A New Chapter Begins

USB

This week I got some USB flash keys in the mail from Vistaprint. I’ve always wanted to have my own USB’s but they were always out of my price range. I’ve always admired some of my counterparts such as http://www.derrelhoshing.com/ for having not only amazing work but the great presentation to their clients of the finished product.

As I continue to learn and grow in this photography business, hopefully, this is a step forward to not only make myself look more professional but also satisfy my future wedding clients for the foreseeable future.

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What a Year!!

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Toronto Mayor John Tory
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Maternity
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Charity Event
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Vaughan Wedding

We’ve come to the close of another year. There has been a lot of eye opening moments this year. Not like there wasn’t notable moments in previous years but 2016 seemed to pile on everything at once.

As a professional photographer, I myself have had some ups and downs in 2016. One of the highlights as an event photographer was shooting an event where the keynote speaker was the mayor of Toronto John Tory. I’ve also managed to meet some great people over time and have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with them as well as past clients who have retained me to photograph their events. It’s a honour to do family photographs and watch my clients families grow and evolve.

In 2017 I would like to expand my headshot business. I’ve done photos of a few clients and I learn something new each time I photograph a professional looking to use something I’ve done to represent their personal brand.

Weddings is another field that I would like to expand as a photographer. 2016, I did less weddings than in 2015 but I think my comfort level and the quality of the photos have improved.

Everything boils down to growth and learning everyday. I think one of the biggest challenges I have as a creative is learning the behind the scenes aspect of the business. The admin work, the networking and customer service. Thanks to friends and websites like http://www.creativelive.com I am learning more as I go along.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best to you and your loved ones.

Holiday Cheer

Yesterday I received something in the mail. The envelope was handwritten, so I figured that it was a Christmas card. I opened the envelope and I was right it was a Christmas card but what made this special was the family that sent me the card is one of my clients using images that I shot.

I always feel good when people use my photography for their cards or social media profiles. As a photographer, it’s quite satisfying to see that people are happy with my work.

Paul & Nellie

I got a call from my cousin Patrick to shoot my cousin’s Paul’s wedding the night before the wedding. It totally caught me off guard but I agreed and got my things together. Just as I was 2 lights away from the church, my car just shuts off on its own. Which was the beginning of some car trouble but I made it on time thankfully?

Just like my cousin’s personality, the wedding was low-keydsc_9143-editdsc_9321dsc_9327-editdsc_9549 and subdued. It was a bright and sunny day and I’m happy that he made this leap to being a family man.Congratulations to Paul & Nellie Thomas.

Gentlemen’s Expo

Thanks to my partner in crime Ryan Hinkson (@eatfamous), I was lucky enough to attend the 2016 Gentlemen’s Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention centre this weekend.

As a photographer, there were so many interesting things to capture at the Gentlemen’s Expo. Both myself and Ryan love fashion and the Gentlemen’s Expo did not disappoint with tailors, handmade pocket squares and ties. Ryan, being one of the men behind the Eat Famous brand got to see different foods and they had a live cooking show for your viewing pleasure.

I also got to learn about some beverages that I previously wasn’t privy to. As I was walking around I saw a friend of mine that was working at the Innis & Gunn beer booth. Innis & Gunn is a Scottish beer that I couldn’t get enough of. In fact, I went to the LCBO the next day and bought some. Also,

King & Bay Custom Clothing had a mixologist making Old Fashioneds. Now, I’m not sure if I’d had them before but I think that’s my new drink.

All in all, it was a good evening and I’m looking forward to a bigger and better Gentlemen’s Expo in 2017.

Morning Sunshine

imageJust like everyone else, I have good days and bad days at work. Sometimes what I do doesn’t feel like work and sometimes it feels like I should quit and get a “real” job like my parents say sometimes.

Every once in a while, someone gives you some sort of encouragement that makes the struggle worth it.

I was having a bad weekend when I was on my way to an event last week. One of my flashes weren’t firing consistently and there was a dry ice machine that was making it difficult to get sharp images.

I saw my friend Marsha and she introduced me to her son. I said, “YOUR SON???” In shock because he was a grown man and she looks so young. But yes, it was her son and they both love to dance. It was so cool to see the contrast between old school and new school in terms of the styles of dance and the bond they have with music. I’ve never seen anything like that before. Mother and son dancing to the same music  in a mock battle similar to the classic movie “House Party “.

A week later, I received a text from Marsha thanking me for taking the pictures that I took of her and her son. I was pleasantly surprised. I was thinking the night was a disaster, but you never know that you could be making someone’s day with one photograph.

Messages like these make the journey worthwhile and push me to continue to improve behind the camera and in post production. Thank you

 

 

Am I a Papparazzi Now?

In the last 18 months or so, this photography thing is starting to pick up in terms of bookings and recognition. The bookings are great, the recognition is a bit strange for me but I guess I’ll get used to it as time goes on.

But thanks to some great people and entertainment companies, I’ve been able to meet some famous people and be fortunate to have my camera with me during these events. Two of the last three events however I’ve seen celebrities that DO NOT want to be photographed although my client(s) want pictures of all the stars to boost their profiles in the city and beyond. I almost felt like “Have I became the guy that Kanye wants to punch and break my camera?” If I take the photo will it go viral all over social media? Can I get in trouble for posting it or just leave them alone?

The first time I met Walshy Fire of Major Lazer, I met him as my friend’s cousin. We were talking and there were flash bulbs going off all over the place. Then it hit me, “Oh this guy’s a big deal.” A few weeks ago I was shooting a party hosted by the Comedian Russell Peters and people are taking pictures, snapping and trying to get his attention. I wrote a note on my phone asking where his friends were. It’s funny you have some celebrities that are in public settings and don’t want to be photographed as if they didn’t exist and others that have people waiting in line to get a picture or take a selfie with them. I guess there’s no right or wrong way to handle your adoring public because your fans can make or break your career. Especially with social media, you just have to deal with those consequences. As for myself, I see myself as a fan of these people but I would rather be the cool fan with a camera than the annoying guy trying to get an unsolicited photo for a few bucks.

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Dave Chappelle
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Walshy Fire-Major Lazer
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Russell Peters
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Melanie Fiona
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PK Subban, Kardinal Offishall,Cipha Sounds, Starting From Scratch

Back to School

It’s been a while but I managed to make it back to school at George Brown’s Continuing Education program. This time I’m taking the Photography of People course to try to improve my portraiture skills. I’ve always enjoyed taking their classes as it challenges me to think outside of the norm as well as learning the fundamentals. I’m always learning and I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point where I think I know it all, but learning is something I’ve always enjoyed and I’m always trying to grow as a person.IMG_1965IMG_1967IMG_1970IMG_1971IMG_1973