The Photoshoot That Almost Turned Into A Kegger

The hardest decision made during this SiriusXM job I shot with Naeem Walji at Agency 59 back in May was whether we should buy the shittiest beer knowing that we would be pouring most of it on the ground, or should we buy the best beer and drink it all, then buy stock to build the shot.  We opted to go with a mid range beer, hummed n hawed over a 6 pack vs a keg thinking the foam from the keg tap would add a nice element of realism.  Sadly, my producer John shot that idea down hastily.  A sextet of Stella tall boys did the trick nicely in the end.  

In all seriousness now, and oddly enough considering its overall simplicity and minimalism, this job was actually one of the toughest ones i’ve worked on.  The on set part was a lot of fun (as usual) but I quickly learned that to be a liquid retoucher,  you essentially need to be a brush stoke away from madness, which I guess makes me a little crazy.  The shot was a nice challenge and goes to show the effort that goes into some of the simplest ideas.  I lost track of time after my back turned into a pretzel and my stylus pen hand looked like a salad tong but I think I put at least 3 or 4 days and countless file reverts to get it looking right.

Better than any award or pay check is walking into an ad agency and seeing your work displayed in the lobby.  Ignited - Los Angeles

Passing Shot - Boys of Summer

A quick lunch and a spin in the ‘67.  #freelanceperks

Western U Homecoming 2014

Hot off the press is this years Western University Homecoming campaign for the University’s Alumni Association.  This has been my third year shooting with creative director Terry Rice and designer Scott Woods from the Marketing Dept at Western U.  

The early April email full of layouts from Scott has has become a beacon for spring and by the 3rd week of April i’m ripe for my first sunburn of the year.

Funny story about the video below with the “glory hole”; it’s actually a hole in the wall in one of the exam halls.  The hole is covered by an unsuspecting plaque on a hinge which is connected to a string that runs through another hole further above.  The Dean would sit in the room next door and when he suspected a student was cheating, he’d pull the string, lift the plaque and look through the peep hole. 

Peep Hole - See the story in the next post

Passing Shot - Summer’s End

Spotted - Sanuk

Wandered into the Sanuk Store today in Santa Monica and spotted these beauties we shot last march in LA.  Stay tuned for the next campaign which is in production now; they’re even more fun.

image

One of my favourite things about spring is hopping in the Polara and driving to places i’ve never been to.  A few weeks ago I headed out to start a casual photographic journey along HWY#3’s rich 200 year history.  All the north shore of Lake Erie is agriculture and I stumbled across a place called Mennomex which is essentially a grocery store run by Mexican Mennonites.  If you want authentic Mexican food for dinner this weekend, this is the place to go if you have 4 hours to kill driving there and back.  My next unplanned stop was at the Aylmer Stockyards.  It was set back from the highway so after a quick U-Turn I ventured in to find a cool little “down home” cafe that had just finished serving local farmers breakfast before the weekly (wednesday) livestock auction began.  Again, given the rich population of Mexican Mennonites and migrant workers in this area, a typical serving was pork tacos with a side of rice and mashed beans.  Not into ethnic?  No prob, they also serve egg sandwiches.  Awesome!  

Silver Silver Silver - NAA

Mike, Tom, DS+P and I won a Print Silver last night at the NAA’s

Sure, who remembers who came second to Usain Bolt at the 2012 Summer Games in London or who the Blackhawks defeated in the 2013 Stanley Cup final, that’s okay, i’m a humble Canadian and second place is still something to be proud of.

I didn’t shoot the lumberjack, I was the task master behind the retouching, which oddly, considering how small and simple it looks, was one of the most challenging and difficult things i’ve worked on.  

AD: Mike Jones & Tom Stephenson

CD: Denise Rosetto & Todd Mackie

Agency: DS+P

NAA - EnviroCare

Sanuk

Sanuk

I’ve been antsy to share this campaign I shot back in March with the motley crew at Ignited but haven’t had time to write my own post so I snaked this from the desk of the legendary Tom Nesbitt at Westside Studio.

With the polar vortex now behind us, it’s time to trade in our salt stained boots for flip flops. Tyler Gray was able to do so a little earlier than the rest of us, as sunny California was the location to shoot a campaign forSanuk. What started as a pair of sandals made in a backyard shed, Sanuk has grown into an international footwear brand.

Check out the final ads, and a little BTS below.

image

Photographer: Tyler Gray
Client: Sanuk
Agency: Ignited
AD: Jeremy Carson
ACD: Karin Djelaj
ACD: Chris Schott
CD: Jordan Atlas
Print Producer: Sam Helpand
Exec Producer: Diego Espana
Assistant: Gabe Nivera

image

Aside from the job itself and the fun I always have with these guys, the thing i’ll remember most about this job was the 6am LA style earthquake wake up call.  Being from a place (Toronto) where “catastrophic” events range from snow storms to ice storms, this scared the hell out of me.  It was only a 4.7 but the epicentre was a short 6 miles away from where we were staying in West LA.  Between that and the numerous beers Gabe and I had at Steingarten the night before I stumbled onto set a few hours later looking like Gary Busey.  I took a good ribbing from Karin et al but was all in good fun.  Never a dull moment.

image

image

image

image

"What the hell is the "Different Clouds filter for in Photoshop" you ask?  Creating acid wash jeans of coarse.  

Big thanks to my home boys Scott and Terry at Western U for another successful year in the books. 

Here’s a hint at what we were up to this year:

Straight bladed hockey sticks, floppy disks and Benny Goodman.

 I’m already dying to share the campaign so stay tuned.

Here’s hoping year four comes with an honorary degree.