I checked out the Scarborough Kennel Club show in Orangeville and it was an experience...
I was thrilled to finally have an assignment that brought my love of cats and photography together. If only every assignment could have a cat in it.
I spent a chilly afternoon in Guelph with researcher Tyler Flockhart searching for cats to photograph for Maclean's story on outdoor and feral cats. Unfortunately since it was so cold we only saw ONE cat, which ran inside when its owners opened the door to find out I was doing snapping away at the front of their house (though they were ok with it once I told them what I was doing - the cat's name is Maggie by the way). It was disappointing but I'm happy we at least saw one. You can read the piece
I just got home from the Women's March on Washington where I photographed a part of the Canadian contingent marching in the Women's March on Washington in DC for the Canadian Press.
I arrived Friday night after the inauguration and was staying in a hotel right in the heart of the balls in Washington. The hotel lobby showed me just how divided the US was. Visually, you could see exactly which "side" people were on - Trump supporters in fur, ballgowns, tuxedoes or red "Make America Great Again" hats and people who opposed Trump wearing pink pussy hats. Since I wasn't dressed in either, people asked me, "Are you with all this protest nonsense?" (how Trump supporters asked) or "Are you marching tomorrow?" (how Women's March people asked). What everyone was really asking is, "Are you with us or against?"
The march itself was incredible. It was amazing how many women showed up. It was so inspiring and I only hope that it's just the start of something big. I spent the majority of the time just trying to keep up with the Canadians I was shooting (then filing). It was crowded and at every turn there were endless streams of marchers. After leaving the Canadians to file it was impossible to track them down again in the sea of people so I took a few photos of the march for myself but mainly tried to take it in as it wrapped up.
Big shoutouts to two fellow Canadian badass photographers that I was so proud to shoot alongside:
who was down there photographing for the Walrus and Maclean's and
who shot an amazing series of portraits that ran on the front page and throughout today's Globe and Mail. These guys were amazing to travel with, text to share information and excitement with and to take in the craziness of it all. It's certainly an experience I will never forget.
I actually photographed this Trump rally back in the spring when it looked like he might not even win the Republican nomination. I drove down to Syracuse with photographer Sarah Palmer who was working on a project called
In the spring, Trump's candidacy still seemed like a joke. Trump seemed to stand for pretty much the opposite of all my personal and political beliefs but I wanted to see what it would be like to go to a rally - to see the voters who loved him and to hear what he said in-person.
The event was scarier than I thought it would be. Outside the conference hall people had been standing in line for hours for a spot inside. Once inside, they were tired and a little cranky. It was hot and space was tight. An announcement reminded rally attendees not to physically assault protesters if they appeared during the rally. Trump was late and as time wore on the crowd was restless.
Eventually Trump took the stage and the crowd erupted. He ranted the entire rally without notes - promising to bring all the jobs back to Syracuse immediately after being elected ("that's how good I am"), asking the crowd to turn around and look at the lying and incompetent press who were at the back in a small pen area and from time-to-time whipping up the crowd to chant "Build the Wall!" He bragged about how smart his voters were. He didn't talk about any real policy or issues. The crowd loved it. After it was over I couldn't believe what I'd heard. I left thinking Trump was scarier - and even less credible a candidate - than I had thought before I'd seen him in-person.
Once home people seemed to find it interesting that I'd been to a Trump rally. At the time it seemed a little funny to describe the event. I spoke about it the way you might recount the time you saw a waterskiing squirrel - it was amusing and disorienting but nothing serious. I firmly expected Clinton to win the Presidency. I couldn't believe how anyone could take Trump seriously, especially after seeing him speak.
I held off posting these images because I'd had a different post in mind for when Clinton won the election. Today Trump becomes President of the United States. I'm still in shock.
This isn't the final stop for refugees, instead it's just the start of their trip to Canada. Driving into the base, with its imposing airplane hangers, strong-wordeded military signage and barb-wire fences, I tried to imagine what arriving in this strange place is going to feel like - relief, fear?
When Meagan spoke with people in town, the reaction was mixed and it was interesting to see how people are responding to the idea of refugees coming to Canada. Generally people seemed to want to help but were a little fearful and upset at the money being spent. I know that I'm incredibly proud of our country for bringing the refugees here and I can't wait to see them start to arrive in Trenton and then onto their final destinations scattered across Canada.
You can read the Maclean's piece here.
The election has come and gone but on Sunday I photographed the NDP's final Toronto rally for Maclean's. It seemed only fitting that the rally was held during the marathon given the marathon length of this campaign.
It was a rainy night, so door-to-door canvassing was canceled but that didn't stop NDP volunteer Pat File from coming out to knock on doors around the neighbourhood to make the case for the NDP, and she says that Layton's memory is what inspires her to keep going. You can read the Maclean's piece here.
Here are just a few of my favourite fan photos.
Music bar is a small dive bar in Icheon in the city where my brother Scott and his fiancé Michelle lived while teaching English. We had drinks, requested music and made a new Korean friend who requested some Maroon 5 for us (??).
Zombie Bar in Hongdae was was of the weirdest nights in Seoul. Throughout the night, music stops and really terrible zombies wander out in the room and dance. It was awful and wonderful.
We visited their school where some of their students made lovely drawings for us. In case you can't read it, the drawing reads "Pretty Della" above the drawing of me (I am dressed as a princess for some reason) and above Matt someone got shy and erased "handsome" from "handsome Matt" (who is strangely bearded) and decided to just leave it as "Matt".
I think that it was brave of these these women to share their stories so publicly (and their faces for photos) so I was particularly happy to hear that after the story was released Monk will no longer be working at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Chalk one up for the power of good journalism. Maybe we can change the world. You can read the piece at Maclean's here.
I immediately thought of fellow GTHLA hockey player Laine Pond's son Owen for the shoot. Owen is a superstar on the ice and he was a superstar in front of the camera. Having your photo taken can actually be an incredibly boring process since it takes much longer than anyone ever expects (when you're 9 I imagine it feels like FOREVER). Despite how boring it was, Owen was patient and wonderful to work with. Thank you Laine and Owen for taking a few hours out of your March Break for this shoot.
You can read the Maclean's piece here.
So you know the story. A mysterious hand-dug tunnel was discovered near Jane and Finch near York University. People's minds immediately went to the worst when speculating - it was the work of terrorists, murderers or drug dealers.
Turns out the tunnel was dug by Elton McDonald, a 22-year-old just looking for a little quiet time and place to practice his constructions skills.
I photographed Elton for Maclean's magazine and he is probably one of the sweetest people I have ever shot. He was shy, soft-spoken and incredibly endearing. His family politely endured us taking over their living room with photo gear, monopolizing their time and asking Elton to do multiple wardrobe changes.
Here's hoping that Elton gets to dig more big projects in the future! Check out the Maclean's story here.