Winterlude Mascots: The Ice Hogs


Is a festival really a festival if it doesn’t have a mascot… or family of mythical mascots? These cute, furry creatures are called Ice Hogs. They are some sort of mythical creature family that loves everything to do with the cold and winter and they hibernate in the summer months because they hate the heat. Of course, I snapped a pic of my fam with these cuddly little creatures, but here is a sneaky shot over the shoulder of tourists doing their thing.



Winterlude: My First #Instameet

This past weekend marked the opening of Winterlude, Ottawa’s annual winter carnival. The two week event showcases everything the city has to offer during the coldest months and how Canadian’s embrace Old Man Winter with open arms.

Here’s my new friend @littlemissottawa doing what she does best. If you want to know about anything that goes on in this town, give her a follow.

Rideau Canal at Winterlude

To mark the opening of the event, Ottawa Tourism hosted an Instagram meetup for local Instagrammers… of which I am one, and you’re welcome to follow me here. And since the vast majority of you reading this don’t live here, we left the Tourism office at 1pm and the temp was -31 degrees celcius. Try to tell me we’re not a dedicated group. Also joining us for the day were two HUGE Instagram superstars, Australian travel phogographer Lauren Bath; and Kael (aka @punkodelish) of Ottawa, and now Toronto. Here’s Lauren capturing Kael as she enjoys some tasty treats on the Canal skateway.

punkodelish & Lauren Bath

That’s right, the gloves still come off at -31 Celcius; These are some touch ladies.

We spent the afternoon walking along the Rideau Canal as thousands of people skated past, marvelled at the amazing display of ice sculptures in the Ice Crystal Garden, watched lumberjack demonstrations, drank maple tea and ate maple toffee, and listened to some fantastic live traditional Irish music.

Winterlude 2015

Since I don’t get out as much as I’d like to shoot, I’m going to spread the images I captured over the next couple of weeks, but I hope to get back out with my family a couple times before it ends.


Breaking New Ground

My goal this year with photography is to make pictures with a purpose, to aim to tell a story with each image and not simply post a photo for the sake of keeping my posting quota up.

breaking new ground

The opportunity to walk out the door and start shooting here in Ottawa isn’t nearly as present as it was when I lived in Toronto, and that is one of the few things that has bothered me since making the move out here. With that said, I have decided to change my focus and “retrain” my mind’s eye. I have made it a goal to seek out specific opportunities and work on focused projects that I have laid out for 2015. Some projects I will keep under tight wraps until they begin to take shape in the form of real photographs, but one of those projects is to properly document my children.

I likely won’t share many of those images on this site, but I hope to capture a collection of images that they can look at years from now and feel the moment well after it has left their memories. I like to think of it as being a National Geographic photographer making images and documenting lives for a really long article. Perhaps I need a super wide angle lens and get right up in their faces to achieve the true NG feel.

The image above is one such image. This is my little guy’s second time on cross country skiis, and it’s clear that he truly loves it. Winters here are long and cold, but the good thing about Ottawa is that the locals embrace the outdoors no matter what the temperature is, and I want my boys to grow up with that same mentality. I’m really excited about this year and the plans I have. I just hope that the right combination of hard work, luck and timing help to make my goals a reality.


The One That Got Away

Cities like Toronto have so much history and such beautiful architecture that you could probably go on shooting for years before you run out of incredible subjects. The Fairmont Royal York Hotel is one of the most beautiful in the city, and I missed my chance at it.

Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Seated firmly at the foot of the city on Front St. W., and across from Union Station, this 85 year old building is chronically under repair and never offered up a stellar photographic opportunity during my time in the city. Oh well, perhaps I’ll stay there one day in the future when I make a return visit to the city. For now, these two images are as good as I was able to get.

Fairmont Royal York Hotel