Red Bull

imageA timely new year lead off, looking back on a special shoot from the twelve months gone by, with a client in Redbull that Matt’s been lucky enough to work with for nearly a decade. When the opportunity to shoot Redbull’s winter athletes - Erik Guay, Mark McMorris, Sebastien Toutant, François Hamelin, Noah Bowman, Travis Gerrits - came about, Matt knew he wanted to capture it all in camera and to build a set in studio; a decision which paid off aesthetically and adds to the overall radness of the finished product. The project picked up a cool feature from Fstoppers and a fantastic, flattering video from VAPR Media, which can be seen, in all it’s Matt’s ego-building beauty, below. Thanks to the efforts and creative culmination of great collaboration between stylist Marc Andrew Smith, Hair & MUA Sandra Yang and expressively master prop maker/set designer Peter Sutherland.

Ride the ice-ridden slope for more from Matt & Redbull’s athletes.

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a Passing Year

The past twelve months were grand to Matt and very kind indeed. So much has happened that burrowing into it all while waxing poetically is a balance, sadly, that may not be achieved. Bare with the length and breadth, both in word & photo count, as we reminisce…

When it comes to bread & butter, that being Matt’s photography, this year was a bona fide buffet - one shared with a solid team that centered around Tara, Papi & Lorne. Personal creatives which stood out and should remain favourites for some time were Rauncho the Panto Pervert, the Baron Samedi tribute which featured in the DOS art show & that rather risqué ice cream truck outing that was certain to make your cone drip, while model Kristie Taylor, judging by the quality & frequency of their collaborations, was this year’s muse - were there ever one. Notable clients and commercial shoots of 2013, in no particularly favoured order, included the likes of Red Bull, Mooseknuckles, Cold FX, Sportsnet, Sharp Magazine, Esso & Gillette - a list that should be difficult to top in 2014, but is a target to strive for.

From shooting cheetahs (click click, not bang bang) in South Africa to double doses of the wilds of both Los Angeles & Vegas, 2013 was certainly a year of travel for Matt. Miami & New Orleans round out the register of glamourous locales, but jaunts to Vancouver, Pittsburgh & Detroit were just as enjoyable, if not exotic.

Fitness was the word of the year, both in terms of personal gain (or loss, considering the near-ninety pounds Matt was able to shed through training with Ben Dussault) and in being a source of inspiration; Matt admittedly wasn’t inspired by athletes until stepping into their shoes. Jose Bautista, Steve Stamkos, John Tavares & the beautiful bunch of babes from Sportsnet’s Beauty Of Sport project are all perfect examples of fit people at their prime, and their effect was felt both in Matt’s portfolio and in the lifestyle changes he made in his day to day life. Having embraced cycling and reppin’ Bikes on Wheels like a pro, Matt clocked over 3500km on his bike, sharing the road with pals Jason Barber, Steve Carty, Tom Nesbitt, JD, Brendan Sack & Dave Tupper, claiming many King of the Mountain crowns, including the Brock Struggle - a title he still holds. In his own words, Matt’s as “fast as fuck!”

Speaking of changes, the biggest deal of the year, and one which will bridge the gap between this year and the one to come, is the well-nigh Goldie Barnes, an addition to a Barnes duo which celebrated five years of marital bliss only several weeks ago. Learning to be a father to Goldie tops a list of what aren’t exactly resolutions, as nobody actually follows through on those, but a list of tangible goals for Matt to attain in the new year. Balancing work and family follows up, while continued mental and physical strength, forging friendships & a trip to Asia all garner a mention, though producing great photographs is likely to be the ambition that persists with an absolute rate of success. After all, making photographs is Matt’s favourite thing to do…

Ride the last jump of twenty-thirteen for a rather vivid look at the year that was.

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XXXmas

Yule tidings, in seasonal green & red (as well as helpings of bling, brassieres & booze), from Matt & all of us at the Passing Shot, with a rather playful look at a pair of Père Noëls, in photographs for RMW Music & Dine Alone Records, respectively.

Happy Christmas!

H&M

A rather rakish end to the week thanks to stylist Yang Yu Goh and the collection he curated from H&M, for Sharp Magazine. The assignment delved into five H&M outfits in that (warmer weather) winter and recently past autumn, aesthetic, should one be of the voguish inclination - and one really should be, considering that this time of year is ideal for laying. For more from Yang Yu Goh, Sharp and Matt, check out the exclusive accompanying behind the scenes video, below.

Cold-FX

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As the beast that is influenza begins to rear his ugly head, Matt and the creative team over at john st. have come up with just the scythe to slay that crippling creature: a new campaign for Cold-fX! Props to Peter Sutherland who, alongside a troupe of trusted assistants, built both bus & elevator set. Matt & Co. endeared to construct such a realistic scene that a bona fide bus, via the slightly shadowy yet always fruitful Kijiji, was corralled, taken apart and completely rebuilt at in studio - talk about enthusiasm! Littered throughout the talent, as is a proclivity of Matt’s, were pals Marc Andrew Smith, Brad Moore & Carol Zara, who were amongst those taken care of by wardrobe stylist Charlotte Carson & MUA Sandra Yang. A specific thanks to john st. - namely Creative Director Stephen Jurisic, Art Director Christine MacLean, Copywriter Dhaval Bhatt & Producer Alisa Pellizzari, who we’re all to thank for making cold & flu season a little more bearable.

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Madison Skye

MADDY

A seasonal sweet that is equal parts naughty & nice - confusing for that certain jolly fat man with a list - featuring the astonishingly adorned, present-day pin-up, Madison Skye. Revel in this premature Christmas present! 

David Cronenberg: Evolution

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The fact that TIFF used an image of Matt’s as the primary source of marketing for their first major original exhibition is flattering, but the level of flattery doubles when one considers that the subject of said exhibition directed several of his favourite films (Eastern Promises, a History of Violence) - David Cronenberg. TIFF is the midst of showcasing offbeat artefacts from Cronenberg’s films…on loan from his own house, with over three-hundred peculiar props, costumes & designs from the likes of Crash, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch & a Dangerous Method. Matt’s original image of Cronenberg was non-digitally manipulated by the creative services at TIFF for Bell Lightbox, using, of all things (though perhaps eccentrically fitting considering the subject), a photocopier as it’s inventive medium.

Ride the jump for more imagery from the project and David Cronenberg: Evolution can be found at TIFF Bell Lightbox until January 19th.

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Rudy Gay & Amir Johnson

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It was with a heavy heart that Matt accepted the news of favoured Toronto Raptor forward Rudy Gay’s trade to the Sacramento Kings - especially when he noted his twenty-six team leading points on his debut, in a win over the Houston Rockets. He can be satisfied in the fact that Amir Johnson, one of the NBA’s heppest cats and a man who Matt photographed in a creative set up by One Method, is still in Toronto - here’s to more career high-scoring games like his against the LA Lakers last week; particularly in Rudy Gay’s absence!

More of the ex and current Raptor after the dunk jump…

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Gilberto

Poised for Matt under the bright lights of BMO field, in his first official portraits as a Toronto FC man, stands Gilberto, a promising twenty-four year old striker with some pedigree - he managed 14 goals in the Brasileirão last season, his home nation of Brazil’s top flight, while playing for Portuguesa on loan from parent club Internacional. Having landed in Toronto three days ago, Gilberto was eyed court side at a Raptors’ game, furthering the speculation which lead to his eventual (estimated) three million dollar signing. The Piranhas native fills the second of three designated player slots for TFC, the maximum by league rule, with the club said to be actively and openly pursuing a third before the new season kicks off in March. Amidst the alleged courting of Jermain Defoe in that third and final slot, who, for you non-enthusiasts, is an England international at Tottenham in the Premier League, this could be the start of a very encouraging season for the Reds and their steadfast supporters.

A Maternal Nature

As was mentioned on yesterday’s Passing Shot, a new addition to the Barnes lineage is due in the upcoming weeks - and, by mere happenstance, an extension to the household of Matt’s trainer Ben & his other half Dani is also imminent. Inspired by the wonder he’s encountered while supporting wife Shelley through this process, Matt’s maternity portraits sought to evoke both it’s connection to the earth (signified by the natural surroundings), and the inherent power that a pregnant woman holds, and are, as well as uniquely Canadian, reflective of each woman’s respective badass personality.