I just had a memorable photo shoot with Jonathan Cruz. People assume that it wouldn’t be a big deal for me because I spend an hour and a half every day in front of a tv camera anchoring the news, This is not the case. I feel much more self-conscious being the subject of a still photographer.
I was paired up with Jonathan by Bob Mercer, the editor of Vancouver Lifestyles Magazine (VLM), for a piece entitled MY VANCOUVER. It’s a brief look at my favorite things about the city, and my thoughts and concerns about Vancouver’s future.
I had met Jonathan a few years ago when he photographed me and others at the Women’s Media Golf Classic. I must stress that I only golf once a year, but Jonathan’s shots made me look like a pro! We also teamed up for a fundraiser for Ja Pace, a beautiful young woman afflicted with a rare blood disorder, in need of a non-donor transplant only available in Rome.
I was impressed with the warmth and compassion demonstrated by Jonathan at the time. He put together a gorgeous calendar of Ja and her salsa dancing friends that was sold to raise funds for her cause. He also softly coaxed a generous donation out of Michael Buble. (actually, from what I understand, there was no need for coaxing… he just told Michael about Ja’s story and he was naturally compelled to contribute.) Jonathan has that effect on people. He has a wonderful ability to put his subjects at ease and bring out the best in them.
That’s what made this most recent shoot so much fun. I had chosen the Burrard St. Bridge and “Go Fish” on the Seawall as two of my favorite places in Vancouver. We walked along the bridge on a cool, sunny fall day… chatting and trying not to get too ‘posy’ with the shots. It was fun and easy and I often forgot he even had a camera in his hands.
From there, a yummy lunch (halibut and chips and spicy Salmon taquitos) at Go Fish. Again, I was oblivious to the camera.
It was a totally win-win day. I got to spend the afternoon with a wonderful man with a big heart, and I was thrilled with the photographs. Thank you Jonathan!
I am blessed to be surrounded by so many beautiful people and I make it my personal mission to prove it -if and when I get a chance to catch them through my lens. I first met Michelle at a photo shoot for a fantastic office interior in Yaletown. Michelle is the partner of an amazing interior designer, Gaile Guevara. If you see anything Modern, or white for that matter, in my studio, it’s all thanks to Gaile. [Stand by for a story on that wonderful gal.] We’ve hung out for BBQs, dinners and such since then and often in our conversations we would talk about doing a shoot. Gaile had her birthday this summer, and, of course, I had a camera [actually Evan’s] with me (www.jonathancruz.com/clients/gaile30). When Michelle emailed me a couple of weeks ago to order some of the shots from Gaile’s party for her mom, I suggested we do a little better by doing that shoot that we’ve been talking about since we first met. Finally, we had an opportunity to do a shoot. Yeehaw! Our friend Scott Hawthorn offered his amazing home for the venue. Such a ham, Michelle is a treat to work with. She doesn’t only look beautiful, she really is .
We celebrated her 29th birthday a couple of nights ago with a bunch of friends at Ginger 62. It was so much fun. Happy birthday Michelle. I think one of these should work for your ma. 😉
I woke up yesterday at 8am to my wife saying, “Honey do I get to sleep in this morning?” I complained of course, saying that I too was tired. Gabriela and Sofia have been under the weather over the last week and I had no excuse really, other than having stayed out late at a Shoe party in North Van. Sofia [20 months old] had been wide awake for an hour already. She lies in our bed and has her bottle of milk, and then wants to play. She tugs at our arms and says “go”. Jake [our dog] is also in bed with us and he needs to out for a pee by this time. Gabriela suggested that if Sofia and I take out Jake, she’ll make pancakes for our return. So off we went. I noticed before we even left that Gabriela had already made the bed and was getting breakfast started. So much for sleeping in.
Yes, every day I have to wake up to these 2. Woe is me…
see more of my morning:
In 1999, I first met Michael Buble when I was shooting a promo campaign for my studio. Krista, my assistant at the time recommended this “local kid with an amazing velvety, young Frankie voice” from a cd she heard from her grandfather’s friend, Mitch Santaga [Mike’s grandpa]. We contacted his manager, Beverly Delich, and set up the shoot. With minimal budget plus working with an “independent artist”, we had to be clever to pull off a sophisticated shoot with this young classic artist. My neighbor, Franco Nigro of Quorum Fashion, came to the rescue by offering to outfit Michael with this amazing 2 piece. Michael had been playing the role as Elvis on a production called “Red Rock Diner” at the time [in case you’re wondering about the hair]. In a future post, I’ll explain why there is an “H” on the cigar ring that he’s holding. We did this shoot on Granville Street and the gold reflector gave us that “this hurts but I’m looking HOT” attitude as the city transit buzzed by behind him. Michael and I hit it off famously as friends that day and this shot turned out to be the best candidate of the cover for his 2nd independent album “Babalu”.
Prior to this album coming out, we shot lots of stuff. Beverly and Mike had me shoot on such low budgets, it started to get a bit annoying as far as the business part was concerned, but we were already such good friends by this time that the money became the least of my concern, in all honesty. Michael had me so impressed with his talent and his ability to get out there and belt it out and dazzle crowds, regardless of how tired or even sick he would get at times. He performed 6 days a week for Red Rock Diner[twice on Saturdays] and still played at the clubs on Sundays and Monday Nights. -where does one fit REST in there? I know he feeds off his crowd. Once he gets them going, that’s it, “what cough? what flu?” And he got that crowd at Babalu screaming every time. How could I not be impressed, and be anything but proud as a friend. Plus, he promised that “WHEN I get big John….” [i think he’s the only guy that got away with calling me John. -errr!]
My Buddy Rees…
Phenominal salsa dancer/instructor. Keeps my pcs running much better than macs. 😉
Vancouver Canada, my city
My home base, Vancouver.
Golf at Glen Eagle
Nick at Third Beach, Stanley Park
Inform Interiors, Gastown
Vancouver Winter Morning
Grouse Mountain, local ski hill
North Tower Wall Center
Stanley Park Diver
Michael Buble for Gala Magazine
Vancouver was once one of the best kept secrets.
Now, everybody knows.
- inang, my grandmother. i was born in her house in Baliwag Bulacan
Hello, I’m Jonathan Cruz and this is my very first attempt at blogging. My first attempt at writing for that matter. I am a professional photographer living in Gastown, Canada with my family. I am extremely fortunate that i make my living by being able to shoot. Photography is a hobby that i started with my older brother, Alex almost 30 years ago. Some folks say that People photography is my forte. But really, I just love to shoot everything, all the time. I hope to finally have an opportunity to do something with all my images through this blog. so here goes…
oh, my website:
stand by for more…