A new discovery on every page, the smell of the ink, the choice of paper… these are things to experience and celebrate.
I have photographed many covers for Today's Parent Magazine. They are less about photography really and all about a melding of talents; the stylist, hair & make-up person, art director, assistant and largely, the child. This little girl was exceptional and really the most fun we've had to date. We had many favorite images and with great difficulty, chose this one that sparkled a little bit better than all the rest.
Hey Diddle Diddle...
Another great rag to work for was Toronto Magazine, out of The Globe and Mail. For this cover, they had Joanne Kates review all the high end restaurants in Toronto to eat with your family, in other words, kid friendly. Once again, many talented people were on hand to make this happen. Joanne and her daughter wore beautiful masks created by our mask maker, the background was painted specifically to tie in with the wonderful propping and we composed the image very carefully, lit it and used just enough focus to lead your eye into the shot across all the tasty food.
Jane was one of the greats in the Toronto fashion scene and left us way too soon, a victim of cancer. She was smart, sassy, nobody's fool. The day I photographed her she was playful and willing to kick up her heels, showing us her great set of gams. She was a classy individual at work or play and she is missed. Shot for Flare Magazine
A classic children's story brought to screen and featuring two of Canada's mainstays in the acting community, Jayne Eastwood and Sean McCann. I have worked with them many times in film but this was my first time for editorial. While many actors shy away from the still frame or see it as a necessary evil, these pros had fun with it and we made some great images
You Always Remember Your First...
T.O. Magazine was a little gem that gave many emerging artists their start in the late eighties. This was largely due to Manuel Rodenkirchen, the creative director. He was opinionated, quirky, mercurial, funny, sentimental, talented and wonderful. He gave me my first editorial page, my first cover and taught me many valuable lessons in how to deal with clients that I use to this day. One of a kind, the magazine only lasted a few years but it was a springboard to other magazines, ad agencies and opportunities to play with ideas, lighting, and composition.
Inside the CN Tower
On assignment for T.O. Magazine's "A Day In The Life of T.O." I found myself hanging over the edge of the biggest doughnut section of the C.N. Tower, photographing the man who looks after what was then the world's tallest building, inside and out. Using a fisheye lens to show from the top to the ground, I was held in place by my story editor grabbing firmly on to my belt. When finished, our man Ken ( I think ) suggested we shoot the inside too. "You mean it is hollow?" we asked in surprise. Sure he said and here is the proof for all of you to see. I found hanging in a basket taking this shot much more frightening than when I was outside. Being a manly man and Canadian, when leaving I asked if I could spit. Everyone asks that he said.
Working With Mr. Dressup
I have had the honour of working with many celebrities but have to say one of my favourites and the one I was most excited to be with was Ernie Coombs, adored my so many Canadians as Mr. Dressup. He was warm, gracious and very modest. Despite the entire editorial teams clear adoration, he just was himself, the man we all grew up with. This cover launched a brand new concept in magazines at the time and was hoping to capitalize on a new demographic, grandparents and the aging of the baby boomers. Old hat now, it was innovative at the time and sadly did not last. For this first cover though, I had to really nail it, so the pressure was on. Ernie's granddaughter was not warming up to me during the shoot and I was clearly going down in flames. Recognizing this, Ernie whispered something in her ear at which point she gave me the most beautiful smiles and within a few rolls, we had the image. Much relieved, I thanked them all and quietly taking Ernie aside, I asked him what he said to help me out. Ernie chuckled and said that he asked her to think of what happens when they feed the dog cheese... she farts!
Photographers are often asked to make an image based on another image that the art director has seen. I once was asked to make a cosmetic image look like a Clinique ad shot by Irving Penn! Obviously there is a fine line between influence and copyright. In this case however, the client asked me to shoot a cover when I was already shooting covers for Today's Parent Magazine. Today's Parent was a very loyal client and I did not want to lose them so I had to be sure that when I shot, I stuck to my style at the time without exactly reproducing what I did elsewhere. This was the result.
Can you imagine a store that only sells ribbon? Talk about a niche market. Mind you, Mokuba's store is incredible and if you need a ribbon, they have thousands to choose from. A very cool place on Queen West in Toronto and a fitting model for the cover of Canadian Retailer Magazine.