Vicky + Paper + inBusiness = Profit

by Alex Beetham on November 12, 2014

November 11th is a day of significance for many.  First off it being Remembrance day – a day in honour of the soldiers who fought and perished in the many wars past and present.  On a lighter note, it is also international Pocky day (or also known as Peppero day) which happens to also be my favourite snack of all time.  But little did I know that it is also Origami day, which brings me to reflect upon one of my shoots from earlier this year.  Although it isn’t truly origami, it still involved some meticulous paper craft and design.  I was asked by art director, Erik Mohr, to illustrate a story for Globe and Mail’s quarterly publication, InBusiness magazine.  Innovation was the theme of this issue, featuring Canadian companies that are the frontrunners in their respective fields.

This meant that I also had to be innovative in my approach to illustrate five very different companies and create a series that would tie them all together.  Erik had mentioned the idea of exploring paper illustrations. So, it only seemed fitting for me to call Kyosuke Nishida and Dominic Liu of Studio Toki. I’ve collaborated with Studio Toki before on other paper based projects, so I knew they would be the perfect fit for this one.  With their design savvy and eye for detail, we were able to come up with a series of original, 3D paper illustrations.

It took a lot of brainstorming, sketches, construction, problem solving and a bit of MacGyver to make it all happen.  Although the process was sometimes painstaking and challenging, seeing our ideas transform into a tangible form was really rewarding.  Not to mention, we were left with awesome and cute little paper sculptures afterwards!

Here is a glimpse into our pre-shoot process with some sketches from Studio Toki:


Here are the final paper illustrations representing Canadian companies with innovative business approaches:

Pebble Smart Watch:

Silicon Sisters Interactive:

David’s Tea:

Freed & Freed International :

A.F. Theriault & Son:

And finally the opening image –  a structure a bit inspired by M.C. Escher’s surreal drawings:

Many thanks to Erik Mohr for the unique assignment and also to Kyosuke and Dominic for helping to bring this idea to life!

Client:  inBusiness Magazine
Art Director: Erik Mohr
Paper design and construction: Studio Toki  - Dominic Liu and Kyosuke Nishida
Photography interns: Christa Guia & Kate Ince

A look behind the scenes:

photo 4

photo 2-1

photo 5

photo 3-2



    Archive has love for Westside

    by Alex Beetham on November 7, 2014

    We’re thrilled to have 3 featured campaigns in the upcoming issue of Archive!  Keep your eyes peeled for these winners:

    Some George Simhoni location work in British Columbia for Suburu:

    George Simhoni for Suburu

    George Simhoni for Suburu

    Anthony Redpath had a blast creating these images for PlayLand:




    Last but not least, a Xeomin campaign from Shanghoon:

    Shanghoon_Scissors Shanghoon_Tongs

    Congratulations all around!!


      Its a formal affair

      by Tom Nesbitt on November 6, 2014

      Tonight is the night! Get your award speech ready, your drinking hat on and set your fazer to full-on schmooze mode.

      The ADCC’s come around but once a year and this year we over here at Westside got into the spirit by outfitting your best friends at tonights party; the Bartenders and Serving staff!

      In the interest of collaboration we teamed up with art director/designer Matt Howe and the fine folks of  The Baitshop to create a one off t-shirt that will launch at this evening festivities. We are pretty pleased with the results and hope you will too. Have a look at the making of this instant classic…..


      Inside the Baitshop

      Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

      Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset




      See you tonight! #bestshirtever #westside #canibuyyouadrink #iratherwinashirt #fashionforward #justintimeforwinter #makesagreatchristmasgift



        Matt takes on Movember with Campbell’s Chunky

        by Alex Beetham on November 4, 2014

        Campbell’s just launched their Movember Chunky campaign, which was shot by our very own Mr. Barnes! It looks a little something like this:

        Matt Barnes - Hockey Matt Barnes - Hoser Matt Barnes - lumberjack

        Agency: Real Interactive
        Art Director: Kelly Small
        Photographer: Matt Barnes
        Producer: Tara O’Malley
        Assistant: Gabe Nivera, Lori Waltenburi
        Hair & Makeup: Sandra Yang
        Food Stylist: LeeAnne Wright

        Check’em out on Campbell’s Movember page!

        Campbell's Movember Landing Page


          Vicky joins the Commonwealth

          by Alex Beetham on October 14, 2014

          It’s a rarity for a band to stick it out for over 2 years these days.  How about 2 decades, with it’s original members no less?  It’s also a rarity to hear of bands composed of 4 song writers, all given equal share of the creative pie.  This kind of democracy lends itself to a very fitting 11th studio album title for the Halifax born Sloan:  Commonwealth.  The honour of photographing the album artwork for this record, was given to our very own Vicky Lam.

          I was really excited when I heard I would be photographing Sloan’s LP cover art.  I have never had any work appear on a record before, and the idea of doing so for a great Canadian group like Sloan really made me feel happy.  As a still life shooter, I’m so used to working alone in a dark studio, so I was really excited to know that Chris Murphy and Jay Ferguson from Sloan would be there in person.  Perhaps I was even a little starstruck by the idea.  However, when the shoot day came by and I met Chris and Jay, they turned out to be the nicest and most laid back guys ever! I was even more impressed when I learned that they usually have a hand in designing all of their album art.  This one was not an exception.  It was neat to learn that each item was carefully hand picked by the band members themselves and all have personal significance and history. It’s a great feeling to know that the guys from Sloan take so much care not only in their music, but all the smaller details too. And it’s probably the reason why they’ve held such a successful and ongoing musical career for the last 20+ years.

          If you look closely, you’ll notice all the items tie in to the song titles.  Can you spot them?




          Jay Ferguson, putting the finishing touches on his carefully thought out composition.


          You can read what other people think about Commonwealth, (Noisy, Pitchfork, COS,) but might I suggest you pick yourself up a copy on iTunes/Amazon, or give it a streamy listen for yourself!

          Here’s a little trip down Sloan discography lane…


            IN PRINT | Tyler Feels the Passion

            by Alex Beetham on October 9, 2014

            paSH-uh n/
            1. strong and barely controllable emotion.
              “a man of impetuous passion”
              a state or outburst of strong emotion.
              “oratory in which he gradually works himself up into a passion”
              synonyms: (blind) rage, fit of anger/temper, temper, towering rage, tantrumfury,frenzy

              “he worked himself up into a passion”


            2. finding the right Scion for you
              Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin passio(n-) (chiefly a term in Christian theology), from Latin pati ‘suffer.’

              Use over time for: passion

            From the desk of Tyler Gray:

            One of the coolest things about working in adverting is that the surprises are never ending.  I mentioned it in one of my last posts that hearing my email ding and opening a PDF full of layouts is like Christmas morning over and over again.  Vic Bath at DentsuBos now has the unique distinction of sending me my first layout where a guy had an octopus stuck to the side of his face.  Yep, an octopus.  John and I were out in Los Angeles shooting when this came through and had some pretty good laughs with Vic about how we were going to pull this shot off.  We looked at prop options in Hollywood and were both amazed at how detailed and believable some of the options were.  We hummed and hawed over getting a live one and just throwing it at our talents’ face when he wasn’t looking, we discussed a dead one and we even discussed CGI.  In the end, we decided to go with the live option.  We named him Billy and he now lives and works with Lindsey at front reception.  He’s really good at answering phones and typing. (Editors note: Lindsey also really appreciates Billy’s suckers as an alternative to licking the postage stamps.)

            Big thanks to Vic and Ryan at DentsuBos for the opportunity to work on this.  Oh and an even bigger thanks to our client Mary at Scion for introducing the movie frozen to my Kids that day.  **Twitch**

            - Tyler

            All Ads.indd

            Peep some pixels:


            SCION_PAINTERAll Images © Tyler Gray
            Photographer: Tyler Gray
            Agency: DentsuBos
            Client: Scion
            AD: Vic Bath
            CW: Ryan Grosman
            Bryan Ulrich, Christa Michelle, Olga Kozitska

            BTS-Comp_Scion_Tyler_webAll BTS Images © Alex Beetham & John Stevancec


              +5 | Matt Howe

              by Alex Beetham on October 7, 2014

              Well folks it’s been a long time coming, but we’re back at it with a shiny new instalment of Westside’s +5. This is where we ask industry insiders for 5 essential things that keep them inspired and at the top of their games.

              This instalments focus is centred around a collaborator of the highest order. He has that eager enthusiasm of a fresh face in the industry, yet he has been at it for almost 2 decades. Perhaps his positive outlook is because he has lived several lives already, or that keeping outrageously busy is enjoyable to him. Matt Howe has a foot firmly planted in two worlds. By day he works as an art director at MacLaren McCann, and by most other waking hours he is creative director at The Baitshop.  Keeping up with either of these role’s responsibilities would drive many to an early grave, but Matt seems to only excel and thrive in these conditions. Perhaps it’s because he chooses not to see these two worlds as separate, but by drawing from them both equally he allows the creative process to flow amongst them freely.

              Or maybe Matt just wants to make cool shit with rad people and enjoy the journey.  There is only one man who knows for sure…

              Ladies and gentlemen, Matt Howe.

              Matt HoweImage © Dave Delnea

              Matt Howe – Art Director @ MacLaren McCann

              5 People That Inspire The Hell Outta Me

              Like a lot of people, I’m inspired by a ton of things all the time: Designers, Directors, Photographers, Writers, Athletes, Musicians, Painters, Fashion, Skateboarding, and Food. But the biggest inspiration that moves me most is people. The people I meet and become friends with, or the people who are just out there DOING IT.

              Ted Wilson
              This man’s been my closest friend for years. He’s constantly raising his game in life and in his career – and always with great panache. He’s been a fundamental part of my success and who I am today. He’s a drummer from hell and a vault of nerd information from Metal to Middle Earth. An on air personality you can catch him on the boob tube on the Space Channel’s Inner Space, or Discovery Channel’s Never Ever Do This At Home. Follow Ted on Twitter.

              +5, Westside Studio, Matt Howe


              Greg Rodriguez
              If you’ve ever heard of the Toronto brand and screen printing company The Baitshop, you now know the co-founder. This man has been a great friend and creative partner who believed in me to design clothes, make ads, videos and whatever else we’ve been up to together… and for young skateboarders no less. He gave me my first directing opportunity, and is generally one of the most rad people in Toronto bar non. Greg is also big supporting part of the Toronto skateboarding and art communities a like. or on Instagram @TheBaitshop

              +5, Westside Studio, Matt Howe


              Evan Gatica
              An LA native I met years ago Evan’s a tower of talent and knowledge in film, music and basketball… and his love of Virgin Mary paraphernalia is exceptionally badass. As a film editor and former underground MC, Evan’s always had my back and helped me on several projects I’ve been involved in. Check some of his work here.

              +5, Westside Studio, Matt Howe


              Damian Abraham
              This gentleman is a Toronto and Global punk rock god, and he would give you a high five on the subway if you said, “What’s up Damian?” Another incredibly hard-working, humble creative tour de force, and the lead singer of Toronto’s very own Fucked Up. I met this dude a few years ago and was moved by his personality, performance and passion. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing him, and seeing a bunch of his live shows both here in Toronto and in Europe.  This is what he’s been up to lately.

              +5, Westside Studio, Matt Howe


              Pascal Shirley
              One of the most undiscovered talented people I have ever met. When you’re riding the subway to work on Monday morning, thinking to yourself, “Ahhh I just wish I loved what I do… Or I wish I were on a road trip… Or sitting in a hot spring,” this mother f%^&*r is likely out there doing just that. And doing it incredibly well, with a smile on his face. Pascal’s photography is some of the best imagery I’ve seen. A camera is really just a camera, but he uses it as an extension of his life. Check out his work on his website.

              +5, Westside Studio, Matt Howe

              +5, Westside Studio, Matt Howe

              Check out some more of Matt on his site.

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                Who You Gonna Call?!

                by Alex Beetham on October 2, 2014

                We’ve all heard the panicked recordings.  The breathless cries for rescue in life’s most desperate moments, such as when you’re stuck on a tricky homework problem, or when Burger King doesn’t get your order quite right.  As entertaining as this sample of the human condition are, calling emergency 911 lines for non-emergency matters is a growing issue.  From Cossette:

                Approximately 25% of calls to 911 are non-emergency police matters. These calls tie up emergency lines, taking resources away from where they’re needed most. This public education campaign addresses this issue with a simple but powerful juxtaposition between a non-emergency situation and a real one.

                Clean executions of clear narratives resonate with audiences, leaving lasting impressions. Anthony and team delivered just this for E-Comm 9-1-1, and paired with a print ad makes for an impactful campaign.

                Client: E-Comm 9-1-1
                Advertising Agency:  Cossette, Vancouver
                Creative Director:  Michael Milardo
                Associate Creative Director:  Lisa Lebedovich
                Art Director:  Lisa Lebedovich
                Copywriter:  Pierre Chan
                Agency Broadcast Producer:  Philippa Groom
                Production House:  Redpath Studios
                Production House Producer:  Anthony Redpath
                Dolly Grip:  Darin Wong
                Gaffer:  James Walker
                All Images & Video © Anthony Redpath


                  Westside’s Summer Intern Army

                  by Alex Beetham on September 22, 2014

                  Each spring as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, students fix their dreams on a few months free from the numbing routine of classes and assignments. Some will hit the beach and laze heavy in the sand while others party their faces off trying to distance themselves from a years worth of responsibility. But Not all students. Each summer Westside is fortunate enough to welcome a fresh crop of interns from some of the best photography institutions in the country. They come to spend their days learning the trade secrets of dust management and trash compaction, but they also get a first hand look at the day to day lives of our kick ass roster. We learn a thing or two from each other. They (usually) bring an infectious desire to learn, which helps remind us as to why got into this line of work in the first place. It’s challenging, creative and just plain awesome. This years gang was top notch, some of the best yet. But just as long summer days give way to cool autumn mornings and with the school year back up and running, we with heavy hearts have to return our five incredible studio interns back to their respective institutions of academia.


                  Christa_SnapsChrista stepped up as our resident horse whisperer, and became Nikki Ormerod’s muse.

                  “I’ve had such an awesome and unforgettable summer interning at Westside. I’m grateful to have had so many opportunities to work with such talented and diverse photographers on set. I’ve met the coolest people here, and always looked forward to coming into the studio because of its positive and friendly environment. Each day held something new and exciting and I was so happy to be around. The great relationships plus the knowledge and experience I will take away from this experience holds such importance to me.”
                  - Christa

                  Spencer_SnapsSpencer keeps Nikki’s subject in great light, and keeps Shanghoon’s Mandu on his best behaviour.

                  Working at Westside this summer has been one of the greatest highlights of my time as a student. For our program we’re encouraged to seek out a placement that can offer us viable training in the photographic industry, working with clients, and learning what it takes to bring a big production together in a professional manner. Westside does all of this and more, as they are simply a group of good-hearted, passionate people who genuinely want to teach you the way of the industry all while making you feel at home.

                  Every day is different, and I’ve had some amazing experiences both on location and in-house. Working with this team, I feel more confident than ever taking on a career in the photographic field. If I could sum up this job into one word, it’s awesome. I’m definitely looking forward to what lies ahead!
                  - Spencer

                  Olga_SnapsOlga throws a mean sledgehammer & wrap-photo gang sign.

                  Westside has given me valuable hands-on experience assisting on set and working with talented photographers and crew. I really enjoyed my internship at Westside and happy to have met some great people along the way.
                  - Olga

                  Hassan_SnapsHassan learned that occasionally you need to rig a 3rd story window light, and got to meet the boys.

                  My time spent at Westside was nothing short of amazing. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to work along side such talented photographers. – Hassan

                  Kate_SnapsKate helped Spencer perfect his “Blue Steel,” and very much enjoyed being photographed down to size, pre-lighting for toddlers with Vicky Lam.

                  Here’s the crew (missing Kate) on their final day:


                  On behalf of everyone at Westside, we can’t thank you enough for all your help this summer, and we wish you nothing short of the best in your next chapters. See you on set!


                    Tyler Gray Goes Way Back to School

                    by Alex Beetham on August 27, 2014

                    The upcoming September long weekend is a significant one.  It’s the one you dread growing up, knowing that it’s festivities are overshadowed by the end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year.  Tyler has been out of school for *cough* just a few *cough* years now, but has had the opportunity since 2011 to annually acquaint himself with the campus of Western University.  Tyler has been producing some gorgeous images for Western over the years, and this is no exception!  Words from Tyler:

                    …This has been my third year shooting with creative director Terry Rice and designer Scott Woods from the Marketing Dept at Western U.  The early April email full of layouts from Scott has has become a beacon for spring and by the 3rd week of April i’m ripe for my first sunburn of the year.   – Tyler



                    Photographer:  Tyler Gray
                    Client:  Western University Alumni Association
                    Creative Director:  Terry Rice
                    Designer:  Scott Woods
                    Project Coordinator: Diana Cunningham

                    IMG_0320 IMG_0319 IMG_0315 IMG_0159All Images © Tyler Gray

                    Want to find out whats going on in that last BTS image?? Head on over to Tyler’s Tumblr and he’ll tell you all about it!