Sunday, February 5, 2017

Alex The Great

Some of you may know Alex Néron. Those of you who do, know Alex is kind, funny, positive, creative and an all round nice guy. All you need to do is search for Alex on Facebook and you'll see just how loved this man is (especially by his wife, Marta). Anita and I ran into Alex and Marta just before Christmas at one of the Bridgeheads on Wellington, and I couldn't resist asking Alex if I could take a quick photograph of him. I'm so glad he agreed. It's one of my favourite portraits of 2016, it may actually be one of my favourite portraits, period.

It might be worth mentioning that Alex has cancer. He doesn't wear it on his sleeve and he doesn't make it a big public thing. What he does make public though, is his love for life, his love for his family and friends, and his love for Marta. As they say, "love conquers all". Not sure if it's true, but it sure does make life so much more wonderful! Thanks Alex, for being a such wonderful example for all us!

©Dwayne Brown

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Creative Passion and Drive - It's TACO TIME

The expression 'creative passion' is an easy concept to throw around in the photography or commercial marketing world. We all use it from time to time and, in many cases, it's an accurate way to describe some folks, yet sometimes it is more of a catch phrase. With our loveOttawa project we get to meet a lot of interesting people and some of the most creatively passionate ones that we photograph are chefs.

The other evening I had the treat to photograph Chef Barry Moore at ACE Mercado while he was in the kitchen creating some very special tacos that he'll be sharing for ACE's special Valentine's Day dinner service. Barry's passion and drive is more than just cooking and creating, it's the ingredients and the origins of those ingredients. What I can add to this is, I'm so glad that is his passion, because the tacos were soooo delicious! :) Thanks Barry!

©Dwayne Brown

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 - The Ultimate 'Happy New Year'

Its now 2017 and with a super charged and well attended New Year's Eve celebration, Ottawa has officially opened its doors to welcome the rest of Canada and the world to experience what so many of us love about our city. Both my creative partner Anita and I are very glad to be right in the middle of all the fun with our loveOttawa project. We'll continue to photograph and interview people for our blog/website and ask them what they love about Ottawa, as well as shoot new city and event imagery for our Instagram and Twitter feeds. We love helping everyone feel positive and great about our city!

The loveOttawa project has been a pretty awesome ride for us. We've already met so many interesting and dynamic people, who have had such great stories to share about themselves and Ottawa. We look forward to meeting as many new people as we can in 2017. Our project has also given us unique opportunities to experience great cultural events and we can only expect the fun to continue during this special year for Ottawa!

We're always eager to discuss new opportunities to collaborate with local businesses and organizations to help shine light on their unique offerings or initiatives. Please feel free to contact either Anita Ruivo or myself at for more information about sponsorship, ideas and/or social media collaborations.

loveOttawa - New Year's Eve 2017

©Dwayne Brown - the loveOttawa project

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Face of Friendship

Nothing makes me happier than portraiture. As a photographer it's the greatest responsibility and such a treat to photograph someone and to do your best to capture a respectful and honest sense of who that person is at that specific time in their life. Sometimes a smile is captured, sometimes the portrait is serious. Always there needs to be a collaborative connection of trust.

I've serendipitously started a series of portraits by inviting friends for dinner, then taking them into the studio for a little time in-front of the camera after the meal. Admittedly, there's a little selfishness at play. I love taking portraits and I love my friends! A selfish dessert perhaps. :)

I'm so fortunate to have such dear friends!

©Dwayne Brown

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hospitality Complimented by Authentic Personality.

We were pretty happy to have the Westin Ottawa ask us to put together a proposal, to photograph profile portraits of their senior service and sales staff. Yes they are an international hotel brand, and yes they have some pretty cool spaces to shoot, but it's much more than that. From our dealings at The Westin with our loveOttawa project, we've pleasantly learned that they are much more like a family, than a big business. Many of the staff have worked for the hotel for 10, 20 and some almost 30 years. Everyone's so happy and ready to help you!

We ended up selecting one of their executive suites to shoot in, to give the portraits a subtle hotel context. We didn't want the images to be stuffy or too ostentatious. We wanted the portraits to be friendly, authentic and full of light. We really wanted the photos to reflect their brand. All that said, it was one of our favourite portrait shoots. Our client Cait Lobocki was a treat to work with and everyone such a pleasure to photograph.

Thanks to everyone at The Westin who made the shoot such a success!

Dwayne + Anita  

©Dwayne Brown

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Reflected Voyeurism

Lots of people love taking photographs. Lots of people love sharing their imagery. As commercial photographers we often need to shoot and share on demand for our clients. The question is, "how does one keep creatively agile and always ready to create imagery for the client?". The only way I've been able to answer that question, is to always be shooting - always be looking. Always!

As many of you know, I have a creative partner. Her name is Anita Ruivo and she is an integral part of the creative process, when we shoot for our clients. For now, I'm the one behind the camera, but Anita is always right beside me with her discerning eye. So she also needs to be creatively agile, and yes she is also always looking and shooting personal imagery. Her photography tends to have more of a rawness and immediacy than mine, and I so love how her personal work impacts our studio.

On a recent trip to NYC, Anita explored an interesting study incorporating window reflections of New York street scenes, and in most cases she includes herself in these compositions. These layered photographs all have a sense of mystery, intrigue and humility. I love how Anita uses her unique perspective to capture these fleeting moments to create beautiful and evocative narratives.

If you aren't already following Anita's Instagram feed, I recommend you do!  @omeuquintal

©Anita Ruivo

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Personality, Heart and Gratitude!

Every week seems to present new opportunities to create continued feelings of gratitude - gratitude that we have such great clients to shoot for. We do a fair bit of photography for the folks at Carleton University, and that would be reason enough to feel grateful, but it's really the opportunity to meet and photograph so many great students that is cool. Sounds cliché I know, but it's true. Yesterday we did a fairly quick shoot with some of the Sprott School of Business students and it was really fun and interesting capturing so many different personalities. Each student had such authentic personality and heart!

Thanks Sprott and Carleton!

©Dwayne Brown

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Value of Trust, Fun and Authenticity.

In this ever changing and fast moving 'social media' world of corporate communications, it's cool to meet and work with someone with fresh ideas and an authentic approach. This week Anita and I had the opportunity to work with Michaela Alexis, who's the new Social + Content Marketing person at Grade A.

Michaela is working hard to compliment Grade A's reputation as a trusted IT Service Company, into also a fun inclusive place to work in Ottawa. She has very effectively and authentically created a whole bunch of social media caché for Grade A, by putting her very own story out there on LinkedIn, to shine light on the very company who has hired her.

Honest, fresh and fun!

© Dwayne Brown

We so love working with clients like Grade A, who value authentic imagery and giving their employees a great environment to do their work. Keep an eye on Michaela and all the good folks at Grade A! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How Many is Too Many?

We're packing up and getting ready to head home from 5 very fun photo days in NYC. I was just texting Anita and saying, how I wondered if I posted too many photos. She of course said "not too many!". Shooting for me is meditative and an opportunity to capture and perhaps share a story or an experience. Yes I've shot a ton and shared many - and many friends and strangers have followed the postings.

As we ready to leave I was taking stock and wondering if I had a favorite. I guess I have many for different reasons, but the one I'm posting stands out for me. I love how it captured various shared experiences by strangers - and it captures a part of New York that most if not all visitors come to see.

Thank you all for following the week of #loveNYC photos. It's been fun and inspiring!

©Dwayne Brown

Sunday, February 14, 2016

"Road To Seeing" - A Path to Inspiration

Anita and I spent a great morning today drinking lattes and browsing through photo books at the coolest little bookstore/café called Black Squirrel Books & Café. Sometimes the best thing to inspire the mind and stoke the heart, is to slow life down and enjoy the art and work of others. We so recommend 'Road To Seeing' by Dan Winters, it's full of great photography and inspiring words and stories!

© Dwayne Brown

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Vibrant Grit of Kensington Market

I might actually be one of the few folks who has never been to Kensington Market in Toronto before, so when we found ourselves there last Thursday evening, I was blown away by the vibrant colours and photogenic grit. What a visual candy store! The pavement was wet, the neon was vibrant on Spadina and graffiti was everywhere. Thanks Lucia for sharing with us, the beautiful gritty canvas of Kensington Market - what a cool neighbourhood to get lost in with or without a camera!

© Dwayne Brown

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Apparently Nice Guys Don't Finish Last!

We were lucky enough to be involved in a pretty cool event last night, capturing a 'fireside chat' with Stephen Smith, who has just gifted a very generous investment of 50 million dollars to Queen's University, for business education. Mr. Smith told his humble story of how he made his money, which at the base was to be generous and grateful. He also talked of how luck and being at the right place at the right time are a big part of success in business - most honest entrepreneurs I think would agree to that. Of course being smart, hard working and extremely determined, were also part of his story. Both Anita and I were most impressed by his kindness, reminding us that being nice should be at the core of any business or entrepreneurial enterprise!

© Dwayne Brown

Monday, November 30, 2015

Accountants Are Far From Boring!

It's one of those old clichés that just isn't true, and the new GGFL site especially helps to disprove that! Their new site was a great project to work on, photographing the partners and senior staff - capturing the professional personality of everyone. Congrats to everyone at GGFL for a new exciting look!

©Dwayne Brown

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Paying Close Attention

Beauty is so often right in front of us. It's in the over looked, within the close-up and it can be hidden in the not-so-obvious. We love the opportunity to look closely for our clients to help beauty and the story come to life!

 © Dwayne Brown

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Making Friends, One Linkedin Portrait at a Time!

As many of you know, we were in Madrid Spain last week. We had the great opportunity to partner with the kind folks at Club 567 (a very cool business networking organization) to photograph some of their members for their Linkedin profiles. Everyone we met and photographed were amazing. They were all friendly, humble and so interesting. The best part of the Madrid Linkedin project was, we felt that we had really made new friends! We had a wonderful space to shoot in, but it was hard to resist taking some of the portraits out on the terrace over looking Velázquez Street, as in the case with this image of concert pianist Alberto Urroz! Muchas gracias to everyone involved, we so loved it! We look forward to returning in the new year.

© Dwayne Brown

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Muchas Gracias Ambassador!

It was such a pleasure to photograph Jon Allen, Canada's Ambassador to Spain - while in Madrid last week! The Ambassador was so kind and generous with his time for our whole team. He didn't just give us time for the portrait, he also sat down with us in his office for a good half hour learning a little about each of us. He so reminded me of what it's like to be Canadian - generous, gracious and humble. Muchas Gracias!

© Dwayne Brown

Monday, October 12, 2015

Thanksgiving Weekend - thank you Anita.

To finish off an amazing Thanksgiving weekend that was filled with many blessings, I wanted to thank someone who is very giving. Last week, as some of you may know, through loveOttawa, Anita and I were asked if we would like the opportunity to meet, photograph and interview a young woman who had recently come to our city as a refugee from Syria. We, of course, very happily and humbly accepted.

We met the young woman, Rasha, in a park downtown on Thursday. She was sad, uncertain and wary. Anita took her aside, helping her feel more secure and at ease. Anita then fixed Rasha's hair and adjusted her clothing with great care, telling her that she was beautiful. Rasha felt better and allowed us to take some very nice photographs. They were sadder than our usual loveOttawa photos, but still very nice.

Anita then interviewed her, or better said, had a conversation with her. She very respectfully asked her to tell the story of her ordeal from Syria to Ottawa (a very challenging 18 month journey). The story was long, emotional, difficult at times and required Rasha to really trust, to be able to share so many details.

After the interview was finished and we were saying our goodbyes, Anita and Rasha hugged and agreed to connect later, after the post had been written. As we were leaving, Rasha came forward to Anita and hugged her again. This was a touching moment for me. This young, vulnerable refugee had lost so much and had been through such difficult challenges. Trust was very precious to strong yet fragile Rasha, and in such a short amount of time, Anita had earned it.

Our loveOttawa project is fun, creative and we know it helps shine light on the city, yet since I've partnered with Anita, it has matured and evolved. We are now at an interesting place where we can also help. As with Rasha's post, we hope we are able to highlight how Ottawa can help others on many levels. I am sincerely thankful to Anita for bringing such a graceful heart to loveOttawa.