Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cornerstone Physiotherapy

Joon Nah - Founder, Cornerstone Physiotherapy

One of my new favourite people in the world, Joon Nah is one of the two founders of Cornerstone Physiotherapy conveniently located near Yonge and Carlton in downtown Toronto. Turns out I am not the only photographer to have suffered some damage from years of lugging heavy equipment around and standing in weird and body stressing positions to get the shot I want, not to mention the whole sitting at a desk retouching for hours on end part of the job, which apparently is really not good for you either.

My husband (who can now play golf again...at least it's physically possible) had raved about his experience with Joon, and thus, during a particular period of unrelenting pain I called and made an appointment. As I type this from my fabulous new ergonomic chair (who knew what you sit on could matter so much?!), I am struck by the relative lack of pain compared to a few months ago. Must remember not to sit here for such long stretches, though...excuse me a sec...

O.K., I'm back...

I wouldn't have known what to expect, never before having been to a physiotherapy clinic, but apparently I totally lucked out. Not only was the ambiance bright, warm, friendly, professional and calmly energetic, but the staff was, conveniently, in need of new headshots for their website. Joon knew right away he wanted environmental portraits (as opposed to a flat, more conservative, corporate backdrop) which would be more in keeping with the clinic's personality. I am a big fan of environmental portraits when they make sense. There's a sense of depth achievable with a hint of an out of focus room that simply isn't with a piece of fabric.

So, I got to meet almost all of them. What a super nice bunch of people! When I heard they were actively searching for a new office manager I actually fantasized briefly about how nice it would be to wake up and go to work there every day. I shot only the "Our Team" photos on the Cornerstone website as the rest of the site was already complete. As always, not everyone could be there on the day, so we may be doing a make-up date at some point. But if you go to their site before that, see how quickly you can spot the one portrait that doesn't quite match.

And now, time to do my exercises again!  I'm sure the motivation to do my 'homework' is enhanced by the feeling, in the face of such generosity and commitment, that failure to do it would amount to nothing less than total betrayal of someone who really deserves compliance!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My New Portfolio!

During the last some-period-of-time I finally stopped showing my old portfolio which one 'friend' lovingly said looked like a 'crypt,' and I started showing my book on an iPad. Great as that worked in some ways, the limitations became obvious, pretty much instantly, so I am excited to announce the publication of my new hard bound portfolio. Such was the combination of my vast technical knowledge (amassed over the past 30 years spent learning my craft) and the handy online tutorials of which I availed myself, that although this was my first personal foray into custom CMYK conversions, it appears that I got them right! (Usually I leave the prepress to my expert partners and will continue to do so...don't you worry!). Anyway, woohoo! Please e-mail me if you'd like to see it!

Hurricane Hazel by the Hurricane Herself!

 This was another cover shoot I was really excited about. A political icon, at least in this part of the world, Mayor Hazel McCallion is 93 years old and has been the Mayor of Mississauga for 36 years. The list of her accomplishments and contributions is really, really, really long. She has been voted the second most popular mayor in the WORLD. And the thought of the knowledge, experience and wisdom she has amassed during so many years in a high profile, highly demanding job, as well as so many years of life, while remaining whip sharp, strong and committed to this day, is kind of overwhelming to contemplate. I'm in awe. But I had a job to do the day of the shoot, so as impressed as I was (and am) I had to focus on the task!

This shoot was yet another occasion upon which I was vindicated for almost always being the uncool first one at the party. We were told we would have exactly one hour to set up, do hair and make-up, shoot and tear down. That sounded challenging, but doable to me until I found out that the editor wanted variations. There wasn't an opportunity to scout the Mayor's office (thankfully I had, at least, snapshots to look at), but I did make a test trip just to figure out the logistics of parking, unloading gear and getting it to the right place as efficiently as possible. We also asked if we could come early to set-up. Yes, half an hour. So we arrived closer to an hour early and very politely asked if we might be able to start early, if the Mayor was not in her office anyway. As I suspected, she was not, so we got in!

Once Mayor McCallion arrived, we asked if she would mind sitting down with our make-up artist Christine Cho, and she agreed without hesitation. There had been some question as to whether we'd even be allowed to do make-up but we came prepared, and Christine set-up in Her Worship's spacious bathroom. We set up in the office as planned. Christine did a fast and really lovely job, and we did the shoot. 

We even had time to do a second set-up in another room.

More about this book at  HarperCollins.ca. Hits shelves Oct. 2014. This is another one I'm really looking forward to reading!