Sunday, November 27, 2005

Weekend update

Friday, November 25

After the Varsity Stadium ground breaking ceremony I went home, took a nap so that I could head back down to campus to shoot the basketball games.

Third year Varsity Blue Laila Bellony (#15) squeezes a lay up past the York Lions defense. The Blues were defeated at home with a score of 89-56.

The Varsity Blues men had better luck against their cross-town rivals, putting in a 70-86 win against the Lions. Second year guard Dwayne Grant (#34) takes it in past three York players.

Saturday, November 26
Happy Birthday Chris, Jon and Yakos. No photos from the actual event but here's Chris:

Sunday, November 17
It was tough getting out of bed this morning (the night before was a good, old fashioned bender, complete with post-last-call chinese food). But Junior Blues mini-tennis awaited! I can't really post pictures of the kids, since the parents signed releases for U of T promotion purposes only. But no harm when you can't tell who it is. Here's a creative interpretation for a tennis raquet. His hair represents how I felt this morning.

The Toronto Dragons rugby club had their season-end banquet today. This year's event was hosted at Sher-E Punjab on the Danforth. Fantastic. And I have to admit, the buffet tray full of Mattar Paneer was a dream come true! No need to ration the cubes with your table mates... and all the better when other people thought it was tofu.

Players awards were handed out and I was proud to see Fred win the first team man-of-the-match award. Yay! Pictured below is Fred with Coach Jim Andaloro.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Centre of the University

Just finished taking some photos at the University of Toronto Varsity Centre (nee Stadium) groundbreaking ceremony.

Check out more photos at Although it will be officially called the Varsity Centre for Physical Activity and Health, I have a feeling that even when it is built and in full swing in 2007, people will still refer to it as 'the stadium' or 'Varsity'.

It was exciting to see that this project, which has been in the works for so many years, is finally really happening.


Turducken - pretty tasty, but next time I am going to try making it myself. I don't care how many layers of meat there is, a thanksgiving dinner shouldn't cost $29 a plate.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A blog's life

I don't actually know how many people read this blog. I did get confirmation that Torie and Erik are reading (hi guys!) and in turn I enjoy reading about their adventures in Paris (including Erik's newly exulted status as un scientifique -- read it for yourself on their blog. Another blog I enjoy reading is Gary Fong's. He is a mostly retired wedding photographer, the inventor of the Lightsphere flash diffuser and a self made millionaire. The Lightsphere, despite illiciting confusion -- "Jing, what IS that on your camera?!" -- is a fantastic tool that I really don't leave home without.


As part of my preparation for the wedding show in January, I have been checking the list of fellow exhibitors daily. So Hi! to you if you are doing the same to me!

I will be at the Hamilton-Halton Bridal Show at the Hamilton Convention Centre on January 7 and 8. The show runs from 11:30 to 5 p.m. and admission is just $10. Please drop by and say hello.

Can you believe that there are two other shows running the exact same weekend in Toronto? One is at the Ex, and the other at the Toronto Convention Centre. And this happens again in September, when all three shows coincide again. It just confirms the fact that there are more than enough consumers to go around, and that there is something out there for everyone. A quick google for a wedding service of your choice will reveal hundreds of hits and also reveal a wide range of price and style.

You can't be everything to everyone, but you can certainly be the right thing for many.


The aptly named Big Sky organic farm. Farmed with love and care by David and Debbie, Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I stand corrected

Apparently it is possible to make it look like a turkey!

Turducken photos as found by Google

Now to see what the Thursday meal looks like....

Good weekend.

Another weekend comes to a close.
Friday night we watched Born Into Brothels, the Oscar winning documentary about a group of Calcutta red-light district kids who learn to express themselves through photography. Although it is praise of "UPLIFTING!" and "ASTONISHING" are on the DVD cover, beware that the subject matter can be heavy. Regardless I would definitely recommend it.

Saturday was very eventful, starting with a morning assignment photographing some of the University's Junior Blues programs. What is more cute than big helmetted little kids shuffling along the ice as they learn to skate?

The afternoon was spent with the 'big kids'. A group of us went down to the annual food and wine show at the convention centre and sampled many a fine and not so fine wine.

Today was perhaps one of the most productive days (despite sleeping way-in on account of the wine). Fred helped me plan out my next steps for the business -- boring stuff like budgeting, and fun stuff like the wedding show in Hamilton. More on that later.

I am begrudgingly looking forward to finally tasting some infamous Turducken on Thursday. Turducken, which was made famous by football commentator John Madden, is a chicken inside of a duck, inside of a turkey stuffed with sausage. A vegetarian's worst nightmare and of course American in origin. When I heard it described as a boneless turkey stuffed with boneless duck etc, I totally envisioned this golden brown turkey that looks entirely normal, until you cut into it and like a giant meat tartufo, you get concentric rings of different meat. After hearing so much about this dish I was disappointed to learn it doesn't look like a turkey, but just a giant roll of meat. FEH! I hardley believe that it could be as difficult to make as it is made out to be. So, until I taste this thing, I remain skeptical.

Gourmet Turducken a la Martha Stewart's daytime show.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Gimme a pound, dawg

I wonder, do Humane Society staff and volunteers place wagers on how long it takes certain dogs to find a home?

Fred and I have been considering the possibility of adding a dog to our lives. We agree that a rescue or shelter dog would be best since we have had such a rewarding experience with finding our two cats at the humane society. The Society's web page lists the dogs available for adoption and twice this week, and I've noticed that any dog under the age of 6 months gets snatched up in a matter of hours.

I am not the only one checking the web page more than once a day!

The Toronto Humane Society, besides being an amazing organization is probably the most visible of all animal shelters. Everyone knows about the 'shelter on River street' and they garner a lot of good publicity. They also have the lowest adoption fees anywhere in the city. They must do well on their fundraising.

Which reminds me, I should go over my 2005 finances and follow through on my intentions to donate to the the Humane Society and Athletes for Africa.

Our cats, Mia and Darius. They are now 2.75 years old or so we estimate.

Class in session!

For the past three Thursdays I have been unenthusiastically attending the "Wedding Photography" course at George Brown College. The instructor has tonnes of photography experience but the class curriculum is disappointing, catering to a very basic level, like what happens during a wedding day and what shots to take... stuff I already know like the back of my hand. I thought about dropping the class last week, but my sister advised against it - "push him for information" she encouraged.

I endeavoured to ask more questions at tonight's class, but what really made the class worth while was finally breaking past the polite hellos with my classmates. I formally met and talked to Jenny, a graphic designer; Greg, a software proprietor; and Charmaine, a photography student. From diverse backgrounds, but all sharing a thirst for learning.

After making these new connections at tonight's class the idea-gears starting picking up, and I felt, dare I say, inspired. It's as if these new people spark a chain reaction - like brain synapses! (Ok that was pretty nerdy.) Now I am looking forward to talking more to these three classmates, as well as properly meeting the other four women in the class. Yay!

Here's an illustration of a happiness chain reaction:

July 22, 2005 at Angela and Kristian's Toronto wedding. The bride's father (left) shares a laugh with Jose, a friend of the groom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Snail mail still has a place in the world

Finally finished writing, addressing, and stamping all my holiday cards. Now just to drop them off in the mailbox! So clients and friends, if you don't get your card in the next few days send me an email at! Or if you want to be a friend or client, send me your mailing address and I'll pop one of these in the mail for you.

Here's what the card looks like:

The back of the card is pretty plain. I thought about putting captions on the back for each of the photos but it got too cluttered. So I'll do it here! We'll go left to right:

- Jeff and his daughter Madeline. Photographed at the beautiful James Gardens in the west end of Toronto.

- Lovely bride Torie and her bridesmaids Amaris, Bianca and Alison. You can't tell, but this is photographed in perhaps one of the most unbeautiful parks of Toronto -- a little piece of green nestled between the CAMH (mental hospital if you want to be unPC) and the Great Hall wedding venue.

- Newlyweds Anna and Stanley taking a stroll at the COPIA gourmet wine and food museum in Napa, California.

- Shane after his bar mitzvah. Friends and family made their way down to Kew Beach after the ceremony for their group photos.

- Katherine and Thomas both turned 60 this year! Married for over 35 years, this couple was thrown a great party by their daughters at the Mandarin Golf and Country Club.

- Akera catches a ride with his mom Jackie at one of the 31 GuluWalks that took place this July in Toronto. Learn more at

- Val and Dan enjoy a private moment at the Third Beach in Vancouver's Stanley Park.

- Beautiful bride Magdalena on her wedding day.

- A corsage from Erin and Craig's Muskoka wedding

- Sunset at the Mactaquac head pond. The head pond is a dammed tributary of the St. John river, just west of Fredericton.

Yay for blogs where I can write as much as I want about each image. And yay for snail mail, you guys will get something in the mail that isn't a bill or a solicitation!

p.s. I just found out that when uploading photos to Blogger, make sure the jpgs are in RGB, not CMYK. Otherwise you get an error message.

... and I thought rugby was crazy

I was assigned to shoot some water polo matches at U of T this past weekend and saw up close, what a crazy, not to mention tough sport this is. I used to play rugby so contact and collisions over a ball are not a big deal. But couple that with the danger of drowning... and you have a sport that I KNOW I won't be trying!

University of Toronto's Patti Schaus (#10) defends the ball from an oncoming Carlton Raven attack.

I bid a rainy farewell to Torie and Erik at the airport this morning. Erik, Ph.D., accepted a career advancing opportunity in Paris, France and his wife Torie joins him for this one- maybe two-year adventure. Their August wedding was one of my favourite assignments to shoot ( Many of their Toronto-rugby friends were able to say adieu at a potluck party last night.

It begins...

And my life on a blog begins.