Favourites of 2016

Wow. Another year. It honestly felt like two months ago I wrote my last blog post....about my favourite photos of 2015. That's a little embarrassing. But it was for good reason. 

2016 was quite busy. And busy is good. I was still at the Toronto Star this time last year as a visual specialist. Unfortunately some things must end, and it gave me the opportunity to work towards what I wanted since I was a kid - to be a photographer with the Star. With all my free time, I was able to focus on shooting video for their internship application and between that and hounding the editor (sorry) I was in. 

It was a busy summer. Working mornings, evenings, weekends, holidays. Didn't matter to me. I just wanted to be there working and learning. I had the opportunity to shoot everything from portraits of celebrities to homicides all while growing my craft and making some friends along the way. 

It was through one of the many wonderful people I met at the Star that I was able to get onto the freelance photo editor list at Maclean's Magazine where I'm learning more and more each day. 

I want to thank everyone that helped me out and put up with all my (sometimes stupid) questions in 2016. You guys make work a blast and I'm so thankful for the experience. 

Anyways here are a collection of photos I liked from 2016. Not everything was published, some was just stuff shot hanging out with friends. I hope you enjoy, and heres to a better 2017.

2015 in Review

I know...It's a month into the new year, but I still want to talk about what 2015 brought me. 

2015 was the year I finished my schooling at Loyalist College, graduated (I did it mom!), AND got myself working. I've lived in three different cities this year - Belleville, London and Toronto. 

I spent three weeks working with the London Free Press, four months working with Metroland Media Toronto (Toronto Community News), shoots with the Canadian Football League as well as the Toronto Argonauts and a short but very sweet contract with the Toronto Star as a Visual Specialist (sort of like a photo editor type roll) for their phenomenal Star Touch app. I think I learned more about myself as a photographer and as a person this past year than I have in my 25-ish years of being on this planet. I've honed my editing skills, which got me to rethink my shooting habits, heck I'm even learning how to run my own business. 

I've compiled 15 photos that were a personal favourite from the past year for your viewing pleasure below. 

Week 2 in Review

It's a bit late...I know. A hectic weekend of work stopped me from posting this, but here it is! I had yet another amazing week working at the London Free Press, shooting tons of assignments and feature hunting. More car accidents, animals, press conferences and even a former Prime Minister of Canada. I'm almost done my final week now, which is absolutely crazy. I now understand why they say 'time flies when you are having fun.' I have had quite a few photos on A2, the regional page, which is great to see. Sadly no A1s, but it's pushing me to work harder at assignments to get at least one more before my time is up. Below are some shots from my second week with the paper in no particular order.


Where did the time go?

Well that's that. I am officially finished my photojournalism program in two weeks. Classes are done, and now it's just my internship at the London Free Press. Below is my first week there in review. So far I have covered accidents, hockey, soccer, a one-man show, frozen water pipes, superheroes, delicious maple syrup and much more. Heck I even got the front page after my first shift!!  I'm really starting to settle into my element here, and I can't wait to see what the next two weeks has in store. 

Justice For All - Washington, D.C.

This past weekend I travelled down to Washington, D.C. to photograph a rally organized by Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network. This demonstration was sparked by the recent verdicts of two police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The energy could be felt blocks away from Freedom Plaza, and the voices heard around the country. It was an amazing experience.

Below are a couple photos from that protest. 

Remembrance Day in Ottawa

I travelled up to Ottawa on Monday night with a classmate to cover the Remembrance Day ceremony. Both of us had covered the shooting in Ottawa on October 22, 2014. Below are a couple of photos from today. 


Highway of Heroes for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

I covered the procession down the Highway of Heroes (Hwy 401) on Friday Oct. 24, 2014. Here are a couple shots and some play they got.

Chaos in Ottawa

Some recent shots from Wednesday's deadly shooting in Ottawa. 

I had woken up to my phone blowing up with reports of a shooter at Parliament Hill and decided to drive up. 

Who am I?

As a photographer people always ask me what I love to shoot. Some days this is easy to answer other days not so much.

My mother has been a journalist for well over 30 years, spending most of her career working with the Toronto Star. I spent countless hours in the newsroom, at the presses, in her office when she was bureau chief. With all this exposure, I was always interested in journalism. The constant change of daily life really peaked my interest. The fact that you didn’t have to sit at a desk all day performing repetitive tasks of entering numbers was amazing. A reporter was able to go out and meet new and interesting people day in and day out.

Back in the summer of 2005, I started working with Snap Newspaper in Bloor-West Village in Toronto – my first paid photojournalistic gig. At 15 years old I didn’t really see this as something I would turn into a career, but I was wrong.

The following summer I had the opportunity to travel through northern Ontario with my mom and a photographer visiting camps for the Toronto Star Fresh Air Fund. This charity, which was started in 1901, helps send 25,000 kids to camp every year. My mom’s roll was to visit camps in the city as well as in cottage country and write about life at camp. This is where I met Aaron Lynett. His dedication to the profession really got me interested in becoming a news photographer. He taught me many lessons about what it takes to be a photographer at a major daily newspaper and helped steer me in the right direction of what to do to become a great photographer.

With this exposure and my history with the Fresh Air Fund, I pitched a story of my experiences at a handful of camps that I had visited that ran three quarters of a page with multiple photos in the Toronto Star.

Fast-forward about 4 years. I had just finished my first year at Carleton University where I had spent more time in the newsroom of the school paper than studying for my classes. I was hooked. No one could take my camera gear away from me. At this point I realized that Loyalist College Photojournalism was the only place for me to get my foot in the door.

As first semester started I unfortunately had spent more time doing my own photo work than being in class yet again and dropped out. I got offered a job shooting the final New York Fashion Week held at Bryant Park, and quickly took the opportunity. After spending some time there shooting fashion I decided it wasn’t for me and came back to Toronto where I worked odd jobs to pay the bills.

I have finally returned to the place I like to call home at Loyalist College. My dedication and focus for the profession is extremely evident. I have spent the past summer working with the Toronto Argonauts, Metroland Halton, multiple Ukrainian organizations, shooting weddings, and exploring the wonderful world of multimedia and documentary.

I can’t tell you exactly who I am or who I will be in fives years, but I know that with my dedication and skills that I will be working hard to make a living at this beautiful thing we do.

 Photo by Thomas Surian

Photo by Thomas Surian

Well, I'm Back

It's been a while since I did any sort of blogging or anything like that, so here we go...again.

It's been a busy summer since I finished my first year of photojournalism at Loyalist College in beautiful Belleville, Ont. Starting at the end of May, I have been working with the Toronto Argonauts as their training camp photographer, and what an experience that has been. I have done everything from meal check-ins with the players, to shooting the big home opener this year against the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I have definitely improved my skills after shooting football everyday for nearly a month. 

During my off days from the Argos, and currently (since I'm finished the internship), I have been doing some freelance photo work for Reg Vertolli, the photo director over at Metroland Halton which runs the Oakville Beaver, the Burlington Post, and the Milton Canadian Champion. I have covered high school baseball, girls comic nights, and Canada Day for them, and I have loved every assignment handed to me. 

Anyways I'm going to keep this post short. Just thought I'd catch a few people up on what's been happening. Below I will post some of my favourite photos so far this summer from both the Argos and Metroland!

I try to post to instagram (@lahophoto) as much as possible, but you will be seeing a ton of new stuff pop up here in the coming weeks!