The CNE with Sydney

It's the first day of school. We're a week into September. Summer came and went but not without some amazing shoots and a lot of learning. 

There's no other Toronto way to say goodbye to summer than a trip to the Ex. I linked up with Sydney and she tore the place up. 

Model: Sydney Westgate (B&M Models)

Exit the Comfort Zone (Indoor Shoot W/Shiva)

To be perfectly honest, I was feeling a bit of anxiety going into this shoot. It was the first time I left the comfortable confines of the outdoors and brought the shoot into my living room. Pretty ironic, right?

Shooting indoors with natural light is something I've been curious about, but haven't gotten around to doing until now. I guess it was bound to happen when you spend that much time with your good bud Derek Hui (if you didn't know already, his work is unreal). And now I think I'm hooked. I gotta give so much credit to Shiva for being the pro that she is and trusting me with the vision. 

Check out the full set below:

Model: Shiva Kay @soshivaa
Photographer: Andre Widjaja @andrecwidjaja


Adventures in Iceland Pt. 2: Hitting the Ring Road

We left Reykjavik yesterday morning and embarked on a six-day drive along the Ring Road which circles around Iceland. 

When you think your socks have been knocked off from the previous day's adventures, this place has a tendency to amaze you even more. 

The 1,332 kilometre-stretch is packed with must-sees and we're only less than a quarter of the way. We checked out Barnafoss, a majestic little waterfall, but it's the raging stream from the top that steals the show. We also stopped by Grabrok, one of Iceland's three largest craters. It's an easy hike up man-made steps but once you're at the top, you'll feel like you're in the Justin Bieber video

We ended the day by decompressing with a few brews in our geothermal pool at our quaint little hostel in Saeberg. 

Adventures in Iceland: Golden Circle and the $25 Case of Water

Yes, Iceland is just as stunning as everyone hypes it up to be. Driving through its winding roads, it's hard not to be distracted by its peculiar landscape and and towering mountains. 

We just wrapped up Day One here — driving through the Golden Circle and making stops at a geothermal river in the Town of Hveragerdi (6-kilometre uphill hike through deafening winds), Geysir (kinda underwhelming) and Gulfoss (AMAZING). 

*Travel Tip: Buy your case of water at a real grocery store. We were in a jam this morning and purchased a case of water for $25 CDN at a gas station. I swear I had a heart attack when I saw the cashier ring it up.

Anthony and Nhu Proposal

A few weeks ago I shot my first proposal. There was a huge amount of pressure to keep the element of surprise and it all nearly fell apart in the end. 

We planned this out meticulously weeks in advance and it really tested my ability to adapt. We plotted out exactly where they'd be standing, where I'd be standing, what time it would happen (down to the exact minute). 

And even though I had to scramble and hide behind a tree (and pray I didn't get spotted), it all fell into place quite nicely in the end. 

Unlike shooting portraits, I wasn't able to tell the model to pose a certain way or re-take a bunch of shots until I got one I wanted. All you have is an amazing moment happening in front of you and you try your best to capture and interpret it in your way. TIP: Take ALOT of pictures. Switch to burst mode if you need to.  

Congrats, Anthony and Nhu and thank you for sharing that moment with me. 

Scarborough Bluffs with Anna

I shot with Anna a few months back at Allan Gardens. I was really happy with how those pictures turned out so we linked back up and headed to the Scarborough Bluffs to make sure the first time wasn't just a fluke.

The wind was blowing that day — good for cool, hair flowing shots, not cool for Anna, who was probably on the verge of hypothermia in her dress. 

But she soldiered it out like a pro, warming up every 10 minutes (I'm not a savage photographer), then lying on cold, wet rocks for a few snaps. 

Check out what we ended up with. I'm happy to say it wasn't just beginner's luck.