Black’s Photo had a ridiculous sale today on 8×10 prints for $1 each, so I was scrambling to dig up photos that I wanted blown up! I found a few old gems, a lot of which haven’t seen the light of day yet, so I figured I’d throw them up here! Today I’ll focus on people that I’ve taken pictures of, who make music which I enjoy.
On stage with Redman & Saukrates at Rockpile last fall.
Next to surfing with Woody Harrelson in Costa Rica, and waiting in line behind Steve the Pirate in LA, probably the next most internationally famous person I’ve really rubbed shoulders with (and have photos to prove it) is Redman. When I was 12 years old, a guy gave me a bunch of hip hop and rap tapes. Among those tapes was Muddy Waters, and Whut, Thee Album. None of my friends were listening to rap or hip hop, except maybe a little bit of Biggie or Tupac. But I became obsessed with it. I found out that Mindbender was one of the opening acts at Redman’s show last fall at Rockpile in Etobicoke, and couldn’t miss it. I managed to sneak up on stage just before his entourage arrived, and for some reason when his security came in they told me specifically to stay on stage! Redman and Saukrates subsequently walked past me and put on a hell of a show. The whole time they were performing, there was a dude beside me rolling giant blunts, which they would toke a couple times, and then pass to the audience!
Mindbender & Rich Kidd
Mindbender & Rich Kidd were found backstage at the Redman show. You know.
Toronto Rapper Solitair
In keeping with the classic hip hop theme, I also had a chance to take a few photos with Toronto rapper, Solitair, last summer in the Distillery District. You might not recognize his name, but you’ll definitely know this song when you hear it! This was shot in the emergency stairwell of that cafe right by the parking lot (can’t remember what it’s called)…but as soon as one of the employees saw us taking photos she politely asked us to leave.
If you’ve seen my work in the past, you know who these guys are..I did this shoot for the Johnny Major boys 2 summers ago, when their website was getting a major facelift. Decked out in GSUS clothing they showed up to my place in Hamilton about 8 minutes before the sun disappeared, so we ran up to the rooftop, snapped about a dozen or so photos in those fleeting minutes, and somehow got the shot we wanted for the site! This was not that photo, but was probably my favourite from that rushed shoot! As of right now, the photo on their site is still the one from this evening.
Hands & Teeth
Probably one of the coolest apartments I’ve ever shot in was Jeff Pinto’s place, from the band Hands & Teeth. It was in an old converted building just off Yonge in Toronto, actually right next to Shred Central Skate Park (if that helps), and it’s since been demolished. I had done some photos with Natasha for a solo project that she was working on and she asked if I’d want to come to Jeff’s place to do photos with the band as well. As a big fan of their music, and especially their live show, I accepted. These guys are doing really awesome stuff right now and just got back from SXSW, check them out and if they’re playing in your neighborhood be sure to go see their fantastically creative live show!
OK I know I already have a photo from these guys, but this one is another one of my favourites, and frankly, I’ve done more work with them than any other artist! This was just a test shot for their album cover. The album was to be called “This is the Sound” and J. Kessler is a big fan of space suits and things like that…so I came up with this idea where they’d be wearing funky-ass headphones which would be attached to each other, and shoot it at Lansdowne Subway Station, because the lighting had a futuristic feel to it (with a little bit of colour correction). D Major was optimistic, but J needed to be convinced. So we hopped in a car and met there, and shot this test shot between bursts of crowds of people. Then, in photoshop, I edited out the existing cords, edited in the one cord which connected them together, and played around with the colouring a bit. In the end, they both loved the idea, so we went back with the right wardrobe (i.e. the gold GSUS jacket) and did a little more extensive shooting. The album is SICK and is available on iTunes.
The Dirty Tees
The Dirty Tees came to me through a mutual friend, Zlad, whom I just did an editorial shoot with a few days ago…These guys were also looking for promo shots for the upcoming launch of their website. This shoot was a lot of fun and we ended up getting quite a few good shots. As for their music, what they basically do is remix popular songs to make them actually sound good. Check out their sound cloud page to hear some of the stuff they’ve been doing. They’re doing such a good job of it, that when they did a cover of a Natasha Bedingfield song, she caught wind of it, and then flew them out to California to live and work with her on some songs! Since then, they’ve had tons of success including getting recognition for a Beyonce track they remixed, and releasing an EP of their own!
I’m not sure how far outside of the GTA JRDN’s music has gotten, but if you don’t recognize his face, you’ll probably recognize his voice. I got the opportunity to do a one-on-one photo shoot with him as a promo for our mutual friends at N4E1 Clothing at Capsule in Yorkville. Really down-to-earth guy, super easy-going and easy to work with, and genuinely passionate about making music. You’ll likely be hearing from him for a while!
Stay tuned for more photos from the Vault, as well as a few exciting shoots from last week!