There are stories that go with these images. Stories written in a book, my journal, that was stolen with my backpack of no value by a street kid, from a desk job I had to pay off my student loan. This journal was filled with details that no one will ever read - stories of debauchery, adventure, friendship and betrayal. If this book did ever show up, there would be precise details, instead these stories will be told through the memories of the people that were there, in the pit beside me watching the shows unfold.
The other day I realized I hadn't looked at these images for over a decade. I hadn't shown them to anyone I know now - I mean there was a time we were all living these stories. There was no social media to share them with the world, if you didn't come to my house you wouldn't have seen them posted up on my wall with thousands of other images of my daily existence.
At the time that I took these all I lived for was shooting, that much hasn't changed. I've posted a larger edit on my site.
If you'd run into me on the street a year ago, I woulda been like yes I've got this neato idea but it's still coming together, yes the first show was so amazing, yes I have more in the can but if only I had a really great editor...
Well with unwavering determination, hard work, and a like minded production team, we output 22 fantastic music shows this year.
Take a look at Episode 23 of Live At The Belljar - its top notch.
Sound: Ben McPeek
Edit: Andrei Ionescu
Camera: Lisa Kannakko & Andrei Ionescu
Booker: Sparrow Tree Productions
Producer/Director: Lisa Kannakko
Ok you've caught me - Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. All the scary and infinite possibilities to dive into the creative imagination is hard to resist. Hence I offer this little gift to celebrate the season:
Mural Artist: Kneil Spek Song: Yelle - Safari Disco Club Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko Editing by Andrei Ionescu
Well they've done it again! This time they performed for a delighted audience in the front window. Lanois walked across the street from his studio to play the show with DeLuca, and basically blow our minds as we sat within a few feet of the deeply creative duo. California based artist DeLuca released his self titled album this month. It was produced by Lanios who has produced albums for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young,Peter Gabriel,Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson. Lanois also collaborated with Brian Eno: most famously on producing several platinum albums for U2, including The Joshua Tree.
"Live at the Belljar" is a music series that I started as a way to combine my love of music with my love of filmmaking. Rocco DeLuca performing "I Trust You To Kill Me", "How Many Times" and "Congregate", with Daniel Lanios on accompaniment. Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek Editor: Andrei Ionescu Camera: Joshua MacDonald, Lisa Kannakko, Andrei Ionescu
As the summer comes to a close I find myself looking back on the things I love most about this warmest of seasons, my favorite of course - rollerblading. Made even more fun by the dark of night. Here's a little GoPro film I made:
Here is the latest addition to my ongoing video series. Love the approach Jordan Kassen - and his band, are taking towards their music. Very creative and smart.
Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek Camera: Lisa Kannakko, Andrei Ionescu Editor: Andrei Ionescu On a separate note - some of what I've been cooking up has leaked out into the world. Read this lovely little article about how things have come together at the Belljar, and how my music series started with Daniel Lanois. Pretty neat to hear it reflected back.
For over a decade I've been a huge fan of Vincent Moon's Take Away Shows, drawn to the idea of having a creative project which encompasses music and motion, that fuels and furthers my constant need to produce new work. Through a series of events, such as opening a bar, returning to writing music, and connecting with new people, I realized that I had all the ingredients to move in this new direction. Hence, please be introduced to the Live at the Belljar Series, which started a little while back (with the Rocco De Luca & Daniel Lanois piece) and has finally found its feet. Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek Camera: Lisa Kannakko, Thomas Lee Editor: Andrei Ionescu
When I shot the "Duets" piece at Honest Ed's a few months back with Worn Fashion Journal, it hadn't been announced that the end was near for the historic business. As I passed through the hidden passageways of the building I felt there were many more stories to be told about this place and those who had kept it going since 1948.
Most of my memories are of my Great Grama Rose coming to visit from Los Angeles and just going bananas over how great the deals were.. She always had her eyes on the "BEST DEALS IN TOWN!", was pretty comical, and easily as much of a character as Honest Ed was himself.
Behind the scenes video Shot & Edited by Daniel Reis
Proud to release the first "LIVE at The Belljar" featuring Daniel Lanois and Rocco DeLuca.
The Belljar Cafe is a little spot I own and operate with my husband Geoff McPeek. We have been in business since 2010, making killer espresso and grilled sandwiches. After spending most of the summer in renovations we launched evenings hours (with a liquor licence) in late July, starting things off right with a musical performance by our talented neighbour and community supporter Daniel Lanois, along with the talented Rocco DeLuca. I'm looking forward to an exciting future working on this "Live at The Belljar" series - a project that combines my deep love for music, image-making, and connecting with people.
Gotta hand it to Worn Journal - they got creative mojo. We shot these portraits at the famous Honest Ed's a few days before the big announcement (the location is for sale), and I remember thinking to myself "this place is a goldmine on so many levels" with the interior dating back decades, broken down and beautiful inside, while being centrally located - it is a dream for artists, shoppers, realtors and potential land developers.
When I was a kid my crazy cool Grama used to bring me here to buy under-garments and fresh turkeys for cheap. Be sure to take a moment out of your day to marvel at its wonders, you will never regret taking in this historical fun spot and you might find jazzy panties too!
These images will be featured in the next issue of Worn Fashion Journal, launching on November 23nd at Dovercourt house (going to be a great dance party, come dance with me!) I'm shooting the cover of Issue 17 this week - will keep you advised.
Jes Sachse was full of humour and generosity on our latest shoot. here's a look at how the shoot unfolded:
“Growing up, I felt like I had to pick between something stylish and something I could actually wear. It would be nice to realize a future where retailers and the fashion industry stop forcing people to make that choice.” – jes sachse
How can fashion engage with disability? While we’ve recently seen a fair bit of progress regarding companies that accommodate wardrobes of folks of varying bodies and abilities, it’s not exactly a one-size-fits-all solution. Clothing is an incredibly personal and political choice, and no two sets of needs are exactly alike.
In our most recent issue, we had an in-depth chat with artist and activist jes sachse about how identifying as disabled and genderqueer collides with their love of fashion. We had a great conversation full of new ideas, the re-telling of experiences, and hard laughs. Beautiful photos were taken, and feet were tap-tapping away during the whole shoot.
It was a damn good time.
text // Jenna Danchuk video // Daniel Reis end animation // Barry Potter
Worn Fashion Journal is releasing Issue 16 with a Dance Party on June 8th: Second Hand Prom Party will take place at the Church of the Holy Trinity. Here is some of the work I contributed to the issue - as always, it is a pleasure to work with a publication that is so full of creative innovators.
April showers bring May flowers - and Mother's day! This image was shot for Worn Journal's Mom Column, accompanying an article on how our fashion sense is inspired by the great outfits our mom's would wear. I photographed real people beside a framed photograph of their own mom looking fabulous!
I write this hoping that winter will decide to vacation elsewhere.. while the snow might be gone in the city its full and beautiful up north. we drove back through a massive snowstorm on drift covered roads without a snow plow in sight..
Thankfully it doesn't happen often that a friend has a health crisis, but when I heard that Heather Morton was diagnosed with Fibromatosis I felt the need to participate with others to do something more. The result was a February 2012 fundraiser that brought the local photo community together for a night at Toronto's Gladstone hotel. There were Artist talks by Brett Gundlock, Naomi Harris and Daniel Ehrenworth and a silent auction of 40 photographic prints from local and international photographers. Printing services were donated by Pikto and we spread the word months before the event through Heather's well read blog HMAb. In the end we had raised $9500.00 to help Heather and her family (which includes her beautiful children Theo, Tilly and Max) minimize costs related to her treatment.
Recently I checked in with Heather to see how she was doing and shoot her portrait. As you can see, she is as lovely as ever and here's what she had to say:
1. How do you feel these days?
When we had the fundraiser, I was still looking at another year or so of treatment and that was so disheartening. An MRI in the spring confirmed that if I was lucky I would be done by Christmas 2012. But then my next MRI at the end of the Summer showed enough progress that my Oncologist abruptly said I could stop treatment. I was elated but also a little skeptical. The next two months coming off chemo was hard because the pain that had initially plagued me came right back! I had still experienced pain in the tumour site during chemo but it was much less than prior to starting treatment. So... when the pain came back with such force I was really concerned and so was my Oncologist. At a meeting in the Fall he kind of panicked and sent me for an emergency MRI- he thought treatment had stopped too soon! The MRI showed no change in the tumour and so he was reassured that the decision to stop was the right one. Thankfully, since that little set back the pain has slowly and steadily declined- I feel pretty good now- besides nighttime pain (I've got drugs for that) and limited range of movement with my left arm, the chemo seems to have worked. The tumour is still there and will probably always cause me discomfort but I feel like I can live with it. Living with the chemo was difficult and I'm still dealing with the repercussions of that so I think about it all the time- how glad I am to not feel sick and exhausted and not need to panic if I get a cold. Its such a relief to be done with it.
2. How did it feel to have the photo community support you during your time of need? What has been the most lasting result of the fundraiser?
As I said over and over again leading up to the fundraiser, it was amazing to feel the support of so many people- many of whom I didn't even know! I really mean it when I say that it got me through some tough emotional times. I think we are all so lucky to be part of a community that is willing to step up and celebrate each other, to share with each other and hopefully inspire each other too. I really desperately miss my blog but the fundraiser was a fantastic farewell to HMAb. I'm really thankful for the tremendous job you guys did (Lisa Kannakko, Kristin Sjaarda, Jamie Rosenthal) - it was really humbling.
In terms of the legacy of the fundraiser, I'm not sure. I guess that's a question for the people who attended. I know there are many non-photo community friends of mine who now own some beautiful pieces of art! And I think there were some significant connections made that night too. I'm a sucker for these kinds of community nurturing events and I hope we can keep doing them. Before Christmas I attended one of Johan Hallberg-Campbell and Brett Gundlock's evenings and was really impressed with the quality of work shown and the commentary/critique offered.
3. What surprised you most about the fundraiser?
I was surprised by the amount of people who got involved from different segments of our community; from my students at Sheridan who shlepped in from Oakville to help out, the photo community: photojournalists, hard-core commercial shooters, junior shooters, fine art curators, assistants and then lots of agency folks too! The Gladstone was packed and I think we had to turn away people!
As I was saying good-bye to Heather, we both realized how much of the time we spent talking about our kids and life in general. Illness doesn't discriminate and we acknowledged that life continues to move forward regardless of the plans we make. We have no choice but to keep moving ahead and working hard for the things we want to be doing regardless of what life throws at us. Our role as professionals and mom's is really to handle whatever comes at us and keep on fighting the good fight.I ended up sending Heather the questions she so eloquently & honestly answered, so she had time to contemplate and and reply...front & present...in her own words. To be in touch with Heather find her through her blog.
Happy to post this at the start of the year from a client I love to collaborate with - Worn Fashion Journal. Shot during the photo session for the Issue 15 editorial, Geometress.Read more about it on their blog.
ps. I'm launching my new website today. Looking forward to hearing your comments.
Wishing you the best in 2013! Here is something fun I helped bring to life.
Earlier this year I worked with Director Jessica Joy Wise to brainstorm a concept that would reflect the brand of Sartoria, a company that makes colorblock hand-stitched long johns from recycled cashmere.
Shooting with Worn Fashion Journal over the past few years has been an ongoing and welcomed pleasure. The Wornette team creates ideas that are refreshing and fun and a big plus, there is no limits on where we (I) can go with my camera and team.
For our latest shoot we referenced images from Mod culture featuring bold shapes and black & white photographs of the 60's as our main inspiration.
The latest issue just hit the stands. Spoiler alert...here's a sneak peek:
creative direction and styling // Casie Brown
photography // Lisa Kannakko
additional styling // G. Stegelmann & Rachel Walker
make-up // Tammy Wong,
hair // Morgan Inniss & Kristjan Hayden of Civello Salon, civello.com
photography assistance // Thomas Lee
layout // Laura Kloepfer
modelling // Natalie Papanikolov, graphic design
intern & Sofia Luu, editorial intern
The best part is that I'm an official contributor in Issue 15 which is all about Hair, so the question posed was "What's the most spontaneous thing you have ever done to your hair?"
I find it amazing that six years of shooting weddings has flown past. Shooting my final wedding with Ikonica last month made me feel a bit melancholy; mostly because working with this terrific company made the task so much more enjoyable.
When my daughter was five months old, I remember being awake in the middle of the night thinking that I had to get back into shooting and weddings popped into my head. I sent out about 45 inquiries with resumes attached and got calls from a handful of studios. Luckily for me the timing was right and I joined the best team in town. I logged hundreds of hours behind the camera and my fear of shooting strangers disappeared. I learned about being accountable to my clients, delivering the best images I could and trusting my instincts.
As I move forward building my commercial & editorial work I always keep two rules in mind: Always be prepared and never miss the moment!
In the late 90's I used to play in a band, which was definitely the best use of my energy and creativity at the time. We had a big apartment over Spadina in the market where we could make loud music at all times of day and night. Weekly we would play shows in stinky little dives and make many a new friend over melodic themes.
It was through this time, as I continually photographed my friends and our shows, that I started to collect my direction and believe that this photo thing was more then a pipe dream. This realization would eventually lead me to put down the microphone while keeping my camera permanently fixed to my hand.
When old friends from this time period come to town I like to photograph them. I shot this portrait of Malcolm Fraser last year, his handle is World Provider.