Racer X Illustrated is the best portal for the sport; not only do they cover the results in real time, they also explore the depths of it, answering the questions we have and reinforcing the family values at it’s core.

          Mark Moebius SL70

          2.  All the painters from early Juxtapoz.  Robert Williams, Mark Ryden, Ron English, Jim Woodring and especially Todd Schorr. Master draftsmen.  I stare at their work and envy the satisfaction they must feel from their finished pieces.

          3.  The Tetra Society.  They take the abilities of inventors and engineers and apply them to specific needs of people with disabilities, an applied science making the most basic functions of life a little easier.  Noble, heartwarming stuff that is genuine.

          4.  Daim the graffiti artist.  His work hovers high over all the others with a depth that evades them.

          5.  Artists with ideas.  True story; those who know me will think this inclusion is bollocks.  I never speak highly of the arts as a vocation.  I’m jaded as a result of too many people wanting but not doing.  I like challenging projects from people who have done their homework, are using their noggin yet need a problem solved.  Collaboration.  It’s the name of the game in all walks.  My Compadres, I have no competitors, they are allies.  I know many talented people and we feed off one another, exchanging ideas.  Even if I ‘lose’ a job to one of them, I enjoy seeing their resulting build.  It will be so different than my approach, and good.  We all make custom creations on tight deadlines and all work in our own distinct way.


            Sweet, sweet memories

            by Chris Payne on March 16, 2015


            It is pretty obvious that under the Westside roof we have a wealth of photoshop talent.  This hilarious video by the folks at CreativeLive came across our twitter feed yesterday and we thought it would be fitting to share with with you all.  Look how far we have come!

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              Happy Tuesday

              by Tom Nesbitt on March 10, 2015

              Don’t forget,  always secure your stand.

              Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 5.54.38 PM


                Shanghoon’s Lovin’ It.

                by Alex Beetham on March 6, 2015

                Coffee is the life blood of a photo studio.  We creatives crave the magical caffeinated elixir to fuel our mornings, push us through the afternoon slumps, sustain our evening conference calls, and then lighten our eyelids for all night emergency retouching sessions.  Alternatively, procrastinate all day and start work at 11pm because, well, creatives.  It’s amazing what juices flow when one’s over caffeinated at 4:00am…

                With that said, it of course made for a perfect pairing when the fine folk from Cossette approached Shanghoon to create some dark roasted magic for McCafe’s new “Perfect Roast.”  Observe:

                McFreeCoffee_for blog

                Here are a few words from the ‘hoon himself:

                My first project of 2015 was for McCafe’s Perfect Roast, and I was glad to spot the shot on billboards all over town this weekend. I love coffee. Drink it every day, a few times a day at least. Hope you guys have a chance to try the new McCafe dark roast!

                Credit where Credit is due (AKA, The Magic Makers):

                Client: McCafe
                Agency: Cossette
                Photographer: Shanghoon
                Designer & Art Director: Greg LeBlanc
                Art Director: Deborah Prenger
                Production: Westside Studio
                Producer: Phaedra Kennedy
                Prop Design & Stylist: Franc Madden
                Assistant: Abe Roberto

                Keep those eyes peeled for billboard placements all over the 6! (minus the woes)

                McDonald's Billboard
                And a little BTS look see into Shanghoon’s set for the day:

                _DSF3684Jan 15 2015
                All Images © Shanghoon
                BTS Image © Alex Beetham

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                  Who Needs Thrones? Chris Has Homes.

                  by Alex Beetham on March 4, 2015

                  It’s near impossible to discuss Game of Thrones.  The immediate response is either a frantic “SHHHH” followed by hands slapping ears to silence potential spoilers, or the friend next to them launching into a vein popping, sputtering rage since the show has mutilated the holy scripture of Mr. Martin.  Well, there’s a new show we can discuss.  Just swap out the blood sport and incest for power tools and mild asbestos, and you got yourself W Networks new hit show in the making, Game of Homes.

                  Our very own Chris Gordaneer was tasked with creating some epic home renovation imagery, and the results look a little like this.  Well, exactly like this:


                  In Game of Homes, Host Cameron Mathison guides teams of skilled amateur home renovators as they compete for the chance to trade their skills for the prize of a lifetime. The teams save rundown houses that are marked to be torn down and revive them into dream homes. Each team must redo the houses room by room, as they cope with small budgets, tight deadlines and even tighter living spaces.  -  W Network


                  Client:  Corus EntertainmentW Network
                  Photographer:  Chris Gordaneer
                  VP Creative:  Dolores Keating-Mallen
                  Design Creative Director:  Vince Robles
                  Lead Designer:  Robin Timmins
                  Producer:  Kirsten White
                  Prop Stylist:  Cheryl Thompson
                  Stylist:  Marie Eve Tremblay
                  Hair & Makeup:  Lisa Vella
                  Assistants:  Brendan Smyth,  Al Quintero, Mike Smith, Hassan Mohamed
                  Interns:  Tiana Gordinho, Ashley Farina, Matt Besenyodi


                  You may (will) spot a placement or two down in the tubes that look a little something like this:


                  Take a glimpse into some behind the scenes from the day:


                  Pre-dressed set with Lion King reenactments, and a dressed set with Chris, God of light.

                  Check out the premiere March 17th on W Network!

                  All Images © Chris Gordaneer
                  BTS Images © Brendan Smyth, Alex Beethan, Kirsten White


                    Hungry? You will be.

                    by Chris Payne on March 3, 2015

                    It’s blue, it’s weird, it’s awesome, and that’s just the way we like it.

                    This image of the post-mortem-clucker belongs to one Liam Mogan, the third installment of new blood here at Westside since the new year.  To accommodate we have constructed a new kitchen here and by the looks of things, Liam’s pretty thrilled about his new appliances.  More to come on the reno in the near future, but in the mean time, here’s a sneak peak of the shiny new fridge and freezer, complete with Liam casually lounging about… really casually.


                    Liam has spent the past few years shooting food for the grid, among other publications and winning awards with his food photography.  We can’t wait to see what he can do when he is put up against the best food brands in Canada.

                    “I’m pumped to be a part of the extremely talented team here at Westside.  Ever since my college days, back in 2005, I’ve looked up to Westside as an inspiration… it’s such an awesome feeling being able to join the gang.  I’m really looking forward to working closely with Tom, Caitlin and Chris!  2015 is going to be a good one!” – Liam Mogan

                    20 4032

                    His welcome wasn’t complete of course, until he was fully initiated…  with fries.


                    Welcome aboard Liam!  You can check out more of his mouth watering work here.

                    Delicious Food © Liam Mogan
                    Liam Portraits © Alex Beetham

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