For over 20 years we’ve been sending out our annual calendar to business partners, suppliers and friends with quotes and images we hope will make their year brighter.
Over the past five years, we’ve collaborated with our photographer and friend Kathryn Hollinrake, who has produced incredible images for each calendar. This year, we chose antique musical instruments as the subject.
She recently wrote a wonderful blog post detailing her creative process and also showed one of the images that didn’t make the calendar.
In brief: To find objects to photograph, we went to Toronto’s Prop Room, where there are thousands of antique and period props for filmmakers, photographers and theatres. Her signature lighting style required darkness, so she positioned the objects when it was just light enough to see, then shot between sunset and midnight. I didn’t realize the mosquitoes would be out in such force, and I left the photoshoot with a number of itchy bites.
It was interesting producing the images in the dark. It reminded me of the days of film photography where a skilled photographer would have to setup their work stage an image and they might not necessarily know how the image turned out until days later. Of course, shooting digital lets you see the results of our work immediately and try out different things without burning through rolls of film.
Some beautiful images didn’t even make it to the calendar because there are only so many months but also because we had to make tough decisions on which ones fit the calendar best. Editing is a huge part of our job as creatives, and it would be fair to say that the majority of our work never sees the light of day.
As creative professionals, we could think of each year as being a sum of experiences where we encounter new things, and learn new tricks. The musical instruments shown in the calendar reflect a foundation that we continue to build upon as we try new things.
Our calendars, and, really, all our projects have stories behind them. The new year is a work in progress; think about the days and months as time to experiment and create new things. Don’t forget to enjoy the process.