Friday, November 8, 2013

Another Kevin O'Leary Cover Shoot

Ever the brilliant self-promoter I managed to get left out of the picture documenting my own shoot at Kevin O'Leary's fabulous cottage! The much smarter Kevin wanted to tweet about the cover shoot and I wanted to help! So I found a good position to stand and snapped the scene on Kevin's camera.

He tweeted about the surprising amount of time it took us to take, essentially, two pictures. I can usually set up and shoot fairly quickly, but it's amazing how many gorgeous sight lines and lush bits of landscape and architecture do not fit into a book cover layout with specific parameters regarding not just composition but content. And of course the sun kept moving! 

However, I'm proud to say we created two great options. After feeling like the first shot couldn't be topped, and trying numerous spots and set-ups around the property we actually did come up with a great second shot. I, myself, was voting for option 1, which did win in the end. Yay!  The book should be out any day and is the third in the Cold, Hard Truth series.

Can't wait to see the actual book!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jay Onrait ~ Anchorboy

Just  a few days before sportscaster Jay Onrait flew off to LA to start his new career at Fox Sports 1 network hosting their flagship show Fox Sports Live we got to shoot him in my studio for his new book Anchorboy. I think we set a record for highest number of frames shot (by me) for one book cover, without even a wardrobe change. No coaxing or coaching required of this subject AT ALL. Not that I didn't try. But I probably could have just stood there and clicked the shutter and still got what we needed.

Christine Cho, my trusty make-up artist was a super sport and lent her arm, without hesitation, to the cover art. Serendipitously, there were so many great outtakes that Kristine Kwan, Jay's web designer decided to use (with permission, of course) some of them for his new site launched just last week. It's a very fun site which you can see at

Incredibly fun and stress-free shoot. Thanks to HarperCollins Canada! Look for the book in stores Nov. 5, 2013. And good luck Jay!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A tissue...

As a challenge for a personal still life project I wanted to take something inherently ordinary and uninteresting and make it look beautiful and interesting...kleenex! I bought a bunch of boxes of these boring little white squares and went to work. Unfortunately I did such a good job on the flowers (thanks to some instructions I found online and modified) that the one in this image almost looks real...maybe not if you see a larger version of the picture, which you can do at in Portfolio 2, where you can see a few other kleenex transformations as well.

Even more in this case than with the Letters shoot mentioned in my previous post, I got to do what I love: create something really pretty out of not much.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Each year for the past few years I have worked with Martin Finesilver and Mark Smith of Finesilver Design, and Stewart Miller of Ideal Printing to produce a mini-calendar for self-promotional purposes. I am so excited about the images we have created for our 2014 edition that I couldn't wait to share one of my favourites. 

We had thought of using antique letter press wooden block type some time ago, and Martin and I finally found ourselves with just enough time to meet at The Prop Room and see what they had. Really, to use an old and so over-used cliché, we were like kids in a candy store. We hand-picked our own set of the pieces whose texture, coloration, and form stood out to us in particular: little pieces of art-in-waiting. I couldn't wait to get them back to the studio to compose them, and 'dramatize' them on some of my antique wooden surfaces.

The shoot was one of those experiences that really reminded me of why I chose this career in the first place. I love the art we got out of a pile of letters. Sometime in the next couple of months the design and printing will be completed, we'll do the assembly, and pop them into their little organza pouches and I'll get to give them out! Yeah!

Fatal Attraction

I was thinking of calling this one "I just boiled your bunny," but that's just so nasty. Nevertheless, that sentiment pretty much constituted the intended essence of this shot. Probably the hardest part of this shoot was getting the lovely, happy, sweet, real-life couple to look like theirs was more of a fatal attraction than the loving, enthusiastic and positive nicest-people-you-coud-ever-meet one that it actually is. Jason and Elizabeth own and run Artists' Play Dance studio in Leslieville. Their professionalism and energy was fantastic: after working all day running summer camp courses for young dancers, they spent a long night with us enduring my relentless direction to get just the expressions I wanted from them, which they managed with aplomb.

I had the help of a fabulous and dedicated team once again: Christine Cho of Cho Beauty (Hair and Make-up), Keva Legault of Plutino Group (Wardrobe), Marilyn Karamaritis (Art Director), Sara Shirley (Assistant), as well as my team driver and general helper my beautiful husband Ken, all of whom worked into the early morning hours to make this happen. A big thank-you again to super nice guy Tim who let us take over his funky loft for a whole night.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dream Job

We had a super tight timeline and a small crew but we got the shot (as I knew we would) with the compliments of Richard Peddie, former head of "one of the most successful sports franchises in the world." (See the book description at

We were barely finished getting the first shot when skaters started moving onto the rink at the ACC. We were in such a hurry to get to the second set location before our time ran out we hardly realized that our rink time wasn't even technically up yet!

Thanks to planning the lighting and composition as completely as possible, well before we arrived, we got the shots as visualized, in lightning time, even without having been able to scout the location ahead of time. The rink seemed way smaller than I thought it would be once we were actually on it! But that was actually a good thing!


Thank-you Zenporium for allowing us to shoot in your lovely store. The whole team was fascinated with the Coffee Tree Sculptures (made from natural coffee bean trees salvaged from Japanese coffee plantations), Agnieska Tarnawska's Aga Azra line of dream catchers,  and all the fantastic salvaged wood furniture and art. I love my Cahaya Cubes!
Keva Legault (wardrobe), Iman (hair and make-up), and Ross (model and musician) all from Plutino Group, along with assistant Melanie Godecki made this shot possible. Tons of gratitude to a great team!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Robert Herjavec: The Will To Win

My second book cover with Robert Herjavec. One of the most fun photo shoots ever! Great team, great energy. My thanks to make-up artist extraordinaire Christine Cho and my super cool assistant Melanie Godecki. And of course, Lisa Bettencourt and the HarperCollins Canada team.

Cold, Hard Truth On Men, Women & Money

Had the pleasure of working with Terri Nimmo and the team from Random House Canada on Kevin O'Leary's latest book cover. We shot in my studio and had the added fun of hosting the CBC team who were filming a day-in-the-life-of piece on Kevin. Watched the season finale of Dragon's Den last night (Season 7) and there we were! And yes, the secret is out! Kevin O'Leary is a super guy to work with!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tough Guy High Tech Equipment Shoot

Once again I had the most fun opportunity to photograph some high tech gear on a "tough guy" model/stuntman for Eomax, manufacturer of a world leading modular imaging system for military and homeland security applications. Armourer Charles Taylor, weapons specialist to the film industry supplied the uniforms and "extras." I can't wait to do the in situ shots!