Smiling for the camera is good.
Smiling when you see your photos is better.
Priceless images are actually inexpensive. That first ultrasound of your baby? The "Me and Mom" daycare art on your fridge? The family portrait that reveals the "real us"?
You know... the stuff you would save if the house was on fire.
Now, I can't compete with ultrasounds and finger-paint, but I can offer you the next best thing: a perfect portrait that you can have in your hands next week.
This is the part where I tell you my life story.
Skip ahead and no one would blame you.
In second grade, I got my first camera and immediately began snapping all my friends at school. Many of us packed holstered six-guns over our bell-bottoms, to give you an idea of the era.
Since then, I have learned one great truth in life:
People will happily pose for photos... as long as the photographer is seven years old.
But, as we grow up, we get shy when a camera appears. That's why photographers spend a month's pay on a big telephoto. Wouldn't want to get too close to people, right? But "close" is where emotion is.
I love getting to know people—over a beer, over a tripod. Everyone has a good story in them. And a great photo reveals a lot of that story.
The Four Levels of Comedy:
Make your friends laugh... make strangers laugh... get paid to make strangers laugh... and, make people talk like you because it's so much fun.
The Four Levels of Photography:
Photograph your friends... photograph strangers... get paid to photograph
strangers... and, inspire people to shoot because it's so much fun.
Flash forward to 2006... all my film gear was stolen. Right after I installed bars on the basement windows, I went out and bought a digital camera. I had done the darkroom thing—timers, fumes, whistling in the dark—but I was hooked by digital.
Do I miss film? The way old people miss boarding school, I guess. But I only dabble in it now. In the end, your camera is just another tool—like a wrench or a hammer—but it's a way to get closer to your vision.
And if you can get your vision in sync with a client's? Brother, you can make magic.
So let's chat. You and me. Over a coffee or just over the phone.
Tell me who you are and what you're looking for. Maybe you want a killer headshot for your side-hustle? Maybe there's a family reunion around the corner?
Or maybe... instead of hiding another 10,000 files on a hard drive, you'd rather have that "one great portrait"—the one your kids will fight over when you're gone.
If you've read this far, I've got a hunch you and I are going to get along just fine.
I am a proud contributor to:
I've won some awards, and I'm proud of them. But for me, nothing beats a happy client. I'll take a good word-of-mouth over any trophy.
Really not a big fan of the "Artist's Statement", but I will say this: The biggest impediment to creativity is fear: fear of doing something that's been done before; and fear of doing something that's never been done before.
"Do it for yourself. No one else cares," is how Hugh MacLeod might put it.
Art? To me, art is something that that draws you in, and holds your eye—not because you don't get it, but because you just can't look away. Art should pull you across a room, sit you down, and start a conversation. Is that artsy enough for ya?
Please contact me at:
Update: June 6, 2020
I'm taking this opportunity to say a couple of things. To rebuild some momentum, and try to push a bit beyond hashtags.
First, I'm often looking for a photographer's assistant. It doesn't pay much and it's not exactly full-time, but being an assistant is a great place for a budding photographer—even if they have zero experience. I am giving special consideration to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), so drop me a line.
Second, if you know someone who would like to learn more about photography (again, I'm talking BIPOC, here) I will happily bore them to tears over the phone, Zoom, text... you name it. I'm no Leibovitz, but I have a few tricks that I wish I'd had up my sleeve when I was starting out. I'd be willing to lend some of my gear, as well.
Third, if you are a working BIPOC photographer, give me your contact info, so I can have a peek at your work and hopefully forward some business to you.
And finally, this...
As a photographer working in south Etobicoke for the last 18 years, it is important for me to acknowledge the massive opportunities I have been given. This community has provided me with—quite literally—a more colourful portfolio than I would have dreamed of otherwise. Working with Lakeshore Arts and Arts Etobicoke has especially opened my eyes to worlds that I otherwise would not have seen. Thank you so much to those organisations, and to the wonderful people who allowed me to photograph them. Please consider a donation to both the above groups. They do important, beautiful, and necessary work for the entire community.
Thanks, and stay safe.