Clarity and a Boudoir-esque not-Fashion, Portrait shoot | Toronto Photographer

I woke up with a feeling of clarity. You know those moments when everything seems to make sense? Ya, one of those moments. Those moments are good. And I think it’s very important to pay attention when those moments come around and to act, if at all possible. I think that clarity is real and it’s a gift and when you don’t act, you know what happens, all of a sudden it’s gone and you’re left feeling a little bit perplexed and wondering. So, acting on my clarity, I decided to post this blog. Lol. :)

Now this is a shoot that I did a few months ago. It’s with a model that I had connected with a few years ago actually. She’s from Montreal and is stunning. But even better, she is a really nice and genuine person. So she was in Toronto and asked if I would like to shoot. And I said yes! Now here’s the thing. I am not a ‘Fashion Photographer’. I know this. I have tried on occasion and on those occasions, I failed. Lol. I don’t ‘see’ Fashion. I don’t know how to direct for Fashion. It’s not an interest for me. I love fashion, but to photograph it, is not an interest. So, I felt a little bit intimidated because she has such beautiful images of her work, that she has produced. So I thought, ‘Hmm…what can I do?’. But I said you know what, I’ll try. She had suggested that we shoot in her hotel, because she was visiting Toronto and had her hotel room at her disposal along with some wardrobe. So we met up one evening and again, this is also outside of my realm, because it was night and it was not in studio. I don’t typically shoot in those conditions. Typically I shoot with natural light and in the daytime and if not, then a studio setting. So again, outside of my realm, but it was good because it forced me to think. It was a great exercise for that. So, I arrived at the hotel and she showed me the wardrobe she had – some lingerie pieces. Again, outside my realm. And now the task was figuring out how to shoot. She had some ideas of what she wanted to do for some of the shots but then it was up to me to figure out how to light it and how to compose it. I do have to say that I am pleased with the outcome. I think because, at every step I was thinking and I was working to figure out how to light and shoot, forced me to be more creative. So I definitely enjoyed it and I would do it again. The images that we produced, taking into account that this is the end of the day and we had both worked full days already (and kudos to her that she looks so amazing), and didn’t start shooting until after 8pm, were all shot with a one light set-up. So very simple. But because I had such a beautiful and experienced model to work with, we were able to create some fun images. Take a look.

Toronto Photographer Ardean Peters

Toronto Photographer Ardean Peters

Toronto Photographer Ardean Peters

Toronto Photographer Ardean Peters

What defines me?

‘Who Am I?’. A question I ask myself a lot.
I realise I am still – still – trying to figure that out.

Yesterday I attended a funeral for my cousins’ mother. A life gone, a ceremony of remembrance. Tears and sadness and laughter too. It makes you think. They read her eulogy, describing who she was, what she’d done in life and re-counted anecdotes of her life. An attempt at giving those in attendance that only knew her in maybe one respect, a fuller view of who she was. That intrigued me. I asked my sister to eulogize me. She wouldn’t, I think because she thought it was morbid. But, I really wanna know what would be said about me. I want to know what my friends and family think about me; how they see me. Am I a good person in their eyes? Have I been a good friend? Sibling? Daughter? Do I live up to their expectations even? I don’t know, but I would really like to, in hopes that it will give me some insight into myself.

Okay. So I’m putting myself out there. See that poll over there to the right? I’m gonna ask all my friends and people who know me personally to do me a favour and enter their answers. I wrote some example ones above, but you can go ahead and check the ‘Other’ box and fill what you think. Okay, GO!

And because posts like to have pictures… Here’s one from a fun session last December, because laughter is awesome :)

Toronto Photographer Ardean Peters

John Free

He is kinetic. Constantly moving and I suppose thinking. A street photographer and does social documentary. I’d never heard of him and I like him. Shoot less. Don’t waste a shot. Don’t take the shot cause it ‘might’ come out. It won’t. Get close. Get CLOSE. Yes, getting close is intimidating. Part of the reason why I don’t think I could do ‘real’ street photography, although I love street photographers and their work. You gotta get close. You have to be ‘in’ the scene to capture the scene. But, there are tricks. And every street photographer has theirs. John; the 20 degree shift. When you see what you want to capture it, turn away 20 degrees so it doesn’t look like you’re photographing them. Pretend you’re looking somewhere else. Pre-focus on something at the same distance and then get your shot. And then it’s all about practice. Practice. Everyday you need to be shooting. Everyday I need to be shooting, but I’m not. Instead I’m watching photography documentaries at 4:30 in the morning ’cause I can’t sleep. Seriously though. Anything you want to be great at, you have to work at everyday. I think though that street photography today is a bit of a different beast. Maybe more of a challenge. When Henri Cartier-Bresson was shooting in the ’30s, the camera was a different thing. Still a novelty. Today, we are inundated with cameras. Everyone has one. Everyone is aware of it. Aware of their picture being taking. Excusing themselves past you when you bring your camera up to your face when you’re on a down-town street in Toronto – not wanting to ‘get in the way’. But it is a beautiful art; street photography. The ability to see a scene. To capture disparate elements and compose them in such a way as to tell a story. To document, whether you are truly impartial or whether you are directing the scene – you’ve captured the moment.

#throwbackthursday

Ya that’s me. About 19. And obviously a dork. I’d decided to take some self portraits with my Canon range finder 35mm camera. What I was doing here? I have no idea. I do though recall setting the camera atop a bunch of magazines (likely Sassy) on top of a chair. I should’ve moved the camera a little further forward. But hey, this was film and you couldn’t ‘check’ the picture and I was a novice.

Toronto Photographer Ardean Peters