What I Do At 3am: Product Photography Before Montreal

Base Camp X


This past week has been the richest collection of experiences that I have been able to string together in my life. From music at the Horseshoe Tavern and Cameron House to a mead-making workshop to a wicked tattoo and a wide collection of private moments that mean the world to me, I have found my stride after a long period of self-doubt and difficult choices. As I sit on VIA Rail Train 52 en route to Montreal with The Tragically Hip’s Live Between Us album on heavy rotation, my head is spinning from the satisfaction of success. My head is probably also spinning from the lack of sleep. At 3am I dragged my body out of bed to photograph products from Base Camp X and Paderno.

The brilliance of my photographic work is that it allows me to eat great food, meet great people, and pay for my travel. The challenge of this work is finding the time to shoot products that need to be off to designers with a quick turnaround. Some nights that means I am building a portfolio of images well past midnight when the rest of the world sleeps. Still, this is my life’s work, the work that I am most passionate about getting right because it matters to me.



The rush job was for Paderno and comprised of two shots: a magnetic knife set in black and a pair of salad servers. I needed to get this work done because I am on the road for almost a week between Montreal and Las Vegas. Fortunately, I had a colourful collection of greens from this week’s dinner and was able to construct a bright, vibrant salad that I am now eating on Train 52.

Paderno Cookware

After this main session I also wanted to capture a white background shot for Base Camp X of Graeme’s truly wicked tomahawk. Given the reflective qualities of the translucent red finish, it was difficult to capture the wood grain here, but the colour and feel of this piece is truly special  – the objects that Graeme puts together make it worth getting up from bed in the darkness. Also featured here is my collection of knives from BCX. I have to admit that the hybrid kukhri on the right is the best balanced knife that I have ever handled, and its hidden features make it blindingly useful for outdoor adventures. Sadly, this is a prototype sample that will not be making it to the real world. Happily, it is perfect for the photographic series I have been planning for the past month.

The next three days will have me in Montreal taking a long-needed break to heal. I plan on sleeping, grazing on the best patisserie in the country, drinking a few choice bottles of French bordeaux and maybe hitting a spa in between walks through the city. Photos on the blog will be dispatches from my iPhone, as I chose to take along my 1964 Leica M3 film camera to take photographs for my memories.Travelling light should keep me moving, and these days movement is everything.







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