Downtown Brantford is a surprising place and for years I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Is it poor planning? Is it a city that is dying a slow and painful death?
When I had an opportunity to rent my house, I needed a small place to rent and the Bodega caught y eye. It is an extended stay hotel style accommodation that comes furnished. “Just bring your clothes, toothbrush and your laptop,” said the very pleasant woman that showed me the apartment.
Before I get into the shootout, i will comment on the things that have started to change my opinion of Brantford’s downtown. Thew Bodega is located right next to Harmony Square, and I drive by it almost every week and never knew what it was. In the winter most years I have brought my kids to skate at the rink they create in the square and have even bought coffee at Coffee Culture on the retail level of the building. Now remember, I still thought little of downtown Brantford. To me it seemed like old buildings boarded up and a strange mix of vagrants and college kids and not much else.
On the day we signed the rental agreement we decided to check out the new Wind Mobile store almost directly across the street conveniently next to the Sanderson Centre, I was a bit shocked at what was happening. Harmony Square was full with families with kids, and couples; there was a stage area with a big inflatable screen, a young woman was singing. People were going to and fro, the restaurants had people in them and the place looked like quaint and wonderfully active downtown in any small happening city.
Shootout: Collaborating with other photographers is something I truly enjoy as I observe different styles of shooting and then am able to see the outcomes of these differing styles. I wanted to try another shootout with models and at least one other photographer to myself. When Lillian at The Habit threw her support behind the shootout, it knew it was “game on.”
The day could not be better, the sun was shining and the weather was sweet. Patrich McEachern arrived just about the same time I did and promptly got to work setting up the lighting and readying for a pre-shootout shoot! Soon after, Randi Scott arrived. I had worked with Patrick before but since the first shootout had looked forward to shooting with Randi. I really like Randi because his personality is very similar to his photography style. Gentle might be a strange adjective to describe a style but he has a very comforting demeanor that seems to work well.
Lillian at The Habit had assembled her own ideas for our shot-list and I could tell she had a lot of creative experience and was as excited about this shootout as I was. The Habit is a quaint boutique located at 13 Queen Street, a two minute walk from the Bodega. What an assortment of clothing from dresses and jeans to lingerie, and her accessories from gas masks to jewellery wigs. There is something there for every style and taste.
The shoot went two hours overtime and by the time I was heading home, a full twelve hours had passed since arriving at the Bodega.