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TBT - an old-timey epic ping pong throwdown

I just came across this massive 2009 project while digging through my archive. It's still one of my favourites. I almost can't believe that it's been 5 years since we shot it.

A huge number of people and companies lent time and equipment to help produce it, including: Peter Dell'Agnese, Andrew Easson, Donna Irvine, Geoff BlandKatie and Karissa Strain, Berman and Co., the former Headshots Rentals, Production ServicesThe Amsterdam Brewery, plus a whole raft of assistants and background talent (if you look closely, you'll spot a bunch of notable creatives who lent their faces to the crowd).

I also managed to convince my good friend, the DOP Geoff Bland to come out and use the day as an elaborate test of the first Red camera (the Red One). Matt Dochstader (now an accomplished FX artist at Topix, then a hard working young tape-room guy/father of brand new twins) helped edit it. The result is absurdly silly, but it still brings a tear of nostalgia to my eye...

Report on Business - Amaya Gaming

Here's a trio of pictures for the current issue of Report on Business Magazine, illustrating a story about the acquisition of Poker Stars by upstart Amaya Gaming. The purchase makes the Montreal firm the largest traded online gambling company.

Whip-smart reporter David Hains lent us his face for the role of prototypical online player. So, we graciously depicted him mesmerized by a high stakes fantasy world while slouching in a bathrobe at his parents' kitchen table. Stuffing his maw with fistfuls of french fries.

 

 

Art Director: Domenic Macri

Photo Editor: Clare Vander Meersch

Assistant: Jason Gordon

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Souls of Sin.

Last winter, I spent a few days embedded with these guys. Harrowing stuff. Some people's lives are much more dramatic than mine.

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OK, that's not exactly true. These are pictures I made to appear as a prop in a short film that Toronto's freshest design shop, Art+Mechanical, made with director Paul Contstantikis and DP Stuart Campbell. Strange as that may sound, it make sense in context. I promise. I've linked the film at bottom of this post.

Here is the video. It is astonishingly good. Watch it.

Agency: Art&Mechanical

Creatives: David Adams, Adam Zolis

Director: Paul Constantikis

DP: Stuart Campbell

See the full rundown of contributors on Ads of the World.

RIP The Grid

RIP The Grid. You were a great magazine, made by exceptionally talented people. Photo editor Shelbie Vermette-Grant and creative director Vanessa Wyse are two of the most inspiring and inventive creative partners I've had the honour of working with. We made some fun stuff together.

Here's my little trip down memory lane...

Two years ago, we shot a whole bunch of food trucks for your 1st anniversary issue (which won some National Magazine Awards).

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Last summer, we made a ridiculous series of pictures for your TIFF issue, featuring a nearly naked Andrew Cottingham. (Nice socks, buddy.) 

side note: the couple featured in this shot met on our set and have been in mad love ever since. I take full credit. I expect them to both invite me to their wedding, and/or to name their first born after me.

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In February, I shot a Adam Vaughan, our newly elected MP from Trinity-Spadina, for the cover.

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And, finally, I had the honour of appearing on the cover myself just 5 short weeks ago (photographed by the wonderful Jamie Hogge). I got to yell at a dog. That was satisfying.

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Sad to see you go. But looking forward to seeing the wonderful things your creators, employees, and contributors get up to next.

This Father's Day, spare a thought for Jesse Senko.

This is my pal Jesse.

Photographer, filmmaker, and father. Jesse got started early. He gave birth to his first son at age 8. By 22, he had a brood of 9 children. He's 30 now, and he and his wife have just welcomed their youngest to the family. How many kids is that in all? No one knows. Way too many to count. Does it matter really?

At the tender age of 30, you can read the weariness in his lined skin and gaunt eyes.

At the tender age of 30, you can read the weariness in his lined skin and gaunt eyes.

In those scarce private moments, he smiles.

In those scarce private moments, he smiles.

They all live together in a musty little thatch hut in the hills. In summer, it’s beautiful. The children entertain themselves chasing field mice and stacking endless cords of wood. In winter, they huddle together for warmth, like penguins.

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On rare days, the din of children fighting over scraps of food settles down, and Jesse takes a moment for himself. He rides his mule out to the old shed deep in the forest. And he sits. Quietly. Thinking about his life. And whittling little pieces of wood into portraits of Magnum PI. He has hundreds of them now.

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So, this Father's Day, spare a thought for Jesse Senko.

Jesse is stumped.

Jesse is stumped.

Something a little different: 3 years of pictures for Pehr Designs.

A few years ago, my pal Jen Kelly asked if I'd take some pictures for Pehr Designs, the textile company she and Becca Perren were preparing to launch. Young companies and risk takers are awesome, so I was thrilled to lend them a hand. We made clean, muted images that were broken by splashes of colour, featuring humanely worn materials. It was hugely fun, and satisfyingly different from my other work.

Happily, the launch was very successful. Since then, they've made consistently wonderful products and worked incredibly hard. The result is that you'll find Pehr products in shops, blogs, and magazines throughout the US and Canada. I love entrepreneurs, and it's exciting to see these guys have the success they richly deserve.

Here is a little sampling of the images we've made, starting with the first:

As we built a library of images, we expanded the look established early on. Some pictures included big, soft washes of colour:

Quite a few have been overhead, showcasing their lovely tabletop products:

I particularly liked these two pictures, which are carbon copies of each other, with varied tablesettings:

Last year, they released a line of kids products called Petit Pehr. We decided to do something completely different, and shot on location at a farm in Caledon, Ontario. They're probably my favourite pictures we've made together. Though that might be because it was such a nice day. Really, it was an absurdly lovely day to spend shooting outside: