22.12.10 | By Divine Right @ The Drake Hotel

Whether its the intimacy of the venue or the vivid stage lighting, indie concerts have always had their draw and on the 22nd of December, I had the chance to visit the Drake Hotel to watch the band By Divine Right along with The Luyas and others.  \

The biggest surprise of the night I think were the Luyas.  They has brought their own stage lighting to add to the set.  While it made things a little more challenging from a photographer’s perspective, it certainly added to the atmosphere.  Stage presence is something that many indie bands tend to hit or miss and with the Luya’s they nailed it with a very fairy like performance by the lead singer and even had the crowd in complete darkness at one point.

Nordic Nomadic

The Skeletones Four

the Luyas

By Divine Right

25.09.10 | Darci & Nathan

Yup, I’ve horribly neglected my blog for a good 3 months and here I am kicking in the new season and there’s a pile of photographs yet to be posted.  I spent the better part of the autumn and winter overseas and to places even where WordPress was not accessible.

Back in Canada, I’ve already back in the game, two cameras blazing.

Here’s a couple photos from Darci & Nathan’s wedding whom I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing on the 25th of Sept last year.

Proud parents!

I now pronounce you Husband and Wife!

Bubbles of fun during the afternoon gathering.

19.09.10 | Alicia & Sana

I think one of the biggest nightmares for any couple to be is transportation, especially of a wedding out of town.  Not only do the big stars of the night need their limo, but so do the guests and all the party essentials, gifts, etc…arriving in chrome or not.

The day starts off for a number of guests, my assistant Jessica and myself in Mornelle Court to await our ticket out to the quiet rolling greenery of London, Ont.  The attendance checks off slow at first and ended up quite late which caused a bit of concern I’m sure on both ends but as guests started trickling in, the worry eased off and the bus roared off for London.  Many of the guests were from the community camp that the couple ran and all were abuzz to see the wedding.

I don’t think I’ve ever been in a situation of such uncertainty before but I think its all part of the wedding process where so many things are happening and as a contractor, your involvement may not always start or remain alongside the wedding planning process.

Suprisingly traffic was light and our awesome bus driver actually made it to the location with time to spare.  The wedding ceremonies were held at the Dowding Water Gardens about 15-20 mins west of London.  It’s a small venue surrounded by long fields of corn and other plantations.  One of the things that caught my eye was the setup of the water garden which you’ll see later on.  Its quite a treat to look.

A better view of the water gardens in the main area can been see here.  Its a very tranquil sight although the centre island didn’t leave much room during the signing of the marriage documents.

You are probably wondering where the shot of the first kiss is and yes I do have it but I’ve got something better to show you so keep scrolling!

Traditional Indian cermonies were done afterwards including blessings and gifts from the parents.

A word of Grace before dinner.

ah yes, the first dance!

Clouds were an on and off basis throughout the entire wedding ceremony outdoors and once evening settled in and everyone headed for the tent, lighting was a more constant affair.  So to that extent, I felt it was better to show you this photo which looked far more romantic!

and last but not least…

Jessica, photographer number two for the day. (Thanks for coming out!)

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!

Pete,

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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)

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