By anyachibis

Director and screenwriter Tony Gilroy for The GRID magazine

Director and screenwriter Tony Gilroy for The GRID magazine

Recently a had a rare opportunity to photograph director and screen writer Tony Gilroy (Bourne Legacy) for the Grid Magazine. I had 10 minutes which I was told is a standard time frame for a press tour photo shoot. You go into a tiny and bare hotel room where at least 8 other photographers have been before you that same day, you have 10-15 min to prep while the interview is being conducted in the other room. Then the director comes in, he’s extremely tired and indifferent and hates to be photographed in general, you ask him to stand here, or sit there, he is suspicious and unwilling to follow any ideas out of even a slightly ordinary pattern. A few minuted later you’re done. Next!

I asked Tony if he is used to the process of being photographed by now and he told me NO WAY, and that he considers this being a payback for telling other people what to do in front of the camera on set. Sometimes being a photographer leaves you with uneasy feeling of being a tormentor, just like being a director at times I am sure.

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Summer Days

Imagine hot sweaty mid summer in an empty weekend Manhattan. Ever wondered where everyone has gone to? Now you know! Long Island here we come!

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Personal portrait project – Kerry Shaw

I wanted to photograph Kerry for a while. She’s one of these amazing “got it all” girls. A former dancer, practicing visual artist as well as photographer, very smart and driven, sweet, easy going and beautiful. She currently shares a sunlit studio in Liberty Village in Toronto with several other artists. It is very challenging to photograph a fellow photographer. Kerry made the experience also fun and rewarding, especially when she showed off a few of her acrobatic stunts at the end of the shoot.
Thank you Kerry!

Check out Kerry’s website at

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Personal portrait project – Lolly Luck

Lolly is 18, big blue eyed, and full of life. She wanted to be photographed in her bedroom, on a Saturday morning, just out of bed doing what she loves to do most – reading. Lolly also keeps a journal and hopes to become a writer some day.

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Personal portrait project – Bridgette Jean

I am continuing to shoot a personal portrait project. It’s not really meant to be a single body of work in relation to the previous environmental portraits shot in artists’ studios in Toronto, St. Petersburg and Moscow (you can see them on my website, in the Personal Work section), although they are all shot with a 6”×6” old Bronica in a similar style. I have had a keen interest for private spaces and the personal objects of people ever since I worked as a set decorator and props buyer for film and advertising in Toronto during 1998-2001. If you know someone you think I should photograph because of their wild and unique personality, lifestyle and living/working space, please shoot me an e-mail with an introduction to:

This is Bridgette Jean – a teacher for special needs children. She is happily and newly-married (in Las Vegas of course!) and living in her new Toronto home which she has meticulously decorated herself. Bridgette adored such icons as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn  since she was a child and a strong love for the 40’s and 50’s is what gave her the push into the world of pinup. And, oh boy, is she serious about it! “What turns me on the most about pinup modeling is the art of tease. A classy pinup model always knows when to show just enough of themselves and keep the boys wanting more!”

Bridgette let me into her boudoir full of breathtaking accessories and glamour posters of Hollywood divas from different eras. Bridgette’s beautiful collection of exotic shoes and sexy lingerie made me want try the pin-up role for myself. In case you’re wondering, she does not mix her professional teacher’s image with her passion for the iconic pin-up girl lifestyle.

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Georgia and Shep. Easter story for Today’s Parent Magazine

This is a very special collaboration with an amazing illustrator and designer Rachel Riordan and her twins Georgia and Shep (along with a few of their neighbours) Rachel not just let us into her dreamy house but she also styled the shoot.

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3,412 Miles West of Oxford

A week in New York proved to be very fruitful. More than 25 fifteen minutes portfolio reviews with art buyers and photo editors at NYC Fotoworks felt like speed dating – too much time with some and disappointingly not enough with others. Thanks to Josh and Matt for organizing this event! I really recommend checking out their website for more portfolio reviews to come next year

The best part of visiting NY was collaborating again with Di Mattison on yet another gentleman fashion project which will also be featured on her blog: What can be better then spending a sunny and mild fall afternoon in the park with a dear friend reading poetry, kicking a ball and engaging into intellectual conversations? Perhaps only having another friend with a professional photo camera to document these pleasant moments.

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Go RVing!

After a cross-USA road trip last year in a small car I realized that the right way to go would be in an RV! Being able to stretch out and take a nap while someone else is driving, or having a cup of coffee in the morning just the way you like it is priceless. Being sure that a bear or a buffalo can’t get to you while camping out in Yellow Stone park is even better. And one most certainly needs an RV to feel safe there! One day I will do a year long cross Canada and US road trip the right way. Hopefully this happens before my retirement!

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The Modern Dandy

For me fashion is on the streets, not in the magazines. I like to shoot real people with their OWN clothes on. They don’t have to be wearing latest Fall collection to stand out. They just have to have their own unique style. Di Mattison, the conceptualist and stylist behind this project shares my feelings. She pulled together a group of friends, went though their closets and came up with the concept of The Modern Dandy as she envisions it. She frequently shares her ideas and thoughts on fashion on her blog I thank her and her NY friends Riya, Leo, Nitzan and Ben, as well as our make up artist Anetta Klemens for sharing Di’s and my vision on street fashion and for making it a super fun shoot

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Sun Life Financial for Capital C

Ever wished for a sunny day on a location shoot? Well, get this: the hero for this advertising campaign was SUNFLARE. The forecast could not have been better the day before or even the morning of the shoot – sunny and not a cloud in sky! But when the production unrolled in the early afternoon (the shoot was to be at sunset), the cloud layer came in and it started to drip… a little bit… then more… rapidly turning into a really heavy thunderstorm! Even the “back-up sun” was no use to us – we were lucky to have a tent sheltering our large team from the downpour. Fortunately right around 6PM the rain stopped for a short while and we were able to recreate extremely realistic sunset light – without the actual sun. Thanks to my wonderful SPARKS production team and the CAPITAL C agency who kept us all going with great sense of humor under the rain tent.

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Canadian Denim for Globe and Mail

The biggest surprise with this fashion shoot came at the time the Globe and Mail finalized the layout. Along with the selection I was sent an e-mail with retouching guidelines: limit digital retouching and color correction to what could actually be done in the real darkroom. Having spent years in the darkroom during hi-school and college myself, I developed a personal taste and style which limits post production to a minimum anyway. But these guidelines sparked my respect for the Globe and Mail even more.I am happy that there are publications which make it their policy to restrict digital manipulations with the final images. Lets keep it real!