Never underestimate the effect that twenty-four hours can have on your outlook and attitude. After a grueling week a sudden decision was made by me and my girlfriend Erin to jet up to Toronto for an overnight respite from our respective work. Being that we are both freelancers who have schedules that can be difficult to synch these mini vacations and day adventures become more common diversions for us than long overly planned vacations, we are just up for a good spontaneous adventure. Armed only with my iPhone we left on friday afternoon to de-stress, have fun, and go on a short notice adventure before returning to Buffalo and jumping right back into a busy week before opening the new studio. I feel recharged, renewed, and am bursting with new ideas from such a short trip. I sometimes forget how important it can be to just step away for a few minutes, especially during times when I am juggling many projects, both personal and professional.
Driving down the QEW from Buffalo to Toronto and other destinations north, I have always been fascinated by this replica of Jacques Cartier’s Grand Hermie that has been sitting in the water just off the highway for years. It used to be more substantial, but the main hull of the ship has been reduced by rust and fire to little more than a shell, still, the masts rising up over the tree line have long served as a marker for those making frequent trips back and forth from Toronto to Buffalo like we do. I even used to use it a location for some more unorthodox engagement and bridal shoots back when I regularly shot weddings. It is one of those great roadside quirks can easily spark imagination.
The last leg of the trip, coming into downtown Toronto, is the point where I could feel like our mini-vacation had truly arrived. Some of the quick hit highlights of the trip follow:
• Checking into the hotel and standing in what felt like the longest check in line in history (Note to all – always a good idea to not check in at the same time that two entire conventions worth of people in town that weekend are trying to do the same)
• Walking, and just being out in the open air, wandering the streets, taking pictures, and laughing our asses off at inside jokes just melted away weeks of over-focus and living by a schedule. This is where I re-centered myself the most.
• Taking tons of pictures of me and Erin at her request ( The dreaded mirror shot, everyone loves/hates them, but I will acknowledge how much fun they can be)
• Spending time with my cousin Ryan on our second day there (an older photo above that I took of him a few years back, one of my favorites)
• The food!!! Toronto in always a gastronomic wonderland for us, we have our favorites we always like to drop in on, but are always looking for new spots to get great food and hang out. Toronto has some of the best Indian food I have ever eaten, so friday night we managed to drop by a restaurant close to our hotel for a very late and very relaxing meal. Saturday on the other hand, was all about sitting out in the sun and taking in a long… long lunch. My cousin took us to a Portuguese restaurant with an amazing patio where we spent most of the afternoon drinking beer, eating whole grilled sardines, sausages, great bread, and the most delicious grilled chicken.
Even just one day away from in a different place, a brief change of scenery at best, can be an amazing change for your outlook. Get out there and just go somewhere… anywhere. Even if it is just for a few hours, go have an adventure, eat at the restaurant you always wanted to, get in your car and drive for an hour in any direction, then spend 2 more hours just walking around and exploring where you arrive at, the destination doesn’t really matter, it’s about making the choice to break your routine and just go. Take that same thought process and apply it to the project or image you have been thinking about creating. Just get out there are do it!
The studio is almost done. We will be holding our opening reception this week, As the image above illustrates – I am sure that Scott will be glad to be finished with the painting.
We have finished the final retouching and post-production on the project for Anatomy, and you can expect to see the finished images in just a week or two.