With a list of features longer than a cats arm the new KIA Forte Koup is a well stocked automobile. And for just shy of 21K this is a well appointed piece of technology. One feature that is worth celebrating though is the Cooled Ventilated Seats. Yup, you read that correctly. The seats of the new KIA Forte Koup are both cooled AND ventilated. No need to make your whip look like a taxi cab with those beaded seat covers No sir. All you need to do is get yourself buckled into one of these and you’ll no longer need to pack a change of clothes to bring to the office anymore. Here’s what KIA has to say about the whole thing……

Drives on hot summer days are more comfortable with the Ventilated Driver’s Seat. Three fan speeds circulate cabin air through perforations in the seat leather, helping you stay cool.


Earlier this year Tyler Gray teamed up with Jon Lane and Brendan Sack from Innocean on a fun bit of advertising. The idea was to showcase the perils of driving cars with NON ventilated drivers seats. From the results, I think you’ll agree, it can be a terrifyingly sweaty experience.

Here are a few words from Tyler himself on his experience….

“Had a blast shooting this with Jon and Brendan, we shot during the Sochi Olympics and as you can see in the BTS of Gabe and Mike, we had the Canada vs Latvia hockey game in the background monitor and US vs Czech game in the foreground monitor”

They weren’t too distracted by the games and the results a pretty awesome.




Client: KIA
Agency:  Innocean
Associate Creative Director :  Jon Lane
Associate Creative Director :  Brendan Sack
Digital Tech : Gabe Nivera
Motion Capture : Mike Rabinski

And here are some BTS to keep things real…….








    by Alex Beetham on June 6, 2014

    So earlier this week we posted about Ad Bands, which took place last evening. Its a night of fund-raising for the Tennyson Quance Foundation for Autism. If my hang over is any indication of the good times that were had, then let me say this….. Good times were defiantly had – ouch.  Hundreds of industry folk filled Revival on College St to raise  the devil horns in praise of their peers as they turned it up to eleven. Things kicked off with fresh faced Payback (featured in a previous post), and didn’t let up from there.  If you missed it, here’s what the night looked like:

    adbands_ABPhoto1 copyadbands_ABPhoto2The following images were snapped and submitted by Bettina Bogar.

    So many 80′s metal wigs…
    adbands_by_bettinabogar-04 adbands_by_bettinabogar-07 adbands_by_bettinabogar-10 adbands_by_bettinabogar-12 adbands_by_bettinabogar-13 adbands_by_bettinabogar-14Images © Alex Beetham & Bettina Bogar

    Look out for Westside’s band next year…



      by Tom Nesbitt on June 3, 2014

      Wow, it seems like only yesterday I went to my first Ad Bands night and learned that White Spoonable Dressings were good for more than just sandwiches. Now this annual fundraiser for the Tennyson Quance Foundation for Autism is turning 10 years old & the Dressings (as they are known to their diehards) are still kicking out the jams. Ad Bands is so much fun. It invites people in the advertising industry to assemble a band and preform in front of an audience of their peers for one rawk filled night.  100% of the minimum $20.00 donation at the door goes directly to the foundation.  The night also benefits Autism Ontario through its corporate sponsors.


      The evening takes place at Revival 783 College St. Toronto.

      Doors open at 18:00

      Why so early you ask? Well, the first band of the night is Payback. They have an average age of 9, yeah, thats right NINE. So they need get to bed at a reasonable hour as it really is a school night. Paybacks connection to the ad world comes through their parents and includes the off spring of Ad Band founder Craig Brownrigg. His son Josh, much like his old man, plays drums.  Also, Liam Gordaneer, Paybacks bass player, is the son of Westside’s very own Chris Gordaneer

      Just have a look at these lady killer would ya!

      These kids are gonna steal your hearts and rock your socks off and in the process.

      Gordaneer just recently snapping these shots for their press kits which are being shopped to A&R reps all over the place. You should get one signed, while you still can. Seriously.

      LiamBand-0203f copy

      LiamBand-0042b copy

      LiamBand-0138c copy
      ©chris gordaneer

      So please, if you can, make it out this Thursday June 5th to AD Bands 10th year anniversary and cheer on your pals while you raise some much needed funds for a very special cause.

      See you there!



        by Alex Beetham on May 28, 2014

        Every year thousands of hopeful creative students from around the globe will graduate and breath a brief collective sigh – Because, now its time to get down to the business of getting a job. So they will gather up their blood, sweat, and tears into portfolios of what is their life’s work and start pounding the pavement. Spending weeks, months, even years trying to get eyes on their books. Searching for that one connection that gets their foot in the door, rather than the usual door in their face.
        Sounds a bit daunting doesn’t it? Well, what if I told you there was an alternative? An opportunity to share your work with a massive, hand picked selection of the industries top creatives. All under one roof for one evening. Don’t believe me? Doubt at your own peril. This very real opportunity is aptly named Portfolio Night.

        This year marked the 12th annual Portfolio Night which took place simultaneously in 24 cities around the globe.  Westside was a proud sponsor of the Toronto event, hosted this year by one of the best in town:  The Hive.  In order to promote this event, The Hive partnered up with Matt Barnes (and a whole lot of latex) to turn 3 of Toronto’s top Creative Directors into gluttonous beasts, ready to devour any and all talent placed in front of them.

        Simon Creet – The Hive


        Brent Choi  - JWT


        Isreal Diaz – Y&R


        Take a look at their incredible transformation here.

        As for the big night itself last week, it was a huge success.  Hundreds of students showed off their chops to Toronto’s big wig creatives, and not TOO many tears were shed.  But seriously, there was some incredible talent on display.  There certainly isn’t a shortage of blossoming creativity here in Toronto.  Here’s a quick look at how the night went down:



          Tuesday travels

          by Tom Nesbitt on May 27, 2014

          Hey its Tuesday. Why don’t you take a trip with Tyler Gray as he explores the back roads of southwestern Ontario……..

          One of my favourite things about spring is hopping in the Polara and driving to places i’ve never been to. A few weeks ago I headed out to start a casual photographic journey along HWY#3’s rich 200 year history. All the north shore of Lake Erie is agriculture and I stumbled across a place called Mennomex which is essentially a grocery store run by Mexican Mennonites. If you want authentic Mexican food for dinner this weekend, this is the place to go if you have 4 hours to kill driving there and back. My next unplanned stop was at the Aylmer Stockyards. It was set back from the highway so after a quick U-Turn I ventured in to find a cool little “down home” cafe that had just finished serving local farmers breakfast before the weekly (wednesday) livestock auction began. Again, given the rich population of Mexican Mennonites and migrant workers in this area, a typical serving was pork tacos with a side of rice and mashed beans. Not into ethnic? No prob, they also serve egg sandwiches. Awesome!



          If you wanna keep track of Tyler’s exploits why don’t you check out his Tumblr?


            Nikki you are cleared for take off!

            by Alex Beetham on May 23, 2014

            A photographer works for years developing their own unique style. In the service of their craft, they become ingenious problem solvers, master technicians, and tireless perfectionists. With each new project they take on, they use their technical skills and creative vision to satisfy the needs of the specific job. While not every project can claim a perfect pairing of craft and creative, once in awhile, a job comes along that is so well suited to a particular photographer’s style, it would be criminal for anyone but them to shoot it.
            This was the case when JWT’s Nicole Ellerton created the new campaign for Air Canada’s rebrand — there really was no choice other than Nikki Ormerod. We think it’s a perfect fit. And when the shoe fits as well as it does here, the results are nothing short of amazing.

            May I present Nikki Ormerods perfect fit:  Air Canada’s “Your World Awaits” Campaign.

            Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_1 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_2 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_4 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_3Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_5 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_6 Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_7

            A few words from Nikki herself:

            I felt an instant connection to the artwork for the Air Canada Rebrand. I appreciated the beauty Nicole Ellerton and JWT were trying to capture in this campaign. There really is a romantic aspect to the creative and this is a style of shooting that embodies what I truly love to shoot.  I also knew that the nature of the creative would require more work than I’ve had to do for any other project in my career to date. I was just a little excited (a lot) when I found out I had won the job. **Sorry to Nicole for screaming on the phone***.From that point on I was lucky enough to be able to really sink my teeth into every aspect of the process. It was really amazing to work alongside Nicole From talent selection to the pairings of what character belonged in what destination. It was really a delicate process. The post production which I shared with Nick Leadlay was – and still is – incredibly intricate. It’s a completely custom job every time we marry a profile with a background. Every shot deserves a completely different approach. It’s been such a huge opportunity to really let my creativity out. It has become my life for the last month and I’m looking forward to the next phases of the project. The really amazing thing about this concept is that it really is boundless – it has the potential to grown in so many different ways. I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
            - Nikki

            JWT won the Air Canada account just this past September. Here are a few thoughts form the agency side…..

            The breaking campaign, by JWT Canada, Air Canada’s new AOR appointed in September, connects the evolution of Air Canada’s product and service strategy with an ongoing commitment to deliver the world class travel experience today’s traveller expects. It also builds on a key insight from consumers that the richness of their experiences when they travel become a part of them and form a part of who they are.

            The work launches a new tagline, “Your world awaits.” which serves as an invitation to the Air Canada experience and celebrates the sense of curiosity and pursuit of excellence that the airline shares with today’s global traveller. “It’s a new voice, tone and manner for Air Canada, yes, but is also about listening to our customers,” says Selma Filali, Director Marketing Communications at Air Canada. “For us, it’s about reflecting our commitment to meet the highest expectations that will help the globally minded traveller make the most of the experiences ahead of them,” Filali explains.

            A fresh, sophisticated photographic look, a premium and global sensibility, and a more provocative tone of voice support the invitation to the enriching experience that the tagline evokes.

            You’re going to be seeing a whole lot of these gorgeous images, both online & in person.  You may have already seen some of these in your browsing:

            ac_twitter AC_website fbook youtube
            Or perhaps in the paper?

            Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_Media

            I challenge you to find a wall in Eglinton station that DOESN’T have Nikki’s work all over it.  Total media take over.

            Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_EglintonNikki-Ormerod_Air-Canada_Eglinton_2Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_Eglinton3

            It takes an incredible team to execute such an elaborate undertaking, and this group is the cream of the crop.

            Photographer:  Nikki Ormerod
            Client:  Air Canada
            Agency:  JWT
            Associate Creative Director:  Nicole Ellerton
            Associate Creative Director:  Mark Lewis
            Retouching:  Nick Leadlay & Nikki Ormerod
            Hair & Make-Up:  Juuka Sutari & Claudine Baltazar
            Wardrobe:  Nadia Pizzimenti
            Assistants:  Gabe Nivera, Abe Roberto, Michelle Brussolo, Joanna Gigliotti

            Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_2Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_3Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_5Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_6Nikki Ormerod_Air Canada_BTS_1Images © Nikki Ormerod

            { 1 comment }


              by Alex Beetham on May 21, 2014

              If you were lucky enough to have found yourself walking the halls of Westside Studio a few weeks back, you would have been greeted with a very pleasant smell indeed. What was this wonderfulness anyway? Could it be our long awaited spring finally making itself known?

              Sadly no, but do not dismay, this gets better.

              Instead, the studio was bursting at the seams with the complex fragrances of some of Higgins & Burke’s latest leafy tea offerings. From humble beginnings in 1912, Higgins & Burke have now brought there infamous loose leaf tea into the single serving market with their EcoCup.  Who better to show off their delectable leaves, then our very own Shanghoon.  Some snaps from the day, along with some insight from Shanghoon himself below:

              Shanghoon Higgins & Burke Tea
              Photographer: Shanghoon
              Client:  Higgins & Burke
              Agency:  Dashboard
              Art Director: Isabelle Santiago
              Food Stylist:  Ashley Denton
              Assistant:  Colin Rycroft
              Interns:  Jasmine DeBoer, Zeren Uyar

              Shanghoon - HigginsandBurke Composite

              It was great to shoot quality teas in the studio all day. The studio smelled like tea a couple more days after that. I should’ve bought some nice tea biscuits now that I think of it.

              Shanghoon_HigginsandBurke_BTS2 Shanghoon_HigginsandBurke_BTS1

              All Images © Shanghoon


                AND THE AWARD GOES TO……..

                by Tom Nesbitt on May 13, 2014

                There are few things in this industry that do more to propel the careers of a photographer than having their work accepted into an awards annual. There are many of these to chose from. Local, National, International you name it. Each year begins a new as photographers, agencies and designers alike send in their best work in hopes of recognition. To be accepted into the pages of the annual is by no means a small feat. The competition is steep. For instance Communication Arts On average, each annual receives roughly 5000 entries and only 150-200 are chosen for the book. That means you have a 96% – 97% chance of not making the final cut. A 3%-4% chance of winning is not an attractive gamble to many. But those odds make it even sweeter when your work is chosen by a distinguished panel of jurors. And hey, you are a photographer, you are used to taking chances.

                For this year the first one out of the gate is the internationally acclaimed design publication Coupe

                In this we have Vicky Lam and Nikki Ormerod

                Vicky worked on these sinister images for Fangoria Entertainment with:
                CD: Zack Mroueh
                AD: Mooren Bofill
                Writer: Nick Asik
                Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo




                Nikki hooked up with the team at Juniper Park on these ethereal beauties.
                ECD: Barry Quinn, Alan Madill, Terry Drummond
                Design: Natasha Michalowska
                Client: Kim Good




                Next up is Canada’s leading visual communications publication Applied Arts and in this years pages we have several Westsiders…..
                George Simhohi, Matt Barnes, Tyler Gray & Derek Shapton for stills and Chris Gordaneer for both stills & motion

                George doing what George does best, for this Advertising Single entry
                Agency: Bright Red Communications
                AD: Doug Bramah

                And a couple of Self Promotional beauties too….

                North California rugged cliffs on the coast 07 no releases


                Derek worked his wonderful portrait skills on Tim Godsall for Shots Magazine


                Tyler knocked it out of the park for ESPN Magazine during ExposNation
                Photo Director: Karen Frank
                Assoc Photo Editor: Kaitlin MarronApplied Arts

                You would have had to have been living a rock if you missed these stunners from Chris Gordaneer for the Canadian Olympic Committee
                Agency: Proximity
                AD: Josh Stein
                Art Producer: Jessica Valentini
                Digital Imaging: Mark Tyler / Stir Images



                And then there were these winners from the old country in the unpublished /personal category
                Scotland-00445j copy

                Scotland-01483f copy


                Theres more to come folks. Plenty of awards to be handed out still this year.
                See ya soon.



                  by Tom Nesbitt on April 28, 2014

                  With the polar vortex now behind us, it’s time to trade in our salt stained boots for flip flops. Tyler Gray was able to do so a little earlier than the rest of us, as sunny California was the location to shoot a campaign for Sanuk. What started as a pair of sandals made in a backyard shed, Sanuk has grown into an international footwear brand.

                  And now for a few words from Tyler……
                  Aside from the job itself and the fun I always have with these guys, the thing I’ll remember most about this job was the 6am LA style earthquake wake up call. Being from a place (Toronto) where “catastrophic” events range from snowstorms to ice storms, this scared the hell out of me. It was only a 4.7 but the epicenter was a short 6 miles away from where we were staying in West LA. Between that and the numerous beers Gabe and I had at Steingarten the night before I stumbled onto set a few hours later looking like Gary Busey. I took a good ribbing from Karin et al but was all in good fun. Never a dull moment.

                  Check out the final ads, and a little BTS below.

                  © Tyler Gray

                  Photographer: Tyler Gray
                  Client: Sanuk
                  Agency: Ignited
                  AD: Jeremy Carson
                  ACD: Karin Djelaj
                  ACD: Chris Schott
                  CD: Jordan Atlas
                  Print Producer: Sam Helpand
                  Exec Producer: Diego Espana
                  Assistant: Gabe Nivera

                  © Tyler Gray


                  Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset


                  IMG_7200Images © Tyler Gray


                    NEWS | RUN PHAEDRA, RUN

                    by Tom Nesbitt on April 21, 2014

                    Phaedra Kennedy. If you don’t know who she is, you probably don’t work in the photography industry. She was holding down the producers chair for Chris Gordaneer long before I arrived on the scene. She has been helping photographers here at Westside do what they do longer than she would like me to let you know. What is her secret you ask? Is it the hair?

                    Phaedra is big fan of hard work and as if the 9-5, or 7-6, or 8-10, or what ever the hours that a producer works weren’t enough see finds the time to peruse a life outside of production. Phaedra is a fierce competitor on the Running and Multi-Sport circuit here in Ontario, with an exceptional list of achievements to her credit. To compete at this level one has to be fully dedicated to the training, which is hard if you work bankers hours. A producers life is many things, but regular it is not. Phaedra manages to find the time, to fit the “work” in before or after the work.

                    Today Phaedra will race the Boston Marathon. This will prove to be tremendously emotional event after the tragic bombing that marred last years race. Thankfully Phaedra finished well before the bombs exploded, but sport has an amazing ability to connect people. After returning to Toronto she connected with runners here in the city to host a commemorative run.


                    Last Thursday during a particularly lengthy shoot with Nikki Ormerod, Phaedra and I were chatting in the hall about the life work balance. About the how and the why we do what it is that we do. Here is what she has to say…

                    Being a producer in the ad business can be all consuming so having an “outlet” has always been a priority for me. That outlet for me, is running. It provides me with a myriad of things – a way to decompress, an opportunity to work through a problem at work or do the complete opposite and just tune out. Whatever the case may be, I always come back from a run refreshed and ready to go.

                    As a runner, I love to compete so I’m almost always training for something. This year, I’m headed back to Boston to run the marathon again. Balancing training with work can be tricky but I usually find a way to make it work, even if it means getting up at 4:00 am. Yes, there are days when work trumps training and I’ve learned to be ok with that, I just make a point of picking up where I left off. Besides, sometimes your body can do with the extra rest.

                    This week in particular has been incredibly busy with work but I’m in the midst of my taper so realistically if I miss a workout, it’s not a big deal. All the hard work is done. Now I just have to get through two 14 hour shoot days before I hit the road. Good thing I own several pairs of comfortable shoes. ~PK


                    Best of luck today P-Rock, we will be cheering for you! You can track Phaedra’s progress at the Boston Marathon website.