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

2018 and Beyond - Andrew Reeves

We're very pleased to include local architect Andrew Reeves in our 2018 and Beyond portrait series. Architecture is the cornerstone to any city's aesthetic statement and physical legacy. Andrew is leading a creative team at Linebox Studio and they are designing some of Ottawa's most exciting architectural spaces. These spaces are beautiful compliments to Ottawa's culinary, business and residential urbanscape.

Andrew has designed cool and elegant projects for clients such as Riviera Restaurant, El Camino, Fauna Restaurant, Shopify's Ottawa head quarters, as well as many other commercial and residential spaces in our city, Montreal and Toronto. We wanted to include Andrew in our series, not only because of his passionate leadership with Linebox, but because he leads with a quiet and kind humility.

© Dwayne Brown and Anita Ruivo

© Dwayne Brown and Anita Ruivo

We asked Andrew, as a creative architect, what he's most positive about as Ottawa moves forward into 2018 and beyond.

"I've always been positive about Ottawa and have always felt spoiled living here. We have world-class museums, art galleries and performance spaces, as well as incredible festivals and enviable proximity to nature, parks and rivers. Ottawa has such a strong foundation from which to build a truly dynamic city and I believe we're well on our way.

In the past five years or so, I've noticed a real change in Ottawa where a general amazing scene is developing. There's a strong restaurant culture emerging with a true respect for food. The already strong music scene is getting stronger and there are some important infrastructure projects underway that will continue to elevate Ottawa as one of the world's best capital cities.

I love being a part of a city that is finally recognizing that it is a place! We are not a forgettable and sleepy town. We are a city where people and important businesses are choosing to stay. There is plenty happening on any given night and big projects are making big statements on a global scale.

The future is bright for Ottawa and we wouldn't choose to be anywhere else."

Thank you Andrew. We're very proud to include you in our 2018 and Beyond portrait series. You are helping to beautify Ottawa, one cool space at a time!

Please take a peek at the work that Andrew Reeves and Linebox Studio have created: www.linebox.ca

2018 and Beyond - Eric Chan (EEPMON)

We're very grateful that digital artist and creative speaker, Eric Chan, was able to make some time for his 2018 and Beyond portrait. Eric, also known as EEPMON, keeps very busy working and collaborating on local creative projects, including a recent 100ft mural project for the Science and Technology Museum. He has also been travelling as a delegate in China along with Canada's Heritage Minister, Mélanie Joly. Eric told us he was very honoured to be selected as one of the 48 delegates to represent Canada’s Creative Industries to China.

In addition to the delegation schedule for Shanghai and Beijing, he has also been invited by the President of the China Animation Comic Game Group to speak at their 2nd General Assembly in Guangzhou – a conference which has the official approval by the China Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

© Dwayne Brown Studio

© Dwayne Brown Studio

We asked Eric what he's most positive about as a creative business as Ottawa moves forward into 2018 and beyond?

"I am very optimistic and positive as a digital creative studio working here in Ottawa. The Digital Age allows total mobility. Geographically speaking, Ottawa is at the heart of the action. We are just a short flight away from Toronto, Montreal and New York City. Our national policy decisions and institutions happen right here in this city. I like to think it is Canada’s HQ."

Thanks Eric, for participating in our 2018 and Beyond series, you truly are a local creative collaborator with a positive and international focus!

To view Eric Chan's work you can look at his website at: www.eepmon.com  and/or you can follow him on Instagram at: @eepmon

2018 and Beyond - Harley Finkelstein

When you first meet Shopify's COO, Harley Finkelstein, you are immediately drawn to his positive energy and his inspiring smile. His day-to-day style is casual, with his trademark black t-shirt and jeans but, without a doubt, Harley means business! Along with a dynamic leadership team, he has helped take Shopify from a medium local technology company, to a large publicly traded and globally recognized entity. Shopify proudly now empowers over 600,000 businesses online and offline, in more than 150 countries worldwide. Pretty cool!

We're very grateful that Harley agreed to participate in our 2018 and Beyond Portrait Series, not just because of his entrepreneurial and business acumen, but also because of his forward thinking vision for Ottawa. Just as Shopify looks outwardly to international potential, it is still very much a local company that celebrates our city, along with its young and creative talent.

© Dwayne Brown Studio

© Dwayne Brown Studio

We asked Harley what he is most positive about and how our city can help its local entrepreneurial community, as Ottawa moves forward into 2018 and beyond.

"The collective ambition of our community has never been higher; Ottawa is firing on all cylinders right now. This is Canada's moment and the incredible entrepreneurs in the city are a huge part of that movement. We conducted a study recently and found that nearly 70% of Canadians want to be their own boss someday but only 30% have started their own business. I'm so excited to see how far Ottawa's entrepreneurs can go.

As a city and community, we need to continue to support each other, first and foremost. We need to invest in our local inventions and promote our home town success stories. To encourage this we need to build a strong community of other entrepreneurs who can mentor, inspire, and invest in our future leaders. If Ottawa can grow this community, there's no limit to our success."

Thanks Harley, for making the time this week for some photography and for sharing your vision for Ottawa's future!

For more information about Shopify and how it might even help you start an online business: www.shopify.com

2018 and Beyond - Jamaal Jackson-Rogers

As we move forward into 2018, we're reminded that art is an inspiring voice that reflects where we've been and where we're going. We're very honoured to include Jamaal Jackson-Rogers, Ottawa's recently appointed English Poet Laureate, in our 2018 and Beyond Portrait Series. Jamaal is not only an award winning poet, he's also an arts educator and mentor to many of Ottawa's youth. He believes his work coaching youth helps them build creative foundations, which in turn, gives them more opportunities.

We met Jamaal for the first time last summer and we were immediately taken with his kind smile and generous spirit. He was humble and genuinely curious about the projects Anita and I work on. Meeting people who are more interested in others, than sharing their own story, is always refreshing! That said, we believe Jamaal's personal story is very interesting and has given him the foundation for his art and his work guiding others. He grew up in Ottawa Community Housing with limited means, which has given him a grateful perspective and respect for those who have challenge in their lives. His rich cultural background, his Muslim faith and his work as an artist, has given him the base to teach that differences are a better reason to unify than to segregate.

Jamaal also has a humble reputation for being a creative entrepreneur. To create and present art is sometimes more fun if you need to find alternative ways to fund and share it - making entrepreneurialism part of the creative process!

© Dwayne Brown Studio

© Dwayne Brown Studio

We asked Jamaal for his thoughts on 2018 and beyond.

"I imagine 2018 to be a year of great innovation and creativity. Our little "big" city is maturing in so many ways; from the completion of the light rail, to the funding boost for the arts and culture sector, to affordable community based real estate opportunities for start up businesses. Ottawa will (finally) carve out a niche for itself in the landscape of progressive, urban places to collectively live, work, study, and dream, in Canada."

Thanks Jamaal for taking the time to sit for us and to share more of your story!

If you'd like to learn more about Jamaal Jackson-Rogers' art and his work supporting youth and other spoken word artists, please take a look at his website: www.justjamaalthepoet.com

2018 and Beyond - Stephen Beckta

As everyone knows, the Ottawa restaurant scene has really evolved and blossomed over the last few years. We have cool, new places with hard-working restaurateurs and creative chefs. At the head of this culinary curve has always been and continues to be, Stephen Beckta. If you ask anyone in the business or someone who loves great food and exemplary service, "Who is the best in town?", the answer is always one of Steve's restaurants, Beckta, Play or Gezellig.

The reason we selected Steve for our 2018 and Beyond Portrait Series, is not just because of his restaurant expertise and reputation, but because of his humility and passionate commitment to his guests, team and the Ottawa community. If you've eaten at any of the Beckta restaurants, you'll know what we mean. You feel like you've been welcomed in to eat at someone's home - Steve's home! His staff feel much the same. They're all respected as a critical part of the team regardless of their position and there is always a meal before the lunch or dinner service.

When we photographed Steve, we asked him if there were any initiatives that were close to his heart, outside of the restaurant business. He smiled and quickly mentioned the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, of which he is currently the Board Chair and which he regularly attended when he was a boy himself.

© Dwayne Brown and Anita Ruivo

© Dwayne Brown and Anita Ruivo

We asked Steve what he is most positive about, as Ottawa moves forward into 2018.

"For Beckta, Play and Gezellig, I would say 2018 is all about constant renewal, looking at everything we do to make them the most compelling spots for guests to dine in - and staff to work at - in Ottawa.  We are in the process of some great development plans for all three, and we can’t wait to tweak them all to even better care for our guests, employees and community stakeholders. 

For the Boys and Girls Club (where I am the new Chair of the Board), this year is all about sustainability.  Growing and developing a greater number of long-term relationships with donors and the three levels of government so that no matter who is in the board chairs or management offices, we never have to say no to a single kid in need in our at-risk communities, and we can even grow our services in those communities most in need."

Steve Beckta cares dearly for his customers, smiles proudly when he talks about his family and he takes Ottawa's future very seriously! Thanks Steve, for taking the time for our portrait and for making us feel at home at Beckta for the shoot.

Please use these links for more information about Beckta, Play and Gezellig.