Ottawa Citizen

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Matt partnered with Sid Lee to celebrate the Ottawa Citizen and its one hundred & sixty-nine years of existence, with a campaign that both commemorates the paper’s history and revels in its modernity. It is a delicate balance, in an era of instant information, but in keeping with the times, the Citizen, who began life as the Bytown Packet in 1845, has affirmed an archetypal hipness. The rakishly gentric gentleman featured as the OG hepcat is Torontonian style stalwart Jano Badovinac, a model & an Industrial Designer, whose dashing facade is often featured in fashion shows and amongst the genteel, both blue & detachable collar-ed alike. The beauty of this particular gig was that Matt had the means to turn to friends and frequented/favoured establishments to use as extras and environments, respectively, hitting up Crows Nest Barbershop, Bikes on Wheels, Home of the Brave & the Mascot café in the process.

Skip the jump for more masticated modern & outmoded follies from Matt & the Ottawa Citizen…

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Working Stiff

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Matt caught up with Noah Hamilton, his tool clenched tightly in calloused hand, possibly just as he was about to test a road’s load-bearing capacity or participate in some rod-busting steel erection. Most likely, typical slaving stiff, he was slacken’ off on the city’s dime, brandishing a construction entirely of his own making - guess he’ll be laying pipe another day…

All proletariat-punnery aside, the herculean Hamilton has amassed an impressively bronzed build; the full breadth of which is on display post jump - no stud finder necessary!

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Greg Bryk

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With a mix of characters from his own past in mind (a low-slung trailer park lothario muddled with a beach-boozing strip club owner on sabbatical) Matt took to shooting actor Greg Bryk with visions of reprobates, vagabonds, & cads cracking’ wise in his head. Such a story is perfect for the perpetual miscreant that is Bryk, whose loathsomely handsome face should be familiar to fans of a History of Violence, Bitten, the Saw franchiseThe Incredible Hulk, as well as to those who follow the home renovation show Bryk House, in which he appears alongside wife Danielle. This personal creative ran concurrent to Matt photographing a headshot for Greg, and, while Matt admits to struggling in the past with shooting such an image, both actor and photographer were pleased with the results of the two channels of work. Pass the jump for more of Matt’s dastardly collaboration with Greg Bryk.

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Keshia Chante 2.0

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Two years on from their last rendezvous Matt found himself high above New York City with the multi-faceted Keshia Chanté (complete with her style cortege at Attic Studios), as he caught her looking every inch the pop culture icon. Known for a time solely as an R&B singer, the Ottawa-born Chanté’s career has switched gears slightly, with her role as television presenter for BET’s 106 & Park cementing her as the first Canadian to host the celebrated countdown show - though her musical could hardly be called on the back burner, with her fourth studio album set to drop later this year.

Pass the jump and maneuver through the Manhattan skyline for more from Matt & Keshia…

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40 Years of Hip Hop

The annual CONTACT Photography Festival commences today, and Matt appears in the 40 Years Of Hip Hop exhibition among a veritable who’s who of pop culture and music photographers in the process. He joins the likes of Jamal Shabazz, Janette Beckman, Charlie Ahearn, Jonathan Mannion & Ernie Paniccioli to name an exalted few, as well as cycling comrade Steve Carty and longstanding cohort & confidant (plus this exhibition’s co-curator) Che Kothari.  Some of the featured shooters have been involved in the hip hop community since its inception, capturing the ever-evolving climate in its rise from an initial grassroots manifestation to the mainstream, global phenomenon it has become, and are responsible for the movement’s most iconic photographs. Matt has images of Drake, Childish Gambino, Azealia Banks, Snoop Dogg, Keisha Chante, Red1 & the 6th Letter on display (the exhibit focuses on the emcee), and his collection is to be complemented by a deluge of rapping royalty. The show opens with a swaggering roar this evening at the Gladstone Hotel, as Mel Boogie, Mastermind, DJ X, Wristpect, Nino Brown & DJ Law elicit the photographs in to lyrical, albeit allegorical, life.

The 40 Years of Hip Hop exhibit runs May 2-May 30 at the Gladstone Hotel.

Chantelle Young

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In an industry where individuality & imperfection aren’t necessarily applauded, Chantelle Young is breaking the mould. As a model with vitiligo (in short, a skin depigmentation condition), Chantelle took what some may consider a flaw and reconstructed it as unequivocal flawlessness, landing a dream gig on the forthcoming season of America’s Next Top Model in the process, thereby becoming the first Canadian to feature as a finalist on the popular programme. Matt caught Chantelle channeling the likes of Marilyn and Jean Harlow in this elegant series, with her sophistication supplemented splendidly by both stylist Marc Andrew Smith and hair & makeup artist Sandra Yang

Ride the jump for more of Chantelle, and be sure to support this inimitable stunner on the next cycle of ANTM, which airs this summer on CW in the United States & on CTV in Canada.

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Portfolio Night 2014: Feed The Industry

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Portfolio Night is a perennial event that offers advertising students the opportunity to have their work evaluated and critiqued by some of the industry’s top dogs, though this year the annual affair is marked by a distinctly different tone. Rather than the usual hotdogged, swollen-headed approach of established creative vet to brown-nosing novice, this year’s modus operandi is all about the creative fodder that can be offered up for mastication by an altogether different amateur - one of the internet age whose entire juvenescent education has been expedited by the creative presence of a 24/7 media, resulting in a more discerning and versatile young whippersnapper. Manifesting this idea in photographic form was the tandem effort of Paul & Jess of the Hive who, alongside Matt & prosthetic pro Louise Mackintosh, concocted creative corpulence incarnate, featuring Simon Creet, Israel Diaz & Brent Choi, positively stuffed to the brink of a wafer-thin mint-esque artistic annihilation. 

For those who feel the need to nosh a bit more, follow the jump and polish off the finished ads as well as a time lapsed BTS video. Check out the Strategy Online coverage for more about Portfolio Night, which happens on May 21st - tickets for the Toronto edition can be found here.

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Alexis & Teressa

Double trouble, in the form of Teressa Cee & Alexis Wildgoose, for the epilogue of Matt’s feverish furlough to the Magic City, featuring a spotlight stealing turn from Diesel - a tail-waggingly majestic bowwow. Shooting once more with thanks to Judd Allison in the Toejam Backlot, the graffiti backdropping the buxom beauts was created as part of last year’s Art Basel - though I’d wager that the barbed-wire is not part of the installation…

For more eye-candy, and the odd bit of cannonry, ride the jump.

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Jada Cheng

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Swapping the frigid frost of a particularly piercing Canadian winter for the (albeit temporary) solar incandescent surroundings of Miami, that lucky devil Matt hooked up with model Jada Cheng - in a series that should inspire perspiration in even the coldest conditions. Shot in the Wynwood art district, in and around the Toejam Backlot, Matt & Jada, with help from producer Judd, made the most of a pair of libidinous Louboutins & a ‘69 Corvette - need I say more?

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Unusually Thicke

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Within the oceanside city of Carpinteria (in California’s Santa Barbara County) Matt met the Thicke family; namely actor Alan, wife & model Tanya & his son Carter…leads of the upcoming reality-comedy series “Unusually Thicke”, for which Matt was asked to shoot these candid promotional portraits. The series follows the unconventional pursuits of the Thicke clan (one that includes voice-actor Brennan & blue-eyed soul singer Robin, who are rumoured to make appearances) with the relationship between acclaimed Canadian actor Alan & his espoused paramour Tanya (as dazzling as she is droll) taking centre-stage. The hook-up for this project came through Matt’s old friend Guillermo Garcia, and brought him to a part of the world that he has something of a deep, lustful infatuation with. Pass the jump for additional Thicke-ness & look for the show to air in the Spring of this year…

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