New Photography Classes!


For the 2018-2019 academic year, I’ve redesigned my course offerings at Avenue Road Arts School to include a new Intermediate level in addition to my Advanced and Beginner programs! Here is a brief summary of the new course offerings:

  • Digital Photography for Beginners  – for new photographers, we will cover the basics of digital photography (aperture, shutter speed…etc.). Also ideal for those with previous experience who would like to refresh their technical knowledge.
  • Intermediate Digital Photography – for adept photographers who would like to further develop their technical skills and introduce an ideas and concepts to their image making practice.
  • Advanced Digital Photography – for photographers with an established practice who would like to work on honing their approach and building a specific body of work or portfolio.

For complete course descriptions and registration information visit If you sign up before September 16th, you’ll get $25 off!

Photography at Mount Dennis Public Library

Every now and then, I get the rare opportunity to work with a group of youth so enthusiastic and dedicated, my own commitment to leading community based art programs is reaffirmed and energized – and the youth at Mount Dennis Public Library did just that.  This past spring I had the privilege of working with a stellar group of 8 young photographers, all under the age of 14. We met once a week over two months and although our time together was short, we covered a lot of information and the resulting work they produced was absolutely astounding. Thanks so much, to the participants, library staff, and staff at Vibe for making this an incredible program.

To any of my young photographers reading this: remember, you don’t need a fancy camera to tell a great story.  Just keep taking pictures!

This project was organized and funded by the amazing people at Vibe Arts

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Fall Photography Workshops

Ward's Island Beach - Toronto, ON.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be offering some short photography workshops for adults and teens at the Avenue Road Arts School!

The first is a three session Night Photography workshop. Through a combination of in-studio and field trip sessions, we’ll work on nighttime street and city scape photography, as well as some strobe, shutter drag, and light drawing techniques. Night photography field trips are always so much fun and I’m terribly excited to be able offer this as a dedicated workshop. You can join us here! 

The second is an Architectural Photography workshop where for the first time EVER, we’ll have an opportunity to photograph the gorgeous interior of the grand Victorian building that houses the Avenue Road Arts School…including the secret room! If you love beautiful wood work and the charm of old Toronto architecture, you’re not going to want to miss this. You can join this program here!

Note: For both of these programs, you’ll need to bring your own camera capable of full manual control, as well as a full size tripod. Once you’ve enrolled, I’ll be in touch with through the school with more details. Hope to see you there!

Field Trip Season is here!

After a long, long winter here in Toronto, spring is finally here and it’s field trip season once again! Whenever I can, I take my Avenue Road Arts School students on field trips across Toronto. We’ve gone all over the city from Centre Island, to the Toronto Zoo, Guildwood Park, and we once had a photo tour of Spadina House Museum where we were allowed to use our tripods (very exciting!).  While my primary concern on these trips is always to help my students with their photos, there are moments when I get to shoot too! To give you an idea of some of the places we’ve gone, here are some of the photos I’ve taken. You can view the rest of the album here.

Ward's Island Beach - Toronto, ON.

Ward’s Island Beach

Distillery Christmas Market, Toronto


Distillery Christmas Market 2015

Distillery Christmas Market

Nuit Blanche

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair



Spadina House Museum and Gardens

Balcony Birds - Kensington Market, Toronto

Kensington Market

High Park Sakura Blossoms 2014

High Park for the Sakura Blossom

Yorkville Toronto


Centre Island

Riverdale Farm, Toronto

Riverdale Farm


New work from the teen photo class at Avenue Road Arts School

This term, I’m thrilled to be teaching Digital Photography to a group of teens at the Avenue Road Arts School here in Toronto. We’re only half way through the term and already their work is astounding!  Check it out!*

Spring registration has started at the school and one of my classes is already full with a waiting list! If you’re interested for yourself or someone in your family, you can enrol by clicking here for teen, and here for adult photo classes (beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels available).

Composition Assignment - Digital Photo Grades 8 - 12

Composition Assignment - Digital Photo Grades 8 - 12

Composition Assignment - Digital Photo Grades 8 - 12

* I had initially thought I’d wait until the end of the term to share their work, but it’s only been a couple of weeks and I’m way to excited to wait.

Summer comes to a close

As I begin gearing up for my new Fall programs, I’d like to take a moment to share some of the amazing work my students have been up to this summer. At the end of the spring term, members of the Digital Photo II class asked for a summer assignment. While I don’t teach over the summer (I spend the summer usually working on my own practice), I did set up a little photo-a-day challenge on the school’s photo class Flickr account and I am amazed at the results!

Here is a selection of their images from the summer. You can also check out the rest of the images in their group pool. For more information about classes, check out the school site here. Also, click on the individual images to see more of our student’s work! They’re truly amazing.

August 31
Thane Ladner
Lydia Vale
Doug Woods
Valarie Jacobs

Digital Photography at the Avenue Road Arts School

I’ve been teaching Digital Photography at the Avenue Road Arts School since 2008 and what began as a single class has now grown into five classes per week with options for adult beginners, intermediate, and advanced photographers, and a class specifically designed for teens.  Many of the students I work with have been with me since the beginning, and prompted me some years ago to begin an advanced program. In Digital Photography 2, we work exclusively on developing ideas through our images, with each term culminating in a single printed series. I’m always astounded at the quality of work that comes of out the classes. Here are a few examples:


Paraadise Lost To Winter 09


Chinese Hand Laundry

New Industries Building on Alcatraz


Here’s a link to the group page on Flickr

Digital 2:

Stanchester Super Hero Workshop

In this cosplay inspired mask making program, participants were asked to identify their own personal strengths and, imagining these strengths as super powers, design a mask and a costume to transform themselves into their very own superhero characters. All of the characters are of their own design, but inspired by the costumes of comic book heroes they admire.

This project was completed in the Fall of 2013 by the children of the Stanchester Eco Pirates program, generously supported by Catherine White, and Arts for Children and Youth.

The Tale of Little Red Riding Hood (as told by the trees) – O’Connor Public School

This three dimensional mural was created by the grade 4 class of O’Connor Public School. As a continuation of the story mural on the exterior of the school (as seen in this post), the students created a relief sculpture that interprets the tale of Red Riding Hood through the story’s setting in the woods. Emphasis was placed on the environment rather than the characters to maintain the school’s philosophy that each child is the protagonist (or hero) in their own tale.

In the design phase of our project, we researched various types of tree bark and chose specific finishes to illustrate the changing mood of the story. The backgrounds of the forest were suggested by the students to illustrate, not only the story, but the cycle of dormancy/rebirth that occurs in nature. The mural is now permanently installed in the hallway of the school.

Edible Alphabet Book – Stanchester

The Edible Alphabet Book was created in an AFCY after school program with the Stanchester Eco Pirates in the Winter of 2011. The project was initiated to fulfill the children’s goal of raising money to fund their program, share their artwork, and as one of the children put it, “draw things to make our community better.”

From the forward: “For this project, the children worked together as a group to create an alphabetical list of their favourite fruits and vegetables and produced a collection of over 26 hand-crafted illustrations compiled into this book.

From apples to sugar cane, ugli fruit and zucchini, the foods pictured in this book are as diverse as the personalities and cultural heritages of the children who made them.”

The book is sold through AFCY’s website.