Image Legacy

Jessica Mezey With Gossamer Wings At Foz Do Douro

Jessica Mezey

You’re not seeing things. These three images are one shot with different editing. The beach shoot with Jessica included this wooden pier off the boardwalk around Foz do Douro — a typically unbusy spot, even in the summertime. Probably because it’s typically gusty, which for our purposes makes an excellent natural wind machine for motion. A performer like Beyoncé has to carry motorized ones with her on tour, to make her look like she’s in a perpetual shampoo commercial. (And sometimes those machines try to eat her, but she keeps singing.)

Anyway, I posted three versions of this one photo because I couldn’t make up my mind which one to show. When it comes to editing, photographers favour a speedy work flow and I’m no different. But since this is my blog, I’m showing several versions to illustrate how a single image can carry several different moods based on colour (or lack of it). There’s even digital cross-processing in the one above, and I haven’t applied this style to any photos in years (mostly because it was a fad).

Talking about photo editing is only marginally more exciting than talking about document editing — would I do that to you? — but occasionally I enjoy posting the different versions to ask people to make up their own minds which one they prefer. The answers always surprise me; I can never predict them. If you have a preference, let me know in the comments.

Other posts from that same shoot:

Foz Do Douro With Jessica Mezey
Tiny Dancer, Dancing In The Sand
My Dog The Photobomber

Jessica Mezey
Jessica Mezey

August 8, 2015
Album: Portugal [Summer 2015]

Porto In Black and White, With Jessica Mezey

São Bento Railway Station, Porto | model: Jessica Mezey

After the colour blast that was yesterday’s post, it’s time to give the cones a break and switch to monochrome. Because I work so much with colour, I forget to play around in black and white. It’s taken some years to figure out the situations when black and white work better than colour, and thankfully in the digital age it isn’t necessary to make that decision before shooting. (The last time I shot black and white film was in high school!) Colour photos can be converted in post-production, with an array of options for black and white conversion: channel-mixing, contrast, or HDR if that’s your thing. It may seem counterintuitive, but converting to black and white does not make editing a whole lot easier except for one thing: white balance.

These photos were all shot the same day with Jessica Mezey in the historic centre of Porto, which in the height of summer makes it challenging to keep the tourists outside the frame. São Bento Railway Station (above) was the busiest of these three spaces, but we got what we wanted and none of the security people asked us to leave, which is always a good thing.

Note to self: post more black and white!

City Hall, Porto | model: Jessica Mezey

Câmara Municipal do Porto

Torre dos Clérigos, Porto | model: Jessica Mezey

Torre dos Clérigos

August 10, 2015
Album: Portugal [Summer 2015]

Kim Gravelle of Dappled Sunlight Music

I had a little photoshoot on the Gaia side of the city this afternoon, drawing a small crowd of curious onlookers. You see, I was photographing Kim Gravelle of Dappled Sunlight Music and her unusual handmade instrument. It took her three years to build it and it has various sound-making parts, including strings and a hollow tube like a flute. You can read much more about the yet-to-be-named instrument here.

It was amusing to have people run up to me at Cais de Gaia and ask what kind of instrument it is. (No, my Portuguese was not good enough to explain that it’s made from a single piece of wood from the bottom of one of the Great Lakes, and it’s truly one-of-a-kind.) The instrument was built to be taken apart and to fit into carry-on luggage, which also means it takes time to set it up properly from its compact state.

We have another shooting location or two planned, stay tuned.

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (1)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (2)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (3)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (5)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (6)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (7)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (8)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (9)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (11)

Kim Gravelle | http://www.dappledsunlightmusic.com/ (10)

October 23, 2014
Album: Portugal [Autumn 2014]

Mississauga Family Shoot

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

2013 has been one PACKED year, and I am still catching up with blogging the commissioned shoots I’ve done in the past six months. This one from June was one of my favourite family shoots, because I adore the location and everyone was relaxed, happy, goofy, and up for anything I suggested, including climbing trees. (I do this as much as I can! Eg., A&J, A&T, Sandy.)

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

I did ask for goofy. It’s a family shoot after all!

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

Siblings pretending to like each other:

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

The “boy” is heading off to university, so I asked for a story about when he was little, and his mom told me he used to cling to her, hanging on so tightly she could barely move around. Aw!

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

We had perfect weather (it had recently rained, which brings out the greens), and hardly anyone was around on a Saturday afternoon. That’s one of the reasons I love the location — it’s quite private, even though it’s a public park, and it’s very photogenic, with an open bridge, reflective pond, landscaped gardens, and lots of trees. If you’re in Mississauga, head over to the UofT campus towards Lislehurst, the principal’s residence at the end of Principal’s Road past the Forensic Anthropology Field School, a left turn off Outer Circle Road, from Mississauga Road.

Mississauga family shoot, UTM

For the rest of the family shoot album, see below:

[thumbnails]
[full-screen slideshow]

Let Them Eat (Cup)Cake

Kimberly + Gregory's wedding

“Everybody grab a cupcake,” I said. (Shooting time is bossy time, for me. It’s my job!)

Kim and Greg’s wedding didn’t have a traditional wedding cake, they opted for cupcakes on each of the guest tables instead, which meant there wasn’t going to be a cake-cutting. But I didn’t want to leave out the cupcakes, so I asked the wedding party to gather and we’d skip the cutting part and go straight to the feeding/eating part. As you can see, it’s way more fun when the whole wedding party’s involved!

Kimberly + Gregory's wedding

Kimberly + Gregory's wedding

Kimberly + Gregory's wedding

For more photos from Kim and Greg’s wedding, see their album.

Family Shoot Preview: Smiles In The Rain

Who says you can't do shoots in the rain? The light is great!

My last shoot in Canada, and it rained. But while everyone else in the family shoot were disappointed that the sun wasn’t out and we had to stay indoors, I knew it wasn’t about the weather, it was about the people. Weather sits at the bottom of the challenge pile!

It also helps that I’m from rainy Vancouver, and a little rain doesn’t stop us from doing things. Just like snow doesn’t stop the rest of Canada from doing things, either.

We took a little umbrella inventory, manoeuvred from one terrace to another, and voila!

Menezes family shoot

Menezes family shoot

Menezes family shoot

Mom and Dad have been married 33 years, and raised four lovely daughters.

Menezes family shoot

It’s really, really important to me that everyone is having fun. If the shoot’s not fun, I’m doing it wrong.

(This is just a preview — the shots with Grandma were indoors. I’m in the midst of clearing out my house, so the full shoot will be posted later.)

Menezes family shoot

I encourage everyone to make some time for family shoots, even for just an hour or two. Let’s celebrate every day that we’re together. It doesn’t have to be around a special occasion — in fact, it’s easier when it’s not, because everyone can relax and not worry about clothes or being interrupted from something else. It takes a bit of organizing, getting everyone in one place, but it’s worth it!

Wedding Stress-Relief: Thai Kickboxing

a little Muay Thai kickboxing to relieve wedding stress

Remember our sporty couple Kimberly and Greg ice skating and sledding on their engagement shoot back in January? They got married last Saturday! I’m working on their photos while they’re honeymooning in Hawaii. Here’s a preview shot of the wedding party on the pier, blowing off steam before the reception.

Engagement Shoot In Montreal

the kids' expressions really make this shot

Phone snapshots are convenient and all that, but they don’t hold a candle to what an SLR can do. Here are four of my favourite photos from the engagement shoot in Montreal a few weeks ago. We went all out with locations:

Vieux-Port (Old Port)
Musée des beaux-arts (Museum of Fine Arts)
McGill University
Mont-Royal (Mount Royal)
Jardin botanique (Botanical Gardens)

Why do an engagement shoot? Because…

e-shoot in Montreal

e-shoot in Montreal

e-shoot in Montreal

Happy Canada Day!

engagement shoot in Montreal

I made it back from Montreal with just minutes left in Canada Day, but here’s a maple-leaf-themed preview from my e-shoot there on Sunday. Also got some quality time with friends in the city, which made it a stellar weekend all ’round!

Saturday Previews

Dundas West Fest 2013

Between the two-hour family shoot in Mississauga followed by a two-hour wander through the Dundas West Fest street festival, I shot over 650 images this afternoon. And now I am going to test my (nearly 41-year old) stamina by heading to a barbecue, when I really should be packing for the birthday trip… I know what my friends would say: “Typical Gail!”

You can see more photos of the Afrolusophone ladies here.

I Am Baby, Hear Me Roar

baby Jackson

I’ve got pipes!

A few preview images from the newborn shoot I did this afternoon. Baby Jackson arrived two weeks ago, and already he’s letting the world know he’s a force to be reckoned with! It’s bench-pressing for babies.

baby Jackson

baby Jackson

baby Jackson

baby Jackson

smiles for dad

Ice Ice Baby

GEF_4450T

I have just enough brain power left to post one photo with a few words (most of today was spent on the Turning 40 Series), so I chose this variation I made from Kim and Greg’s engagement shoot in Ottawa earlier this month. (Here’s the original.) When I shot the photo I saw the version above in my mind first, but I zoomed back and shot wider so I could make variations in post.

With all this frigid winter weather we’ve been having lately, I thought of the happy side to winter — ice skating! — and the title came to mind. If you’re of my generation, you will know from whence it came the first time around, pre-YouTube.

Kim + Greg: Winter Engagement Shoot In Ottawa

Kim + Greg's eshoot in Ottawa

Mother Nature didn’t cooperate in Toronto for the first planned date of Kim and Greg’s engagement shoot at the end of December, so we took the shoot to Ottawa a week later, where we had perfect weather. I think Mother Nature wanted me to shoot in Ottawa after all — look how photogenic it is! I fell in love with that big tree on my last visit to Ottawa at Easter, and little did I know I would be using it the following winter.

I’m also convinced Mother Nature was telling me I needed to ditch Toronto for a weekend, because the whole trip ran like clockwork, from ride-sharing to the engagement shoot to spending time with friends.

Kim and Greg are outdoorsy people, which I wanted to capture by photographing them outside, in their natural state. The thing about Ottawa is you have to embrace winter, including willful ignorance of the NO TOBOGGANING signs.

I saw more people jogging in Sunday’s snowfall than I saw pedestrians. That’s hardcore! But that’s the only way to truly enjoy winter: get outside. However, we were also very lucky with plenty of sunshine on Saturday so we made it an all-day shooting session.

Kim and Greg are having a summer wedding, which is also outdoors — hooray!

The full album (which will probably grow a bit more from today) is best viewed as a full-screen slideshow.

Sneak Peek: Ring In Winter

Kim + Greg's eshoot in Ottawa

Not buried in snow here in Toronto (most of it is melted), but buried in work. Here’s a preview of the outdoor engagement shoot in Ottawa last Saturday, where we did everything from ice skating, tobogganing, making snow angels and snow people, to lots of running around. We kept warm all day! It’s the best way to enjoy winter in Canada, especially in the capital region.

Last weekend was memorable for two other reasons:

  1. For the first time I used Craigslist rideshare as a passenger instead of a driver. (I’ve done a fair amount of rideshare driving, without incident. All my passengers were good.) Now I know what it feels like to be on the other side.
  2. I finally escaped from Toronto after the longest unbroken stint in the city ever: 3 months. Last year I set a new record of 2.5 months without an escape: September to mid-November, but then I caught up after that. For someone who is not a homebody, who enjoys very frequent weekend escapes, this was far too long without the mental break from work and I won’t ever do that again!

Sandy’s Maternity Shoot: The Album

Sandy's maternity shoot

Why do a maternity shoot? For the same reason that applies to any portrait shoot: because time flies by and pictures are a way of stopping time. I also mentioned in the Sneak Peek that Sandy’s from Australia (she and Byron met while teaching in Japan), so these pictures are for the family and friends over there, too. We live in a global world with loved ones scattered all over, which means everyone is always asking for photos, photos, photos… it’s one way for people to stay connected.

Sandy and Byron (who second-shoots weddings with me) are expecting their first child next month, and this little pair of shoes from Byron’s brother gave me a bit of a clue of the little person to arrive:

Sandy's maternity shoot

I like to keep shoots very casual, and stay in tune with how new mom-to-be is feeling to make sure I know her comfort level for pictures. I have Camera Avoidance Syndrome myself from time to time, and being pregnant would probably make it worse! So let’s get hubby involved by comparing bellies. Clearly, Byron needs to do a lot more Christmas munching to catch up to Sandy.

Byron taking over Sandy's maternity shoot Sandy's maternity shoot

Sandy's maternity shoot

Sandy's maternity shoot

Sandy's maternity shoot

Byron, I think you’re more nervous than Sandy! :)

Congratulations, you two!

The photo album is best viewed as a full-screen slideshow.

Sandy’s Maternity Shoot: A Sneak Peek

Sandy's maternity shoot

Sandy’s due next month so I skedaddled up to Markham to do a maternity shoot at the house in case the baby decided to arrive early! Her parents will be flying in from Australia to meet their grandchild; this will be a sneak peek for them, too.

Their neighbours must’ve wondered what on earth was happening, since I shot this in front of the patio’s sliding glass doors with the curtains wide open, stopping the aperture way down and using my shoot-through umbrella to create a reflection on the glass. From the outside, it must’ve looked like an indoor lightning storm!

Sandy's maternity shoot

There are some adorable baby shoes coming up in the full album, stay tuned.

Leanne + Peter: The Wedding Album

Leanne + Peter's wedding

cake topper: custom-made by the bride!

September 8, 2012
The Sneak Peek
Getting Ready & First Look: 1 King West
Ceremony & Reception: Thompson Landry Gallery, Distillery District
2nd photographer: Ashlea MacAuley

Leanne and Peter had the perfect-sized wedding, in my opinion, which is anywhere fewer than 100 guests. Not only does the couple have more face-time with their guests, but the atmosphere is much more intimate. Most of my weddings in 2012 were of this size, which meant the venues were smaller, the wedding parties were smaller, and everything was much more manageable in terms of coordination, which in turns means less stress for the couple… happy couples = happy photographer!

I got lucky in being able to arrange their First Look in the bank vault under 1 King West because it’s not always open, but we happened to be down there just before a function and thankfully no one was around.

Leanne + Peter's wedding

First Look

Leanne + Peter's wedding

former bank vault under 1 King West

Leanne + Peter's wedding

1 King West

After the First Look, we continued to the Distillery District for more photos before the ceremony and reception at Thompson Landry Gallery.

Leanne + Peter's wedding

Distillery District

Leanne + Peter's wedding

Matron of Honour

Leanne + Peter's wedding

vows

Leanne + Peter's wedding

Best Man Stan

Leanne + Peter's wedding

the way she looks at him

Leanne + Peter's wedding

time to put on comfortable shoes

Leanne + Peter's wedding

groomsboys dance-off

Leanne + Peter's wedding

knife-wielding together

Leanne + Peter's wedding

touchdown!

Leanne will be joining Peter very soon in Arizona (just before winter sets in here in Toronto, how convenient!), and I wish them all the best in their new life together!

[Full-screen slideshow]
[Thumbnails]

Jennifer + Andrew: The Wedding Album

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

I’ve posted a Sneak Peek and a First Look, but I’ve not posted Jennifer and Andrew’s full wedding album yet! I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t show this outdoor summer wedding at Kortright Conservation Centre — I was on board when they told me at the first meeting last year that they wanted a barbecue!

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

Choosing a few images for this blog post is on par with choosing trip photos for a blog post — how on earth to choose? (I’ll probably add more to it later.) Their online album alone is one of the biggest in my collection; I usually keep it to around 100 but I’m well past that with theirs. If it takes a while to load up the slideshow, you’ll know why!

Between the two large families (both are the youngest of four) and their closest friends, it was a day of celebration that went from the early morning to the wee hours. Tal second-shot this wedding with me, and we shot a record number of images.

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

After a full year of planning, everything came together on the day and there wasn’t a single drop of rain (although plenty of humidity) despite a storm forecast for Saturday. How’s THAT for lucky?

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

Andrew really set the tone for this picture.

Here’s their fabulous cake, made by the bride’s talented sister-in-law. Those birds are adorable!

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

Jennifer + Andrew's wedding

I <3 this one!

The photos are best viewed as a full-screen slideshow.

Love Is A Moving Sea

Leanne + Peter's wedding

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
— Kahlil Gibran

Keri + Richard’s Engagement Shoot At The Beaches

Keri + Richard's e-shoot

I’ve already shot Keri and Richard’s wedding, but their engagement shoot was not far behind! We’d postponed it twice before due to inclement weather, and we were running out of availability before their guests started to fly in for their wedding. Luckily for us, the third time’s a charm: October 21 turned out to be the warmest, brightest Saturday in weeks. Warm enough to ditch the coats until nearly sunset!

Their friend — who also attended their wedding — happened to be hanging out at the beach at the same time and I recruited him as my de facto assistant, which worked really well to loosen things up. Engagement shoots can be nerve-wracking, even with couples who’ve been together a long time, and sometimes having friends along for levity helps a lot! Especially when it’s a friend who likes to banter. (Got some good shots of him at the wedding, stay tuned.)

I posted a Sneak Peek shortly after the shoot, but here are some of my favourites from that day:

Keri + Richard's e-shoot
Keri + Richard's e-shoot
Keri + Richard's e-shoot
Keri + Richard's e-shoot
Keri + Richard's e-shoot
Keri + Richard's e-shoot

The set is best viewed as full-screen slideshow, or watch it autoplay in the smaller version below. Thumbnails can be accessed by clicking on the slideshow below.