Regal Flo

Though I'm head over heels passionate about fine art, I love capturing real people and find the challenges there different and enjoyable than what I normally do. This past Saturday I hung out with Toronto rapper Michael also known as Real Regal. We met in the neighbourhood where he grew up, as he wanted the photo session to capture his beginnings. Learning about his past and hearing his stories made me contemplate on how radically different our ideas of Toronto are. I really enjoyed his company and love the images that came out of our session. Here are a few :) 

A feeling that has been boiling in me since the age of 15, and only when I read this book could I identify the feeling truly for what it was. 

”I’d like to repeat the advise I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from out encounters with new experiences, and hence there is not greater joy than to have endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.”

Excerpt from Christopher Johnson McCandless to a friend, taken from “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer


A session with Brittany

I had a session with Brittany this week, a 15 year old girl who is lightyears ahead of her time. I wanted to capture light hearted, spiritual, and beautiful photos that weren't dark (like my typical images). Here are some of my favourite :)    

An underwater study

I met Tara Beier a couple of months ago when I was shooting behind the scenes photos for a gothic horror film. Since then she's modelled for me a few times and it's been an absolute pleasure.... I'd much rather develop a relationship with a model and have them reappear in my images, then scouting for different models constantly. I absolutely love working with her and am so happy to have met her!

I've been shooting a lot of underwater photos lately, and wanted to shoot in a lake as opposed to a pool to get that added murky feel. Underwater modelling is extremely difficult, so I knew Tara was the perfect person to ask as she's from Vancouver and has grown up in the water. She's great at posing underwater for longer periods of time (I can't do it for more than 5 seconds!) while maintaining a calm and serene look on her face... Try it, it's really difficult!! 

We drove an hour north of Toronto to my boyfriend's cottage (absolute dream of a place) and poured our creativity out until we were exhausted (although I think the heat may have gotten to me first :P ). 

If you're interested in shooting underwater here are five quick tips that will make your life easier: 

  1. It's really hard seeing what you're really capturing underwater. Don't fret over it. Just enjoy the moment, try to think as logically as you can about everything that CAN be controlled like composition. Be creative and worry about the end results later once you upload them on your computer.
  2. Don't put your camera on manual because it's hard to change your settings once it's in the bag. I put my camera on aperature priority.
  3. Different fabrics reflect light differently, and ultimately have different feels to them.
  4. Use a wide lens.
  5. If you're shooting in a lake or murky water, then the more shallow the water is, the more likely there's algae or other stuff floating everywhere... Be mindful of that because, as you will be able to tell in my photos below, there are soo many "dots" everywhere. I didn't want that :P My advice: shoot somewhere deeper (be safe!)

Shooting underwater is addictive and risky. I bought a DICAPAC bag which so far has been great, but ultimately it's like a heavy duty dry bag for a camera...that's made out of plastic. One crack or tear and your camera can be exposed to water....lots of water! There's a lot of things I would change but I'm happy with it only because of its affordability - it cost me appx. $120 whereas other underwater protection costs over a grand. 

This is my first underwater series, simply titled "An Underwater Study". I wanted it to be feminine but dark, anonymous but recognizable, about movement and colour. Tara wore a gorgeous dress by Ann Taylor, purchased at a thrift shop :)