Jess on the Summer Solstice

At the beginning of summer I decided to make the most of it finally being sunny in Canada, and that began with this summer solstice shoot with Jess. We talked about the feel and together styled some outfits and decided on Scarborough Bluffs for the location.

Doing this shoot on the longest day of the year hadn’t been an intentional choice, yet it’s funny how it worked out so beautifully. Life likes to surprise us like that. Jess started off with the usual “I have no clue what to do comments” and “I’m so awkward in front the camera” but I think you’ll agree she quickly figured it out.

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Kyle

Light, a key factor in photography. Looking at all the different types of light. How it hits something, how warm it is, how soft it is, whether it’s natural or artificial or a combo of both. As a photographer you always must pay attention to the little changes in light through out the day. I adore natural light, how it flickers and it’s completely unpredictable nature but lately I’ve been experimenting a lot with studio lighting. In this series I work with Elinchrome lights and gels and have an easy to work with model.

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I am always happy to help creatives work on their personal branding and provide portraits. Kyle was no exception.

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Mariel

I recently left my stable job at West Elm, a risky decision, to pursue freelance with more energy and not have the constant exhaustion that can cause your work to suffer as an artist. This means less excuses and more sweat and tears into creative projects. It also means that I can use the experience I learnt from the service industry to my advantage and keep the connections I made.

I shot Mariel, my now old co-worker for a larger project that I’ve been working “Oh This Is Home Too” but for now this is a sneak peak of the Mexican beauty.

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Queen St Toronto Boutique Work

The past summer there was a lot of juggling between internships, my part time job and free lance shoots and I’m happy to finally share with you a few compiled images from work I did for the beautiful Queen W store Smoke N Ash.

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I had the pleasure of working with both summer and fall looks and working with the Jaya, the owner of the boutique as she expertly styled each look and helping to direct the models as they became more and more comfortable in front my lens.

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Ohh, This Is Home Too

What does it mean to be at home?

What makes a place a home?

When do we decide ‘this’ is home?

How do we choose a home?

“Toronto is where I feel comfortable and more represented than even at home in Trinidad. So now, living in Toronto when I walk down any street and see the entire world in front of me I see faces and hear voices from all corners of the world and that is unifying feeling.  I feel creatively claustrophobic when I’m in Trinidad. But I do miss my family, the food and the light heartedness of people’s reactions to serious situations.”  -Stephen, Home 1: Trinidad

“Toronto is where I feel comfortable and more represented than even at home in Trinidad. So now, living in Toronto when I walk down any street and see the entire world in front of me I see faces and hear voices from all corners of the world and that is unifying feeling.

I feel creatively claustrophobic when I’m in Trinidad. But I do miss my family, the food and the light heartedness of people’s reactions to serious situations.”

-Stephen, Home 1: Trinidad

“I may not have parents who spoil me like a 12 year old in Toronto, but Toronto is where I feel like a grown-up individual, a friend and a neighbour who’s got enough room in her heart to reach out a helping hand or pass on a smile to anyone who might be feeling like my 12 year old self.  Growing up in two distinctly different cities, I’ve learned to look past the negative feelings of being divided and rather find the joys that make me feel at home in each place.”  -Gloria, Home 1: Korea

“I may not have parents who spoil me like a 12 year old in Toronto, but Toronto is where I feel like a grown-up individual, a friend and a neighbour who’s got enough room in her heart to reach out a helping hand or pass on a smile to anyone who might be feeling like my 12 year old self.

Growing up in two distinctly different cities, I’ve learned to look past the negative feelings of being divided and rather find the joys that make me feel at home in each place.”

-Gloria, Home 1: Korea

“Toronto feels like home because it makes me feel hugged somehow. I feel welcomed and now I have this beautiful circle of loving people around me who I can call family.”  -Jess, Home 1: Brazil

“Toronto feels like home because it makes me feel hugged somehow. I feel welcomed and now I have this beautiful circle of loving people around me who I can call family.”

-Jess, Home 1: Brazil

“When I really felt like Toronto was home I was standing on the beach in Barbados telling a friend I was sad to be leaving to go home. It was March 2017 just after accepting my promotion and I decided to stay in Toronto. That was the first time I’d really referred to Toronto as home or thought of it that way. It was a strange feeling for me because it had technically been my home for two years but yet I had never associated it with being home.”  -Alexandra, Home 1: Barbados

“When I really felt like Toronto was home I was standing on the beach in Barbados telling a friend I was sad to be leaving to go home. It was March 2017 just after accepting my promotion and I decided to stay in Toronto. That was the first time I’d really referred to Toronto as home or thought of it that way. It was a strange feeling for me because it had technically been my home for two years but yet I had never associated it with being home.”

-Alexandra, Home 1: Barbados

This series explores the feeling of adopting a new place as home. specifically Toronto and the guidelines are for each subject to choose their favourite part of the city for the shoot and to hold an object that reminds them of home.

Ohh, This is Home Too (2) is an homage to Canada and it’s welcoming nature and the ability to start again. It is an ongoing project where I aim to increase the diversity to represent all ages, classes and races.

If your second home is Toronto and you’re interested in being part of this project you can contact me at rhimarquez@gmail.com

Eve Without Adam

Sometimes you need to construct the right situations to get the creative juices flowing, even if your model ends up being sick. Magic can happen.

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This shoot was inspired by the feminine and the power of embracing it.

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Working with the beautiful Jessica, we tapped into what it means to be a woman and to love yourself.

Jenna

Incorporating time for your own personal projects and vision can prove difficult with a full schedule but this last shoot reminded me why it’s so important. Focusing on the lighting and styling the shoot to every detail. Thanks to Winners for my glass bottle and Zara for the feminine dresses.

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Good Hair

This summer has been full of hustling and keeping my blog up to date hasn’t been easy. I never want to compromise the quality of my work and for that reason some things have taken a back seat as I pour my blood, sweat and tears into exciting projects and work that my clients love.

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Working with my friend Sandi, who no longer looks like this (hint it has to do with a crazy hair transformation and resulted in her looking like a blonde bombshell), I captured what the experience is like in her studio and how talented she is at transforming your locks. When you step into her space you notice how thought out every little detail is and when you sit in her chair you can’t help but smile and relax. Sandi uses R+Co with Anubhu to create shiny healthy locks.

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It’s easy to forget you’re actually there to get your hair done and not just hanging out with a girlfriend who happens to be really good at massaging your head but here’s look number one.

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Miraculously Sandi managed to take the wow factor up even more for look number 2.

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The final look, because it wouldn’t be complete without an updo option.

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Sandi will be having an opening party this Saturday, Sept 15 at her salon Sandi White Studio, stop by for the chance to meet the delightful and dedicated stylist and get a glimpse of her beautiful space.

Yuliya

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It's never lost on me how you can meet the most beautiful of souls in the tangled web of social media through the protective distancing of a screen.

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Many of the connections I have made in my new home (perhaps 5 years of living here isn't that new) are with other immigrants that are finding their niche in this colourful city. This isn't by chance, it isn't easy to make a new place home and it's that sense of community that allows this feeling to really take shape. These connections fueled by commonalities.

In my creative endeavors that have opened so many doors for me in Toronto it is the unexpected connections that make me smile the most. It's also at times like this that I wonder how anyone can be closed off to the idea of letting new cultures in, to expanding the vibrancy of a country and allowing for more open mindedness.

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I Shouldn't Need To Make A Face Like This

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations and #metoo movement I made a series around sexual harassment and the struggle many women face daily. Using art to put a satirical twist on the uncomfortable conversations around sexual harassment.
The series title is frank, we shouldn't require such obvious expressions of disgust to signal no.

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Sometimes calling attention to the faults in our culture with exaggerated narratives is necessary.

 

Gloria

Humans are confusing, they speak loudly with actions and say otherwise with their words. They speak in metaphors to make crappy days sound better. They hide their feelings to avoid disappointment. And they love in the most messily satisfying ways.

Don't be scared of the connections you can make. There is so much beauty in love and rejection. At the end of the day you will always come back to yourself but better than before. 

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Savour those early moments, those first. Then pay attention to the details, the little things and if it fades. If timing isn't right or feelings disappear or sometimes its just an inexplicable sudden halt. Allow yourself to appreciate what you had, what is was. Endings have their own type of beauty. Endings are new beginnings.

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I was enamoured with this inspiring ladies resilience to the testing nature of love. Sometimes you aren't in love, but you love who that person is. Sometimes a relationship doesn't consume you but fuels you and that doesn't make it any less. In fact that means it wasn't lust but something strong and important to build character. Every relationship serves a purpose and that isn't defined by it's length or even the milestones hit. The briefest of encounters have an impact.

The ability to see the silver lining in each experience is one of the finest traits in people, and it's people like Gloria that I will happily surround myself with. People who trust despite all the trials and tribulations that our encounters serve a purpose and lead to better things. People who rather than get disheartened and doubting of human nature believe it makes a beautiful story that should be woven into their exquisite life. 

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Spontaneity

I recently watched the 1995 film Kicking and Screaming. I am often one to relate to films that question purpose and what it means to be successful while each character remains delightfully quirky.

The quote "if you want to know how to make God laugh, make a plan" hit me hard. 

Five years ago I nannied in Paris, following that I studied media at UofT sure that I would be able to get a secure steady job on the completion of the degree but then it all went haywire. If all you do is plan there's little room for enjoyment and failure is a means to push you in the right direction.

I hit rock bottom and now I'm creating the life that I always wanted but was afraid to pursue. I'm happy now, there are still many days I don't have it all together but another thing I've learnt is that growth isn't getting rid of all your problems but replacing them with better ones.

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These shots were taken from what seemed to be a loss of a day as I planned to shoot with a friend and on the train she cancelled. Her reasons were more than valid, however I was extremely annoyed at the whole situation as I headed west with plans fallen through. I have an amazing set of friends and luckily one of my longest and closest friends was able to salvage my day, as I turned around and headed right back home to then hike in trees and capture some beautiful shots.

We were lucky with warm weather, stunning lighting and an environment that makes you know it's no cliché that everything happens for a reason.

I've always been the more spontaneous type anyway.

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Rest

That feeling that you always need to tick things off your to do list, when what you really need is to take a step back. It's easy to glamorize "busy".

How have you been?.... Busy!

We need to catch up, I've just been so... busy.

I've been meaning to get to that but always so... busy.

It's the easy answer. The all encompassing vague response. 

I challenge you to take that evening away from it all. I challenge you to not feel quite so... busy. Let's take a lesson from nature, enjoy the content of the present the simplicity of now.