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sam and andrew

Spring is here!  Well...  in between the threats of thunder showers. It's been a long...long wait and we're so grateful!  So incredibly ready, for the warmth, colors, aromas and delicate, fleeting blooms.

So great to spend the afternoon with the beautiful and talented Sam and Andrew in Cabbagetown, taking it all in.

I'm  so looking forward to their rustic, barn wedding in the country !

Suit of Lights launch in T.O.

2 trips to Spain, 5 cities, 50 some phone calls, getting lost in la Mancha, a young matador named Rafael, editing, editing, editing, printing , resining, press kits, book making, guest lists and invites. These are some of the things I've been up to lately. Nick spent the last several months in his office working around the clock to produce the short animated film that showed along side the photographs.

We did it for love. For the sake of exploring a subject that we found strange, powerful and alluring.

It wasn't aimed at an audience or a market and thats what made it scary. It was just because we wanted to and thats what made it so rewarding!

The opening night went by in a flash. The feedback and turn out was tremendous and I'm grateful!

Thank you to the people that helped to create this project with us and thank you to all the friends, strangers and colleagues who came to check it out !

We're looking forward to where it will go next...

happy holidays!

Check out www.stylemepretty.com to see our holiday engagement inspired shoot. Styled by Cynthia Martyn, print design by Laura K designs, make up and hair by faces by Carla and a beautiful super 8 film by Naz of Mimmo and Naz.

I will post more images soon.... but in the meantime, Happy Holidays everyone!

Wishing you all the best in love and life in 2011!

Laura Jane

man of la mancha

For those that know me, they know I love Spain! I've studied flamenco and traveled across the country as often as I could in an attempt to learn more of its culture.

Perhaps it stems from when I was a little girl;  my dad had a Matador poster from his tour through Spain.  It always intrigued and haunted me.

For the last three years I have been wanting to photograph this strange Spanish icon;  part celebrity, part royalty, wrapped in mystery, and of course, controversy.

It's extremely difficult for a foreign photographer to gain access, especially now when the Bullfight is being banned in parts of Spain.

But I did not want to focus on the bullfight ...

I wanted to see the man behind the mythology, the rich and intricate details of his process as he built his persona.

After many months of emails and phone calls, strokes of good luck, and the help of great friends, it finally happened!

After driving (and getting lost!) through endless dusty olive groves, we arrived to meet a  smiling and regal young man who spoke no english (and I almost no Spanish). He  graciously shared with us his very private process; dressing, preparing, and praying before a Corrida.

We did the shoot in his home, his mother and Mozo (assistant) present.  Peeking from the doorway, his mother witnessed her son's intimate ritual for the first time, and was moved to tears by the intensity and deep spirituality  as he prepared to face danger.

These are a few photos of Rafael Castellanos. He's a 20 year old Torero, from Castilla la Mancha, Spain.

Kenk.

Recently I was commissioned to shoot a portrait of North America's most  infamous bike thief,  Igor Kenk on the day of his release from the Don jail. A graphic novel on his exploits entitled "Kenk" is being released this week.

While they waited for Igor's release, I photographed the projects artists outside of Igor's former shop on Queen street.

The graphic novel was produced and conceived by Alex Jansen and filmaker Jason Gilmore. Written by acclaimed journalist Richard Poplack and illustrated by artist Nick Marinkovich.

When we met Igor, I was prepared for a difficult subject.  Instead he was serene and distant.

These images are of Igor's first moments free of prison.

plie

In this business people are always asking us to define our style in words. As an artist, it's hard to define yourself. You just see how you see and do what you naturally do.

You can compare yourself to other artists and other work, looking for the differences, but it often seems elusive.

Last week I was commissioned to photograph my client's daughter's ballet class, to document this memory and this time in her life. Amazing!

The school was wonderful and chaotic. Dozens of 6 year olds zooming, twirling , giggling.

I automatically go into photography-mode.

I'm crouching on the floor, or pressed up against a wall in the corner to get the shot I see, the shot I want.

In the end, while looking through the photos, I had to laugh at a moment of self-realization...

The photos I came away with were  zen-like, clean, and quiet images. Details and intimate gestures. As if the room were still.

Finding grace in chaos.

Each subject alone in their beautiful world, owning the camera with their own uniqueness.

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