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. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Beauty is, has and likely always will be subjective. Whether it be a face, a flower, a landscape or architecture - we all see beauty differently. For me as a photographer, my eye is always drawn to the beautiful and the interesting, but my view of what is beautiful is perhaps not the typical. I'm not usually drawn to the shiny or the new, or the obvious. I often gravitate to the overlooked. I so believe there is beauty everywhere, all we really need to do, is to look more closely and with more care. Flowers that are on their way out or dying are especially interesting to me. They have a randomness that just does something for me, with their petals curling, drying and surrendering themselves to the inevitable - they are so stoically beautiful!

© Dwayne Brown

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Inspiration of Emerging Talent

I've been shooting for more than half my life and I'm still mesmerized by what inspires me. Inspiration comes in so many forms. It might be something I see or experience, it might be music or even just the feeling of the day. Sometimes I'm inspired by another photographer's imagery or just by being surrounded by a creative environment. The one thing that is always consistent when I am inspired, is that I'm also humbled in a way. Humility is an amazing concept that I believe is also the gateway to strength and confidence. Of late, I've been very inspired by my creative partner Anita's hunger to create imagery. Anita didn't go to photo or art school. She hasn't followed a traditional creative path in life, but she is profoundly creative. She has an open heart, an open mind and wide open eyes! I feel so fortunate to be inspired by her passion to create and share - and for her eagerness to break the rules. :)

© Anita Ruivo

Sunday, March 22, 2015

the value of great ideas and loyalty

It's no surprise that everyone loves great ideas, and my friend and colleague Shawn MacDonell has loads of them. Now ideas are one thing, but where the real sizzle is, is making those ideas come to life. Shawn definitely has ideas, but he also has the drive and courage to make things happen with his creative company Creativision. This is all great of course, but what I love the most about Shawn, is his loyalty and commitment to friends. The other night Shawn was hosting a table at the ConnectOTT event, while Anita and I were photographing a handful of entrepreneurs for loveOttawa at the event. In fine Shawn MacDonell style, he was proudly wearing our loveOttawa t-shirt under his suit and couldn't wait to share it with us. The point of the story is, Shawn is always the first to shed light on others, and I love that about him!  :)

© Dwayne Brown

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Dynamic Mix

We were shooting yesterday at Conversant, a local Intellectual Management Company, capturing executive portraits as well as a wide variety of vignettes to help tell their story. It was cool seeing CEO John Lindgren working at his standing desk. I've always loved, when possible capturing stilllifes of desks, as they tend to be a revealing portrait of the executive. With John's desk, I loved the dynamic mix of technology and analogue - not to mention the problem solving metaphor of a Rubik's Cube!
John Lindgren
John Lindgren

© Dwayne Brown

Sunday, February 22, 2015

We love shooting on location!

As a photographer, I love shooting on location. Every space and environment brings challenge and opportunity. Every space has it's own sense of scale and composition, and the great spaces also have great light. This week we got to shoot portraits in some very different spaces - The Indigo Hotel here in Ottawa, The new Jack Astor's restaurant in Lansdowne and Celestica in Toronto for Banfield. The Celestica space was so lovely, with such great light and cool lines - and it provided a powerful yet calming backdrop for this corporate portrait. Perhaps they're right, location IS everything, or at the very least, it's helpful! :)

© Dwayne Brown

Monday, February 16, 2015

jazz is love

We had such a cool experience the other night shooting loveOttawa portraits backstage at the Valentine's Day Leonard Cohen Tribute concert, for The TD Winter Jazz Fest. We photographed artists, staff and volunteers - asking them what they love about the festival and jazz music. Considering the cool folks and great personalities we shot, I thought some of the images deserved a little more love - and presenting them in black and white!

Big thanks to all the behind the scenes folks and especially to the artists below! Dan Francks (Iron Buffalo), Jay Malinowski, Martha Wainwright, Reuben and the Dark and Scott Helman.

All images © Dwayne Brown