We hopped on the cheap Chinatown bus to Niagara Falls, said hello to my sister, bro-in-law, and my mom's ashes, and then Pa went apeshit in the casino. Though he’ll never admit it, I think he had a good day.
The folks at the Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts are some of the sweetest people I've had the recent pleasure of meeting. Considering the festival's mandate to support arts, inclusion, diversity, and social justice, it's no wonder we get along. (Also, it doesn't hurt that they know how to put on a unique closing party!)
I was one of those unlucky kids, forced to move right before high school, which separated me from a lot of good friends early: Kerry being one of them.
This gal was one of my best buddies in grade school, a friendship that started young, when our grade-one teacher identified us as budding writers and suggested we join forces, script the dialogue for a picture book (which was apparently so good, ha!, it was catalogued in our school library for all to borrow — a sweet-ass success for two overachieving six year olds). We spent the following years working as a team, writing a series of stories about two mice, always conjuring up unique games, solving mystery crimes with our plush toys, and initiating events and ridiculous contests for our classmates.
If I think about it, Kerry was one of the last people I ever had a true creative collaboration with — something I can’t seem to achieve lately, for varying reasons of time, not finding the right personality or productivity match, and, frankly, creative control, but in reuniting as adults, it’s nice to be reminded that there is a little of that spirit rooted deep inside.
So great to see you after nearly 30 years of respective adventuring, K. Maybe we can work on writing our memoirs in another 30? Ha! XO
After binge-watching a bunch of Franz Ferdinand clips and feeling empowered and slightly arrogant, I did the only thing I could do in the situation on a Tuesday at midnight: Fake. Band. Photo.
PS. When I’m walking around listening to music, I often visualize myself as the lead singer in a video with people prancing around. Ha! Is this normal? And if not, WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT ME!?
Just poring through my travel archive and finding some special moments I forgot to share back when these actually happened!
Thailand: I met a fisherman at a corner shop, who started flagging me down when I passed in the afternoon, suggesting I stop walking and take a break from the searing sun, sit down with him and his buddies. I’m not sure what the other men thought of this, as no one spoke English, nor uttered much at all, but I was always happy to escape from the piercing sun, hang out in silence, nap the day away.
I end up in quite random situations when I travel, no doubt due to wandering around by myself, staring about cluelessly, looking probably sadder than the assured self I think I am.
Here, I merely turned to face a group of ladies celebrating on a patio, who then beckoned me over, prepared an extra plate, and demanded I join in and share their food. When they saw my camera, I was dragged upstairs to this room... to meet the bride.
I AM THE MOST UNINTENTIONAL WEDDING CRASHER EVER.
21 bus to Lewisham, Boxing Day.
I've never been a fan of London, but thought staying here over the Christmas holidays would be a much more calm affair and possibly win me over. The interesting thing is on actual Christmas Day, the city has absolutely no public transit and is eerily dead, which astonishes me for a place of its size. Nice of them to honour the holidays and force a day off on everyone, but maybe it was too much of what I wanted: I felt so stuck.
Today is another day, though, and I can finally head back out there and explore!
This is the most dignified Ernie!
I truly need to get back into pet portraits again - I no longer foster and my pet-sitting jobs amount to maybe 3 a year: if you want me to hang out with your animals (for casual hangs or actual photo/pet-sitting gigs), I’m serious, call me and let me bask in my selfish happy zone!
The event and documentary world is my safe zone, but as with all photographers, I'm often called upon for a wide range of coverage, but it's specifically portraits that I eschewed for a long time. It was equal parts fear of something new, having to direct, and offending someone personally if they didn't like the photo. But having been around a lot of working photographers of late, and seeing how their subjects often aren't pleased, my internal dialogue has quieted significantly, and I've started walking in with my back straight, knowing when to keep going when something works and stopping when it doesn't. I still have a lot to learn, and though I definitely prefer the event photography path, it's nice to know that I can pull things together when necessary... AND feel good about it.
(And I do feel good about these shots, appearing now on The FADER!)
From the Girls Rock Camp Sony Centre sessions. We only had a quick afternoon to pump these band photos out, which was exacerbated by everyone wanting to be back in time for a pizza party, but these girls were absolute naturals and killed it!
On another note, I wish I had something like this when I was a little girl in rural Ontario, aching to rock out on drums instead of the school-distributed recorder. Such a great program, and I love working with them!
If you have a gal looking for some rock inspiration, check out the "PROGRAMS" section of http://www.girlsrocktoronto.org/ or just come out to the FREE family concerts at Malvern Public Library and ask for more info in person:
NOV 26 Rakkatak
DEC 3 Bonjay
DEC 10 Pantayo
My career as an event photographer was purely accidental and not something I ever planned for, so it boggles no one more than myself that I not only make a living doing this, but have clients that I firmly believe in, like the lovely night I had here with the Canadian Art Foundation.
With a constantly rotating office, interesting talks and education opportunities, and exposure to different people outside of my bubble, I couldn't be more thankful. ❤️
By saying this, too, I often wonder what the next accidental career will be. I'm throwing myself to the wind, world: ready and listening!
Hanging out with alumni of How to Talk to People About Things!
HTTTPAT is one of those "things to do in Toronto" I’ve been hearing about for years, a communications course led by Misha Glouberman of Trampoline Hall/The Chairs Are Where the People Go fame. Considering the most proactive and engaged people I know in this city have gone through the program and still ring its praises (I bumped into four highly intelligent acquaintances/friends this evening), I’d say that’s all the recommendation anyone would need to take it.
Pssst, the next course starts in January and, because of its popularity, will likely sell out. (Heck, I’d join myself if my schedule could commit to all six sessions.) If you want in, head to mishaglouberman.com and sign up!
Watching the crowds roll into the Waterfront Toronto/Sidewalk Labs Town Hall, before a lively, and sometimes heated, discussion on the development proposed for the eastern waterfront and Port Lands. If you’re concerned about Toronto's community, infrastructure, transportation, housing, or industry, and want a say in the city's future, this is the time to speak up: time to flee from personal echo chambers and let them know what you think!
So fun to work the crowds at Boombox, TIFF’s annual fundraising party, held last night at Bell Lightbox -- this year, with a theme, decor, and performances inspired by 1980's FAME.
The most important news of all: proceeds from this year’s event support the wonderful Share Her Journey initiative, “a campaign to increase participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera.” Navigating a largely dude-filled industry myself, I'm all for this.
If you spend any time with me in a park, you'll know one of my favourite past-times is being around dogs. This week, it was a pleasure to hang out with the dear Gary Panter (yes, named after the famed artist). In between bouts of cuddling and ample walking adventures, we even managed to get a few quick photos before he left!
Google/Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, in collaboration with Waterfront Toronto, is developing a major mixed-use innovation district through a smart-city lens along the eastern waterfront/Port Lands. Considering the vast extent of this undeveloped plot of land, right in downtown Toronto, expect BIG changes on the horizon, which will affect jobs, industry, transportation, accommodation, and infrastructure on a sweeping scale. To keep up to date on news and current developments, head to Sidewalk Toronto.
To sit down with Mary and Jen -- a retired Army nurse who served in the Vietnam War and a grief+bereavement therapist, respectively -- is a great reminder of the important things and much-needed inspiration on this Thanksgiving weekend.
As Mary aptly cheered when we clinked our wine glasses, "To everyone who loves us... and to those who don't: to hell with them!"
Happy holiday, Canadian pals.
Historically, the Jewish people have struggled through the centuries, suffering through an extended period of condemnation, crusades, and invasions, culminating in one of the worst human atrocities inflicted by Nazi Germany in Poland, during WWII. Since then, long after the war, being a Jew in Poland was still considered taboo, with survivors often concealing their religious and cultural identity, even from their own children.
In 1990, community members launched a festival of Jewish pride in Kraków; from this as a launching point, and with a fierce determination to tap into lost pride, the Polish Jews were finally granted social permission to take back the identity they'd hidden for so long.
Now, the festival with small beginnings has turned into a huge international event in Kraków, drawing tens of thousands of visitors in Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter of the city, to celebrate the culture and diaspora through workshops, discussions, tours, dance, food, and contemporary music, building community, instilling self-dignity, and never forgetting the historical significance of this land and its people 70 years ago.
This is Overcome the Passive, my document of the Jewish Culture Festival.
I went from two weeks of meditative wanderings to getting off the plane and charging right back into rushed city life/shooting daily for TIFF. And though that's fun, I look back at this photo from Solsbury Hill, England, a couple weeks ago, and all I can think about now is getting far away from people and jammed streetcars and laptop-infested cafes and back to the slower pace again.
My teenage self would be aghast that I'm saying this, but... I'm actually missing small-town life!
I'm in Manchester, finally, and doing as the locals do -- hitting a cozy pub.
Coming to this particular drinking hole, solo, is particularly significant: if the rumours are true, this is the pub Deborah Curtis (wife of Joy Division's Ian) visited on her own in the '70s, but was denied service as it was unbecoming of a woman to be drinking alone.
We've come so far. This is for you, Deborah! ✊️🍻
PS. This shot involved my Fujifilm x100s, the timer, and me running frantically to the other side of the camera -- luckily, I nailed it the first time!