These guys. Right here.
Cheryl, Brandon, Gavin, and Mary are self-identified as "The Fifth Fam"—as in, Fifth Street, New Toronto. When you are part of a neighbourhood—when it's a significant percentage of your DNA—you embrace it all. You walk it, you live it, you love it.
And, not just your house or your spiffy backyard. Not even that awesome park down the road, either; where just about anyone can look good at golden hour.
How about a back alley, at 2 in the afternoon?
You tell 'em, Mary.
Yes. How about a back alley—complete with questionable characters offering random, unsolicited advice. Add some dirty puddles, a bit of litter, and a few dog-poo land mines... well, let's just say it's not the place you'd shoot a 50th wedding anniversary.
(But let's be honest. In Toronto, the only danger of being in an alley on a Sunday afternoon, is that you might start ranting about the federal deficit, right?)
So, if it's cool with the kids, let's do it! As long as the colour is there, and the attitude.
Heck, even colour is optional.
There's a photographer I follow and enjoy; his name is Zack Arias. Amazing guy. He loves a lot of things, but "brick walls" ain't one of 'em. He loathes brick walls as a backdrop: they're hack, they're boring, and "gritty for gritty's sake" can get tired, once your band has made it out of grade eleven.
I get that.
There are also many photographers who disparage graffiti* as a backdrop—unless you happen to be shooting it in the context of the artists themselves.
I get that, too.
But for some clients, I just. Can't. Resist.
Especially when our local artists have made this place such a gallery of awesomeness.
Stay cool, Fam!
*Note: when I say graffiti, I only mean the good stuff. Garage door "taggers" are cordially invited to seal themselves in a sleeping bag full of wet cigarette butts for the rest of their lives.