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A month or so ago I travelled to Toronto, for various reasons. I went to visit my brother, who lives there, shoot with a model who I’ve waited a while to shoot and meet with a photographer I’ve been wanting to meet with for a while. I also planned to try and make a few contacts while I was there. I’m not stupid (at least I like to think I’m not), I know there isn’t much (if any) of a fashion scene where I live. I know I need to get to the fashion centers to be able to do the work I want to do. So I have planned a few trips to Toronto and hope to make it to Montreal as well this year. These trips are not planned as a vacation but as work trips, although this trip functioned as a bit of both.

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The reason it was a bit of both is because my parents went up at the same time and we all got to spend some time together. It had been a while since we were able to do that, where my brother lives in Toronto. It was really nice to have my days shooting/meeting/networking and a few of the evenings with my brother and parents.

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The time I had worked with this model was over a year and a half ago. We were supposed to work together again but a few weeks before we were about to shoot, she accepted a job and had to move. We always stayed in contact and I vowed I would get her in front of my lens again. She is an extreme pleasure to work with, moves very well, and has a love for fashion. What more can you ask for?

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The makeup artist (who also doubles as a hair stylist if I ask really nice), and I were on the exact same page for this shoot. She suggested more of a nude look and that was exactly what I had been thinking. There are time when it’s better to keep it simple and that’s what we wanted. She did a fantastic job and I worked with on 2 shoots on my 2nd Toronto trips, which should be up soon as well.

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I wanted to shoot 3 looks for this shoot and I had gone around the 2 days before doing location scouting. I wanted to find locations near the hotel I was staying at. We were doing the hair and makeup at the hotel and plus none of us had a vehicle to go too far and I wasn’t taking all my gear on the TTC.

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I didn’t exactly plan my time in the best way. I planned to shoot 2 looks outside (in daylight) and then one around nightfall. As you can see, the 2nd look was shot after the sun had gone down… not exactly how I planned it, but you can’t plan every last detail and sometimes have to roll with how the shoot naturally progresses.

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So, for the 3rd look I thought that maybe I would ask at the hotel to see what their policy would be on shooting there (which I was pretty sure I knew) and they said I would need waivers and they charge $150/hr for any type of filming in the hotel. They did say I could shoot in my room if I wanted, he couldn’t really stop that, but I didn’t really want to use the room.

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So I did what any good, smart, person would do… I said thank you very much and decided to duck my way through the halls, with the model and makeup artist, trying to evade security.

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That didn’t last long, we were spotted in under 5 minutes (having a flash going off in the halls tends to be hard to hide). Not to mention the loud beeping created by me trying to hold the elevator door open with my foot, while shooting in the elevator. So we walked the opposite way from the guard and made our way to the stairwell.

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I don’t know why I didn’t think of the stairwell right away. It worked really well with the last look. I guess I didn’t think of it because I never take the stairs in hotels and kind of forgot they even had them.

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Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist: Olivia Chandler

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