I've been waiting a very long time for this day.

When I started #ShootForPeace back in November 2015, I told the kids: “We’re all here because we love photography. I don’t have cameras for everyone but I promise one day we will. For now, all I can guarantee is that I will help you bring to life all those ideas in your head. Whether if that’s through my own camera, your cellphone or your iPod, we are going to take photos and we won’t stop."

Words cannot describe how the kids felt when they were surprised with the cameras in the above episode of The Creator Class. One of them came up to me and asked tentatively, “Are you sure that we’re allowed to keep them?”. They couldn’t believe it. Go watch that video right NOW. Live on @THECREATORCLASS YouTube channel.  ALLLLL MY GUYS HAVE CAMERAS NOW!!!!!! WHAT WAS ONLY A DREAM A YEAR AGO HAS BECOME REALITY.

Thank You ❤️



Shooting Film with our neighbourhood friend @Jayscale.

On January 3rd 2016. #Shootforpeace was blessed with a visit by our friend Jamal aka Jayscale and his sister Kelly. Jamal shoots film and it's been a hobby of his that he rarely shared with the public until very recently. Jamal surprised all the children with disposable cameras for them to use for their introduction to film. We decided to walk down to the distillery district. When Jamal introduced himself it resonated with the children and really hit home because he was someone from their community that found success in the art of photography. A few of them were talking about how they never thought @jayscale on Instagram was the same guy who lived in their neighbourhood and it was beautiful to hear that. After his introduction we reminded the kids that although they didn't have to share cameras they had to remember that they are limited to a specific amount of shots. Every shot counts in film and this is why it was so important for photographers from the past to make sure they composed the photo before taking it. The kids had a great time shooting and it was really refreshing to listen to their questions and comments. One of the kids was hardly shooting and when i approached him asking why he said "i cant just waste my shot on anything, it has to be something crazy". I watched another two say to each other "I'll only take a picture of you if you take a picture of me". One of them took all his shots within the first thirty minutes and said "i'm happy with everything i took". The photos will be developed soon and we cant wait to share all the amazing photos we took with you. All in all we had a great time and since it was super cold we had no option but to go to Tim Hortons and have some Hot Chocolate. Thank you Jamal once again from the whole team. We appreciate you.

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When you're too cold to shoot but warm enough to keep your hoody off.

When you're too cold to shoot but warm enough to keep your hoody off.

Yes that's hot chocolate and yes he is drinking it from a straw.

Yes that's hot chocolate and yes he is drinking it from a straw.

Sneakers and Street Photography with @Re.mark & @Brxson

Last Sunday Dec 20th we had @Re.Mark (Sharmarke) and @Brxson (Bryson) take time out of their busy schedules to join us. Sharmarke requested that we shoot in Financial District. We were also lucky to have @Mad.Visuals (Maddy) show up to help volunteer as well. As soon as we got to king and bay we had the instructors talk a little bit about themselves and how they got into photography. One of the kids pointed out that he found it very interesting that Bryson first intended to get into videography to film Skiing. After the introductions we split the kids into two groups. The first group would shoot sneakers and portraits with Sharmarke and the second group would shoot Architectural and street photography with Bryson and Maddy. With just twenty minutes in you could hear the screams of excitement from the kids after each shot, and their eagerness to show the instructors as well as their peers their results. They shot for well over two hours and would’ve continued if i hadn’t reminded everyone it was time for us to wrap up. Bryson, Maddy and Sharmarke were very impressed with the young photographers and how keen they were to prefect the new techniques they were taught. Almost all of our instructors told me how inspirational it was to teach the kids and how it helped change their perspective on photography. 

Below are photos the children shot and were then edited by the instructors. 


Shooting Hoops with @Doncharleone

This past Sunday we had the honour of having my good friend Charlie Lindsday aka @Doncharleone come teach us how to shoot sports photography. Charlie has had the opportunity to work with companies such as Nike, Adidas, Underarmour and many different sporting brands. He specializes in Basketball Photography and has started his second season shooting with NBA Canada this year. The kids were already familiar with who he was when i said he would be visiting us. His photos of Lebron James and Stephen Curry were a huge favourite amongst them. Upon his arrival they were chanting his name and you could see that Charlie was super happy to join us. Charlie started by telling us a bit about himself and how he got into photography. He broke the kids into two groups. The first group would be taking the photos and the second would have their photo taken. We also had Houssein an older brother of one of the kids and photographer from the communnity join us. All in all it was a great success and the kids said they couldn't wait to see Charlie again. 

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Photowalk with Jayscale.

This past Saturday @Jayscale aka Jamal Burger and @Niche organized a photowalk where about 200+ instagramers all came together for the sake of photography. It was especially important that we made it to that photowalk since Jamal had grew up in Regent Park. I didn’t realize how popular our little initiative was until we showed up to the photowalk. Not only were we recognized by many of the photographers, they wanted to take photos of us. The kids took photos, had their questions answered and were given advice by dozens of successful photographers. Although the kids were most excited to meet Jamal, not only because he’s an incredible photographer but because he’s someone that grew up in their community and that connection was important to them. It was talking to Jamal after the photowalk that touched me the most. He told me that not only was he inspired but that the kids showing up changed his outlook on the art and his purpose. 

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Below are a few photos taken during the walk by the kids who are in the program.

Shot by Hambada - 14 years old.

Shot by Hambada - 14 years old.

Shot by Houzayfa - 13 years old. 

Shot by Houzayfa - 13 years old. 

Shot by Yasir - 12 years old.

Shot by Yasir - 12 years old.

Shot by Houzayfa - 13 years old.

Shot by Houzayfa - 13 years old.

We got invited to Ryerson!

Huge THANKS to Ryerson and the Ryerson Image Centre who invited us this past weekend to check out the WEEGEE - Murder is my business exhibit yesterday. For an intense decade between 1935 and 1946, Weegee (1899–1968) was one of the most relentlessly inventive figures in American photography. His graphically dramatic and often lurid photographs of New York crimes and news events set the standard for what has become known as tabloid journalism.

Our guys had the opportunity to see how different photography was and how much it and the world has changed in less than 100 years. The world, our city and our communities hear about violence so often so i thought this exhibit was extremely relevant for us. With videos as well as actual articles from the past it was really hard for us to leave. I thought it was funny that beyond all the murders they were most shocked about pepsi being only 5 cents back in the day. I’m so proud of my guys because not only were they respectful during our time there but they were also super helpful. I found a few of them helping an old couple use the tablet that had information on the exhibit and they continued conversing with them until the couple left. You guys definitely represented us well. Thank you to everyone continuing to support us!


#ShootForPeace in Esplanade

About a month ago I started a small initiative in Regent Park called #ShootForPeace. Its a program where about 10-12 kids and I go out once a week and take a walk out of our own neighbourhood and explore the city. We usually start with a quick lesson, shoot and then review our work. The purpose is for the kids to get out of their comfort zone and ultimately have fun with it. Our philosophy is solely based on the idea of shooting what makes you happy. We currently pair up and shoot with a bunch of my cameras and their cellphones. 

On Nov, 22 2015 We took a walk around Esplanade and had a shoot at the court. It was incredible to watch and observe the different perspectives of these young photographers. Plus we ran into @sooteeoh so that was fun! Very excited to see where they’ll be in a year. 

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