Around Montreal with Creative Mornings

Around Montreal with Creative Mornings

This month marks one year since I photographed my first CreativeMornings/Montreal event and looking in retrospect and seeing the vast collection of images I have gathered does bring a sense of personal accomplishment. But it’s not just the photos themselves that make me smile to myself, but the wonderful experiences I’ve had, the interesting stories I’ve heard, the amazing people I have met and, last but not least, all the awesome places I got to see in the process. Creative Mornings allowed me (and not only me, but everyone attending) to explore so many nice corners and venues all over Montreal. Join me in a little photo trip around this beautiful city and down my MTLCM memory lane.

Festival Mode et Design - A photo story (Day 1)

I recently took a deep dive into the world of fashion at Festival Mode et Design (Fashion and Design Festival). The event takes place every summer in Place des Festivals in the heart of Montreal and it spans over several days, bringing together a lineup of fashion shows, conferences, pop-up shops and more. I mainly experienced the festival with the camera in my hand, from the photographers’ pit, looking to explore and celebrate yet another side of Montreal creativity. Join me over the next few days and over my next few blog posts as I recall the experience and show you some of my favourite moments and photos. 


I started off my FMD experience by attending the conference with Max Abadian, a famous and very talented Montreal photographer, with a long career and an impressive portfolio, and who has worked with huge names such as Lady Gaga, Coco Rocha, Cindy Crawford etc etc. It was really inspirational and Max had such great knowledge and tips to share, from details on how he works with the models on the shoots to more at large, career advice. I left the conference really encouraged (there IS still room to grow as a photographer in this crowded city) and thirsty for some more fashion inspiration over the next few days. 

Max Abadian conference at Festival Mode et Design Montreal - Tora Photography

I spent the rest of the evening at Passerelle Casino de Montréal. First, I’ve seen the Cabinet Ephémère show (some really nice collections from Quebec designers) and the Pur Chic show from Rockland (showing off creations from prestigious international brands). Here are some of my favourite creations and moments from the two shows (click on the images to expand):

Following was the Waxman House event, which was a great production, with some nice surprises and overall an awesome kick off to the festival. To put it in a few words, it was a rap concert combined with a very chic masculine fashion show. But I really have to expand on that: it was a live concert with a live band and a talented Montreal rap duo (Migs and Silent J), and some great 90’s East Coast hip hop beats (I used to be an underground hip hop snob in my teenage years, and I really have to give a thumbs up to the music). The fashion was awesome, very chic, but you know, male fashion, not really for me 😃, but I can’t complain taking photos of some good looking models in some great suits 😃. And it was a freakin’ cool surprise to see Zombie Boy as part of this show. And to spice things up, the event ended with a burlesque performance. All in all, great opening show for FMD! See for yourself in the photos below (click on the images to expand):


(To be continued...) 

10 Places to Find Inspiration (And Feed Your Creative Mojo)

I've been in a less inspired mood lately…a sort of creative block almost. I know it's normal and it happens to every creative brain out there, but it's still extremely frustrating. It happened to me before, it will happen again, the thing is to work through it… And I'll tell you a few of the things I do, or the websites I visit to stay inspired and to jumpstart the creative side of my brain when I'm in such a block. 

1. Pinterest - Good old Pinterest…I've spent so much time on it that it's almost a classic. I love it, it's great for ideas and inspiration and for putting together mood boards and styles for photoshoots. I didn't really focus my social media activities on Pinterest, but it's great for that too. Oh yeah, and tutorials too…I sometimes use it alternatively with Google. 

2. Creative Live - Well, you see, one of the ways I stay inspired is through learning new things and doing tutorials. Creative Live is a website that offers online classes and workshops for aspiring creatives. They have two ways in which you can watch the classes: Live streaming, for free, on demand access, for a price. And they really have cool classes too, but they are long, full day workshops. But what I do if I find a class that I'm interested in, I let it play in the background while I do other things such as editing or preparing my gear for a photoshoot or cleaning my studio. 

3. Behance - Behance is a social platform for showcasing creative portfolios. There's a lot of sites like that for photographers, like 500px, Flickr, etc., but Behance is a community for all types of creatives, from photographers, to graphic designers, retouchers etc. I love it because I love visual creativity. I love graphic design, I love fonts, I love photo manipulation and retouching, and of course, I love photography, but I like to get inspired from other creative forms. I didn't spend much time on Behance lately, but it's been one of my inspiration sites for a while.

4. YouTube - On the same idea as with Creative Live, my content consumption on YouTube generally revolves around tutorials, talks, lectures, inspirational stuff that people like to talk about. Before Creative Live (oh ya, and Lynda for a brief moment), I used to listen to YouTube tutorials and inspirational stuff all the time. I still do. If you run into me doing groceries and listen to what's playing in my headphones, you'll probably hear some Gary Vaynerchuk keynote or some Ted Talk. I also do a lot of tutorials…go YouTube University. 

5. Magazines - I have a subscription to Next Issue, and I like to browse magazines mainly to look at photos, keep up with visual content trends and get inspired. I have the app on my iPad and it's a cool way to stay inspired while in transit or travelling. There's also this other magazine I've been buying: Renegade Collective. It's a lifestyle magazine from Australia, and its content is a mix of inspirational stories, business advice and creative tips. I always keep a few copies on my coffee table. 

6. Networking - One of the advantages about being a freelancer is that you get to work from home, but it can be quite isolating. For some people it might not be that much of a problem, but for me (an extrovert and a social butterfly) it really is. I need social interaction with like minded people to stay inspired and motivated. That's why I've been going to networking events, such as Creative Mornings or the Instameet etc. It's cool, I got to meet really interesting people in the process, listened to great inspirational talks, even got a free Zipline ride at Instameet. Waddya know? Networking can really be fun. Where I find a lot of these events? Word of mouth, or Facebook. 

7. Instagram and Facebook - You know, you follow other creatives, you see cool stuff they share…but it's a tricky thing, endless pit. I start off reading a post from Von Wong and two hours later i'm on the cat side of the Internet. You know how it is.  

8.  BAnQ (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec) - Yes, the library. It's a vast free resource of great content. When I first started discovering photography I used to spend hours in their photography section.  

9. Creative Market - Graphic design content. Cool freebies too. 

10. Last but absolutely not least:

life around me…