My adoptive grandfather Gregory Korobov is an artist. A well-celebrated one, if you hear him tell it. Serving as a director of the Kharkov Art College in Ukraine for the last 40 years, he has earned a number of national regalias including the “Honored Artist of Ukraine”. Having turned 80 years old last year, Gregory continues to paint daily despite suffering from a neurological condition which causes his eyelids to shut suddenly for several minutes at a time.
I should probably mention here that, although I admire Gregory’s many accomplishments, I am of two minds when it comes to his painting style. I do not share his fascination with flower still lifes and country scenes, however, I do enjoy the bold way he uses colour and the quality of his brushstrokes.
We’ve always had a complicated relationship, and the tension between us was very apparent during my latest visit with Gregory and his wife Alla in the fall of 2013. I asked if I could see his studio and shoot a few frames, hoping that this shared experience would bring us closer together. To my disappointment, he would not let me photograph him painting. The entire concept of me documenting his process seemed very alien to him. Throughout the entire day we spent together he kept repeating a single phrase: “I just can’t understand you at all” — a strong sentiment and an ongoing theme in our relationship.
For months now I’ve been debating whether or not I should even write this blog post. On one hand, I had enough images to make up the bones of the photo essay but I thought that it lacked some human interest. In the end, I decided that the studio space itself paints a portrait of sorts, though incomplete, of this complicated man and his body of work.
Gregory’s wife Alla with some of his paintings
A tribute to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine
I recently came back from Las Vegas, Nevada and I’m still trying to sort through a heap of photographs I took there. Between the sweeping landscapes of the Grand Canyon, the neon charm of the Strip at night, and all of the vintage sign details I have my hands full…
Here is the last frame I took of the Grand Canyon at sunset, and stay tuned for more images coming soon!
I can’t believe there are only 3 weeks left until I get to meet Edae & Tuan’s little girl! It’s so EXCITING! I figured that I should probably post some more of my favourite pictures from last month’s maternity shoot before the baby arrives, as I would surely be too busy photographing her cute little toes to do anything else worthwhile…
Believe it or not, I first met Edae at her bachelorette party. Four years later, after countless dinners, camping trips and house parties I can safely count Edae and her husband Tuan among my dearest friends. I’m honoured to have this beautiful couple trust me with documenting a very special time in their lives. They are getting ready to welcome a baby girl into the world, and she has Tuan’s smile (at least according to the ultrasound).
Our maternity shoot in High Park was anything but ordinary weather-wise. Not only was it one of the coldest days in recent weeks, the skies could not decide whether they would shower us with rain, hail or sunshine. Despite nearly getting blown away half of the time, Edae and Tuan put on their bravest faces for the camera.
For my very first blog post I decided to share something special – a custom infographic I designed for my good friends Edae and Tuan. They are having their first child this summer and I’m very excited to do a maternity photo session with them this weekend. “What should we wear?” is one of the most important questions I was asked in preparation for this shoot. I did a lot of research on the subject, scoured countless blogs and Pinterest boards and finally came up with a simple system of picking outfits that any couple can use for their photo session. The infographic uses three distinct categories to help clients make some basic fashion decisions.
1. The Basics of Contrast section teaches couples how to put together outfits regardless of their colour, basing their choices on successful pairings of light and dark tones.
2. The Brights & Neutrals section illustrates the principle of picking one focal-point outfit (usually for the mom-to-be) and complimenting it with a neutral outfit for her partner to wear.
3. Finally, the Patterns & Solids section show couples how to successfully use patterns as a part of their photo session outfits. The key rule here is to stick to a single patterned garment and use solid colours for any other items of clothing the couple wears.
I hope you enjoy this fun & useful infographic!