The theme of this shoot was professional portraits, but it was important to me to do them outside a studio for several reasons. One: I believe lifestyle type images are more modern and appropriate for many career fields than traditional headshots in front of a white backdrop. Yes, of course I happily shoot those types of portraits when a person's line of work dictates it, but if it's not necessary, then thinking outside of the studio "white box" is always a good thing. Lifestyle portraits are also more versatile and can be used across all social media platforms. Two: Sam is a person who is "curious about all the things." She is a passionate traveller, a free spirit, a brilliant writer, a rock climber, and an advocate for open internet access for all. Her career path has always been inspiring, and I wanted to create some portraits for her that showed her as the chic professional she is, but also allowed some of her fun-loving, city girl spirit to shine through. So while I wouldn't ask everyone getting professional portraits to stand in the rain, illuminated only by the flickering light of a convenience store's sign, it seemed perfect for my adventurous friend.
On a personal note, this was a very special evening for me, because in the time Sam and I were out shooting, Brian would receive not one but two amazing job offers at different universities. I returned home from the shoot to find out that after a long period of doubt and curiosity about our future and where we would live next, we now had two wonderful options. For this reason, I consider my shoot with Sam to have been a very lucky one indeed.
This summer, I photographed my friends Maya and Matt exploring Toronto's Little Portugal/Dufferin Grove neighbourhoods. In addition to being kind and hilarious, M & M are two of the busiest, hardest-working, most inspiring people I know. I was so grateful we managed to find a time when all three of us were in the city in order to meet up! It's always a pleasure to take pictures of Maya,
when we both lived in Montreal and it was even more fun to photograph her alongside her partner. Thanks so much for being part of my project, you guys, and thanks to Enoteca Sociale for allowing us to shoot in your beautiful restaurant.
This shoot was featured in my
The day has finally arrived when I can share my latest project, a little video titled "Special Occasion" that I've been working on for many months.
I created this video to share my portraiture philosophy, which is that everyday life is precious and that in-between moments are deeply worthy of documentation. Yes, I photograph many weddings and engagements, and I continue to revere their importance, but I also wanted to express my love of photographing people moving through their lives and thoughtfully pausing at intervals to say, "this matters to me."
So please, take a few moments and listen to the stories of my wonderful models.
It was important to me to take a documentary approach for this project, so everyone featured in the video is appearing as themselves, and I'm photographing them for the very occasions they mention. I wanted you to hear their stories in their own voices, so everyone either sent me their audio clips via email, or if possible, we recorded them on-site at the time of shooting.
I tried to put very little advance planning into these shoots. I didn't do storyboards or even shot lists. I wanted to push against my natural urge to plan in order to go with the flow of each person, couple or family and what the day brought us. Whenever possible (if people were willing to brave some inclement conditions) I tried not to reschedule due to rain or even snow, as I maintain that all types of weather can set a sumptuous scene. I shot in lighting conditions (high noon sun! dreary, overcast winter mornings!) that most photographers, including myself, find undesirable at best. The truth is that gloomy weather and bad light are not scary if you know how to use them to your advantage, so I thought this video might educate people about what you can do if you're willing to be a bit adventurous and have a trusting relationship with your photographer.
I am not a trained in video or editing, but I do know how to use my camera to shoot images and I like experimenting with its video functionality, so I thought it might be cool to take a DIY approach and show you how I work with people. I look forward to hiring a professional video team to help me produce a more polished video in the future, but until then, here we go!
I'll be sharing the finished images from all the shoots here on my blog in a series of upcoming posts, so you'll be able to see how everything turned out now that you've peeked behind the curtain of production. Each and every one of these people is lovely inside and out, and I'm excited to share their images now that you've heard their stories.
If you're interested in scheduling a shoot of your own everyday special occasion,
To everyone involved in the project, thank you SO much. Lia, Jon, the Leon family, Meredith, Lorraine & John, Amy & Derek, the Claudino family, Sam, Noelle & Michael, Ann, Debbie, Maya & Matt, you guys are just wonderful. To my brother Jeremy and my partner in life Brian who helped film some behind-the-scenes footage. To everyone who recommended friends and family members to be my models. To Christina and Jordan for letting me film in your home. To Dolce, our animal actor and Ida, the official dog babysitter :) To Enoteca Sociale and Soop Soop, for being generous enough to let me take some shots in your businesses. To my local laundromat in Toronto's Little Portugal neighbourhood for being the perfect escape from the rain to take Sam's headshots. Lastly, to all my family and friends who helped me conceptualize and tweak this project along the way.
Director/photographer/makeup/styling: Dallas Curow // GoPro footage of Noelle & Michael's 1st Anniversary shoot: Jeremy Curow // Flower crowns in Lia's Boudoir shoot and Meredith's High School Graduation shoot: Jordan de Ruiter // Filmed on location in Toronto, Burlington, Richmond Hill, Oakville, and Aurora, Ontario.