flow

Everyday I’m reminded what a beautiful world we live in. Part of this beauty is expressed by the interesting and sometimes abstract images that nature paints for us. I’m a big fan of water, literally and as a metaphor. It is always moving forward with a natural fluidity. It can gradually carve new paths or quietly continue using the best channel of least resistance.

Water is also a natural reminder of our own humility. It has flow and strength that we need to be respectful of. In life we sometimes fight the current, but perhaps it’s best to use it instead, to propel us in a better direction. In this turbulent time with all of our urgent climate issues, I think we need to pay better attention to the natural world around us. It’s beautiful, it’s strong, yet fragile and it’s such a great teacher!

Dwayne.

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strength and friendship

I’ve wanted to photograph my friend Eric Meslin in black and white for some time now. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to capture Eric in his corporate world, as he leads a dynamic team of science and research experts at the Council of Canadian Academies. He has a long list of accomplishments and experiences beyond his role as president and CEO of the CCA. He’s also had an impressive 30 year career focusing on bioethics, including his role in the United States as Executive Director of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, appointed by President Clinton.

Eric knows everyone in the scientific research community in Canada and he is also friends with many international scientists around the world. These are all impressive enough reasons to photograph him, but I really wanted to do my best to capture the way he projects his strength beyond his academic and corporate accomplishments. Other photos we’ve done, show him smiling in a suit. I wanted to photograph a more subtle projection of his strength – with an underlying sense of friendship and kindness. These are the qualities, that I believe make Eric such a great leader and friend.

Thanks Eric for your friendship and for making the time for a portrait!

Dwayne.

© Dwayne Brown Studio

© Dwayne Brown Studio

Impromptu Portraits

There is such value in always having a camera with you, but it only serves you if you use it. As a photographer, I see photographs happening all the time and wish I could capture them all. Yesterday I was visiting with friends from Spain, at Tavern on the Hill, sharing some drinks and doing our best to chat, despite our language barrier. As we chatted, I kept seeing these photographs, repeating themselves as we talked. All that said, I’m so glad I asked if I could take a few snaps to record the portraits to camera. I’m reminded over and over again, always shoot instead of regretting!

¡Muchas gracias Conchita y Miguel!

Dwayne.

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© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Discovery, Mentoring and Photowalks

I had the most amazing experience last week, teaching a 5 day intensive creative mentoring session for Anita’s company, Funlanguages. I had the fun opportunity to work with 18yr old Lara Serrano Pérez, who was visiting from Spain for the month of July. In September, Lara will be starting University in Madrid, focusing her studies on science, with a strong interest in genetics. Lara and her parents wanted her to have this Canadian experience to help spring her forward with a positive headspace for University.

It was cool to blend lots of conversations about mindfulness and self-discovery with long photo-walks around the city. We talked a lot about determination and courage, risk-taking and the positive value of embracing failure, curiosity and generosity, and how to blend inner confidence with humility. Lara’s natural emotional (and traditional intelligence) helped make all of this very interactive, organic and fun for both of us.

During the week, we had several meetings with some very interesting Ottawa people. We met with Eric Meslin, president of the Council of Canadian Academies, Maxine Patenaude who is an experiential marketer at Shopify and also Leigh and Karen who run HighJinx, the very dynamic vintage store and inner city social enterprise. We even ran into our favourite and coolest creative Ottawa couple, Tom Lawson and Sheila Casey! Each meeting was unique and inspiring, yet there were common threads relating to self-confidence, generosity, determination, curiosity and humility.

My grateful take-away from the week was, “the more you share, the more you receive” - and as much as mentoring sounds like teaching, it’s just as much about learning!

Thanks Lara for a great week!

Dwayne.

Photowalks open the mind, the heart and of course our eyes!

Photowalks open the mind, the heart and of course our eyes!

Eric Meslin   was kind enough to present Lara with a   Bio Ethics book   he had co-edited.

Eric Meslin was kind enough to present Lara with a Bio Ethics book he had co-edited.

Lara helped to grocery shop and replenish the   HighJinx   food pantry.

Lara helped to grocery shop and replenish the HighJinx food pantry.

Lara and Irene (another awesome   Funlanguages   student from Spain) visiting   Shopify  .

Lara and Irene (another awesome Funlanguages student from Spain) visiting Shopify.

Coffee, books and inspiration at   Black Squirrel Books  .

Coffee, books and inspiration at Black Squirrel Books.

The key to mindfulness - quiet calmness!

The key to mindfulness - quiet calmness!

TELLING THE STORY WITH ONLY 5 MINUTES TO SPARE!

Something we’re often heard asking our clients is “what’s the story?”.

All photos have the opportunity to help craft a narrative and I believe it’s critical in commercial / corporate photography to create imagery that helps to communicate a project’s message. This helps move ideas forward and motivates viewers to be inspired by the photograph.

Earlier this week we had the opportunity to shoot some images for the Queensway Carleton Hospital’s 2019 annual report. The photos were focused on capturing different spaces in the hospital with staff and patients interacting. The image below, shot in Emergency, is to accompany a story of a busy ER that is almost always at 100 percent capacity, 365 days a year, but still delivers compassionate care. That’s an easy enough story to tell, but we only had 5 minutes to shoot it! We also needed to do it without seeing the real patient’s face (who happened to already be in the hallway) or to impose ourselves on the paramedics and other staff in the background.

Quick and very important story telling, while making sure everyone involved (knowingly or not) feels very respected, is a super satisfying challenge for us!

Thank so much to Marg Sheridan at the QCH for her help coordinating the shoot!

Dwayne.

© Dwayne Brown Studio

© Dwayne Brown Studio

The Beauty Within

As beautiful as a summer garden is, there’s such a cool world within each flower when you look very close. Each flower displays a perfection of patterns and design, with colours ranging from vibrant to the subdued. I loved spending time this evening photographing these Irises. Each flower was an invitation to capture humble yet perfect beauty within!

Dwayne.

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© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Compassionate Headshots

We LOVE photographing LinkedIn Portraits and we especially enjoy helping people tell their professional stories with the subtleties of a great headshot. Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing Becky Bonham, who is a chaplain in the healthcare industry, in Edmonton. She works with patients and families who are dealing with everything from trauma, to end of life and with the emotional challenges of spending time in a hospital environment.

Becky’s professional /personal brand is all about compassion and connection. Her portrait needed to convey her natural sense of empathy and her innate ability to disarm and engage trust.

All the details with any headshot matter greatly, including the colour and style of clothing, the complimentary environment in the background, the amount of smile and even the degree of head tilt. It all matters!

Thanks Becky, for being so wonderful to photograph!

Dwayne.

© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Fresh Eyes on Edmonton

It’s always a treat to return and visit my home town of Edmonton! Sometimes it’s easy to overlook how beautiful your city is, when you’ve always lived there. Returning with fresh eyes and a creative perspective, helps to see and capture the city’s dynamic beauty. I find that some folks in Edmonton really love their town while others perhaps focus on the negatives too much (perhaps this is the case everywhere). The city continues to have an awesome culinary and café scene, a creative culture that rivals most Canadian cities, tons of summer festivals and of course, it has an incredible river valley.

Edmonton is a city I’m proud to be from and I’m always excited to return to visit and photograph it!

Dwayne.

© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown


Architecting the Comforts of Home

We’ve been shooting architectural imagery for Cardel Homes Ottawa for quite some time now and it’s been awesome to see their homes constantly evolving and getting better and better every year. This week we had the pleasure of meeting and photographing the man behind this continued evolution, Richard Bukarewicz, VP of architecture and design at Cardel.

It was cool to experience Rich’s humble passion and his determination to keep moving Cardel’s home designs forward! It was perfect to photograph him in one of Cardel’s newest (and in our opinion, best to shoot) show home, the NICHOLS!

Dwayne.

© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Soldiers Helping Soldiers

We’re always humbled when asked to lend a hand to help tell a generous story. A few weeks ago, our friends at Banfield offered us the opportunity to capture some images of Soldiers Helping Soldiers to create a collection of photo assets to be added to the new up and coming SHS website.

The website will share the narrative of Canadian military soldiers who go out to various homeless shelters in Ottawa to lend a hand and offer resources to marginalized veterans. Pretty cool and very humbling!

Last weekend, we followed a handful of enlisted soldiers, dressed in uniform, who were visiting some of the shelters downtown and in the Byward Market. We took a journalistic approach, staying back and out of the way, while still capturing the authenticity of the interactions.

Thanks to the team from Soldiers Helping Soldiers and Banfield for making our experience so fulfilling!

Dwayne + Anita.

© Anita Ruivo

© Anita Ruivo

© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Pretty Simple

I was reminded by Anita yesterday, why I like photographing flowers. It’s not only because it’s a meditative escape from the commercial / corporate photo scene, but also because there’s absolutely no revenue related reasons to photograph and share them. I only do it for the sure enjoyment of doing it. Pretty simple!

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© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Colourful Display of Dying

Every year as the Tulip Festival finishes, there’s such a beautiful opportunity to photograph the flowers as they fully open and eventually die. Their petals totally and randomly unfold, to surrender to the inevitable. This afternoon was extra special, with a light rain adding lovely water droplets to the vibrant petals. Such beauty within!

Dwayne.

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© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

The Value of Now

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the Value of Now and the benefits of gratitude and reflection. We’re all moving pretty quickly these days, including ingesting and sharing so much imagery with social media. I know I tend to share a lot of imagery on our various accounts and I’m now looking at ways to slow that train down a wee bit, but still share. One helpful way, is to use this ‘NOW’ section on our site, to combine words with images to share thoughts and experiences. That said, writing this post, is ironically helping me personally appreciate the Value of Now! :)

Thanks to our friends at Equator Coffee (Westboro) for the calm environment to sit, reflect and write!

Dwayne.

© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Surgical Space

We’re so lucky to find ourselves photographing such cool spaces some days and even luckier to get to shoot for really nice and interesting clients. Today we had the opportunity to photograph one of the surgical theatres at the Queensway Carleton Hospital, along with portraits of Dr. Joel Weaver and surgical nurse, Steve Periard, who collaborate with a larger QCH surgical team. We’re very grateful to everyone today who helped make today’s shoot go so well, especially our client Sarah Wilson who pulled everything together. Thanks QCH!

Dwayne + Anita.

© Dwayne Brown Studio

© Dwayne Brown Studio

Victoria Day Photowalk

I had an amazing photowalk earlier this week with my dear friend and fellow photographer Julia Scott. What’s a photowalk? It can be whatever you want it to be, as long as it includes walking from here to there and that you shoot personal photos! We walked from Hintonburg to Tavern On The Hill - yes photowalks can include cold beverages! We photographed street details, self-portraits, reflections, people on the street, architecture and flowers - all in both colour and BW. The only rules to follow, are to have fun and to shoot lots! :) Thanks Julia!

Dwayne.

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© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Petal Personalities

As most folks know, I love photographing faces and portraits. But I also love the meditative experience of studying and capturing flowers. I love the subtleties and unique personalities of each flower. Our Ottawa Tulip Festival offers such a plentiful of opportunities to photograph such a variety of colourful tulips, but I prefer photographing them in black & white and either in pre-bloom or even as they’re on their last legs and dying. As a commercial/corporate photographer, it’s always been super important to find personal imagery to shoot - it’s my fuel!

Dwayne.

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© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

Reflection

One of the best aspects of being a photographer is always having my eyes and heart open. Regardless of where I am, what I’m doing or who I’m with - I’m always looking. Regardless if the scene is interesting or mundane, or if the obvious subject matter might typically be easy to overlook, there’s always a photograph to take or capture. I tend to think that this perspective is a great overall life philosophy to follow. Keep your mind, your heart and your eyes wide open and you will see and experience so much more! :)

Dwayne.

© Dwayne Brown Studio

© Dwayne Brown Studio

The youngest 91 year old, I’ve ever known.

I had the most exceptional experience this morning, photographing Ray Cyr, the General Manager and long time partner in Expographiq! Ray is the youngest 91 year old, I’ve ever known. He’s kind, he’s wise and he’s exceptionally emotionally intelligent. To make today’s early morning portrait even more special, I had the opportunity to shoot it with my best buddy Tracy Pritchard, who has always looked up to Ray as a fatherly mentor. Thanks Ray for your kind words and thanks Tracy for always being there!

Dwayne.

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© Dwayne Brown Studio

© Dwayne Brown Studio

35 years - Thank You!

I can’t believe that 35 years ago this month, I officially started my commercial photography business! In some respects it doesn’t feel that long ago that I signed the lease for my first studio in Edmonton. When I start thinking about the countless experiences I’ve had and the thousands of people I’ve met, photographed and worked with over the years, I guess it has been a long time! 8 years in Edmonton, then 9 in Calgary and now over 18 in Ottawa. My gosh!

In the process of reflecting over the years, the only thing that makes sense, to celebrate such a milestone, is to be grateful. So many people over the years have trusted me, or more accurately us (I’ve always been surrounded by an awesome team) with their photography projects to shoot. Everything from portraits, to commercial advertising projects, to corporate communication initiatives, to websites and social media projects, to special commemorative anniversary books. I’ve had the great opportunity to photograph people, places, animals, food, planes, trains, automobiles, machinery, architecture, orchestras, research teams, athletes and students. I’ve been able to work on projects to help tell visual stories for so many different sectors including, healthcare, education, culture, tourism, oil & gas, mining, technology, hospitality, professional services, agriculture, military and social enterprises.

The photography business has changed drastically over the years. I once shot film and visited a lab, sometimes several times a day. I’ve developed thousands of rolls of BW film by hand and have spent more time in a darkroom than I can remember. Now we shoot everything digitally and move imagery around the world sometimes only moments after the image has been shot. An image was once ‘airbrushed’ by a special artist, now we can finesse a photo on our phone! With all of these fast moving changes, I can most honestly say, I’ve never been more inspired and excited to shoot!

It’s so humbling to think of how many people I have to thank: clients to assistants, agency owners to art directors, designers to account coordinators, banks managers to accountants, other photographers and especially friends and family!

With a very grateful heart, thank you to everyone who has lent a helpful hand and who has played a patient and generous role, in a very fun 35 year run! Bring on the next 35!

THANK YOU,

Dwayne.

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2018 and Beyond - Claudia Salguero

We're very pleased to include Colombian born artist, Claudia Salguero, in our 2018 and Beyond portrait series! Claudia is a multi-talented and entrepreneurial creative person, who loves helping her community experience art. She is a latin-jazz singer, who passionately performs at her annual sold-out concerts, at the National Arts Centre. She is also an art-based facilitator, working with various community groups in Ottawa to create collaborative art projects. Claudia recently completed a large BE YOU mural project at St. Laurent Mall, of which she painted with the assistance of various Ottawa high school art students.

Claudia is constantly moving and working on so many generous art initiatives in Ottawa. With her creative drive, she helps students, immigrants and people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, feel empowered by collaborating in art!

© Dwayne Brown

© Dwayne Brown

We asked Claudia, as a collaborative artist, what she's most positive about as Ottawa moves forward into 2018 and beyond.

"Ottawa is more vibrant every year. As an active visual artist and a musician, and also as part of the audience, I can feel the pulse and I love it. As a community arts-based facilitator I can also see a more welcoming response to diversity and more opportunities to work and create together, not despite of our differences, but embracing them and understanding that they make us richer and stronger, both as individuals and as community.

Welcoming diversity is the best way to have a healthy and empowered community in a multicultural city as Ottawa. I am positive our leaders will continue to work with this idea in mind, opening opportunities for minorities to merge and demonstrate with their talents, how much they can contribute on the development of our city."

Thank you Claudia! We're very proud to include you in our 2018 and Beyond portrait series. We love your kind spirit and generous energy!

Please take a peek at Claudia's website: www.claudiasalguero.com  You can also follow her projects on Twitter: @closalguero and Instagram: @claudia_salguero