Tag Archives: Photography

Photos by Kirk – directed by Jamie Day Fleck


I have been a bit MIA on my blog. There is a reason. The reason is that I have been working on a short documentary for my Masters in Documentary Media at Ryerson University. After about two years of work though, completion is on the horizon.


The short documentary, Photos by Kirk, is about an Armenian immigrant that was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and who worked as a photographer in the Bronx, NY for over 50 years. He documented generations of people through his photographs of weddings, bar mitzvahs, confirmations, local events, family portraits and other varied occurrences that were of importance to the people in his Bronx neighbourhood.


The film constructs the world of this photographer, telling his life story through interviews of his family, past clients and historians who provide context for the time period and people in his life. I used an excerpt of photographs from the archive of photographs he left behind after his death in 1979 to show how the local photographer while often overlooked in the history of photography was quite important to the social history of America.


His daughter, Mimi Vang Olsen, who is a painter and longtime family friend, was an invaluable resource and source of encouragement to completing this film. Through the memories of her childhood and her father, I was able to construct a multi-dimensional look at both history and his life story.


The film is going to have a “sneak preview” showing at the Doc Now Festival in Toronto, Canada which is a student-organized festival for the graduates of the Documentary Media MFA program. It will be shown on June 5th and June 28th . For more information please go to: docnow.cadocnow.ca/artists/jamie-fleck



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Your Time Boutique Shoot

YTB_small-5236 I had the opportunity to shoot some still life/product photography for Your Time Boutique. I don’t often shoot product. I usually prefer the collaborative aspect of portraiture compared to the often isolated (and lonely) modus operandi of shooting products.YTB_small-5250 IMG_4732

However, on this shoot I got to work with Your Time Boutique owner, Carol Kubbasak. Carol is a ball to work with, fun and easy-going. We had a great time shooting her handmade beeswax candles. And boy, does she ever know her stuff about beeswax candle making! Being a complete greenhorn, I had no idea.   IMG_4727

The photos are now up on her website which is a beautiful e-commerce site that simply and elegantly exhibits her wares. Take apeek and if you have a penchant for lovely-smelling and well-made beeswax candles, pick up a few! I particularly love her artisanal rock and wine-barrel-stave candle holders. For more info on the photographer go to: Jamie Day Fleck PhotographyYTB_small-5321 YTB_small-5327 YTB_small-5408

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Trout Rainwear shoot

Trout-3954_retouchedflattenA little while back I had the opportunity to work with a recently launched Canadian fashion house, Trout Rainwear. I photographed the founders, sisters Ashley McDonald and Jenn Lancefield (née Mulvihill), and the head designer Sarah Hopgood, creating a few relaxed portraits.

Trout Rainwear wants to make people feel fashionable even when they are stuck in the pouring rain. Priding themselves on Canadian designs and manufacturing, the company looks to forward both fashion and functionality in their trendy rainwear that you could easily wear on a downtown street or out and about in cottage country.

“Rainwear should not only protect from the rain, but ought to be comfortable in any type of weather. These 100% waterproof jackets are breathable as well — rain or shine, Trout Rainwear takes on any day with conviction and charm.”




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Why Professional Photography?

I wanted to write this article because I hear a lot about the widespread use of cameras cheapening photography as a profession. I want to answer the burning question of some, “Why should I pay for professional photography?”

It is true that with digital photography and high-quality cameras becoming cheaper it is easier for amateurs to pass as professionals. You put it on auto and the camera does the work. But I ask myself the question how good is good and what is good enough. I see on Facebook streams of images every day and very few of them are “good photography”. A professional has years of experience and high technical standards. A professional photographer spends hours doing work on the images after they are taken: editing out the bad photos from the good ones, brightening the dark ones, darkening the bright ones, increasing or decreasing saturation, deepening blacks, and sometimes removing unsightly elements.

In the old days you had to have a pro or you didn’t have photos. But these days you will certainly have photos, it is a matter of quality. A professional thinks about and studies people’s faces. Having been a portrait photographer for many years, I look at someone’s face and study the features to best accentuate that individual’s strengths. I know how to minimize double chins, make a large nose look smaller, often people have one eye that is bigger than the other I can handle that too. I am also looking at posing. How is a person sitting or standing? Do they look comfortable? Are they slouching? Does that angle make their belly stick out? I am looking for all these things plus the general composition and setting of the photo.

But that’s my job. Most people with a camera don’t do that. They don’t even know they should and they don’t know how to correct mistakes of brightness/darkness, cropping etc. Photography is a subject and an art. It requires technical knowledge and creative vision. Within that technical knowledge there is a knowledge of: colour, composition, lighting, form, focus, symmetry, directing, printing, editing software and camera know-how. Using your camera is one component of all the things a photographer should master.

So when asking whether you need a pro, consider whether you can ever get those photos again and whether it is worth wasting an opportunity to capture a group of people, a place and a memory. Photographs are not just made for the people who are in the photo but for their children or even their children’s children. And sometimes it is to remember people who will not be with us forever.

When it is a major life event like a wedding, a Christening, a family reunion, or even an expanding family growing a year older, something that cannot be re-done, re-created or re-photographed, that’s when you invest in a pro. Because you need to make sure that it is captured well with all that technique, experience and vision. Photographers are artists that work with a tool called a camera. They are not robots clicking snapshots. They deserve to be respected, admired and compensated for work well executed.

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Sometimes the Second Time is Sweeter


I was delighted to be chosen to shoot Jennifer and Robin’s wedding. It was a second wedding which thankfully lacked all the formalities of first weddings but lacked none of the joy, love or merrymaking. Robin had his proud son as his best man adding a certain poignancy to the ceremony. The ceremony took place at Christ Church Deer Park with its stunning wooded interior and high vaulted ceilings. Then the reception was at the Granite Club where the décor was brought in to give a comfortable lounge feel. Friends and family toasted the newlyweds with rounds of laughter and broad smiles.


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Love is in the Air

I am pleased to be able to offer engagement photographs and now wedding photo shoots to my clients. I find this area an exciting growing area of photography. I like it because I approach the shoot in very much the same way that I would do a magazine or other type of portraiture shoot.

I look at wedding photography as a mixture of event, fashion and portraiture so it helps when you are a photographer who is versed in all three areas.

I thoroughly enjoy watching a couple and figuring out how to best visualize their relationship. How are they different individually? What are their strengths as a couple? And then I am always pleased with the result because they look so in love and I feel that I am capturing them at a very important moment in their lives.

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Men’s Fashion in Desirable Mag

Men’s fashion has long been a sort of side passion of mine from portraiture. I find men’s fashion to allow for more character driven storyboards, models with unique and unconventional features as well as a flexibility with location due to not needing a team of stylists, make up artists, hair people and assistants to get a shoot done. Case in point was the shoot I did using the incredibly hip and stylish clothes from JacFlash (1036 Queen West).

After some time spent casting, I decided on a model with a unique style and interesting features. He delivered as far as internalizing my directions to create a shoot that was visually dynamic.

The shoot was picked up by Desirable magazine who was doing a feature on male models and was published in it’s June Issue.

I am not known for my studio photography but I felt the clothes and model were captivating enough without needing to add a strong background. And the minamilist gray (which I love) gave a good contrast in its simplicity, enhancing the contrast created by understated lighting against the styling and model’s look..

To purchase the magazine go to:  www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/402287

Stylist: Deborah Burton

Model: Sloan (Spot 6 Management)

Studio: PTSM Studios  www.ptsmstudios.com

Clothes: Various brands – provided by JacFlash  jacflash.net

For more info visit: www.jamiedayfleck.com

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New Website Launch!

I am happy to announce the launch of a new website for Jamie Day Fleck Photography! This newly laid out interface allows for more galleries and more menu buttons to showcase the breadth of the company. It full displays all Jamie Day Fleck Photography has to offer as well as presenting information about me and my photographic background.

The menu buttons have a link to blog, downloadable PDFs and even a client proofing section. I can also post all of the latest news and upcoming events. I love the ease of navigation because the menu is visible at all times.

My favorite feature is definitely the Fine Art featured gallery section. Finally I have a place where I can show all of my Fine Art projects simply but thoroughly even adding a little artist statement at the beginning.

For a full experience, try it in fullscreen mode. The photos really pop!   www.jamiedayfleck.com

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Venice Biennale 2011

Venice Biennale 2011

I know this is a very overdue post but I still wanted to share all these photographs and the experience with you.

I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Venice, Italy this past June. And if that wasn’t incredible enough I got to shoot the opening of the Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The Venice Biennale is the largest and oldest art fair in the world. With 89 countries in attendance this past year, it was the biggest Biennale to date. The Canadian artist that was commissioned to represent the country on the world art stage was Steven Shearer.

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During the Biennale, Venice is teeming with reporters, art buyers, photographers, patrons of the arts, curators, museum directors: basically a who’s who of the international art scene. It is very exciting, very tiring and very hot. If you have ever been to Venice, you know that most of your day is spent walking or jetting around on boats to get to where you need to go. It is exhilarating and exhausting.

Inside the Canadian Pavilion, painting by Steven Shearer

Donor Party

I photographed the donor events. The Canadian donors fundraised the money needed to stage this year’s exhibition which was commissioned and mounted by the National Gallery of Canada. I also photographed the opening of the Pavilion and various other events around town. The major exhibition was the group show entitled IllumiNATIONS , curated by Bice Curiger, showcasing 83 international artists. It took up most of the Arsenale, an immense space filled with a lot of installation and video art.

Alleyway at the Arsenale

In the IllumiNATIONS show

The city itself was filled to the brim with modern art. Many of the institutions opened their doors to modern artists from around the world turning museums and old palazzos into staging grounds for major modern art shows. The opening of the Prada Foundation, which exhibited many of Prada’s extensive fine art collection and is situated right off the Grand Canal, coincided with the Biennale.

Prada Foundation, Tulips by Jeff Koons

One of the most amazing shows that I saw while I was there was Future Pass which showcased Asian artists and Asian-inspired artists. http://www.future-pass.com

Future Pass show of Asian inspired art

All the while indulging on wine, prosciutto with melon and cappuccinos, it was a trip to remember, to savor and reminisce on long after I returned.


Lovers cruising up the Grand Canal by moonlight

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Men’s Fashion Shoot “Farmland” in Desirable Mag

Last year, I ventured out to the farmland of Ontario to shoot a men’s fashion shoot on two horse farms near Orangeville. The country is breathtaking and of course a welcome contrast to a city folk like me. The concept of the shoot was a collaboration between myself and stylist, Alexandra Loeb, who pulled together an incredible wardrobe primarily from Harry Rosen. With two male models, two female horseback riders, a stylist, make up artist and an assistant we went out to create photographic magic.

The storyline was two brothers who tend a horse farm with their girlfriends who are accomplished, riders (of course). With a classic wardrobe and rustic setting it was a recipe for success. I love the way the location enhances the colours in the clothes and brings the story to life adding a touch of romance.

The story was then picked up by Desirable Mag (www.desirablemag.com) ,an online and print magazine based out of New York. I have included the layout in the magazine below. To purchase the latest issue with the fashion spread included: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/261531  The photos are also on my website: www.jamiedayfleckphotography.com

I want to thank everyone involved again for all of their help:

Alexandra Loeb: stylist www.alexandraloeb.com

Jessica Jean Meyers:make up artist www.jessicajeanmyers.com

Models: David and Ryley from Elite Models Toronto

Female horse riders: Leah and Danielle

The owners of Willowgate Farm and Aislinn Dressage

My assistant: Emer Schlosser

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