The Lavishy Project
On Location in the Junction
Interestingly, several photoshoot projects took place in the Junction area of Toronto, very close to where Eddys book shop was located. You may surmise that we really enjoyed that part of town.
A couple of doors down from Eddy was this interesting little store called Lavishy which had really cool costume jewellery displayed in the window.
I wandered in one day and soon fell to chatting with the nice gentleman behind the counter, who turned out to be the owner and the designer of the merchandise in the store.
To make a long story short, I thought it would be nice to do a little feature with photos on Lavishy because they were Canadian and very different. As with most of my bright ideas, a simple idea turned into a full blown idea which would require not one, but two photo shoots.
I thought it would be nice to get a couple of our friends together and have them model some of the jewellery and purses from Lavishy. *Leo, the owner, thought that was a great idea. Bruce Walker, my partner, and the would-be photographer was interested.
Initially I had thought we should do the shoot inside and just outside the store. However the extremely cramped floor space made that idea very impractical. Every square inch of space was packed with product.
Instead, we would have to find a suitable space nearby …there was no large indoor space available, at least not for free. So we began to think about outdoor spaces in the neighbourhood.
About 200 feet away from Lavishy was this gazebo and a little courtyard sort of space with large flat rocks, benches and trees. This could work we thought. (Naturally we never even considered being hassled about using the space …which can be tricky here in Onario. They won’t let you do shoots in parks without a permit and anywhere that is city owned, you are going to need a permit. We got very lucky — we did not get a permit, and fortunately we did not get hassled.)
I was a bit concerned about taking product from the store in order for the models to wear and display it, but Leo did not have any such qualms.
So now we needed to get some models for the project.
The first person that came to mind was our friend Iryna. Iryna loved to be photographed and the idea of modelling some cool costume jewellery was very appealing to her.
Iryna was very busy with her dance school activities and only had limited time for us. We decided to make it a two part affair. We would do the first part with Iryna.
Lavishy Project — Part One
Our friend Gerritt expressed interest in coming along that first day and seeing how Bruce was going to set up the lighting, etc. He would act as assistant to Bruce.
So, now we had our “crew” for part one which would take place, July 20, 2013.
We loaded up the car with lighting gear, picked up Iryna and headed off to the Junction. Bruce was very fortunately able to find a parking spot opposite the Gazebo.
This made life much easier for unloading the gear.
Getting set up in the Gazebo area was interesting and a bit of a challenge. We got plenty of curious looks from passers by who were more used to seeing groups of elderly men sitting about on the benches and rocks. We also got dirty looks from the elderly gents who normally sat around on the benches and rocks and probably thought we had no right to be there.
While Bruce and Gerrit were setting up, I went over to Lavishy to pickup the items we would be shooting.
Gerrit was very helpful, moving things around as needed and holding up the reflector as directed by Bruce.
We had a lot of fun that morning, although Bruce recalls that at the end of the shoot, we went for lunch and Iryna broke a heel on her very high heeled shoes.
Bruce got some dandy shots of Iryna modelling jewellery and vegan purses from Lavishy.
The Lavishy Project — Part two
Just four days after the first shoot, we were back in the Junction — July 24, 2013 — for part two of the Lavishy project.
I had invited our friend Kim, A.K.A. Hat Lady (that is a whole other story). another lady who really loved to get photographed, and really loved costume jewellery, oh and hats. She was “in”. Kim would be with us for the first part of the shoot, but had to rush off somewhere before lunch.
Bruce also mentioned the project to his sister Megan and her daughter Sophie. They were very excited to be a part of this. Sophie, like Iryna and Kim — loved getting photographed.
Once again, we loaded up the car with lighting gear and reflectors, and set off for the Junction. This time Bruce got parked outside Lavishy — still not too far away.
The ladies arrived soon after we did and helped us take gear over to the Gazebo, which was fortunately empty of its’ usual denisons. (Probably too early for them.)
I picked up the items we would be shooting from Lavishy and we decided what each of the ladies would be wearing/carrying.
We were finally ready to roll and started out with some shots of Kim, since she needed to leave early.
Bruce managed to get a nice shot with the three of them at the Gazebo
We found an interesting brick wall with graffiti on and used that as a backdrop for a couple of shots.
- Photographer and lighting — Bruce M. Walker
- Creative director — Louise Peacock
- Assistants to Bruce — Gerrit (first shoot) Sophie and Megan (second shoot)
- Model -Iryna (First shoot)
- Models — Kim, Megan and Sophie (Second shoot)
I did an in-depth interview with Leo which I will be adding in as a separate feature later.