Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Mini-Calendar

For the fourth year in a row I was very fortunate to be able to collaborate with the team at Finesilver Design and Communications to produce a self-promotional mini-calendar. Based around the artistic theme of simplicity and the human body, the photography features images of a woman's body which I shot in studio using a hand held light source. One of my favourite lighting techniques, it is obviously more appropriate for some types of photography than others, but when it does work, it allows me to paint what I want to capture, which hopefully results in impressions that are just a little different from what could be achieved with traditional fixed lights.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Woodgreen Annual Report

For their 75th Anniversary Woodgreen Community Services in Toronto wanted to say thank-you to it's 600+ staff members by featuring photos of them in the anniversary edition annual report. Their question to me, can you do a group photograph of 600+ people? The solution after some discussion around logistics, staff availability, etc.: individual portraits. Wendy Gray of Gravity Inc., the design firm responsible for Woodgreen's Annual Report(s) had small portable backdrops made in the official Woodgreen corporate colours and we proceeded to plan and execute multiple mini-shoots at the various Woodgreen locations around Toronto until we had photographed every staff member who actually wanted to be photographed and included in the annual. As we could not be sure as we went along exactly how many people would show up on each photo day we kept a running count of the number of people photographed against each colour, so we could change backgrounds on the fly to ensure approximately even numbers of portraits with each colour.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Applied Arts Magazine ~ Art Works

In October 2012 I was invited by artist and publisher Georges Haroutiun, founder of Applied Arts Magazine, "Canada's premier magazine of visual communications," to join a select group of artists participating in a new venture for his long established online marketplace called Art Works, specifically the exclusive gallery for Limited Edition prints ~  It's an exciting new venture for the magazine, and for the artists showcased. Thank-you Georges!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still afraid of horses...

Morning Round Up at Willow Lane Ranch

There are rational fears, and irrational fears. After seeing Jaws in 1975 starring Bruce the mechanical shark, I was overcome with the fear of (swimming in) oceans, not really rational, but in order to be able to see and photograph underwater I got over it, to the extent of becoming a certified Divemaster, and even night diving at Cocos Island, also known as the "Island of the Sharks". 

This has little to do with the subject of this blog entry other than the part about irrational fear, and the timing of the onset of that fear. Because sometime around the time I saw Jaws I also made my almost first and certainly last (until now) attempt at riding a horse. It took off, with me on it, out of control. I was terrified and that fear never went away. 

Cut to 2012.  My friend Diane Hash, recently fully certified as an Equine Massage Therapist invites me to join her husband country music writer Joe Hash on a guest ranch in the foothills of Alberta to do some photography for her website. My reaction: what a great opportunity to get over irrational animal based fear #2 (not really the complete mental narrative, but the only important part)!

Because of the excessive rainfall this year, the grass is greener than Joe and Di remember seeing it in all the years they've stayed here, and the horses have been pigging out. And I am thrilled because the landscape is so vibrant! There are wildflowers, green, green grass and blue, blue sky with ever changing puffy white clouds all around us.

Keith and LeAnne Lane have been running this guest ranch for long enough that they are starting to cut way back on the number of weeks per year they are taking guests. I am so lucky to have got in before it's too about a memorable week! For me, sort of like Outward Bound, but on a horse. 

In a nutshell, Keith did his level best to teach me to ride, LeAnne made the best home made food I have possibly ever had (I will never forget the cheese popovers, or the chocolate pudding cake), and I did my best to figure out ways to take creative, interesting and pleasing pictures while trying to hold the reins as instructed, loosely and lightly crossed, in one hand and my camera in the other. This resulted in my falling off, extremely ungracefully, on two different occasions (from two different horses) but I got the shots I wanted! 

While, ultimately, I ended up pretty much every bit as afraid of horses as I was before, maybe even more afraid (I hadn't realized how easy it is to fall off!), on some level I actually deeply enjoyed pretending to be a cowgirl. I even managed to do my part (a bit) and contribute to the the cattle moving...I successfully convinced my horse "Donkey" to go where I needed him to go to stop a calf from making a break for it during a round up. (I admit I put my camera away to do that.)

End of the day at Beaver Creek

So yes, oddly enough, I find some strangely affected part of my brain desperately looking forward to riding again. I won't be doing that, though. Unless someone needs me to get a picture of, or from, a horse. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Boiling Hot at Bazay Blacksmithing

Detail from portrait of Steve Bazay

In June 2012, the day before the longest day of the year, I met Steve Bazay of Bazay Blacksmithing at his shop on Sunrise Avenue in Toronto to make this portrait. While we waited, seemingly forever, for the sun to set (I needed darkness to shoot), Steve fired up his coal forge. It didn't take long for the forge to reach its operating temperature of approximately 3000 degrees F. By some slightly unfortunate coincidence that day turned out to be the hottest day of the month, and one of the hottest of an unusually hot summer. Steve was supposedly used to the heat, but still moved out of position between every frame (adding to my challenge given that the final shot was made of of multiple combined portions of different frames, so he wasn't supposed to move). And I, the one who almost never goes out without a sweater, was as warm as I can remember being on a set, or anywhere else.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Horses and Massage Therapy

I recently had the fascinating pleasure of photographing my friend Registered Equine  Massage Therapist Diane Hash as she worked on a horse at a guest ranch in Alberta (more on the trip in my next post). Based in Toronto, Diane has been amassing professional experience in locations from Ontario to Kentucky since she became fully certified last year.

We were so busy riding and eating and hot-tubbing, and riding some more, that we almost ran out of time for this mini-shoot in the barn. Thankfully, the weather cooperated beautifully, after a couple of very windy days, and Diane was able to do a short therapy session on this seemingly very pleased horse, while I took advantage of the indirect sun softly streaming in and reflecting off the golden barn wood. We didn't want to startle the horse with flash, so Diane had to move her patient around repeatedly, at my request, to best take advantage of the natural light. By the end of the shoot we had accidentally achieved the glowy effect of a smoke machine (which I always love), with the sunlight dancing through the particles kicked up from the soft barn floor cover. Thankfully, Diane was pretty much done by the time the 'glow' became too much for us, and my not very well protected gear.

Diane is in the process of redesigning her website, so, soon some of our images from this shoot and others will appear on it. In the meantime, if you or someone you know may be interested in what Diane can bring to your/their horses' health care you can read more about her and what she does at

Monday, June 11, 2012

David Trattles Environmental Portrait

Detail from Portrait of David Trattles ©K Hollinrake 2012

Dave is one of those guys who kind of flies under the radar....a friend of a friend...I kind of know him but not really. I know he is a photographer, I’ve seen a  few pieces, really great pieces, actually, but I don’t really know what he does day to day...until one day...a friend mentions his space...comes up in conversation somehow, and my photo locator starts beeping. So I call him up and he invites me to come over, and OMG. I discover the most fascinating guy, and this jam packed little treasure trove he lives and works in when he is actually in Toronto.

Dave is a collector. Everything in his space is found. I ask him what compels him to acquire these objects and he says they all have some kind of social significance, or are simply beautiful to being in the eye of the beholder...and what an eye he has. Which brings me back to his work. He shows me a poster, which you can see  off to his right in my shot. He printed this poster, one of about 4,000, himself, on an offset press in India, a giant, really old press that was shipped over from England, and has now been dismantled. It was the size of a room. The posters...Dave plastered the posters all over Calcutta to invite people to his exhibit...The Boxing Ladies. The poster pictured here has been signed, Dave points out, by the Hrithek Roshan the actor (look him up...he’s big). Dave shows me the catalogue for The Boxing Ladies. He wrote the essay accompanying the images. He is a writer. The images, and the story are spellbinding. I want people to know about this. But the prints, all of them, remain in India, because, somehow, for Dave, that is where they belong. And here, he has this one catalogue, in a ziplock bag.

Above and behind Dave’s left shoulder in my picture, is a poster he wanted me to include. It wasn’t actually there when I did the shot, so I had to add it in later. But it was important to him, because it depicts the bicycle on which he rode around India, over 10,000 km cumulatively, over four visits. He’s going back. And you can go with him....just go to for all the details. You’ve got until the end of January 2013 to pack.

Dave is currently working on a book, to be published in Germany, to go along with an exhibit entitled The German Rodeo. Two images from this series reside on the wall of another photographer friend’s studio and they are sublime. These are the images I think of when I think of Dave. He shows me some of the images for the in progress. They are the kinds of images that inspire me and tinge me with a brief cloud of hopelessness (mine) in the same beautiful. The exhibit, and the book, will be available in Germany.

I hope you’ll go to Dave’s website and check out some of his work...not the greatest self-promoter...too busy being the artist that he is. He does have commercial and editorial clients, lucky for them. But since I’m pretty sure he’s not going to call you to tell you about himself, I’ll just include a link here because people are missing out!

And of course, if you need images that look like this one, then call me.

P.S. I showed Dave what I wrote about him to make sure he was O.K. with it and he showed me these (below). These are for sale, in Canada. They are posters advertising the German Rodeo show, made the same way he made the Boxing Ladies posters, on that big press. It took him weeks to make should hear the story. You can get them folded or flat...I kind of like the ones with folds pictured here. Call him if you want one. They are fantastic.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hollinrake Portfolio PDF Available

Yes, the images on my website are really small. We had our reasons. Would you like to see them way bigger? Please contact me at the studio by e-mail or by phone at 416 465-8280. I'd be happy to send you a PDF version of my book. And if you can give me a little bit of direction in terms of the kind of images you're interested in I can even customize it for you before sending.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cat Island, The Bahamas

My family and I spent March Break this year at a secluded little resort called Pigeon Cay on Cat Island in the Bahamas  For just over a week we lived in the Casuarina cottage named for the casuarina evergreen trees abundant along the coast. The cottages are beautifully individually decorated with Mexican tiles, and other appealing details, each one unique and quaint. There is always a breeze on the island if not an outright wind, the result of which is a sound incongruously reminiscent of the wind one hears while hiking in the Canadian Rockies. I spent a little time on our trip attempting to depict the ceaseless wind photographically. 

View out front of the cottages showing casuarina trees in the wind: 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Step Into Health!

I haven't seen them yet but Toronto Public Health's Chronic Disease Prevention Program is producing posters and various collateral materials in support of their Step Into Health initiative encouraging people to "step into health" by taking the stairs. We spent a challenging day on a tight schedule shooting several models taking the stairs in multiple locations within the beautifully designed CNIB building on Bayview. Prior to the shoot day when location scouting we had to laugh when a group of employees in another building whose staircases we were checking out called out to the site manager that they wanted an elevator put in ASAP so they wouldn't have to keep using the stairs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SNAP! 2012

I am very excited to be one of the photo-based artists whose work has been selected for  SNAP! 2012's Live Auction.  SNAP! is the highly regarded and anticipated annual photographic fundraiser for the Aids Committee of Toronto which takes place at Canada's National Ballet School, 400 Jarvis Street, this year on March 25, 2012. The distinguished curatorial team responsible for selecting the work to be auctioned includes the likes of MaryAnn Camilleri of the Magenta Foundation, Melissa LaVallee from the Stephen Bulger Gallery and SNAP! 2012 Live Auction Chair and artist Russell Brohier. Auctioneers include Perry Tung and Andrea Zeifman, and host Maggie Cassella. For more information and tickets to this Live and Silent Auction Gala Event see the SNAP! 2012 website. It is a really fantastic event! I can't wait! (P.S. The piece shown here is my donation....called "JD," it is 24x36 inches in size and is a one-off original photo-painting, ie.: digital photo panels, with layers of paint and encaustic on board.)

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Calendar for 2012

This past fall I had, once again, the very great pleasure of working with Finesilver Design on a mini- limited edition calendar, this time, of course, for 2012. Our theme was, essentially, attention to detail, a concept dear to my heart. We also decided to make the images black and white, allowing me to revisit, via the creation of a whole series of images, that initial joy many a photographer will have shared when they first created photographic art by simply removing the encumbering presence of colour. 

The image of the rosary above did not make it into the calendar. But I couldn't resist photographing this delicate and detailed artifact which I found at Toronto's Sunday Antique Market in St. Lawrence Nighbourhood's north market. It was a fun and  interesting exercise finding and photographing objects that spoke to the theme, and then going through our respective processes of elimination.

Finesilver Design and I have limited numbers of the calendars in two slightly different designs, and with not entirely the same sets of images, for interested clients. If I have not already sent you one and you are interested please let me know.

Happy 2012!

Davis Canadian Arts

In 2011 I was thrilled to be added to the roster of artists exhibiting with John and Yolanda Davis at their new gallery/boutique in Stratford, Ontario. This year I am excited to have had a number of my new photo encaustic pieces taken on for exhibit and sale at their well established main gallery, Davis Canadian Arts. Located at 106 Ontario Street, in the heart of Stratford Ontario  (phone 519 275-3373) Davis Canadian Arts is filled with a broad range of high quality art by creators from across the county.

In A Heartbeat Gallery

In the whimsical little artists' town of Eden Mills, Ontario there is a beautiful old stone home, built around 1860, that has been lovingly transformed into an art gallery by owner/curator Michael Coull. Over the past few years Micheal has collected together a number of pieces from different bodies of my personal art work for exhibit and sale along with the eclectic and inspiring collections of a number of other artists' works in disciplines from jewellery, to pottery, to sculpture, painting and drawing. Recently I was able to add to that collection two of my favourite encaustic photo paintings from 2011. Please check with Michael for gallery hours. And let me know if you go!