Videoclips

Tiny Dancer, Dancing In The Sand

Praia de Matosinhos / model: Jessica Mezey

I have a pile of great shots from last Saturday’s beach shoot with Jessica Mezey, but I’m only posting two for now since I’m buried in editing these days. There’s a line in Elton John’s song “Tiny Dancer” that goes “Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand…” that came to mind for this post. (It’s hard to believe this song is from 1971. Saying that makes me feel slightly less old!)

Praia de Matosinhos / model: Jessica Mezey

August 8, 2015
Album: Portugal [Summer 2015]

“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

Jesus freaks out in the street
Handing tickets out for God
Turning back she just laughs
The boulevard is not that bad

Piano man he makes his stand
In the auditorium
Looking on she sings the songs
The words she knows the tune she hums

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

But oh how it feels so real
Lying here with no one near
Only you and you can hear me
When I say softly slowly

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Hold me closer tiny dancer
Count the headlights on the highway
Lay me down in sheets of linen
You had a busy day today

Festa Dos Tabuleiros 2015: Video

Festa Dos Tabuleiros 2015 (Tomar, Portugal)

We spent all day in Tomar to attend a festival that only takes place every four years. Now that I’ve witnessed it (including watching the parade go by twice) and attempted to photograph the spectacle of handmade displays, I understand why Festa dos Tabuleiros (Festival of the Trays) only happens every four years. Everything you see in the festival is handmade by the people of Tomar!

Festa Dos Tabuleiros 2015 (Tomar, Portugal)

The celebrations have been modernized to some extent but the main elements (the carrying of the trays in the final procession, decorating the streets) have continued since medieval times — when Portugal became a country. It is nothing short of impressive.

For an overview of the festival, read Sandra Silva’s article in Pocket Cultures.

Paulo shot four video clips of the main procession and looked after Ice the Dog while I moved around with the camera — as much as I could move in an estimated crowd of 400,000 people. It was a crush, but that is to be expected for an event of this size that only comes around periodically. I’ve got hundreds of images to wade through, as you can imagine. In the meantime, some video:

In the street:

The main square:

The main procession:

July 12, 2015
Album: Festa dos Tabuleiros 2015

Ghanafest in Malta, Part 1: Flamenco Fusion

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (1)

We really enjoyed ourselves in Malta, thanks to many people I need to thank — so many, in fact, that I must do it in stages. On our second day in Malta, we were driven around in the evening by a local academic named Robert. We’d made contact with him via the Couchsurfing website, and he’d already planned to bring us to a folk festival in Floriana (next to Valletta) called Għanafest.

Excerpts from the Visit Malta website:

Għanafest is a three-day manifestation of Maltese folk singing (known as Għana in Maltese) which takes place every year in June…. a unique opportunity to experience the different styles of għana. Besides Maltese folk music, the festival presents a programme of local musicians and ensembles.

Maltese folk singing has various genres e.g.‘Għana tal-Fatt’, whereby the singer recounts a story in verses that relate to a tragic past event. Another genre is ‘Għana spirtu pront’: two singers hit out at each other with sharp and witty retorts as one sings out and the other responds with spontaneously thought out lyrics; and ‘Għana fl-għoli’ wherein the stanzas are sung in an extremely high note /pitch remotely similar to a flamenco folk song – this singing is also known as ala Bormliħa.

A variety of foreign folk singers and musicians hailing from various countries in the Mediterranean also participate in this festival. Throughout the three days of the festival, there will also be a series of crafts demonstrations on various stands.

We spent the evening at the folk festival, where I shot a large volume of photos of the performers, mostly of the flamenco dancers who are part of a local dance group. On our way out, Robert introduced us to the organizer of the folk festival, who explained that the dancers brought the idea to him, since flamenco isn’t native to Malta but it could be performed to Maltese folk music. (There are a few short video clips of it at the bottom).

I wanted to devote an entire post to the ladies of the flamenco group, because they danced with such passion through several outfits and numbers. I love shooting dance, because performers become lost in the music and the movement of their bodies. It makes the photography much more about timing than anything else (I never use the burst mode), and freezing moments of movement which show how fully engaged the dancers are. It’s the expressions of rapture I aim for every time.

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (2)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (3)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (4)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (5)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (6)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (7)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (8)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (9)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (10)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (11)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (12)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (13)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (14)

flamenco fusion at Ghanafest in Malta (15)

June 14, 2015
Album: Malta 2015

Porto, Granito e Sonho: Street Theatre On Rua Das Flores (videos)

Porto, Granito e Sonho: Street Theatre On Rua Das Flores

My errands in Porto today led us to a street theatre event in the city centre called “Porto, Granito e Sonho”, performed around São Bento Railway Station and Rua das Flores. Afterwards, we also bumped into a friend while we were having dinner in Miragaia and stayed late, which means I have just one photo for this post and the rest are video clips taken by my phone until I have time to upload the pictures. (Because I’m older now and everything seems to take forever.)

(There are four video clips below, which you may not be able to see if you view this in an RSS reader.)

June 27, 2015
Album: Portugal [Summer 2015]

XXV Festival da Primavera, Moreira da Maia (Preview)

ranchos of Portugal at XXV Festival da Primavera, Moreira da Maia

Our Seattle visitors arrived today and their first cultural experience in the north of Portugal was immediately after: Festival da Primavera (Festival of Spring) in Moreira da Maia. I have plenty of images as usual, but here’s just a few for now plus a video clip while we continue our touring.

ranchos of Portugal at XXV Festival da Primavera, Moreira da Maia

ranchos of Portugal at XXV Festival da Primavera, Moreira da Maia

In this video I’m far away because standing close to the speakers distorts the music and singing. More photos to come, to better show the traditional clothing.

XXV Festival da Primavera, dia 24 de Maio em Moreira da Maia

XXV Festival da Primavera, dia 24 de Maio em Moreira da Maia

May 24, 2015
Album: Portugal [Spring 2015]

Carnaval de Ovar 2015: Vampiros

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (18)

Each year the Carnaval de Ovar judges all parade entries in three categories by points: Carnival, Passerelle (catwalk?), and Samba School. The 1st place winner in the Carnival category was the group Vampiros (Vampires), who took on a steampunk-inspired railroad theme with requisite costumes and mega-props, including mobile railroad signals, tracks, and a gigantic train engine with moving arms. It was theatrical and the music was perfect: a dubstep cover of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”.

I was too busy shooting to get my phone out to make a video, so here’s a one-minute clip from Rádio AVfm of the end of their performance segment. There will probably be more videos of the parade appearing on YouTube over the next little while, but at least you can see the train’s arms in motion (there is a point where it gets very animated, but it isn’t in this clip).

The parade was more than four hours long, so as you can imagine I’m still editing. I’ll have a commentary post up soon along with another batch of photos, but until then you can find more photos in the album: Carnaval de Ovar 2015

Carnaval de Ovar website: http://www.carnaval.ovar.net/
Carnaval de Ovar on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carnavaldeovar

See also: Carnaval de Ovar 2015: A Video Preview

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (13)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (2)Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (1)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (14)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (12)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (4)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (5)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (6)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (7)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (8)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (9)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (10)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (15)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (16)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (17)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (11)

Vampiros @ Carnaval de Ovar 2015 (Ovar, Portugal) (3)

February 17, 2015
Album: Carnaval de Ovar 2015

Summer In Porto: Festas de Sant’ Ana e XIV Festarte

summer in Porto, Portugal

Filed under: “Only In Portugal”

Last night I had to top up my phone’s SIM card but had to go to a Multibanco (bank machine) to do it because I forgot my login code for online banking. And strangely, I also had a craving for a fartura, the Portuguese version of a doughnut.

Paulo was sceptical, since farturas are found at food trucks at festas (fairs), not from restaurants. We went to the beach looking for a food truck (none), then I spotted a light display in a roundabout that looked like one from a fair. The closest place was Leça da Palmeira, and there we found not only a farturas truck, but a Multibanco located conveniently across the street, and — what turned out to be the best part — ranchos (folk performers) on stage for Festas de Sant´Ana e XIV Festarte!

Success x3!

[video link]

Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me, because my phone’s videocam is very low on detail and you can’t see the outfits properly. But at least you can see some dancing! I uploaded the longest videoclip (4 mins) to YouTube (above), and the rest are shorter (1-2 mins) and uploaded to Flickr (below). In some of the videos you can see very young children dancing — a few boys between 2-4 and a girl of about 5 — and they were absolutely adorable.

But man, I don’t know how they can dance and wear all those clothes! The daytime temperatures have been over 30C and while recording these videos I was roasting just sitting on the sidelines with my beer in one hand and the phone in the other!


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]

Cais de Fado 2014: Day 2 Preview

Cais de Fado 2014: Helena Sarmento at Palco 1 Cais de Gaia

Helena Sarmento at Palco 1 Cais de Gaia

The preview posts continue for Day 2 of Cais de Fado 2014, only because we’re road-tripping early tomorrow and there’s no time to edit today’s captures after the trip prep. So I leave you with a few images and all the videoclips I managed to shoot this evening (I had to scoot home before the big show at Serra do Pilar). Full post next week.

Cais de Fado 2014: Helena Sarmento at Palco 1 Cais de Gaia

Helena Sarmento at Palco 1 Cais de Gaia

Cais de Fado 2014: Alexandra Guimarães at Praça Sandeman

Alexandra Guimarães at Praça Sandeman

Cais de Fado 2014: Micaela Vaz at Praça Sandeman

Micaela Vaz at Praça Sandeman

Rui Oliveira at Praça Sandeman

Rui Oliveira at Praça Sandeman


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]

July 25, 2014
Album: Cais de Fado 2014

Cais de Fado 2014: A Preview

Cais de Fado 2014: Gisela João at Serra do Pilar (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)

Gisela João at Serra do Pilar

Fado has a new fan… me! Cais de Fado 2014, Day 1: I saw fadistas Patrícia Costa and Gisela João perform and they were sensational!

But I now have a huge batch of photos that need processing; here’s a preview in the meantime, and a backgrounder on fado.

Cais de Fado 2014: Patrícia Costa at Taylor's Port Wine Cellars (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)

Patrícia Costa at Taylor’s Port Wine Cellars

Serra do Pilar (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)

Serra do Pilar

Serra do Pilar (Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal)

Portugal does it right: mobile sangria!

I didn’t take any video of Patrícia Costa, only photos. Paulo took some videos of Gisela João’s show at Serra do Pilar. The first one it’s a bit shaky because he’s dancing, and partway through you can hear him singing along:

July 24, 2014
Album: Cais de Fado 2014

Cottas Club Jazz Band in Óbidos, Portugal

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (1)

Cottas Club Jazz Band are musicians based in Oeste, Portugal, playing Dixieland-style jazz during the Festival Internacional de Chocolate de Óbidos, which continues every weekend from March 14-April 6. If you’re not familiar with Dixieland music, it’s an early form of jazz style fronted with brass instruments often supported by improvisational instruments like the washboard and spoons. Dixieland jazz originated in the American South and was popularized in New Orleans in the ’20s and ’30s. It’s a happy, upbeat style of music well-suited to street festivals, where performers mingle directly with the festival-goers.

Official website: http://www.cottasclub.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cottasjazz

Paulo shot some video of them, but I only have photos. Here’s a short clip of them at the Chocolate Festival:

Originally I’d just planned to send the band their pictures which I did this morning, but then I thought, eh, I should post them here, too. If there’s one thing the internet needs more of, it’s happy music! You can find more performances by the Cottas Club Jazz Band on their YouTube channel.

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (2)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (3)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (4)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (5)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (6)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (7)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (8)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (9)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (10)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (11)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (12)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (13)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (14)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (15)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (16)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (17)

Cottas Club Jazz Band @ International Chocolate Festival (Óbidos, Portugal) (18)

March 15, 2014
Album: Portugal’s Central Coast

Portugal’s Caretos Tradition: Mischief and Mayhem Before Lent

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

I posted a few videoclips yesterday of the caretos, these loudly-dressed masked characters that run up and down the streets of Podence ‘terrorizing’ the townsfolk. This street entertainment is a tradition from Celtic days called Entrudo Chocalheiro (carnival rattling?) that takes place in the days before Lent — not to the scale of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival atmosphere, but for a tiny village in the mountains of northeastern Portugal it’s a shake-up. The streets of Podence come alive with the sounds of cowbells and shrieking, drums and bagpipes. The population multiplies during this time, busloads of visitors arrive and the local fields are littered with vehicles, all to see the caretos in their devilish glory.

Official website for the Caretos de Podence (PT): http://caretosdepodence.no.sapo.pt/
Visit Portugal (EN): The Caretos of Podence
Azibo.org (EN): Caretos Tradition

High-quality video from the local TV station’s Facebook page (you can actually see us in the video at 0:50 and 1:49):

[video link]

This is definitely the most bizarre thing I’ve seen in Portugal yet. (Remember, it’s not São João for another few months, when Porto goes crazy.) If I hadn’t read up on Entrudo Chocalheiro the day before we left, I wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on. If you’re an uninitiated English speaker like me, I’ll direct you to Julie Dawn Fox’s website where she explains the events in greater detail.

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Basically, on the Sunday before Lent, these caretos unleash pranksterish behaviour on the public for about an hour. During this time a group of males of all ages — from little caretos-in-training (called Facanitos, or “little knives”) to veterans — wear what looks like a colourful head-to-toe fringed rug, some with long hats (all the better to clobber with), some with long sticks (all the better to poke with), and each with belts from which cowbells hang and make a racket when they walk and run. You would think the cowbells make it harder for them to sneak up on the unsuspecting, but caretos move pretty fast and I witnessed a lot of stealth attacks in the crowds.

Traditionally the targets of their attention are supposed to be young women (this is a tradition related to fertility, after all), but these days the caretos are easier on their victims and will chase after pretty much everyone who is looking the other way. They will grab you, rattle their hips against you, try and frighten with loud noises, knock their cowbells against you, that sort of thing. The idea is to keep on your toes and watch out for them, especially if you’re anywhere near the middle of the street. Unlike the Celtic days, however, the Portuguese witness this display with cameras and video recorders, and the caretos actually spend more time posing for pictures than practicing mischief.

For more pictures, check out the full-screen slideshow [Caretos de Pondence] (opens in new window).

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

Caretos of Podence, Portugal (Entrudo Chocalheiro)

March 2, 2014
Album: Carnaval 2014 Portugal
Full-screen slideshow: Carnaval 2014 Portugal (slideshow)

Carnaval 2014: A Preview

Desfile de Carnaval Noturno (Carnival Night Parade) - Macedo de Cavaleiros, Portugal

Desfile de Carnaval Noturno (Carnival Night Parade) – Macedo de Cavaleiros

We’re back from our carnival weekend in the region around Macedo de Cavaleiros, near Braganza and the border with Spain. We stayed in a convent, watched a parade at Macedo de Cavaleiros on Saturday night and took in the traditional Careto festivities in Podence on Sunday afternoon. Just a few pics from the parade for now, until I whittle down the huge pile (~1,500!) of files.

Desfile de Carnaval Noturno (Carnival Night Parade) - Macedo de Cavaleiros, Portugal

Desfile de Carnaval Noturno (Carnival Night Parade) – Macedo de Cavaleiros

Desfile de Carnaval Noturno (Carnival Night Parade) - Macedo de Cavaleiros, Portugal

Desfile de Carnaval Noturno (Carnival Night Parade) – Macedo de Cavaleiros

Some short videoclips (shot by Paulo) of what happens during Carnaval in Podence, a tiny village near Macedo de Cavaleiros with a tradition of Caretos — costumed pranksters.

Read more about it here: http://www.azibo.org/eng/caretosorigemeng.html


[video link]


[video link]


[video link]

Album: Carnaval 2014 Portugal

Preview: Brad Nathan, Fight For Independence 9 Boxer

Brad "Jewnami" Nathan of Lynx Equity

Brad “Jewnami” Nathan of Lynx Equity

Got a mountain of other editing to do this weekend, but here’s a preview shot from this morning’s training session at TKMT Academy uptown with the boxers of Fight For Independence 9 on May 2. Full post to come…

We’re now less than three weeks from the event — EXCITING! — and Brad “Jewnami” Nathan of Lynx Equity is here to show you he’s the “toughest Jew in Rosedale”. You can sponsor him (or any of the boxers) directly, or donate to the event.

A video clip from his training in La Jolla, CA:

On The Canadian Riviera: Wedding Preview

on the Canadian Riviera (Sugar Beach)

I kicked off my 2012 wedding season by shooting Michelle and Robert’s wedding on Saturday, and if this one’s any indication, I’m going to have a doozy of a year! In fact, I took another six-hour nap today to recover…

This preview pic was taken at Sugar Beach, where the winds were so high I could barely open the car door. I took one look at the trees and said an involuntary “uh oh”. It felt like a storm was on its way and the forecasters were going to tell us to batten down the hatches (there were winds coming up from 121 storms in 4 states that day). I was unsure everyone would go along with my cockamamie idea, especially in the first 30 seconds out of the car when we were all leaning into the wind (there’s a reason why there are no people at popular Sugar Beach), but we survived it and the pictures turned out great!

There are plenty more to come, stay tuned. Especially the karaoke pictures from the latter part of the evening when everyone is super-merry. At the end of the night the Maid of Honour shoved a microphone in my hand and I joined the Best Man on “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones. My second-shooter took the camera out of my hands and got a couple of photos of my first EVER karaoke number — believe it or not!

In The Words Of Bob Marley: We’re Jammin’

Red Moon Collective

You may not peg me as a Bob Marley listener, but I am. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to smoke anything to enjoy his music. It’s happy, it’s positive, it makes you want to shimmy. It reminds me of the days when I lived in a commune near the beach in northern Australia, when livin’ was easy. The sun shone all the time.

[“We’re Jammin'” — on YouTube]

Ooh, yeah! All right!
We’re jammin’:
I wanna jam it wid you.
We’re jammin’, jammin’,
And I hope you like jammin’, too.

Ain’t no rules, ain’t no vow, we can do it anyhow:
I’n’I will see you through,
‘Cos everyday we pay the price with a little sacrifice,
Jammin’ till the jam is through.

We’re jammin’ –
To think that jammin’ was a thing of the past;
We’re jammin’,
And I hope this jam is gonna last.

It is in the spirit of a Bob Marley tune that I think of Red Moon Collective’s monthly music jam. Edward’s loft turns into a musical love-in, with warm gestures of hey-nice-to-see-you-again hugging and other expressions of genuine connection between music-lovers. The last jam even included surprise birthday cakes for Clint:

Red Moon Collective

Happy Birthday, Clint!

This set is bigger than the previous two jams I’ve shot, so I will post just a few and let the rest autoplay below.

the sign-up sheet for musicians

the sign-up sheet for musicians

The All-Women Jam (except the bass player)

The All-Women Jam (except the bass player)

The Percussion Crew

The Percussion Crew

The Dancers are a big part of Red Moon

The Dancers are a big part of Red Moon

Alex brought the house down!

Alex brought the house down!

Do check out all 126 photos below (it was a big Jam!) or visit the Red Moon’s Facebook page for more links and events.

April 13 addition: video! Check it out:

[thumbnails]
[full-screen slideshow]

Astrid + Navarre’s Engagement Shoot At Harbourfront Centre

Astrid + Navarre

I shot Astrid + Navarre’s engagement shoot at Harbourfront Centre on December 18, after flying in a helicopter over them an hour and a half before. When I mentioned it they did recall seeing a helicopter flying overhead, but little did they know it was me!

I’d also done a family shoot before the helicopter ride, so after a morning of kiddie-wrangling and a lunchtime thrill of seeing the top of the CN Tower up close(r), the mid-afternoon felt like a break. Ice-skating at Harbourfront Centre? Yes, please! After all, I wasn’t doing the skating. (Holding a camera? That would be inviting disaster.)

Astrid was pretty tentative on skates, but Navarre’s a pro — he’s an avid hockey player.

 Astrid + Navarre

Of course, when I found that out I had to put his skills to the test and make him do a little stunt. It was rather busy at the rink, but I asked Navarre to do a leaning stop beside Astrid, and then a skate-on-one-knee, gliding to a stop. That was really cheeky of me to ask, but I did, anyway, and made a little videoclip of it:

After that, I was worried I’d wreck Navarre’s clothing before the shoot was up! Time to put regular shoes back on, as it was beginning to get very chilly. Not to mention, by the time I arrived Astrid’s parents had already been doing their own photo and film shoot of the couple for at least an hour. Between the three of us, we were Team Paparazzi. For two people who’d never had their photos taken together before, Astrid and Navarre would soon have more photos than ever.

Astrid + Navarre

The wind by the lake was picking up, which meant I had to get everyone walking, otherwise we’d freeze. Without prompting, Navarre did a heel-click and I got my favourite shot of the day:

Harbourfront e-session

This picture even made it into BlogTO.

Considering how much the temperature kept dropping, the shoot went splendidly and they held up for another hour before the sun disappeared over the horizon and we couldn’t feel our extremities anymore.

Astrid + Navarre

Astrid + Navarre

Just in time for the rest of the family to show up for a group shot:

GEF_8480

Astrid and Navarre’s wedding is in May, we’re all looking forward to the rise in temperature and flowers!

I’m still uploading photos to the set, so the set will expand over time. For now, it is best viewed as a full-screen slideshow, thumbnails, or watch it autoplay in the smaller slideshow below:

Jam Never Tasted So Good

Pictures and video was the closest we got to bottling this jam.

Event super-hosts Lisa and Clint of One-of-a-Kind-Dinner throw music parties at a loft in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District once a month. By day, the space serves as a photography studio for commercial shooter Edward Ambrosius, but each month on a Saturday after the night lights burn brightly and the taxicab cacophony begins on Adelaide Street below, Edward opens up the loft to let the sounds of guitars, drums, voices, and horns (and any other instrument that shows up) take over.

The Red Moon Music Collective is as much of a group as Broken Social Scene. Some of the performers make it every month, some less often, new people join in, they take breaks and take turns and sometimes they combine the two:

Red Moon Collective

slide guitar with beer

There is no protocol other than a simple sign-up sheet so people know when they’re up next, the same as what you’d find at a pool hall or a dart board. The only difference is it’s all self-serve: BYO drinks and snacks. It’s like going to a house party except a third of the space is covered in guitar cases, percussion instruments, speakers and cords leading to an amplifier.

This is not your garden variety houseparty, however, unless you have artists simultaneously drawing and painting musicians and dancers as they perform. (Or maybe you do. If so, they should join us!)

It’s tough to describe the vibe, so I’ll leave you with Lisa’s videoclip above and my photo album below of last Saturday’s jam. As jams go, this one was ace: lots of new people jamming with the regulars, sing-a-longs to Queen and dancing throughout. Completely unscripted and free-flowing, the evening didn’t want to end.

And did I mention it’s FREE? Yes, the best things in life are.

Red Moon Collective

our illustrious co-hosts, Lisa and Clint (along with Edward)

thumbnails
full-screen slideshow

CIBC Run For The Cure 2011

Team Brides' Project at CIBC Run For The Cure 2011

Team Brides' Project at the Finish Line

We did it! And we did it through rain and wind and layers upon layers of clothing — including veils and crinolines! As always, we drew lots of curious attention with our outfits, but there were plenty of others who dressed up, too.

Front:

Team Full Support

Team Full Support

Back:

Team Full Support

Team Full Support

Masked Crusaders

Masked Crusaders

It was great to see so many people out on a Sunday morning (after Nuit Blanche, where people were up all night long) showing their community spirit and support.

I shot some video, but it’s pretty shaky!

More pics at the album, or view as a full-screen slideshow, or watch the set scroll by below.

Read More»

Canadian National Exhibition, 2nd Edition

The Big Swing

The Big Swing

It’s a good thing I take lots of digital photos with EXIF data, or I’d never keep the details straight of when I went where. I could’ve sworn I went to The Ex in 2009 but it was 2007, four years ago! Does time fly or what?? I decided to go location scouting on Thursday (last night) because it’s only $5 from Monday-Thursday after 5pm, and it isn’t as busy. My third-shooter for Saturday, Q, came along for instruction and Q&A.

We entered through the main gates at Lakeshore and Strachan Avenue, and the first thing I did was sign the banner for Jack Layton:

I wrote "Thank you, Jack" directly to the right of his moustache

I wrote "Thank you, Jack" directly to the right of his moustache

messages of sympathy for Jack Layton

messages of sympathy for Jack Layton

From there we could feel our arteries narrowing as we passed by the food stands advertising heart-attack-inducing delights such as “Deep Fried Butter” and “Deep Fried Cherry Aid” (what on earth is that??):

new food groups, apparently

new food groups, apparently

funfair

funfair

We watched this rubber chicken game and it looks HARD. It’s like the chickens aren’t made of real rubber because they didn’t bounce very much, and this guy POUNDED on it. Imagine working this game and having to listen to the chicken music for hours on end!

fishing game

fishing game

The set thus far starts off with my first visit to The Ex in 2007, then moves on to 2011. See here for a full-screen slideshow (that also plays the video), or here for the thumbnails.

I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl

Sunday afternoon food groups: nuts and jelly beans

Sunday afternoon food groups: nuts and jelly beans

I have to pick up patients at 7am for their 8am chemo appointments, so I’ll leave this post extremely brief but loaded with calories. After the cupcakes in the last post, it was more sugar on the brain while editing these photos of cakes and desserts and jelly beans.

sweet gifts

sweet gifts

guess how many?

guess how many?

my weakness: cookies!

my weakness: cookies!

And on a related note, if I could be reincarnated, I would come back sounding like this — Chanda Rule covering Nina Simone’s song of the title: