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!)
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!
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
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.
The folks behind Girls Rock Camp Toronto launched their inaugural Rock Camp for Grownups at the Tranzac last month. Kudos to all of these amazing ladies for going with the flow and being absolute naturals in front of the camera!
Sigh. I credit Bar Volo and its annual event Cask Days for first challenging my tastebuds, introducing me to decent beer, and being consistently warm, welcoming, trusting, and fun to work with.
Alas, all nice things come to an end: Volo closes its doors for good tonight, making way for another condo development at Yonge and Dundonald. (grumble) And though it will be great to hang at the new Birreria on College and the upcoming iteration of Volo on Church, this joint is considered an institution and will be missed by many in the community.
Farewell, Volo! Wish you a good hangover tomorrow.
I gave the man a whack of U.S. dollar bills. As in most countries that accept American currency, I was expecting a quick exchange, a flip through the stack of 20, a swift writing of a receipt, and bam, I’d be free to explore. But instead came an examination that seemed more thorough than my last dental appointment, and with the particular anxiety that comes with that.
There were two other Peruvians hovering over him, silently supervising, as the man held each bill up in the air, flipped it around, eyed every corner, and gently placed it back down on the counter as if it was the Queen’s specially designed Burmese ruby tiara.
This took a while. And as I was about ready to nod off, the man suddenly broke his silence. “Hay un otro?” he asked, pointing to my wallet. Now, I don’t know much about counterfeit money, but this particular twenty looked legit to me and so I tried to question his decision as best I could in my flaw-filled Spanish. However, I quickly learned that my North American opinion had no sway here, as the minuscule tear, right below the second “T” at the bottom of the bill, had the final say. (You can see for yourself, if you squint ever so slightly.)
What I didn’t know is that I am in U.S. Counterfeit Dollar Ground Zero. The Secret Service, in fact, has named Peru the top producer of counterfeit American currency, a business touted as more profitable than cocaine in some reports. And apparently, they’re really good at it, at first glance. So far, the counterfeit bills are made with a paper that seems legit, but deteriorates easily when exposed to water, which may explain why my precious bill, with its ever-so-tiny flaw, was equivalent to a box of nail clippings. There was no reason for me to question further. This was in the hands of a country that knows how much power (or lack of) the currency holds.
$20 poorer than before (at least here), my budget for the week is slightly mangled. Guess I’ll have an ice cream cone for dinner.
I left my home a good 24 hours and four flights ago, and I’ve finally landed in Iquitos, the largest city in the world not accessible by road. This, combined with the fact that it’s warm year-round means that there are more motorcycles and barely any cars. And though hip, urban kids may approve, the constant rumbling of the engines catapults it to the level of The Noisiest City not accessible by road.
Despite this, I love the colours, I love the action, and maybe after I catch up on some sleep, I look forward to exploring what seems like a magical (yet cacophonous) place.