Category Archives: 1


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.


Filed under 1, Community, family, Photography by Jonathan Cruz

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.




Filed under 1, Photography by Jonathan Cruz

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.


Filed under 1, Photography by Jonathan Cruz


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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Filed under 1, Celebrity, Events, Heroes, Photography by Jonathan Cruz, Sports

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!


Filed under 1, Celebrity, Photography by Jonathan Cruz, Sports

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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Filed under 1, Creative, Events, Photography by Jonathan Cruz