No Muslim Ban on Stolen Land

This weekend, I woke up on Saturday morning and turned on CP24 as I usually do to check the weather for the day. I saw that there was a rally scheduled outside the US Embassy so I automatically perked up and saw an opportunity to take photos.

I intended to take the TTC but I was afraid of being late so I drove downtown and walked to the protest location.

I was surprised at the vast number of people that attended of all walks of life that were all united against the US travel ban. There were members of Black Lives Matter, Leaders of the Chinese community, the Muslim community, a Holocaust survivor and others all united against Donald Trump’s foreign policies. I saw people of all races, sexual orientation, young and elderly all against the Travel Ban. The dissent that I have noticed in the last few weeks is definitely eye-opening, not just here in North America but worldwide. I watch TV sometimes and think “Is this really happening?” I see people on social media obsessed with selfies and filters on Snapchat and wonder if they are aware or care about the things happening around us. But I digress, everyone needs an escape and luckily for me, photography has become mine.

I hope you enjoy these images from Yesterdays Muslim Ban protest in Toronto

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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