While Vancouver is known as an outdoor city, a green city, a tech city and a livable city, it’s easy forget that at its heart it’s a port city. Without the port, it’s not unreasonable to say that Vancouver would be a very different place.
From the moment we saw the brief, we knew this was a perfect assignment for us. The project involved pairing up Vancouver residents who are connected through the port - through their jobs, hobbies or history.
Working closely with the team at TAXI, the production was built with a focus on local. The location was a music studio that saw former glory as Vancouver’s first City hall (and at another time a police station and a morgue), and the photo the backdrop was hand painted by artists a stone’s throw from port itself.
Our rep and producer Lisa Kaulback has friends on the force. And she learned they do a charity calendar each year featuring the dog squad. Never one to miss an opportunity Lisa set up meetings and thankfully the VPD decided to give us a shot. Each of the four photography companies represented by Lisa got a crack at 3 months of the 2019 calendar.
These are our versions.
2017 campaign with DDB.
This was a spring / summer 2017 campaign with DDB.
It's great to receive art direction that allows us to do stuff like in these shots. Mandy (CEO and owner) didn't take much encouragement from us on this one. She had her shoes off and was wading in before Kev finished saying rotary phone.
Hotel Zed in Victoria BC.
They are a consulting firm in the resource sector - rocks, digging, safety, the environment and a bunch of other cool stuff we know very little about.
They wanted a collection of portraits that matched their firm: well executed, relevant, and sincere.
Photographed at Britannia Mine Museum in BC.
We were referred to these guys by a colleague photographer, to refresh the staff portraits for the company website.
They wanted the images in b&w and to make sure that they images showcased personality and approachability.
These were shot across multiple sessions and years.
The Cure For the Common Wedding. That's the slogan for Vancouver based wedding and event planning firm Filosophi. Erin Bishop, the owner and lead planner and creative mind behind the company has been hiring us through the years to shoot unorthodox ads that speak to their slogan. I think it's safe to say that Erin's idea here for 2017 was on the mark. Not too many bomb disposal images are found between the covers of most ... er ... any wedding industry magazines.
Here are the other ads we've shot for Filosophi through the years
An author's portrait.
Founded in the summer of 2014, Kit and Ace market's clothing made of Technical Cashmere™, and is the brainchild of Shannon and JJ Wilson. With plans to open more than 60 locations by the summer of 2016, the combination of this explosive growth, an innovative product and the family's lululemon legacy mean that requests for press images come thick and fast.
We spent a few hours with Shannon and JJ capturing what a typical day might look like (if such a thing existed for the hands-on co-founders).
The social media geniuses at Popcorn came to us with a concept that could be boiled down to three instructions - make it gold, black and weird.
A lot of their inspiration was from the style of Baroque paintings - lots of deep shadow and lots of drama.
The bubble bath was a lucky accident - we spotted it during the location scout and the rest was inevitable.
It's hard to believe that Hoostuite have only been around since 2008. In that time they went from zero users to over 5 million without advertising their product, and have since surpassed the 10 million mark (including none other than Barack Obama).
They approached us to shoot a body of work that could be used in upcoming campaigns, to accompany tweets and Instagram posts, and to help continue to engage their sizeable Facebook following.
Over two days and using three locations, we shot both professional models and Hootsuite employees - with mascot Owly making a much anticipated appearance.
Marfa Texas. Go there. By day you’ll feel the dry heat and see the cactus. By night you’ll feel the cold and hear the train passing through.
There’s a saloon, and there’s a sheriff. You can get grits on your tacos and pints of Lone Star for a buck. This is Texas, home of the Cowboy.
You’ll also find one of America’s major centres for minimalist art. In fact, the further you look into this town, the more you realize that although they may look like cowboys, you’re surrounded by artists.
July of 2009 Mongoose hired us to shoot their upcoming album cover and art work. The name of the album was going to be Rock n Roll Knife fight and the guys envisioned an homage to the 1979 film The Warriors.
A few weeks later the band scored a UK tour and the promotor told them that while Britain is Great, they don't look too kindly on blade-related references so the album name and artwork wouldn't fly. An alternative name of "Stabby Stabby Punk Ruckus" was also rejected.
Erika is a designer, artist, single mom and now a ticketed welder.
We took these portraits to commemorate the completion of her training and the beginning of her new career.
It was a rainy December night in Vancouver, 2012, and The Venue on Granville had a double bill feature: The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, and The Boom Booms.
Back in 2011 part of the second floor at Save On Meats became the studio for Dan Climan. He was charged with creating all the vintage style, hand painted signs to be used throughout the newly renovated Save On Meats building. The task took him a few months.
We were hired to shoot the signs for a book about the building.
After we finished we couldn't resist and headed to the roof for a portrait session with Dan.
Rob and Erin from Side One hired us to shoot their first ad. They were a new event band comprising of a handful of the best session musicians from the city.
It's been a few years since those days. Although Cory may no longer rock the moustache, the band still rocks every party they're hired for; and these days they're hired for many.
And the record store is still Zulu Records.
Ty came to us for one of our STRONG Project shoot days. He had been living in Vancouver for a few months on an indefinite layover on an ongoing Canada/US train hobo adventure. He'd already lost his left leg below the knee and a few fingers along his journey and it seemed as though the journey was far from over.
Zach's agency hired us to fill out his press kit. We spent the day with Zach at the velo-drome in Burnaby.
Two things that stood out from this shoot: cyclists have massive thighs, and it takes cyclists with massive thighs to get those bikes nearly horizontal on the banked wooden track.
We shot Mark Brand For BC Business magazine when Save On Meats was still a building site. Today it's a thriving cafe - ask about the bacon milkshake.
He was dying and living out his days in hospice at St. Paul's hospital in downtown Vancouver. He had no family or no friends so he was going to die without anybody remembering him. Our friend RC new him from the neighbourhood he worked in and asked if we'd come and photograph him.
He told us of how he used to be on the Canadian swim team, and held Canadian swimming records for a while. But he left the team before his career ever went anywhere.
He had been homeless for years before he ended up here.
Seven25 are a design and typography firm based in the heart of rainy Vancouver.
They're a wedding planning company and they plan weddings that aren't traditional. Erin, Coco and the rest of the gang are the cure for the common wedding.
These images represent the ads we've shot for them through the years.
Josh came to us in need of a portrait of himself, for his website. He's a sound engineer and gets to play with that big ass sound board in the background. That board recorded some of the Beatles tracks along with countless others. It currently lives at Warehouse Studios, Gastown, Vancouver.
Josh now lives in Toronto.
Aprons for Gloves is the charity boxing tournament featuring workers from the Vancouver restaurant industry. Each season a new round of contenders - some new some returning - spend three months training there asses off for a shot at the main event fight night. Some make it all the way, some don't.
This series follows Sean Sherwood (Fiction, Lucy Mae Brown, Century) through a day of training during the 2013 season.
A BC Business magazine assignment. This is Guy Cramer. He's the founder of local company called Hyperstealth Biotechnology Corp. Basically these guys design the camouflage patterns for most of the major militaries around the world. You name 'em: Canada, USA, Australia, Jordan, Afghanistan... the list goes on.
They also produce other technologies. One of them is a light bending technology that can be applied to a material. Yep. They mad an invisibility cloak. Seriously.
Uruguay. A combination of simple, often primitive living, combined with modern conveniences. It's not a rare thing to see people getting around on horse back while also speaking on mobile phones.
Other facts about Uruguay: it was the first country in South America to legalize same-sex marriage, it was the first country in the world to fully legalize cannabis, and the president drives himself around in an old VW Beetle and lives in a small modest home with his wife - he offered the presidential mansion up as a homeless shelter.
This little town is up the coast about half an hour from Brazil. The many streets are dirt track and the houses are generally very simple. Your first impression is that they are simple huts, except they have full electricity, gas stoves, wifi, fridges, microwaves etc.
Album artwork for Nick's 2009 album Too Much To Do and some more recent promo shots.
A series of portraits of Argentinians met on a trip to the South American country November 2013.
A BC Business Assignment.
In December of 2012 we heard H.A.M. for the first time and immediately wanted them to collaborate with playground.is. Despite their busy schedule we got a yes out of them. These are two events we followed them to so we could snap them play live for promo content for the upcoming event.
The first is the first time we experienced them play live. It was at the Squamish Music Festival in 2012. They were playing the small local stage and they absolutely destroyed it.
The second is the Commodore in Vancouver. They were opening for another band that but owned it like a boss. Incidentally November 8th, they will be headlining at the Commodore. With tours and festivals all over North America, these boys have been busy.
2009 Bikrams yoga calendar.
October of '09 we drove down to Seattle to shoot the Norwegian electronic rock band. The show, in a small bar venue away from downtown, was the final stop on their American tour. The irony was this was one of the smallest venues along the trip.
They certainly rocked that tight little venue with the gusto fit for a stadium.
Late in the evening after the show the fellas hit an all night karaoke bar with exactly the same gusto.