Video and Photo for the Giants of Jordan and CIBC’s 150th Anniversary

I was recently hired to do a video and photographs of the CIBC Observation deck for a contract wth Toronto Guardian celebrating CIBC’s 150th anniversary. The 32nd floor of the Commerce Court building in downtown Toronto was opened to a select few for the first time in 52 years.

CIBC's 150th

Prior to taking the elevator up to the 32 floor of the building, we were treated to a display of other artifacts from CIBC’s 150th anniversary, one that is shares with the nation of Canada. Among these items were old bills, an old board room chair as well as old typewriters and other mechanical devices.

CIBC's 150th

Once we were able to go to the 32 floor, we visited with the Giants of Jordan, large head statues on the observation deck that resemble the heads on Easter Island. They are called the Giants of Jordan for the street down below that is called Jordan Street. Melinda Court sits next to this street and apparently these are the names of a husband and wife who were either owners or high ups in the banking companies past.

CIBC's 150th

We only had 15 minutes to take both video footage and snap a few pics to share. The video turned out pretty good considering we only had time to capture a handful of shots. The article and the video are already up on the Toronto Guardian news website.

Here is the video on facebook if you want to check it out.


Toronto Nutritionist Sarah Goldstein Office and Portrait photos

I have been chatting with Toronto Nutritionist Sarah Goldstein to help me with my diet and I also worked with her to shoot some pics for her website. She wanted a couple of herself and then some of her office as well.

Toronto Nutritionist Sarah Goldstein

Nutrition is such an important part of health and I am amazed at how much bette you can feel by cutting out so many of the toxic foods we as a society have come to accept as normal. Through my new diet, I hope to have more energy and feel healthier in general.

It can be a tough decision choosing a Toronto nutritionist. There are many to choose from and it may come down to cost and location when you finally make a choice. Sarah Goldstein is located on Pape Avenue just north of Danforth and also has many only options like meal plans, recipes and ebooks for those not wanting to commit to a part-time or full-time nutritionist.

Toronto Nutritionist Sarah Goldstein

If you have things like diabetes, auto-immune diseases, asthma, psoriasis or something else that could be affected by your diet, I would suggest having a chat with a nutritionist like Sarah Goldstein about what your options are. A simple change in your eating habits could have profound change to your quality of life.


Official Photographer of the Toronto Wolfpack Rugby League Team

I was excited to be hired on as the game photographer for the Toronto Wolfpack Rugby League team for their inaugural season. Home games are played at Lamport Stadium which will be called The Den for Wolfpack games.

Toronto Wolfpack Photos
FuiFui MoiMoi

I have never worked in sports photography but have read a lot about it. It was exciting to learn something new and have now shot 3 games with a lot of success.

My first game I rented the Canon 70-300, the second game I rented the first generation Canon 100-400 with the pull zoom. The third game I rented the Canon 100-400 second generation lens and it was my favourite. The 400 mm range was enough to catch most plays and the sharp lens allowed for close cropping when the shot needed to be closer.

Toronto Wolfpack Photos

On top of learning about the game of rugby and how to shoot it, I have been learning about the team and its players. They are a bunch of players from England, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries so it is interesting to see them in the downtown Toronto surroundings. They are always cracking joked and have been loving the warm welcome the team has received here.

Toronto Wolfpack Photos
Captain Craig Hall poses for a photo with a fan.

The fans of the game have also been great. With multiple 6500+ attendance games and one 7100 game, it shows that Toronto is ready for a rugby team and that fans will support it.

For more info on the Toronto Wolfpack, visit their website.


Black and White Shoot with my friend Maria Florescu

After shooting the photos with my friend Maria Florescu at the Hot Tub factory, we had talked about doing another shoot. The next time we were both available we met up and wanted to do a Guess or Calvin Klein styled shoot with bright white light and nice shadows.

Maria Florescu
Maria Florescu

I first met Maria while I was shooting for INK Entertainment’s nightclubs in Toronto from 2012-2015 before I moved on to interiors and restaurants. She was also working for the company and was often at events that I was shooting. Her boyfriend is the owner of Untitled & Co. and Maria is often the face of the brand in ads and photoshoots.

Maria Florescu

Maria is very easy to work with and has some great looks. The shoot only took about 30 minutes and we ended up with a couple dozen great shots.

The pics were well received and the online magazine and social account SKYN Magazine picked it up and published 8 of the photos with some info about Maria and the shoot. You can see that post here.

Maria Florescu

I don’t normally like to shoot people and enjoy interior photography the most, but it was nice to get out of my comfort zone and practice something different.

I think I will continue to dabble in portrait photography and maybe some lifestyle but it does not interest me as much.


Food and social media photography for Hopscotch in Toronto

For the past few months I have been doing small shoots with the company Hopscotch who care a lot about their food, where it’s sourced and what it’s served in. Their menu was created by talented chefs and everything they have is completely chef driven with locally sourced ingredients.

Hopscotch food photography

They have some great smoothies as well as build a bowl. I hve eaten several of them now and really enjoy it. They also have some dessert options that I have not tried but hope to soon.

The photos are for their social media changes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I offer a reasonable deal for photos that are “once lived” and do not require the same standards as say a menu shoot or editorial. This allows the client to have a steady stream of high quality images without the high cost for monthly staged shoots.

Hopscotch food photography

There is a wide variety of ingredients to choose from so every bowl can be different and you will never get bored.

They also sell coffee made on their fancy espresso machine. Here is one of their cups sitting on the hopscotch design on the floor of their shop.

Hopscotch food photography

Hopscotch in Toronto is located just West of Yonge and King in the underground beneath the Scotia tower. Be sure to check it out!

You can see their website here.



Interior Photographer for Dance Studio Rental Space on Danforth

I was recently hired as an Interior Photographer for a multi purpose dance studio space on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. The space has mirrored walls and a piano that one could use in the rental for music or dance/theatre rehearsals and classes.

Interior Photographer for Dance Studio

The space is located at 1324 Danforth Avenue at Greenwood station at its brightly coloured state made it easy as an interior photographer to capture its essence. There is also a downstairs basement included in the rental that can be used as a kid’s play place, complete with many games and toys.

The washroom for the space is also in the basement.

Interior Photographer for Dance Studio

Rentals for this space are also done through ThisOpenSpace, a website that allows one to rent a space for an event, art show, dance class, etc. Spaces can range in price and size and if interested you can check out their website for their listings.



Costa Rica Travel Photography for Toronto Guardian Travel

In April I visited Costa Rica with Toronto Guardian to take photos and write about some of the locations and places to stay. I went from Montezuma to Jaco to Manuel Antonio before heading to La Fortuna and back to San Jose to fly home.

Costa Rica - Montezuma - Joel Levy
Costa Rica – Montezuma – Rental Home

In Montezuma I stayed at an incredible rental home just 10 minutes drive from Montezuma Beach and the main part of the small town. A bohemian paradise, this area is known for their Yoga Retreat, Anamaya, their many surf locations in the area, and the transient lifestyle that is very apparent.

Costa Rica - Montezuma
Costa Rica – Montezuma

After Montezuma I headed to Manuel Antonio National Park for the day and then stayed in Jaco for two nights. At the park, I got to shoot Sloths and other animals in the wild. In Jaco, I stayed at Croc’s Resort which is very well known, there were even billboard at the airport in San Jose.

Costa Rica - Manuel Antonio - Sloth
Costa Rica – Manuel Antonio – Sloth

After Jaco, I headed to my favourite place of the trip. La Fortuna site beside two volcanoes and is in the centre of the country where it is more rainforest like. The lush landscapes and beautiful resorts were a dream to shoot. I also visited the hot springs that run through the area.

Costa Rica - Jaco - Croc's Resort and Casino
Costa Rica – Jaco – Croc’s Resort and Casino

After a few nights in La Fortuna, I headed back to San Jose and took a tour around. I noticed their gorgeous National Football Stadium and wanted to get a good angle. Luckily the Hilton Hotel lobby floor was on the 16th floor right next door and I managed to get on their observation deck for a better view.

Costa Rica - La Fortuna
Costa Rica – La Fortuna

I will be posting more articles on this trip on Toronto Guardian. Stay tuned for those posts.




Quit Smoking Campaign with Fitness Writers Kim and Linda Luu

In March I did a contract with the Ontario Government to help spread awareness about their quit smoking initiatives. As a part of that deal, I took photos of my fitness writers at Toronto Guardian to promote healthy living.

quit smoking - Kim Luu
Kim Luu

During the day, I met with Kimberley Luu down at the ferry terminal on Queen’s Quay. It was incredibly windy and was blowing us over and making it very difficult to shoot. The wind howver made for some dramatic background waves on the lake. It also added more intensity into the look of Kim.

quit smoking - Linda Luu

In the evening, I met with Kim’s sister Linda Luu. For this one we wanted to show to juxtaposition of someone smoking and someone coming off a run and checking their apps for their stats. We used the light of the phone to draw attention to her while patrons of a bar stand smoking in the background.

quit smoking - father and son

The 3rd photo I used was one of a father and son ice skating at Nathan Philips Square. This was to be an  “Imagine Yourself in A health long Life without smoking” type of thing. I captured a moment of a father helping his son learn to skate and it worked out well.


Shooting Hydropool Hot Tubs with Maria Flo

In the last week of March 2017, I dove into a deep opportunity to shoot an editorial photography project at Hydropool Hot Tubs, Swim Spas and Accessories showroom at 345 Superior Blvd in Mississauga, Ontario.

 Maria Flo - Hydropool Hot Tubs

I was interested in this photo assignment for a few different reasons, and not the least of which was that the invitation came with a free tour of the Hydropool Hot Tubs factory which is next door to their showroom and is by all accounts, a truly Forbidden Place. Not many outsiders ever get invited in here let alone encouraged to explore their high technology hot tub manufacturing assembly line. For one because its dangerous and secondly its filled with trade secrets.  And not to mention it smells like polyurethane back there – we had to wear metal toe protectors on our shoes and safety glasses and face masks. 

During the tour, I was able to capture these shots of the hot tubs being made, insulated, tubed and tested.

Hydropool Hot Tubs

Afterwards the marketing directors and middle management of the Hydropools organization extended what I understood to be uncharacteristic creative license to shoot their products as they appear in their modern showroom environment.

The resulting photo series incorporates aquatic portraiture of my good friend Maria Flo, Untitled & Co who agreed, with some conditions, to appear in the hot tub.

Maria is a perfect choice for these pictures because of her uniquely curvy body and curiously beautiful face. Her expressive blue eyes are themselves story-filled pools of light, and her blond hair perfectly complimented the décor of the showroom interior, catching the overhead light and reflecting in the water.

Maria Flo - Hydropool Hot Tubs

Maria was very accommodating and played along with all ideas, one of which was to imagine that this was her full-time job. Like an aquatic zoo animal, she was to pretend she resented being on display as sales staff with prospective buyers ran the tubs and swim spas through their most active training settings. Hah it was wickedly fun and we all laughed to see her struggle as the water flow can be quite intense!

As the project photographer, I was intrigued and added to the story ideas where possible always trying to capture the best possible interior angles that most favourable detail the showroom and the company’s world class products on display inside.



Toronto Interior Photography for a Dance Studio Rental Space

I recently shot this cool dance studio rental space in the East End of the city. As a Toronto Interior Photographer, I see many spaces all with a unique charm to them. This one was totally hidden from the street and housed a couple different rooms that could be rented for private classes or practices.

Toronto Interior Photographer for Dance Studio

Apparently it is rented for ballet, hip hop, jazz and modern dance related purposes. The two studios are quite large and could fit a fairly large class if you were to try and make some money off of the rental. I could see the margins being pretty good.

Toronto Interior Photographer for Dance Studio

The staff were very nice and the entrance and front desk had a feeling of home and not of a corporate run establishment. It was well decorated and access to all the facilities were from one starting point. There are also two washrooms / change rooms and many types of equipment for workout classes, yoga and dance.

Toronto Interior Photographer for Dance Studio

The listing is up on the website ThisOpenSpace if you are interested in checking it out. If I was still dancing I would have loved to practice here. It is located at 1519 Gerrard Street East if you are interested in checking it out.