Creative Mornings Toronto: Ink

Posted on January 27, 2016

Continuing my look back at 2015’s Creative Mornings Toronto talks, March’s brought us back to the gorgeous Shopify Toronto office and featured worldly illustrator Jacqui Oakley on the theme of Ink. Jacqui navigated us through her illustration career and how embracing the fear {and ink!} helped her get where she is today. 

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You can watch Jacqui’s full talk here on the Creative Mornings website. 

 

Interested in attending a Creative Mornings event? Check out their website to see what talks are happening in a city near you!

Alchemy Pickle Company

Posted on January 25, 2016

Who loves pickles? THIS GIRL. As you can imagine, when finding out I’d be shooting for a small local company who makes pickles I was pretty happy about life. Alchemy Pickle Company is a mom-and-pop type company that you can find at various Toronto farmer’s markets and select grocery stores {check their Website or Facebook Page to see where they’ll be next}. It’s not the sort of pickles you may think either. In fact when I met them last winter they weren’t even doing the classic pickle, likely due to cucumbers not being in season at the time {although if you follow them on Instagram, you’ll see they have in the summer!}.

 

That’s what I love about small companies like this – they work directly with Southern Ontario farmers and use what’s fresh and in season to create their tasty tasty concoctions. They use a natural fermentation process to preserve the food when it’s at its freshest, so you’re getting all of the best nutrients the food has to offer. It’s a wonderful local talent meets local farmer collaboration that results in some really great products like Sauerkraut, Ruby Kraut, Curtido, and Hot Sauce. I have to admit I have a pretty big food crush on their Szechuan Daikon.

 

I did some product shots for their website, but my favourites were the beauty shots of the raw produce. Vegatables are just so pretty. I never thought I’d have as much fun shooting turnips before… and don’t get me started on that huge purple garlic.
laura crowell, knife & spoon media, alchemy pickle company, toronto, food, photography

laura crowell, knife & spoon media, alchemy pickle company, toronto, food, photography

 

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Not going to lie, I had no idea what Kombucha {last photo} was before I met them. It looks like a mad science project when it’s being made and it’s crazy delicious. They have a freaking RAINBOW of flavours too. It makes my eyes happy. If you want to know more about it, visit them at one of the markets they frequent – I believe Wychwood Barns & Trinity Bellwoods are a couple of their regular stops.

 

Thanks again to Knife & Spoon Media for having me out to shoot this for them. If you need a stylish new website, branding, or photography for your restaurant or food brand, definitely reach out!

 

Client: Alchemy Pickle Company

Agency: Knife & Spoon Media

Photography: Laura Crowell

Food Stylist: Logan Prong

Creative Mornings Toronto: Climate

Posted on January 15, 2016

At some point in 2015, I decided that I would in fact blog each and every Creative Mornings Toronto event that I shot {which was all 12 last year!}, because they are wonderful events that make me feel at home and happy and I want more people to experience them. And inevitably in 2015, I got too busy and then forgot. Alas. 

 

I also seem to be weird about needing to post them chronologically, so I’m not going to fight it. 

 

Without further ado, here are my photos from last February’s delightful talk on the theme of Climate with ROM Kids Assistant Coordinator; Kiron Mukherjee! 

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Kiron’s talk was a great reminder to always look further and observe your own climates to see what you can learn from them {and we’re not talking physical weather here}. On the plus, he brought in priceless artifacts from the ROM and everyone got to touch 100 million year old dinosaur poop and, even cooler, a meteorite. From space. OUTER SPACE. Kiron brought out the kid in everyone.❤

 

You can watch the full talk here on the Creative Mornings website.

 

If you’re interested in attending a Creative Mornings event, just check out their website to see what talks are happening in a city near you.

Happy Birthday, 2016!

Posted on January 14, 2016

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inspired by justin timberlake’s future sex/love sounds album cover by terry richardson. skirt by jordan de ruiter.

See ya later bye, 2015. It’s time for a new year.

 

I’m not big on resolutions, I find it better to stay resolute all year round; evolving yourself a little bit every day. I’m still really bad at a lot of things {doing my dishes right away, waking up on time, not leaving enough time to get places… generally being an adult}, but I think it’s okay to recognize certain patterns in yourself and just accept them as a part of you rather than letting them become a source of anxiety every January.

 

I am really bad at finishing personal photos and sharing them in a timely fashion though. This needs to change, at least a little.

 

2015 brought me many wonderful things. Steady, enjoyable, creative work. My first home/studio. I attended and photographed all 12 Creative Mornings Toronto events. I got to help take care of 18 different foster kittens. I adopted one of them:

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miss luna lovegood and myself.

All in all, I think 2015 brought me what my creative soul needed: good, solid reasons to stop making excuses. The things that used to stop me from starting and finishing work just aren’t there anymore. I’ll need to retrain my brain this year that I can actually do things, which I’m sure will take a little while to fully sink in, but I’ll work at it a little bit everyday. 

 

I’m excited for 2016 though. There are some big things on the horizon.

 

Perhaps the most terrifying creative challenge of my life thus far; I’ve been selected by Photographers Without Borders to go on a solo volunteer trip to Bolivia to aid a local grassroots organization in Cochabamba. I will be spending two weeks with Ninos con Valor {Children of Value} photographing the day to day lives of the volunteers and children they work with in an effort to elevate their visual communication efforts. Ninos con Valor works with abandoned and orphaned children in an effort to help them find their ways in the world and give them the skills to help others with similar pasts.

 

If you’ve never heard of Photographers Without Borders, they are an organization that pairs volunteer photographers with grassroots charities and NGOs around the world who don’t have the resources to tell their stories visually. By providing them with professional images, they can continue to do their amazing work while furthering their reach, raising awareness, and inspiring positive change.

 

I’ve never traveled solo and I’ve definitely never traveled as far as I’m going to be going, so I’m very much looking forward to it.

 

If you’re interested in helping me out on this project, I have a donation page set up to help with the cost of getting me there and back again. My goal is to reach $4000, but anything over and above the actual costs involved with the project are going to be donated directly to Ninos con Valor, so I’m hoping to surpass it! Every little bit helps. I have until the end of February to raise the funds, so there’s not a lot of time left. More information about the project as well as what your donations help cover can be found on the donation page. 

 

Please feel free to share my fundraiser with your family and friends: https://grouprev.com/PWBFundraiser-ninosconvalor

 

Happy New Year, everyone.❤

Benjamin Ross: Seven Thirty

Posted on September 18, 2015

I love my neighbourhood. I love making pictures in my neighbourhood. There’s so many interesting backdrops you can find just by going for a quick stroll. When Ben contacted me to shoot some images for his upcoming EP release Seven Thirty, it was the first place I thought of for locations and I’m so glad he was on board for it!

 

Ben met me at my place first and said hello to my boyfriend & I’s first batch of foster kittens {how all good shoots should begin} before we headed off for a little photo walk adventure together. We simple stuck to the side streets of West Queen West and stopped whenever we found a fun looking wall to stand in front of. In the area that a fifteen minute jaunt would cover, we found everything we needed. The sun was perfect. There was even talk of stopping at Bang Bang, but alas that after-dinner crowd was lined up down the street, so no ice cream sandwiches for us. This time!

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laura crowell, laura makes pictures, benjamin ross, seven thirty, cd, album, musician, toronto, photography

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laura crowell, laura makes pictures, benjamin ross, seven thirty, cd, album, musician, toronto, photography

laura crowell, laura makes pictures, benjamin ross, seven thirty, cd, album, musician, toronto, photography

 

Ben was so easy to photograph and took direction spectacularly well. So much fun to work with! Fun fact: his eyes are two different colours. I wasn’t sure if I was being crazy or not when I was reviewing the photos, so I had to text him to find out for sure. One blue, one green!

 

ALSO, fun news if you’re in Toronto or the general area: Ben will be playing an album release show tonight {September 18} at the Tranzac Club {292 Brunswick Ave}. Doors are at 7:30pm and the amuhzingly talented Katie Dutemple will be opening the show! Physical copies of Seven Thirty will be available at the show, but for those who can’t make it you can also find the album on iTunes and Google Play. For more information on the event, check out the event page here!

 

If you’re looking for a preview of his musical stylings, check out the Benjamin Ross Music channel on Youtube! And be sure to keep your eye on benjamin-ross.com for future show dates and news.

Board Games and Great Eats

Posted on August 21, 2015

Back in the spring, I had the super fun opportunity to work with Knife & Spoon Media to shoot a rebrand concept for a board game themed restaurant. The menu featured an assortment of high end personal pizzas, charcuterie, premium hand-crafted cocktails {like smoked drinks!}, and great local wines, beers, and desserts. I was introduced to balsamic syrup on ice cream here and I have a massive food crush on it now {seriously, so good}. The restaurant had a chill cafe vibe during the day where you could while away the afternoon sipping lattes and playing a classic game like Connect Four or Scrabble, or something a bit more crazy like Ca$h ‘n Gun$. At night you could grab dinner, drinks, or bar snacks while enjoying a rowdy game of Cards Against Humanity or the ever popular Settlers of Catan. They had something like 300+ games in their collection so you certainly wouldn’t run out of options. It’s definitely a venue that has something for everyone! 

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Big thank you to Knife & Spoon Media for having me shoot this for them!  If you need an amazing new website, branding, or photography for your restaurant or food brand, definitely get in touch.

 

Agency: Knife & Spoon Media

Photography: Laura Crowell

Food Stylist: Janet Lo

Foster Kittens in Hats

Posted on August 18, 2015

Volunteering to foster an animal in need is such an amazing, rewarding, smelly, emotional, and fun thing to do. My boyfriend signed up to be a foster home for Toronto Cat Rescue earlier in the year, but due to spacing and already having two big kitties, all we could really take in were small kittens. He built a hilarious kitten motel to keep them separate from his cats and I dreamed up the blog Foster Kittens in Hats to fulfill an extra corner of cute on the internet. I make tiny little hats for their tiny little heads and share the pictures with the hopes of helping to find their forever homes!

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I bought a whole bunch of random felts, foam sheets, paper, and general crafty supplies to make the hats. Most are just taped or stapled together. I’m no milliner, so I just try to make at least one side of the hats look nice and shoot them from there (if the kitten cooperates). The paper backgrounds are from The Paper Place; land of all things paper and adorable. I’m still trying to come up with the least traumatic lighting set up for capturing the kittens so they look great, but I don’t blind them with a flash. It’s an ever evolving process. I have a huge and hilarious list of hats to attempt. Everything from pop culture references to the classics! Current favourites are definitely the royal wedding fascinators. 

 

 

If you would like to donate, sign up to foster, or volunteer, check out torontocatrescue.ca for more info. There are always kittens and cats of all ages who need a temporary home. Taking a foster kitty in keeps them healthy {physically and emotionally} and helps to alleviate the shelters getting over populated, which means they can help more cats in need.

 

 

We’re currently on our third batch of kittens and it’s SO HARD not to adopt all of them. We get to make sure they go to the right homes though, so it’s really rewarding. I highly recommend trying it out, especially if you love cats but you’re not sure you want to have a forever pet!

 

 


Unrelated, I need to use this Duet standard post format more often. I love it. I’ve spent a lot more time formatting this than I normally would, but I like the two column style. Also, I’m sitting on a whole bunch of new blog entries because I’m waiting to be able to release some fun new client work and I have this thing about posting in chronological order… Ah well, I’ll just go hang out with kittens in the meantime. 

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