I was given the fantastic opportunity to photograph Ian Ball, who was the preseident of McEwen Mining at the time of the photoshoot, for Ryerson Magazine. Ball admits he was never the perfect student in high school but decided that that needed to change during his time at Ryerson University. I was only given 30 minutes of face time with the “golden boy of mining” and I was anxious to say the least. The shortness of time was a first for me but I was prepared and already had a vision in mind.
I wanted to create an image that reflected Ian as an individual and that would also illustrate his new position within the metal industry. I decided on an aesthetic that was slightly darker, that had a medium contrast, and was dramatic, and that it would be reminiscent of not just the metal industry but also mines themselves.
I used a beauty dish as my main light, giving my subject a beautiful, even glow, while the Photoflex medium strip box was used as a backlight, offering a nice edge light. Keeping the grid on the Photoflex prevented light from spilling onto the background, maintaining the moody atmosphere. Although the time allotted only allowed for one lighting setup, the shoot was surprisingly completed with 5 minutes to spare!
The photoshoot was a great success and Ian was more than pleased. Each person on the team received a McEwen silver coin as a memento to keep (or to auction off to the highest bidder). I especially thank Wendy and Colleen for the wonderful opportunity and art direction.
I had the opportunity for one such experience when I teamed up with Allen from Y+R and Elizabeth from Leo Burnett to try our hand at the National Advertising Awards. The NAA are all about challenge, the challenge of competition and challenging the status quo. But at the heart of it, they are about innovation and creation.
To be able to work on this project was an honor and a privilege, and to everyone who took part, thank you so much. We could not have done this without you. In the photographic industry, and in fact, in most industries, you are ruled by deadlines. The NAA are no different. All entrants are given a month to complete their work, but we started the project with just five days until the deadline for submission. It took some team work, and a lot of caffeine, but we made it through.
The shoot went fantastically. We finished in only 6 hours, a time that, Allen commented, was one of the shortest shoots he’s been on. Despite our best efforts, we were not nominated for an award. However, the category we submitted for, “Crystal Light” did not have a winner, so perhaps we were all just too good. In the end, we are proud of what we produced. Not only did we create a beautiful image, but we also formed new friendships.
Lastly, special thanks to Andrew Hiorth for letting us use his studio, and Thomas D. for digital enhancement.
The Award Hungry Photographer list, which is already available on the Jorgen’s List website, is a directory of talented Toronto photographers who are ready and willing to pro-actively collaborate on creative projects with individuals in advertising. The list is going to be a way for creative people in advertising to get in touch with the photographers to discuss their ideas/pitches and allow those ideas to develop–hopefully into something great.
I’m very proud I had a role in helping to inspire this new project of Jorgen’s and I’m honoured to be one of the six founding members. I’m grateful to Jorgen for believing in me and I’m optimistic that the Award Hungry Photographer list will lead to something fantastic in the future. If you’re a photographer yourself, and you think you belong on this list as well, don’t be shy to get in contact with Jorgen.
Some fantastic news: At the moment, I am feeling very blessed and fortunate to have earned a feature on Photoflex’s website. This is a company which has been around since 1985 and is well known for their lighting modifiers. In the course of my work, I have greatly enjoyed using their reflectors and softboxes. I find their affordable pricing and good solid quality agreeable.
Recently I was invited to be one of the few Photoflex Canadian Ambassadors on their site. In addition to having my own Pro Showcase page, I am currently featured on the cover photo of their front page. In the near future, I will have the opportunity to test out their new products and provide behind-the-scenes insight form my shoots with Photoflex products. So, check out their site and keep checking back for my upcoming posts.
I was super surprised to learn that I was recently mentioned on PictureCorrect (www.picturecorrect.com). This website is a great resource for wide range of photography setup tips. They featured the behind-the-scenes video and process that I did for my Kung Fu splash photoshoot (Photos here).
As a result of the mention, I am getting some positive responses from people across the world. I am very grateful for the article and so glad that my hard work was noticed. Thank you very much to Tiffany M. at PictureCorrect.com for the write-up.
The Eyeopener is Ryerson’s largest and independent student-run newspaper that is strongly committed in covering news, sports, arts, culture and business for students on campus. This year, Sean Wetselaar, Arts and Life editor of the Eyeopener, dedicated a number of pages to feature the top 10 artists in the Ryerson community so that we can “celebrate” rather to marginalize their talents. As Wetselaar said, “Justifying a degree in your life’s greatest passion can seem a lot harder than it should be” and I am thankful that I can be practicing and studying what I love.
The Eyeopener had an open-call for nomination in the community and selected students from a wide range of Ryerson’s best programs. I was very fortunate to be among one of the top 10 artists and was featured along with fashion designers, new media artists and even upcoming actors in the theatre program.
The Applied Arts Magazine is Canada’s visual communications magazine that recognizes the talent of high caliber Canadian artists. For two decades, the Applied Arts Awards has invited highly regarded industry professionals to judge the contest in several categories, and has been regarded as are one of the industry’s most prestigious recognitions of creative excellence.
In the December issue for students, I was fortunate enough to be featured with 2 awards. With a 33% increase in entries for the December issue, the industry demonstrates to become more competitive and that there is a large number of emerging artists in the visual communications industry. With graduation only 2 months away, I am getting excited to launch my career in this dynamic field of photography.
The following are my winning images:
Category: Photography – Single
Title: Chinese Funeral
“The white funeral outfit symbolizes sadness in the Chinese culture. Paper gadgets are burned to deliver them to the deceased in the dark world. The note offerings, a rectangular white piece of paper with three circles in the center, are scattered in the air to bless the deceased to have a smooth journey to the dark world.”
Category: Photography – Series
Title: Kung Fu
“The main purpose of this series is to capture the graceful and dynamic movements of the Chinese martial arts. Kung Fu incorporates qualities such as flexibility, internal and external strength, speed, stamina, balance and coordination. With the use of water, a multi-faceted element, these qualities can be illustrated. Water enhances the demonstration of the momentums and power of the martial art moves as well as the internal strength of the fighters.”
It’s November and I’ve finally reached to my fourth year in university, ready to push my career to new heights. As I continue to grow as an emerging artist and photographer, I continue to submit my work to photography competitions to recognize my accomplishments.
The International Photography Awards celebrates the achievement of the world’s finest photographer and conducts an annual competition for professional, non- professional, and student photographers on a global scale.
I was awarded 2nd place in Advertising : Other_Ad Non-Pro
and 3rd place in Fine Art : Still Life Non-Pro
In addition, I would be featured in the Annual International Photography Awards Book, featuring all the top 3 winners in all the categories in a high-quality, full-color, hardcover book. I am so excited for it to come out and retain a copy!