Category Archives: Events

26.11.11 | Cavalcade of Lights

Apologies for the long hiatus.  I aim to get some overdue work up on my blog as 2011 winds down over the week.  Else, the task of getting more photos uploaded will end up taking space on my New Years Resolutions list.

I suppose its appropriate to post about fireworks as Toronto approaches New Year.  On Nov. 26th, Toronto had its annual Cavalcade of Lights event at the Nathan Philips Sq. at City Hall featuring a mixture of performances and the staple fireworks display.

The Square was packed by the time I got there and quite literally had to swim through the crowd.  My efforts to reach a group from the UTSC Shutterbugs, a photography club at the University of Toronto, Scarborough were in vain and shouting through text messages had only distanced my chances.

People who go early are often rewarded and the group of familiar faces were apparently close to the stage but an ocean away from where I was standing at, the entrance.  Knowing the slim chance of weaving my way from one end of the Square the other, I opted to try for the balcony which still had breathing room and offered an elevated perspective which would actually be preferably versus photographing from close to the base of the would be plume of fireworks.

Getting up wasn’t as hard as I thought.  After the first couple of steps, you were literally pushed up the stairs by the shifting currents in the crowd and all that mattered was keeping in step.  Not before long, such moments would also fall into step proving that sometimes, you need not to get to within bouncer distance but that your viewer can see where you stand on a story.

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04.05.11 | Power Unit Conference

I had the pleasure of taking photos of Night It Up last week, Markham’s annual celebration of Asian culture and food with Kevin @ NeueWaveMedia.  The event is runs by a youth group called Power Unit who provide students in high school and university a chance to develop their skills in a business setting through handling day to day operations as well as organizing the many programs and events that are part of the group’s itinerary.

May 04, saw the group at Markham Civic Centre for a press conference to unveil the new look for the Night It Up event as well as its new home.

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and members of Markham council presenting youth group Power Unit
with $5000 to kick start Night It Up 2011.

30.04.11 | Endeavour Training Session II

The consultants at Endeavour reconvened on a Saturday morning for a training session featuring some notable guest speakers including Dr. Zayna Khayat of SECOR, Samuel Heath of OLG and Jim Love from Chelsea Consulting.  While I have little if any awareness of business consulting background besides running a school club, the presentations were definitely informational and pertinent not only in running a business sense but also living everyday life.

I won’t post all of the photos, just a select sample.  From my sporadic and sometimes awkward visits at first, I think most of the attendees accept the prospect of having a photographer present at the meetings.  I try to be discreet as possible but one still has to exercise a certain amount of gymnastics to get the best angles especially on a Saturday morning.

Dr. Zayna Khayat was first up and talked about ‘SOW’ and if I remember correctly, it means Statement of Work.  It is somewhat like a assessment plan or report of what your consulting project will entail/deliver etc.

I admit after having shot a number of Endeavour’s meetings at Metro Hall’s pale green meeting rooms, I’m beginning to enjoy the almost monthly photo sessions.  I’m not a picky photographer in the sense that I must rip down the blinds, put up soft curtains or move everyone to a studio quality space.  I like to work with what is there and for me, its more the moment and a story behind it that counts.

(I think the window light reflecting off the green of the back wall is starting to show in the photos.)  Samuel Heath was the next guest speaker.  One photo not shown is of his motorcycle helmet and one might not guess what this man does at OLG.  While we might throw our toonies with hope at the week’s jackpots, he and others play a large role in deciding were a lot of that revenue goes towards including charities and funding the province’s health care costs.

This was one of the humourous snippet of details I noticed at the meeting.  For a second I thought perhaps getting a lens from Russia was not the best idea but it turns out my lens wasn’t distorted and it was just that the sign was knocked off the wall and the drop cracked the glass and shifted the picture frame.

I’ve always enjoyed listening to Jim Love from Chelsea Consulting.  He approaches the subject matter with both a relaxed and inviting but seriousness manner.  It is never jargon heavy nor overly technical and touches upon the heart of the issue.

Change.  Something that not only businesses have to deal with and certainly with resistance.

19.03.11 | Endeavour EM Orientation

I think I was here last year for Round 7’s Engagement Manager Orientation.  It is interesting to see the differences with the two albums.

To what I observe, the Engagement Manager is the backbone of Endeavour’s efforts as a source for quality consulting for non profit companies.  He or she will lead a team of volunteer consultants to work with selected non profit groups and really turn them around in terms of being a sustainable operation including tighten up logistics, money management, human resources.

Round 8 sees a number of new faces as well as veterans and a new group of non profits on the horizon who need a helping hand.

Here are a couple photos from the orientation event!

18.09.10 | Engagement Manager Orientation

Just had my first shoot for Endeavour, Volunteer Consulting for Non-Profits.  I got the call to shoot on the week of the orientation event iirc and was quite excited despite having a wedding to cover the day after.  The morning was spent in one of the meeting rooms at Toronto’s Metro Hall bringing together managers for a refresher on the realities of the consulting and team management task ahead as consulting projects were set to commence.

Largely, the material does not readily translate or conjur visual images and finding ourselves in one of the many meeting rooms at Metro Hall furnished with gnarly tables and green wallpaper do little for inspiration.

…but I find these types of opportunites are more exciting because they present the kind of challenge where you don’t get the clean backgrounds or the stage lighting yet your objectives remain the same.  In this case, I was given a little more.  I was going to need a little something for the website as well and with that said, the web designer also pointed out, almost with a tinge of disappointment, that no one wears any colour to these meetings.

It was true and what I had going for me shrunk that much more.  On top of that, if anyone stood out more at the meeting, it was me.  Measuring at 5’6″ standing, I was shifting around with two cameras hanging off my shoulders and doing tai chi/orangatang poses behind everyone as they conversed.  If I was going to succeed, I’d have to revert to other means in the photographic repetoire.  Not just timely observation but proactive observation.  I smiled at the remark.

Proactive observation to me is not just observing for patterns but using an anticipated or patterned action/event and by the assumption of its due (re)occurance, I write (compose) my narrative.

I think alot of photographers are aware of just thinking ahead in general but often we get distracted or don’t come with a process or flow in mind so when this kinds of events do occur, we often find ourselves chasing them with our cameras as opposed to being ready for them when they happen.  That’s not to mention if you expand this thinking, at any given point in time, there could be multiple picture opportunities from a variety of perspectives so its not so much being there at the right place and time but being there for the right place and time for your shot.

If you think about your photos before hand, you can not only get better shots, but lower your profile and be more discreet at the same time which is something I think many forgot.  The last thing you want to do is go Hulking over the event to get the perfect shot.

So there you have it, a little snippet into my first day photographing for Endeavour Volunteer Consulting and a bit of the thinking process behind event photography.

Thanks for dropping by and as always I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions!



11.09.10 | Toronto Walk for Muscular Dystrophy

There’s been alot of headway in treating genetic disorders like Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy over the past couple decades where people born with the conditions were overcome by the burdens early on in life.  Advances in medical understanding and patient care have brought about many more years of life for these people.

I was invited to attend and photograph Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s annual Toronto Walk for Muscular Dystrophy.  Many showed up for the charity event from all walks of life bringing stories of courage and determination.  The walk took participants from Cherry Beach into the heart of the Portlands and back out.

(What is a Walk-a-thon without an Abbey Road inspired photograph?)

(the Youth volunteers group shot)