I’m always anxious to see the final edit when I work on a project with Chris Wardle and this shoot for the SS12 Collection for Ambush Apparel was no exception. Check the video out below, and click here to check out Ambush Apparel.
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.
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 were found backstage at the Redman show. You know.
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.
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 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!
So stoked to be sharing this with the world! We just released Johnny Major‘s first Music Video for Ghetto Fabulous, off their debut album “This Is The Sound”. I had the pleasure of Directing this video, and could not have done it without the extremely talented camera operator and editor, Chris Wardle. Anna Cyzon is also featured in this song and video which was shot in entirety in Hamilton, Ontario. Take a look and spread the love!
I’m working on a little Time Lapse Video to showcase the beautiful city I live and work in to the rest of the world. My goal is for outsiders to see this city the way we (optimistic!) Hamiltonians see it!
These are some of the test shots I did when I was first ironing out the kinks with my super ghetto, self-designed, home-made time-lapse dolly rig…When I say ghetto, I mean I have to move it by hand, 1/8th of an inch at a time, 500 times per shot…in the freezing cold! But I love this city, so it’s worth it!
Please excuse the shakiness…again, these were just the test shots. The final video, which will drop sometime towards the end of January, will be flawlessly spectacular!
I’ll be shooting up until mid-January, so if you know of any cool locations to set up for a time lapse, please email me at email@example.com and I’ll make sure you get credited for the location in the final video if it’s used! If anyone knows of any ways to get funding through sponsorship or something, let me know! It would be awesome to have proper equipment, but if not…I’m perfectly fine to do this by hand, 1/8th of an inch at a time!
Please, enjoy (and share!) the video!
I almost can’t believe that I am finally announcing the release of the long-awaited first full-length album from Johnny Major! I’m sitting in my living room right now listening to This Is The Sound for the first time since it got back from The Mastering Palace in NYC. The guys have come a long way over the past few years and watching their sound evolve has been incredible! They have invented their own genre, “Post-Pop”, which takes cues from many of their legendary influences, from Al Green to T.I., The Beatles to Weezer…thrown it all into the mix and pumped out something extraordinarily unique, yet strangely familiar. They truly represent the sound of the future, that hasn’t forgotten the past!
I was truly humbled when they asked me to design and shoot their album cover for This Is The Sound. The idea, which we ultimately decided to shoot, came to me when I was shopping at Urban Outfitters in Toronto and stumbled across these retro-looking Koss headphones.
These guys are so passionate about music, and I’m excited to see what directions this album takes them. Be sure to follow them on Twitter (@johnny_major), I have a feeling over the next few months some big things are going to come into fruition for them!
I’ve finally gotten enough ducks in order to officially announce the Grand Opening party for my Photography Studio in Hamilton! Low Key Studio & Gallery will be holding a massive party to celebrate it’s Launch into the community on November 26th at the Studio. DJ Adverb will be spinning and Sanjay Patel will be doing his Live Painting thing. There will probably be a lot more going on as well, I will update everyone as other leads develop further.
If you’re interested in having your work showcased in the gallery on the night of the party, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll set something up.
I hope to see many of you at the Launch party, you can register for the guestlist on Facebook by clicking HERE, it’s helpful for me, but not mandatory.
I’d like to apologize to the millions of people that are probably checking back here on an hourly basis hoping for updates! I’ve been terribly busy over the past month working on several exciting projects, which will be unveiled in the coming weeks!
One of said projects is a photography studio and gallery that my girlfriend and I are opening in Hamilton. It’s currently in a state of construction, but the Grand Opening Launch Party is set for Nov 26th. Check lowkeystudio.com for frequent updates and information on the studio and launch party. If you’re an artist and would be interested in showcasing your work in the gallery at or after the party you can contact me through the Low Key Studio site.
I’m also avidly updating my Instagram stream on a regular basis. Follow me if you’re on Instagram, I’m @duaflex .
Now back to working on the album cover for the upcoming release of Johnny Major‘s LP, This Is The Sound. I’m excited to have my work as the cover art!