Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Jac-City

For documentary I find an idea is born from the situation. Though my work can appear as fashion or something else, I tend to think of myself as just a documentary photographer. The subjects I pick to photograph don't come to life in my images rather they are just captured, in their essence. With additional lighting, I am still taking the same approach to photography from when I first starting documenting my friends on our adventures in Texas.
The bulk of my recent portrait work revolves around one person in particular. It seems each photo shoot we do the images we produce become more alive and truer to her energy. But rather than just snapping away at what she gives me I like to meet her with my technique as a photographer and placing her in different situations. We seem to create these characters for each different shoot we do. And in the end I see it as a document to different phases we go through in the partnership of a photographer and subject.
And like documentary, the idea exist within the subject, it is up to you and the subject to communicate these ideas in whatever medium you have choosen.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

[insert portfolio]

Six years into 50-some pages.
Lately I've been selecting images for my portfolio, going through the hundreds of them and saying my favorite shot of Sam isn't good enough, that Galveston, TX is just not on par. Seeing each image is more than a memory or a photograph to me, they are my stepping stones to who I am today.
My plan is to have my 50-60 images selected by the end of summer, shoot what I think I should have in my portfolio, then self-publish it into a limited edition book. In the end, the book will be composed of images that are for sale rather than of my fondest memories, but images that will be the more instrumental in my progress as a photographer, and an artist.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Building Blocks

What can be done to something you've done before. Having a void space to me is rather hard to be creative. To some it is a world of possibilities, but for someone who is about documenting, it is an empty studio. I think the only reason I have found my studio work in my portfolio is because it was documentary. I'll have something in the studio I never thought to use as a prob until I'm done fiddling around with the lighting. To me, it is simply documenting the shoot itself, taking the boombox we were using to listen to music with, or throwing this crowd of hotlights into the shot was all just capturing the moment.
Each fashion shoot I do scares me a little. For me, fashion has always been separated from the art I did, so when I got into shoot fashion photography I didn't think of it as "my art", just as my technique. But slowly as I learn the creative power fashion photography I am seeing the potential there, and block by block bridging the gap. These building blocks are my portfolio. Each step I take brings me further into understanding what can be done.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lucid Memory

Over the years I have lived in different places for a few years each before moving on to the next place. Each move is further from the last. The people I knew and the experiences that were generated in those places are placed further into my memory. Over time these memories have become distant to the reality of today and feel more like dreams than the real.
The image of the person in the background and myself is a representation on my current situation. The person in the photograph is my room mate. At the end of April he will be leaving Toronto to go back home in Chicago and I will move into a new place and won’t see him for the whole summer. Our times as room mates will soon fade into the depths of my long term memory and the reality of change will be distinguished until the summer ends. My memory of living at my current place will become like all the memories of the past, distant and years later, feel like a dream. The use of green is a metaphor to both the person in the background and a retrieval cue. The use of color forms atmosphere and terms of how I knew that person, from the grace of blue to the intimate of red. These memories will never be forgotten just mistaken for dreams.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Days Are Further Away

The rainy days have passed. I decided for the last entry for this week to go back to an early stage of my photography, my first black & white street shots.
The days of walking the streets with my camera, looking all around for that one shot for that one moment are done and all that remains is a pile of prints. Street photography was the thing that got me where I am today. I first started with an old Nikon, but moments would pass me by if I wasn't fast enough. Soon after I received a Canon AE-1 from my father and got a motor drive for it making those moments, captured moments. And finally the progress was complete when I got my Canon Elan 7ne autofocusing camera. Each step I took I felt the lost of a purity in photography, the more machine the less it felt completely mine, that I wasn't able to capture this image exactly how I wanted it, I just simply caught it. Over time I knew what I wanted and was able to shimmer the peaks of my vision. Nowadays I am about slowing the moment down, controlling it, and have absolute domain using medium or large format. I feel a grace again in the purity.
It was on rainy days I was able to capture people the best, its almost like I was never there for their eyes to notice.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


On August 18, 2007 At 8am I started work as a promotional photographer for a film. The location was the old Cadet Cleaners building in the west end of Toronto, Ontario. My experience in this place were documented through photography but later with my words as an entry in my journal.

No one cares to look for a place in ruins. Those who come to this place are without homes and are in need of shelter. It is a place I visited for a day, breathed the thick air of a building that hasn't seen better days for what seems like a century. Broken walls, blown out windows, and piss-shit cans where the homeless sleep. Only those who are desperate dwell here. One day of exposure in this type of place made me sick myself, I couldn't imagine how people can live here. But then again, the person I did encounter was drinking fluids that should only be poured into the mouths of cars. Out of all of this I found interest in the chairs. They seemed like the only thing left from the people that used to work here. The chairs simply remain here, some possibly still in the same spot from the day of their abandonment. As I was documenting them I took notice that they all seem to be placed into personifying positions, as if they had a life force of their own. Strange things would happen as I returned to them later on in the day. Some of the chairs would be in different positions, others completely changed; upside down or on top of each other. Besides from the film crew below, the second floor was completely abandoned, the only one who was here before was a homeless man that had left a few hours earlier. It was this unseen movement that intrigued me to do this series. I made sure I didn't disturb any of the chairs and wanted everything to be in its nature. I look back at being in that building and I wonder why I wasn't afraid of being somewhere that had this strange unexplained movement going on. Maybe it is because the chairs looked so peaceful, like they did not have to have someone’s bottom sitting down on them all day. They had open air and their own home here in the ruins of this abandoned warehouse.

On May 21st the TTC will display Bottomless on their public displays for the day every 10mins as a part of their Contacting Toronto Contact Show.

Monday, May 5, 2008


It's hard to explain documentary outside of process of documenting an event, a place, or person. With Density, I set out to produce images that provoked a countryside that was my escape. Every month I would travel out with a few friends to my friend’s cottage. For a while it was almost necessary to go on these trips because living in the city one can’ t find much nature. So having these images is something I can take back with me. The scenery itself isn’t how the area looks around the cottage, these marshes were completely random and sparse. They were the unique element that added to the existence of leaving the city to embrace another world and another style of living.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Alone In The City

A face out of no where. Each day feels further from the last. When I moved to this city I found myself lost in discovery. The whole place felt like another world, another moment in other people's lives. Over the years the feeling of discovery was rarer and rarer and I started feeling more comfortable where I was. No more walks alone with my camera late at night. No more rainy days of running around snapping the unaware eye. These days I feel like I'm looking for something, someone. A face out of the crowd that will stop a moment.

In the morning I feel alone, that slow fade from black and blue to pink and orange. Its a moment that never loses its discovery.

Alone In The City is the first print I made in my convex paneling. Like a bay window, it engulfs the viewer into the atmosphere of the photograph. I can't think of a better way to display my paneling then convexing panels. They complement the expansion of scenery that paneling produces.


I have been moving my whole life. I have lived in New Mexico, Texas, Ontario, and a bit in Hawai'i. There has only been one house I stayed in for more than four years. It was when I was a kid in Scarborough. Every new place I live in I have had to make new friends, learn the environment and adapt to all the changes. Hearing stories of people being friends with someone their whole life or knowing a place so well they can elaborate on the history of a place and have experienced it first hand makes me curious and sometimes envious. To live in a place your whole life seems peaceful and ordinary. Each place I have lived in has crafted the person I am today.
These days I don't jump around much, I just move from one place to the other in the same part of town. But each move I grow more depressed on the fact I'm leaving a place full of memories into a cold vessel without any history to me. This place I have to form new memories, and I hope for the better.
I am done moving for now, I just want to reflect on the places I have lived in, and how over time they seem as if dreams themselves.