I am a Toronto editorial and portrait photographer specializing in environmental portraiture—a genre of portraiture where the subject is placed in their workplace or home and their surroundings are an integral part of the image. Past freelance clients include New College at the University of Toronto, Victoria College, Emmanuel College, and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto.
In addition to commissioned photography work I maintain a fine art practice. I have worked on two documentary projects on alternative education with documentarian Ariel Fielding: ALPHA Alternative School 1972/2012 and the ongoing serial project Fieldwork: Talking With Teachers in Alternative Schools. Both of these projects have been published in full on our project website, notesfromthefield.ca.
Other documentary work includes a multi-year project with the Toronto Wildlife Centre—Canada’s largest and busiest wildlife hospital—bearing witness to our often ambivalent relationship with our wild neighbours and the tragic consequences for animals as a result of our impact on their habitats and ecosystems, and The Lab, a photo series documenting Niagara Custom Lab—a boutique motion-picture-film processing lab in Toronto—through still life images of the lab’s profusely and anarchically decorated workspace. Even as large commercial labs close their doors, Niagara Custom Lab remains proudly and stubbornly committed to film, a position requiring a MacGyver-like resourcefulness and firm belief in film’s unique alchemical properties that is reflected in the artful visual pandemonium of its own workspaces.
In 2017 I began a long-form documentary portrait project in Sointula (Finnish for “Place of Harmony”), a remote village on Malcolm Island (the historic and present territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation) in British Columbia established by Finnish utopian socialist miners in 1901. In 2017 I started making portraits with people on the island during a residency at the Sointula Art Shed. The intention of the work is a nuanced and partial portrait of Sointula that captures something of its history, complexity, beauty, and uniqueness through portraits of its residents, landscapes, and architecture. I am intrigued by Sointula’s origins as an intentional, self-governing, self-directed settlement, and the resilience of its original values in a changing world.