Sofia’s Kimono

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Miguel, Sofia, Deo Update 2012 Jun

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My Favorite Halloweeners 2011

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Strathcona Fire

I’ve been keeping an eye on this beautiful tree since autumn started.
God lit it for me to share it with you today

enjoy!

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4th Annual Strathcona Harvest Festival

Sailor Catches the big one!

 

About the Harvest Festival Vision [ http://strathconaevents.ca/ ]

The Harvest Festival is a multi cultural, all ages, free community celebration where everyone can join in the festivities, sing and dance to the music of local talent, play some good old fashioned games, enjoy feasting and spend a fun filled afternoon with old acquaintances while having the chance to make some new ones. Having a sense of community in this big city is just as important for those who have lived here for years, as it is for any one who has just arrived in this neighbourhood or this country. The Strathcona Harvest Festival is organized by several families, friends, local businesses & organizations and in this way many people of all ages, backgrounds and interests are contributing to the building and celebration of our diverse community.

This year we would like to focus on Food Security and help feed our community, encourage healthy living and honour the Earth that provides for us. We will be raising funds to support the many food programs at the Strathcona Community Centre where many infants, children, youth, families and seniors are fed everyday.

See more fotos:  www.jonathancruz.com/clients/StratHarvest2011

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Sidney


When we first moved into Strathcona, we were very excited to find that we had a little neighbor the same age as our  Sofia . It took them two summers to truly hit it off as amazing friends. It is beautiful to watch as they mature from toddlers to beautiful little girls and now both big sisters. Even though they are alike in many ways, and love to do similar things, they are different in very complimentary ways. We are looking forward to watching them grow and learn through many more years of friendship.

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Winteruption In Vancouver Feb 2011

So much for getting away from the nasty weather predicted before winter started here in Vancouver. As of Saturday morning the snow came and by the evening Vancouver became a winter wonderland. It’s the snow we never got to see during the 2010 winter Olympics just a year ago. What to do ‘when life deals us lemons…’?
I had a shoot that evening with the lovely Shannon Heth and George Vergette  as they celebrated their wedding at the beautiful GreyChurch/Gallery on Fraser and Kingsway. I managed to talk Shannon into going outside to brave the elements for a few snaps. Here is one of them

The lovebirds headed south to Turks & Caicos to miss the rest of this. too bad for them! ;)
My buddy Dan had joined me and the first video above was shot on the way home from the reception, [with a little short cut through South Granville]. As Dan drove his jeep through the snow and I with the 5D[Dan has done these time laps vids before without another hand to man the camera]. I shot a frame each time the windshield wiper swept by. We used the moving wiper blade as our makeshift intervolometer and shot as we drove all the home. – so that’s why my arms were so sore the next day!

The Following morning Sofia woke early but i was actually excited to see how much the snow had fallen. by 7am Sofia and I were outside to make fresh tracks and to get the first snow man up before the rest of the neighbors got out to play…



By the next morning it most of it had melted away. -i kinda miss it.

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How to Make a butterfly: Sofia’s Crafts for kids intsructional video #001

 

 

One of our regular morning routines, is “craft time”. After watching some you tube videos on how to make some simple crafts, we have mostly done the ever loved butterflies. For months we have been perfecting them, each of them made with care and love. Most of these butterflies have been given to loved ones as cards or just a special gift. Some have been made to keep forever. Sofia now is able to share her lovely morning glory with others who might want to give it a try. Hope you enjoy her first instructional video.  shot  on  iphone.

Let us know how your butterflies turn out!!!

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Sofia, the craft kid and papa day today.

 

It’s 7am. Gab’s off to work and Sofia just woke up saying “Papa color with me?”
she loves doing crafts all day. and yes, she sings like that all day and night long.

- I love it

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Sweet Daze and a camera to help me remember

Gratitude:
I’m grateful for my home.
I’m grateful for my family.
I am so grateful for the life i have…
I’m grateful for having a camera and an ability to document such things.

 

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34th Week

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33rd week today


see you in 7 weeks  Miguel!

 

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Strathcona Sleet Puddles

She sang and sang,  ♪♫ I Love Puddles!♪♫

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Thursday Morning Rain

Thursday Morning rain.

I was disappointed that it was raining so hard this morning as I headed to the car to drive my wife to work at 6:45am. After dropping her off, I decided to stop by my favorite coffee shop on the way to the studio. I’m usually the only customer there at that time of the day. It was so cold and wet out there and it felt great to see Stephan’s smiling face with the standard question, “Coffee?” I sat down and Stephan brought my coffee and added a little plate of Christmas cookies saying, “You’re looking like you’ve lost weight Jonathan”; a big smile was on his face. A young man looking a bit rough and jittery suddenly walked in and began talking to Stephan. I’m not sure why, by probably due to my car being recently broken into, all I could think of was “did I lock my car?” I sure had the wrong impression. I then heard him asking Stephan if he could call someone to help a woman in a parking lot 2 blocks away on Cordova and Abbott St. He said hates to be the one to have to do this but she needs help and she refused help from him when he offered it. He then said, “I just can’t leave her there like that”, he explained, telling us that he found this woman lying on her face on the wet parking lot with barely a shirt on to keep her warm… As he spoke I noticed that he himself was wearing merely a wet hoodie, definitely not enough to be warm. As Stephan talked on the phone with emergency, describing where the parking lot was, the guy spoke out and said “tell them I’ll go back there and wait so that it will be easier to find her”, and off he went. I looked outside to see the guy grab his loaded shopping cart, turn it around and hobble down the middle of the street with a limp I hadn’t originally noticed.
He went off into the cold wet rain and I suddenly became overwhelmed with his kindness towards the woman. I could still hear his voice in my head saying that he just could not leave her out there like that… In a rush, I grabbed a hot chocolate and some cookies and headed to find the man. As I passed the intersection on Abbott I could see him with his shopping cart on the dark sidewalk beside the Army and Navy parking lot. The ambulance had arrived and was taking care of the woman. I pulled up as close as I could to the shopping cart and came out with the hot chocolate and I gave it to the man along with the cookies I had wrapped up. I told him that I thought it was great of him to do this and asked him for his name. “Josh” he said, and I had to shake his hand. I went back into the car and the photographer in me saw the great silhouette of Josh standing in the rain with the ambulance lights glowing and flashing as his background. The camera was well within my reach but I just couldn’t dishonor the moment with the feeling of gratitude I had having met Josh. As he looked back at me, giving me a thumbs up, ['click', I thought] I put my thumb up right back at Josh and drove off. Crying my eyes out as I drove back to my studio. I felt so grateful that I have a warm bed to sleep in and a family who loves me.

I will forever remember this image of Josh standing on the dark street on such a miserably, cold and rainy morning. A reminder that we are all so capable of helping one another, or at least stopping for a moment to be grateful for what we have.

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We’re 6 months!

As of yesterday we have moved into our 3rd trimester. ‘Race car’ will be here in 3 months!

 big sis says she has a baby too.

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Our first snowfall: 2010 Nov

 

 

We awoke this morning and quickly geared up for Sofia’s early morning swimming lessons. On our way out the door, something so tempting loured us into the park. Our first snowman of the year HAD to be constructed. Sofia wanted to make a big sister and little brother snowkids. They even had to be holding hands. She, and her soon arriving neighborhood girlfriends played  wonderfully together.



Sofia learned several lesson about snow play. Most importantly: 1. Don’t eat yellow or brown snow. 2. Don’t assume that everyone is participating in your snowball fight. With a quick break for ballet and lunch, we were at it again, this time making a polynesian snowlady. Accesorized to the fullest, with natural plant trimmings, donated by friendly neighbors. Sofia of course wouldn’t have it any other way. The sun went down as we walked home, now on our second set of mittens, watching the blazing pink mountains. Sofia now sits under the covers with her Mama defrosting her little feet.


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Thanksgiving 2010 [ shot on Hipstamatic ]

There are so many things that I’m immensely grateful for this Thanksgiving Holiday. Here are just a few reasons.

  

 

 

 


 

There is so much to be thankful for. I’m also grateful for my camera phone. “The best camera is the one that’s with you” as many folks like Chase Jarvis have proven. Have a terrific holiday and let” gratitude be the attitude”.
;)

 

 

 

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Valerio Moda 2011 Spring/Summer Collection

My latest campaign for an amazing leather designer Ali Mokhtarian of Valerio Moda.

 
 
 
 

shot at the Sugar Studios  with the crew:
Male Model – Brandon Mills
Female Model – Alison
Campaign Photographer – Jonathan Cruz
Digital Assistant – Deo Cruz
Lead Makeup – Maria Rahmany
Video and behind the scenes stills- Dan Ax


 

 

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Morning walk with my ‘Blutterfly’ Ballerina

I’ve been spending a lot more time at home since the studio flooded almost a month ago. I’ve set up office in Sofia’s playroom in the basement of our home. Sofia and I have spent a lot more time together, playing early morning lego and going for walks with our dog Jake. Our neighborhood is blossoming with all different kinds and colors of flowers. Sofia has taken the self appointed role of “teacher” when it comes to strolling along the gardens.


She creates imaginative stories about the different plants, what their names are, where they come from, and what can be done with them. She loves to teach me about how intricate each flower is, and the variety of colors within then. We’ve bonded in a whole new way.


I’ve noticed she tends to focus primarily on the wild flowers growing along the edges of the sidewalks rather than on the intended “center piece” flowers in the gardens. Her great-grandmother calls them the flowers that were “planted by God”. She loves dandelions in particular and knows that they are pretty much the only flower she can pick and bring home for Mama.


I guess these are the important moments in our lives that we always hope that we will never forget. I’m so fortunate to be able to capture these moments and keep them for a lifetime. These last few weeks have been an extremely difficult time in my life in several ways. My little girl has taught me that there are a lot more important things in life than the things that we stress about.

I look forward to many more walks with her as new and different flowers come out in our area. I’m sure I will be learning a lot more from her.

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Summer 2010 at the lake with the family

 

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Millenium Water: Olympic Village Grand Openning







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Models Do Eat.

I witnessed something miraculous the other day. I saw a model eat a while back, right in front of my eyes, and she swallowed her food, multiple times! And I’m telling you it wasn’t a salad either. I’m talking real food, food I’d eat.

Meet my friend Jessemey, we met on both our first day in NY, shes a talented girl and a wicked smile to round up the whole package, did I mention she LOVES TO EAT, and shes a FULL-TIME MODEL for FORD?
Originally from New Zealand, she just stepped off the zillion hour plane ride (from Japan) looking like it was no big deal. (see below)

When shes not vogueing it, you can find her discovering, and sampling new inspirations for her blog appropriately titled “Models Do Eat.”

There you’ll find chronicles of her and her friends as they brave their stomaches through the torturous task of eating dish after dish of amazing food in all the cities they go.

Got to commend her on her efforts to break the cycle and show that there are successful girls who enjoy life and work hard to maintain a balance, all with sense of humor.

When it comes to food, I’m too distracted to even photograph my food because its gone before I remember too capture it. But there was one instance that I remembered mid-meal.

Perhaps I should start a blog called “Models do eat, Photographers eat like pigs?

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top 10 photos from NY

 

  hey pals, 
long time no blog. sorry, been jet setting (not really). Its so bizarre that I waited so long to visit New York, but let me just say it was well worth the wait, and it was everything everyone told me it would be, and then some.   

   

I had the painstaking task of narrowing down my images into a top 10 (with other posts to come with more NY adventures in detail).     

   

Some pictures are for obvious reasons in my top 10, for others, its more about remembering the little moments that happened if I stopped and looked around, where I eventually found myself beside myself with overwhelming joy. 

   

   

  How I got to the image (above): I was sneaking up to try to take a picture of her, and she turned around and shouted at me “HEY!…..NEXT TIME you’re going to take a picture of me…let me know, i’ll give you a smile
ME – “How about one now?” 

    

  

 I wish that everyone’s experience visiting NY is as rich, illuminating and full of love as mine was.

 

 

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A Kid in a Candy Store: A B&H Story

The one thing about NY, is that is has everything you need, food, fake handbags, beautiful people, and B&H.
If you are not familiar already, B&H is the MEGA Wonderland for all things, video, film and photography.

This place is 2 floors, practically the size a walmart and filled from floor to ceiling of amazing equipment and gear for any professional. My head wouldn’t stop twisting and turning there was so much stuff to look at, and buy! I saw things I never knew existed in the industry before.

But the best part about B&H is the staff!

These people are real. They will give you their personal opinion. They won’t try to up sell you. They don’t pressure you, and will call you out if you are walking up to a product they feel won’t be worth it.

They all are in uniform, with a beard and yarmulke , topped off with a friendly smile. But if you’re not quick to decide when you arrive at the counter, they’ll move on to the next client. These guys mean business. Did i mention there is a conveyor belt system? Where if you want something on the top floor, they’ll give put it on the conveyor belt and shimmy it down. 2010 has arrived. How personalized can your shopping get? And all I wanted was a card reader.

I want to go back, I need to go back. I guess this would be considered the male equivalent of buying shoes/handbags for women. I can’t get enough, it honestly took a lot of will power for me to control my urge to just rack up my credit card.

Also standing outside was an amazing gentleman. He wore a curved Fedora, red turtleneck and sharp blazer, I thought, who is this guy and how old is his camera and does everyone dress like this in NY?

His name is Louis Mendes, and it turns out he takes Polaroid photographs of individuals on the street and gives them a print when he’s done. In fact, he also gets his gear from B&H (2 meters away) since no one else seems to carry what he’s looking for. He offered to take a picture of me, right after my B&H shopping frenzy grinning ear to ear like a kid. When I finally sort through my suitcase, I’ll try to post it.

Can’t wait to come back and conquer B&H all over again.

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spring is officially here….

As I write this, its been pouring on and off non stop outside, but I defiantly refuse to believe winter is coming back. Spring has officially made its debut here in our great city. And if you have been living under your umbrella for the past few weeks, you wouldn’t have noticed the beautiful cherry blossoms emerging from their barren branches all around Vancouver. I can’t help but think about the simplistic beauty that nature has the offer, and the vibrancy of colors from nature that influence our culture, music, designs and our daily inventions.

In our sometimes grey and wet city, the color and smell of spring is something we all naturally yearn for. Spring can serve different meanings for everyone, for me personally, it represents a renewal of spirit. For the past few days I have been walking around capturing as many signs of spring emergence as possible; buds, seeds, sprouts, blossoms. For me, all those remind me of the disposition we have in ourselves, our ideas and our passions and our never ending pursuit to fulfill them into full blossom.

Spring is humbling, nothing is quite grown, or reached its full potential. But once the slightest glimpses of color emerges I can’t help but think maybe we all need a fresh start. To start anew, to re-inspire our path so we can continue to encourage the spark in our own hearts and minds, to remind ourselves to keep truckin’.

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HEROES

As we all know, the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympics has begun, and I know we were all still basking in the afterglow of Olympic pandemonium that seemed to have abruptly ended a few weeks ago, but now we have been granted a second chance to reignite the passionate spark that united this country once before and relive the joy and celebration surrounding the momentous achievements of our athletes.

In regards to the upcoming participating athletes, I am simply in awe of them, not only because they overcame tremendous feats of strength and dedication to qualify for such a competitive event, but I respect them even more because they had to overcome more than the average able bodied person in their personal lives, which is inspiring even in itself. Personally speaking, I believe ALL athletes are from a different breed of people; the grace, humility and perseverance they eject is an aura so rarely felt between our everyday interactions. It makes me wonder why isn’t everyone like this?  I believe that that we can not only learn, but grow by watching these athletes compete.

Appropriately, I will be cheering for our Canadian athletes, however in regards to the entire event, in my eyes they are already HEROES.


A bronze medalist in the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, Garth Harris was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 9 months of age. Garth received therapy services from the BC Centre for Ability until he was 14 years old. As apart of his therapy Garth was introduced to swimming where he discovered and enjoyed the stabilizing effect the water had on his muscles. Soon Garth aspired to become a competitive swimmer.


International Paralympic Committee president, Sir Phillip Craven,  is a five-time Paralympian. He is s one of the key influences in having the Opening ceremonies broadcasted live by CTV last night.  Tamara Tagart’s facebook profile last night was “Watching the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, bawling my eyes out as the torch comes into the building.” Cheers to Sir Phillip Craven, and let’s give a hand to BCTV for being the first to show Paralympic Opening Ceremonies on TV. I heard it was inspirational/magical/moving. I only got to see the beginning as my daughter and i had to meet up with family at Surrey Memorial Hospital to visit my 74 year old father, Deo Cruz[senior] as he is recovering from a broken right femur and right humerus. A few days ago at the mall he lost his balance while standing on crutches in an escalator. He chose to to fall backward to avoid landing on people in front of him. We’re waiting for one more surgery for his arm. He’s going to be fine. Dad is one of the toughest people i know. He is by far one of my biggest heroes. I’d love to watch last night’s ceromonies with him.


Lauren Barwick is a gifted rider who would have established a future in the sport at a very early age but with two siblings who have disabilities, horseback riding was not an affordable sport in her single-parent family. After many years out of the sport, Lauren eventually found her way back to her passion and obtained a job training horses for the local movie industry.  Lauren was invigorated by her new role but a fall off of a horse would change many things in her life.  The accident left her paralyzed from the hips down. Lauren was hospitalized and underwent therapy for nine months. As her condition stabilized she started to reclaim her life and found a job teaching horseback riding to children. Despite being close to horses on a daily basis, Lauren had almost given up on riding again. Through the encouragement of her coworkers, she gained the courage to get on a horse. This simple act of bravery changed Lauren’s life. She learned how to ride horses again and soon became a competitive rider. After winning many equestrian competitions, she represented Canada in Beijing to bring home a silver and gold medal.

And our Canadian hopeful for Canada’s Downhill Events in Whistler this month….Karolina Wisniewska! Here is her Schedule so I hope everyone has a chance to take some time to watch an amazing woman do what she does best!

2010 Paralympic Winter Games
March 13: Downhill
March 14: Super-G
March 16: Super Combined
March 18: Giant Slalom
March 20: Slalom

follow her story through Karolina’s official website here

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PIN YOUR HOPES: Prince Albert II of Monaco for Peace and Sport

   

One of the fun fan passions at any Olympics is collecting pins. You can spot the collectors on the streets here in Gastown and around Vancouver because their lapels or sleeves are aglitter with pins from competing nations, exhibits, sponsors, etc. Each pin is a special memory or, if you traded for it with someone you just met on the street or at a venue, a new friend.   Still, not all pins are created equal.  When HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco pinned Yang Zho Cho at a party at Bob Rennie’s new gallery in Chinatown,
the Prince also was welcoming Mr. Cho as an official ambassador for the Peace and Sport Foundation
 Prince Albert is Peace and Sports High Patron. For those who just tuned in, he is the son of the late Prince Ranier and Princess Grace, a.k.a. movie mega-star Grace Kelly. 

Mr. Cho, the chairman of Hanjin Group and Korean Air, also is chairman of the Korea Table Tennis Association and active in the sport internationally. 
He is the tenth ambassador of Peace and Sport, the first from Asia.    Joel Bouzou, president of Peace and Sport and a former Olympic medalist and modern pentathlon world champion, was here for the event. So too was Canada’s Charmaine Crooks, among many other current and past Olympians. Bob Rennie’s stunning $10-million space is the Athletes Reunion Centre for these Winter Games and champions past and present have been dropping by. 
   Peace and Sport, launched in 2007, sponsors programs in the third world that increase access to sport for young people. Not professional sport or top-tier competition such as the Olympics ‹ just kids having fun at the community level, breaking down barriers while learning about mutual respect and fair play.   
  Someone should give them a medal. Or a pin at least.

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Shani Davis, Gold Medalist Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games

American Shani Davis, Gold medalist in Men’s Speed Skating  here at Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games showed up
at Bob Rennie’s Art Gallery at the historic Wing Sang building in Chinatown.
This incredible venue is the location for the Olympians Reunion Centre throughout the winter games.

Shani Davis was born on Friday, August 13, 1982, in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his mother on the city’s south side, he started roller-skating at local rinks at age two. By age three Shani was darting around the roller rink so fast that skate guards would chase him just to ask him to slow down. Seeming to become bored with roller-skating, at age six a coach suggested that Shani switch to ice skating. Shortly thereafter, his mother started working for an attorney, Fred Benjamin, whose son happened to be involved in speed skating at an elite level. It was at that time that Benjamin suggested that Shani give speed skating a try.

Shani joined the Evanston Speedskating Club at age six and within two months started competing locally. Though immediately taking to ice, at competitions Shani was generally more interested in running around with his competitors and playing video games than he was with competing. Nevertheless, by age 8 he was winning regional age-group competitions and began to hear about the Olympic ideal from his Northbrook competitors and friends. Shani’s mother encouraged him to participate and, in an effort to build his endurance, woke him most mornings to run a mile on a track close to their home. As there were — and still are — no speed skating clubs in inner city Chicago, at age 10 Shani and his mother moved to the far north side of the city to be closer to the Evanston rink.

“My mom never thought of herself first, and I credit most of my success to her. She continues to manage my career and is always there for me.”

Shani  with 5 time Olympian Charmaine Crooks

Shani’s press attaché Nathaniel Mills, has competed as a speed skater in three Olympic Games, serving as Team Captain of the 1998 Olympic Team in Nagano, Japan.
He served as a delegate to the International Olympic Academy in Greece and co-founded the Olympism Project to educate about the philosophy of Olympism. He commented on these photos saying,
” These are stunning photographs…possibly the best i’ve ever seen of Shani…”.

Congrats Shani!

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Jacqui Cohen Carries the Torch to Gastown Canada 2010

Jacqui Cohen hired Jonathan to capture her jog to Olympic glory, taking her turn in the torch relay through Gastown early this morning.

It was a sight to see, watching Jacqui ignite her torch with our famous steam clock and the north shore mountains as a backdrop.  Ms Cohen embraced the crowd as she made her way along her 300m stint, waving and smiling, stopping along the way for photos with friends and various members of the community.

Her family was in tow to cheer Jacqui on, including her mother who was perhaps one of the most stylish ladies in the crowd. We managed to snap a photo of Jacqui with her mom and daughter – three beautiful generations!

Jacqui then finished her run by celebrating with her family, friends and staff at the Army and Navy store on Cordova Street.

Congrats to Jacqui for representing Gastown and Vancouver so graciously and congrats to all the torch bearers across Canada that have made this journey so special and memorable for all of us.

With just hours to spare until the Opening Ceremonies, we’d like to wish everyone a wonderful Olympic experience.

GO CANADA GO!

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Bienvenue à Vancouver


T-minus one day people. Jonathan is out and about chasing the torch, trying to capture the throngs of celebrities scheduled to run their 300 metre relay today and tomorrow. It’s a truly exciting time to be in Vancouver.

Sure, the scenery is amazing, the temperature is mild and it has been rated as one of the most livable cities in the world time and time again. However, one thing a lot of these publications fail to touch on is the people. Aside from the mountains, the ocean and the naturally chilled west coast vibe, Vancouver is a multinational city with a wonderful mix of people, resulting in a mélange of cultures, food and festivals.

With the Opening Ceremonies welcoming the world tomorrow, we thought we’d share some of our favorite faces. People our visitors can expect to see while meandering the streets of Vancouver. Because, really…it’s our diversity in people that makes our city so grand.


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Vancouvers Gift of Gastronomy

Over the past few years, Vancouverites have been privy to a plethora of new places to get their nosh on, from cozy cafes to upscale eateries. We’re lucky enough to relish in the spoils of our multi-cultural city and learn a little bit about each others backgrounds while we’re at it. Now that we’re on the heels of the biggest international event to ever take place in our fair city, we felt it was time to shed some light on Vancouver’s food culture.

From the trendy watering holes of Gastown to the yuppie-yet-friendly haunts in Yaletown, this is just a mere nibble into the Vancouver foodie scene. Our eclectic mix of ‘hoods’ is what keeps our city happening when it comes to food, in our humble opinion.

Among some our faves is the Salty Tongue on Abbott Street. Whether you’re up for a hearty lunch or looking to share a long table dinner with friends, be sure to pop in and say hello. Goldfish on Mainland is great for a little glitz and some sinfully delish seafood. Try the BC Albacore and Ahi Tuna Tataki to start. Parlais vous en francais? Us neither, but the folks at Les Faux Bourgeois will take care of you in this quaint yet happenin’ spot on E 15th where Fraser and Kingsway collide. Toulouse et Puree – do it.

 

Heading to the West End, long-time local favorite Tapastree is tucked just off Robson, yet patrons never seem to have a problem finding them. Go with a group and gourmandize on a fine selection of tapas. Speaking of tapas, shoot over to the Drive and let your Latino lover tendencies take over at Latin Quarter. After dinner, burn off the sangria by getting your krunk on to the live house band.

Refuel on West 4th features some fabulous local offerings like their Crispy Skin Ling Cod. Check them out for brunch on the weekend, their buckwheat waffle will make you go buck wild. Moving on over to the hipster scene of Mount Pleasant, The Cascade Room has a cool and casual vibe, with much of their menu sourced locally.

Some local advice to our international visitors from near and far – be sure to explore the outer areas of our city as well as the downtown core. You never know when you’re going to stumble upon your next great meal and meet some friendly Vancouverites too.

Bon appétit!

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A Man and His Horse

During my morning stroll to the studio, I was visually accosted by the image of this giant white horse with a man strapped to his back. Not enough coffee, I thought? Not the case. Turns out John Fluevog has graciously agreed to display the work of David Robinson, specifically his Equestrian Monument piece, in the storefront window of his Water Street location.

 

To say that the sculpture is eye-catching would be an understatement. The enormous size alone demands the attention of nearly every passerby. Just over lunch today, I watched as people passed by the store, not one able to walk by without taking a peek.

The way Robinson plays with exaggerated proportions reminds me of a Salvador Dali painting, at least from my uneducated perspective. With all the international visitors pouring into town, it’s a great time to showcase some of Canada’s greatest artistic talents.

 

Artist’s Statement:

The equestrian monument prevails in endless variety across the history of art.
In a time before I had learned of their often violent and imperial past, with the eyes of a child I saw these archaic bronzes in their simplest and most mythic form: full of narrative, free of history.

This first impression has stayed with me as I find myself returning time and again to the unraveling and reprising of the equestrian theme in my own artwork. Now thoroughly out-moded, and thus freed of its political harness, I periodically inquire after this troubled partnership of man and beast as they wander the imagination – a vivid motif in search of a better story.

David Robinson’s Equestrian Monument can be viewed at John Fluevog on 65 Water Street until July. www.fluevog.com

“Robinson’s work underscores the possibility that the sacred is with us still, even in the midst of our secular, consumerist society.” – Vancouver Sun

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Birch Bark Biting

While walking around Gastown last week, we stumbled upon an art gallery around the corner featuring some really beautiful pieces that we wanted to share with you. The art form is known as Birch Bark Biting. There was a little girl playing in the front window that reminded Jonathan of Sofia, and given he’s missing his little girl who has been vacationing in Brasil, he had to pop over to say hello. The girl’s Grandmother came outside and invited us into the gallery to have a look.

Years ago, before technology took over as our primary source of entertainment, an ancient First Nation tradition was used to entertain the kids during the shorter days of winter. Prior to European contact, the art of Birch Bark Biting was commonly used as a source of entertainment. The people would create patterns on birch bark by simply biting it, which would light up when held in front of a campfire, depicting dreams and stories that were shared and passed on to newer generations. Today there are only 3 known First Nation artists in Canada (and possibly North America) who still practice this traditional art form.

 

 Pat Bruderer, also known as Half Moon Woman, was born in Churchill, Manitoba and is the mother of 5 children. Pat grew up in the Mosakahiken Cree Nation Reserve in Manitoba and now resides in Chase, BC. An acclaimed artist, Pat has won many awards at the Annual Trappers Festival in The Pas, Manitoba and was the Juried Art winner in 2000. She also facilitates several workshops in traditional Birch Bark Biting.

Pat believes Birch Bark Biting has many teachings: patience, respect, kindness, creativity, medicine, imagination and sharing. Birch Bark Biting is like people – no two are the same and every one is special and beautiful in their own way.

Pat uses the 4 elements in her work: earth, water, wind and fire. She strongly believes that First Nations people should strive to maintain their traditional art forms. Her art has been featured in the Glenbow Museum, Museum of Man and Nature and several private collections in Canada, Switzerland, Scotland, France, Germany, Africa, China, Malaysia, Hawaii and Alaska. 

The gallery is now closed until after the Olympics and is being used as a media centre throughout the Games. It’s disappointing that these pieces won’t be featured over the coming weeks, given their rarity and close ties to our Aboriginal history, which is why we felt it was important to share this fascinating artwork with you.

To view Pat Bruderer’s online gallery, visit the Half Moon Studios website: www.halfmoonstudios.com

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Tony goes to Barcelona

 

A good friend of mine, Tony Millares III, owns an exceptional architectural woodworking firm called Urthwurks Furniture Inc.  Starting in Brooklyn, NY, he moved his shop to Vancouver in 2001 and has designed and built for Jasper Johns, Francesco Clemente, Bette Midler, ALIFE NYC and the list goes on and on.  Last year, he worked on the restoration of the Wing Sang building, which is now the home of the Rennie Collection . In the end of 2009, he was busy completing Canadian artist, Rodney Graham’s   new line of work called POSSIBLE ABSTRACTIONS, which is a series of sculptures in the shape of a painting made out of wood and corian.  Tony was hired as the artist’s technical advisor and built the entire collection which is now showing at the Museu Pablo Picasso in Barcelona.  He has written a few words on his blog about the process.

In mid-January, the pieces were shipped to Barcelona along with privately owned Rodney Graham pieces that were lent to the museum for Through the Forest, Rodney’s first solo exhibit. Unexpectedly, Tony was given a well deserved first class ticket to Barcelona to attend the opening and unveiling of POSSIBLE ABSTRACTIONS and as I write this article, he is on his way home.

Over the past year and a half, I have had the opportunity to shoot a lot of his work, and looking through te lens, I have learned that he is an extreme perfectionist when it comes to his own work.   I have never seen so much passion and love put into every detail.  With each job, he hones his skills as a designer and craftsman and he blows my mind every time I shoot his work.   The photos I took are only a fracture of what went on behind the scenes in the last few weeks before the opening in Barcelona.  

 
















“Ok, what’s next?”

 Welcome home Tony, and congratulations to you and your team at Urthwurks! 

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5 more sleeps

  

 

With my lovelies  in southern Brasil for almost 5 weeks now, I’ve found so much comfort in being able to see them occasionally on my screen. Thank you Skype
After 4 weeks of being at a beach with low tech, minimal technology, lots of caipirinhas and shurascarias they’re back  to spend their last week in Porto Alegre at their granparents house where there’s a pc! -whew!

Last week Gabriela told me that our daughter woke up saying “I want my papa.”
I asked if she said that in english and she said, “no, there is no more english honey, she’s all Portuguese now”. 
Thats how she’ll be speaking when we go snow shoeing on the 6th guys! 

   

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Kla-how-ya

The phrase Kla-how-ya, which is the Chinook word for “welcome”, was the phrase of the day as visitors were greeted at the Pan Pacific yesterday during a media event which marked the erection of an aboriginal village in the lobby of the hotel. Representing First Nations from around B.C., the village will showcase their culture and remain in the Pan Pacific’s spectacular lobby throughout the Olympic Games.

We were lucky enough to shoot the ceremony side-by-side with the talented Deo Cruz, who was able to help us capture all of the key moments as an event of this scale usually requires more than one shooter. We call him our secret weapon.

16 First Nations members got a hand from the hotel’s kitchen staff to carry the massive 40-foot ceremonial canoe Raven’s Song, which will be the focal point of the village, through the front doors and up two flights of stairs to a stage. The canoe was built by Bill Helin in 1993 for a journey to the Commonwealth Games in Victoria and is said to have been on eight different journeys since then.


 

Helin, along with six apprentice carvers, took more than four months to carve Raven’s Song, representative of a Tsimshian war canoe, out of a 540-year-old red cedar log. The raven is also the most profound character in First Nations mythology.

The Kla-how-ya village officially opens to the public on Feb.12. For 16 days following, it will showcase traditional dancing, cedar-bark weaving, aboriginal fashions, jewelry making, carving and storytelling.

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Vancouver Comes Alive

Who’s got the fever? We’ve got the fever…Olympic fever that is. The city is transforming before our eyes, with a new pavilion, party house or building wrap by the day, so it seems. Vancouver is alive with Olympic buzz, so we’ve been buzzing about town shooting and capturing as much of the excitement as possible.

Stop by the GE Ice Plaza at Robson Square for free ice skating in the heart of the city. This is something suitable for the entire family and skate rentals are available onsite. The kiddies will love it!

One block away, standing in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery you’ll find the Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock with a huge Olympic building wrap just across the way. The Hotel Georgia’s Canadian flag wrap is a slight testament to our patriotism (I use the word ‘slight’ in jest ofcourse – the sucker is massive!). The Bay building across from the art gallery is decked out with banners of folks sporting the official Olympic memorabilia. Has everyone snagged some red mittens?

Take a stroll through Yaletown and check out Flagwalk, a series of flags placed along the sidewalk representing all of the competing countries that will be gracing our city streets in just a few weeks.  Meander a bit further along the seawall for views of the Olympic Village on the south end of False Creek. We snagged a few shots here.

As the excitement continues to build, we have to concur with the below vid:

You Gotta Be Here

 

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Deo day yo!

 

 

 

Unless I’m booked shooting, a regular work day tends be more of a day of distractions.  I tend to be more productive during the odd hours.  I’m an early riser and with my gals still on vacation in Brasil I find myself getting a lot of things done before the rat race begins. Yesterday my son Deo wanted to borrow my tripod and 14 mm rectilinear lens for a test shoot he was doing for a hotel on Robson Street.  I decided to drop off the equipment and drive Deo to his location. Deo explained the hotel is under major renovations for the Olympics and the hotel owner wanted new photographs as he wasn’t happy with the previous shooter’s work.  I thought this was a great opportunity to work on a project with Deo.  We wrapped fairly quickly and decided to pick up his girl friend Marija to eat some serious, all you can eat sushi at Tanpopo. -stuffed! 

The weather was amazing, 14 Celsius (48 °F) Carpe Diam!
We busted out our cameras and skipped out the rest of the day.
 Life is Good!
 

 

It’s Evan Haveman, the polar bear’s birthday tonight at Fortune Sound Club.  –oh boy.

 

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Rodney Graham Through the Forest

As the buzz begins to grow, famed Canadian artist Rodney Graham prepares to present his work at the prestigious Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona later this month.

Starting out in Vancouver in the 1970s, among one of his earliest works was Camera Obscura (1979; destroyed 1981) a site-specific work that consisted of a shed-sized optical device on his family’s farm field near Abbotsford. Entering the shed, the observer was confronted with an inverted image of a solitary tree. Both prior to this and throughout the 1980s and 90s, Graham employed the technique of the camera obscura in his work.

During the crazy snowstorm of ’08, we had the pleasure of shooting the artist in his home here in Vancouver. We were asked by Tony Millares III of Urthwurks to come by Graham’s home to photograph a book shelf he had designed for the artist and ended up capturing a few candid snaps.

 

An outstanding element of Graham’s upcoming exhibition – Through the Forest – is a major compilation of books and sculptures, installations and machines based on books of Graham’s that come from a peculiar library that shows his interpolations, appendices, bookmarks, reading and exhibition devices in the style of Judd, among other pieces. The exhibition also includes the series of 21 pictures Picasso, My Master (2005), his first incursion into painting, which reconstructs the aura of mastery that surrounds Picasso’s work with a touch of humour.

Through the Forest runs from January 30th through May 18th. If you happen to be in Barcelona over the coming months, be sure to swing by.

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30 Days, 30 Nights

 

As we continue the countdown to the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, which seems to be coming at us fast and furious with only 30 days to go, the city is preparing with a few final touches. One of which was the resurrection of the famous Birks Clock.

Situated on the corner of Hastings and Granville in front of the Birks store, the clock hasn’t worked for years, confusing many as they hoof it to work in the morning or back to work after a boozy lunch. They actually removed the time piece temporarily for 2 years to make way for Canada Line construction on Granville Street. The clock was first erected in 1909 and was moved to the corner of Georgia and Granville in 1913, where it remained until 1994 when it was moved back to its original home. Back in the day people used the clock as a meeting place before hitting the town – “meet me under the Birks clock”. I wonder if people still say that? Seems like it’s more common to say “meet me at the Starbucks on…”. How boring.

We had the opportunity to shoot the re-installment of the clock, following some much needed repairs by horologist Ray Saunders who gave the clock a complete overhaul and restoration. It was an exciting moment to see a piece of history put back in its place, where it will sit for many years to come. Now visitors to Vancouver during the Games and beyond will always have a point of reference while exploring our beautiful city.

 

 

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A Chilly Start to 2010

Some of us were hung over. Others were busy having brunch. Or maybe, some people kept the party going well into the next day (you know who you are). However nearly 2,000 clinically insane people braved the frigid waters of English Bay for the annual Polar Bear Swim.

The New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim originated in Vancouver with the inaugural plunge taking place in 1920, coordinated by Founder and President Peter Pantages. In those days, you had to register to become a member of the Polar Bear Swim Club, which started out with only 10 members. The Sylvia Hotel housed the club’s headquarters until popularity around the event grew, forcing the club to move to the Vancouver Swimming Club just west of the English Bay pier.

Today the event attracts thousands of participants and spectators, spilling onto the beach in complete pandemonium, some decked out in costume, others simply rocking a speedo or a bikini. Youch.

Over the years the Polar Bear Swim has been covered by major media giants like CNN and National Geographic Traveler as well as countless other media outlets around the world. This year, the team at Jonathan Cruz Photography made their way to English Bay armed with a crew of nutball participants that took the plunge while we captured the chaos. Check out our YouTube vid below:

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Happily Ever After

Disclaimer: Bridezillas, please disregard this post.

Attention all brides-to-be, wedding planners, bridesmaids and stagette coordinators.  Wedding season is quickly approaching and what better way to start than to secure a fabulous photographer. Someone who understands your needs, but also adds a creative edge, transforming your photos into memories that will last a lifetime. Look no further ladies.

Contact the studio for details on how we can arrange your custom bridal photo package. Let us capture each moment while you’re busy enjoying them!

Aside from the romantical, we’d also like to announce a little something we’re working on to help out all the gals gearing up to host stagettes this year. This can sometimes be as challenging as planning the wedding itself, so let our team alleviate some of the work with our Pre-Party Stagette Package!

Available for Stagettes planned after February 15th, our team has put together a fun-filled start to any stagette. We guarantee this will help your bride get her boogie on.  

Planning a big night on the town in and around downtown Vancouver? Kick things off with a pre-party at our funky Gastown studio on Water Street, crawling distance to several fine eateries, bars, nightclubs or a quick cab ride to Granville Street (as the walk would be hell in heels). Learn how to pose for the camera, get style tips from a well-known local stylist, receive beauty tips from our hair and makeup artist, all the while the event will be captured by a professional videographer. Complimentary cocktails are included as well as an 8×10 group shot for the bride to take home as a keepsake from her last wild night as a single gal!

More info to come. Click here if you’d like to receive further details.

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What’s your New Years resolution?

Happy New Years Eve everyone! Some of you probably have big plans to hit the town tonight, while others are going to chill at home and maybe watch the ball drop into Times Square. However there’s one thing we all have in common this time of year ­– resolutions.  A silly tradition perhaps, yet there’s something about this time of year that inspires us to reflect on the year past and resolve to do even better in the next. Like hitting the refresh button .

In light of this reflective time of year, we thought we’d share some of the resolutions floating around the studio today:

Walk the dog more often.

Spend more time with family.

Spend more time outside.

Get into the Olympic spirit as much as possible.

Explore more of Vancouver’s fine eateries.

Dance more.

We know it’s sexy, but try to quit smoking people.

Laugh more.

Drink less…well, maybe in moderation. Ha.

So here’s to you and yours this New Years Eve! May you celebrate in style and kick off 2010 with a bang.

Salut!

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The countdown is on

With less than 7 weeks to go, Vancouver is putting the finishing touches on the city to ensure a spectacular arrival for our international and home-grown guests alike. The Olympic vibe is the air folks, so we thought we’d get in the spirit and share a few Olympic-esque snaps with ya’ll.

By the way, anyone have any hook ups for the Molson Canadian Hockey House? Looks like it’s going to be one hell of a party. Check this.

O’Canada

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55 Water Street

Gastown, situated in the heart of Vancouver’s heritage district, has become more than just a popular tourist attraction. Gastown and its vibrant neighborhood has quickly become Vancouver’s creative mecca, home to many local artists, photographers, furniture designers and the like.

Our studio is located in one of the neighborhood’s original structures – 55 Water Street to be precise – originally built in 1912 as the Malkin & Company grocery warehouse. Today this 6 storey building is still full of charm, with its brick walls, exposed cedar beams and eerie historical vibe. It’s also full of some very talented Vancouverites, so we thought we’d give a shout out to some of our fabulous neighbors:

Twenty One Inc. – www.twentyoneinc.com
Gajoum D’Art Studio Inc. – kalgajoum.com
James Northy – www.jamesnorthyfd.com
Kontent Creative – www.kontentcreative.com
Pace Group – www.pacegroup.com
Coastlines Creative Group – www.coastlinescreative.com
Wallop Creative – www.wallopcreative.com
Endgame – www.endgame.ca
Burke & Hair www.burkeandhair.com
Metta Healing www.mettahealing.ca
Red Rocket Creative Strategies www.redrocketcreative.com
Metalogix www.metalogix.net
Smart Web Canada www.smartwebcanada.com
Foot Prints Recruiting www.footprintsrecruiting.com
Blue Olive Photography www.blueolivephotography.com
The Old Spagetti Factory www.oldspaghettifactory.ca
Dirty Laundry www.ilovedirtylaundry.com
John Chen Photography www.jcphoto.ca
Free Agency Creative freeagencycreative.com
David Wilkes www.davidwilkesbespoke.com

Please click here to let us know about anyone we’ve missed!

Looking for a one-of-a-kind cocktail dress for New Years Eve? Perhaps you’re outfitting your new Woodward’s condo with some fine art or a funky conversational piece or two? In any case, cruise around these cobblestone streets and re-discover this hip yet understated hood.

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Winter Warmers on Water Street

On this eve of Christmas, many of you are nestling in with the family for a few days of rest and rejoicing in an age-old holiday tradition – booze.  Aside from the feasting and singing and enjoyment of good company, nothing enhances ones jolly mood more than a festive Christmas cocktail. So in the spirit of the season, we have concocted our own cocktail, sure to put the jolly in your holly.

The C3 is a delicious blend of ingredients, mixed with Ciroc Vodka, distilled from Mauzac Blanc and Ugni Blanc grapes, grown in the Gaillac and Cognac regions of France. Why C3 you ask? It’s the Cruz Christmas Cocktail, ofcourse.

- A fifth (1½ oz.) Ciroc Vodka -
- Generous splash of Aloe juice -
- Stirred, not shaken -
- Add a few cranberries for color -
- Finish with a sprig of mint -

Refreshing and festive, the C3 will have your family and friends rockin’ around the Christmas tree til dawn.

From everyone at Jonathan Cruz Photography, have a safe and happy holiday.

Merry Christmas – Joyeux Noel – Buon Natale – Feliz Navidad – Feliz Natal – Maligayang Pasko

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Bahala Na!

Loosely translated to happen what may, bahala na is a popular Filipino philosophy that we felt was fitting to share with everyone during this frantic festive season.

This time of year means more parties and get-togethers in one month than you’d attend in a year. Social butterfly burnout, if you will. The anxiety of catching up with all your friends and family in one short month often detours you from the point itself – to enjoy one another!

So next time one of your friends rocks up late for after-work drinks or one of your closest pals is a no-show due to extreme holiday burn out, don’t fret. Remember what’s really important, which is to enjoy our loved ones when we can. If not over rum and eggnog this Christmas, there will be plenty of time to toast one another in 2010.

Bahala na…

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Help-Portrait Warmed the Hearts of Downtown Eastsiders

Several days following the international Help-Portrait event, the team at Jonathan Cruz Photography and the many amazing volunteers are still reeling from an extraordinary day spent with some extraordinary people. 

The crew set up shop at the Carnegie Library in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown eastside.  It was snowing lightly – the perfect day to come inside, have something warm to drink and have your family portrait taken by one of five local photographers, volunteering their time to give back to the community.

It was a busy day, snapping pics, running to and from Gastown Photo (who kindly donated all the beautiful black and white prints!), and framing each portrait for our subjects.  All the frames were donated by Homewerx on Davie Street – stop in and check them out – and we were also fortunate enough to have five fabulous makeup artists on hand to gussy up all the gals before each shoot. Special thanks to William F. White International for donating all the lighting and equipment and Off-Set rentals for the makeup stations!
special visitors that came to our makeshift studio

The purpose of the event was to demonstrate that each and every member of our community matters and everyone deserves to have their photo taken with their loved ones. The positive response from the community lead to nearly 400 people having their portraits taken that day.

Thanks to all the many volunteers that made this event a success and a big congrats to all the other events around the world! See you next year.

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Attention Last Minute Christmas Shoppers!

Still scrambling for those last few gifts to stick under the tree?  Perhaps you’re after that extra special stocking stuffer and you’re plum out of ideas. Look no further people – we have something that will make your mother-in-law swoon or your sweetie’s heart skip a beat.

Stay clear of the mall and avoid the stress of last-minute shopper pandemonium. Give the gift of timeless memories with a gift certificate from Jonathan Cruz Photography.  Packages start at $500, which includes a professional portrait shoot and 1 prepped image, touched up to perfection.

Perfect for corporate gifts or something to spoil your family, contact the studio for more information.

Happy Holidays!



 

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Kimiko Zakreski Makes Sportsnet Top 10 Hottest

Sportsnet – Canada’s leader in high definition live-events – launched a campaign, encouraging viewers to logon to their website to cast their votes for Canada’s Hottest Athletes.

Hailing from Calgary, Canadian snowboarder Kimiko Zakreski is ranked 9th in the list, however she’s #1 in our books! We had the pleasure of shooting Kimi this past summer and really enjoyed getting to know the girl behind the strong, athletic persona.

Kimi won her first career World Cup medal (silver) in December, 2008 and was ranked 18th in the parallel giant slalom at the 2009 World Championships. She’s ranked 16th overall in the 2008-09 World Cup alpine snowboard standings. All this and beauty to match!

Watch for Kimi competing for Canada on home turf during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

Check out Kimi’s gallery (featuring snaps provided by us!) on Sportsnet.ca.

 

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Dragon Boat team of Breast Cancer Survivors

20130622-135343.jpg

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June 22, 2013 · 12:56 pm

Happy birthday to Sofia’s teacher, Mrs Tao

Happy birthday to Sofia's teacher, Mrs Tao

Lilliana, you rock! we dont go through a day without Sofia bring up your name. -gotta love ya!

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January 26, 2013 · 10:36 pm

Vancouver 2013!

Vancouver 2013!

time for an update the view from my banner above. Here’s my beautiful city on jan 03.

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January 4, 2013 · 6:57 am

Vancouver 2012 Dec 30th

Vancouver 2012 Dec 30th

view from Granville Island

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December 30, 2012 · 4:06 pm