Favourite Photography Moments of 2015

January 14, 2016  •  1 Comment

2015 was a good year of photography for me. I engaged with new clients, explored my creativity in new places, graduated from Ryerson's Chang School of Photography, and found new audiences for my images. Here are some of my favourites, in no particular order, that I am happy to share. (To see these images in a gallery or slideshow format, please click here.)

1. Street

I love getting out to do street photography. One of my favourite street photo moments of 2015 was catching a lone commuter with a bright red bag in a classic Toronto rush near Union Station.

To see some of my favourite images from around Toronto, please click here.

Union Station

2. Graduating from Ryerson Photography

I was thrilled to graduate from Ryerson's Chang School of Photography in June of 2015. I learned a lot from excellent instructors, but also made many friends and photographer colleagues through this program. I will continue to work hard at sharpening my skills, but this program was a real help in my development as a photographer.

More about the Chang School Photography program can be found here.

Graduating from Ryerson in June 2015

3. Non-Profit Documentary

Having worked in the non-profit area for some 15 years, I love to document organizations that are making a real impact. I am especially thankful for the opportunity I have had to document a number of Greater Toronto Area non-profit organizations who partner with World Vision Canada's Canadian Programs.

One of my most memorable 2015 photo assignments was in Hamilton with the environmental charity, A Rocha, as they served newly arrived refugees. I was so impressed at how A Rocha's community kitchen and garden programs not only teach such practical skills, but also strengthen bonds of inclusion and community participation amongst newcomers. How essential for a welcoming country such as ours!

Documentary photographyDocumenting A Rocha, a partner with World Vision Canadian Programs.

4. Live Music

I love capturing live music, and have been doing so at Canadian Music Week and NXNE festivals for about four years now. When it comes to live performances, few artists entice music photographers to raise their lenses the way Rich Aucoin can. This Canadian artist is making audiences bounce, dance and sing along around the world. This image was taken July 14th, 2015 - one of the fantastic Pan Am Panamania concert events that were held across the city.

To see a selection of my favourite music images please click here.

Rich Aucoin at Panamania, Toronto City Hall

5. Air Guitar Canada Championships

Who knew that there's an Air Guitar Championships? Or that the winner goes to compete in Oulu, Finland for the World Air Guitar Championships? Well now you do! Here's the Canadian 2015 winner Jason "Thrust" McNeely performing his way to Finland.

Don't miss the 2016 competition - learn more here. (BTW, Air Guitar Canada supports the great work of Right to Play Canada)

Air Guitar Canada ChampionshipsJason "Thrust" McNeely, winner of the 2015 Canadian Air Guitar Championships

6. Chicago

I had a great time exploring Chicago in late September, 2015. The city's streets and architecture are very appealing for a photographer. Here is one of my favourites from that weekend. Watch for more Chicago images, coming soon on this site. 

Chicago Station

7. Art Shows and Exhibits

I have enjoyed showing and selling my images since 2010 and did so again in 2015. Analogue Gallery's Sound Image show, the Queen West Art Crawl, the Danforth East Arts Fair and the Black Cat Artspace were all highlights.

I am very thankful to Vistek for exhibiting my documentary work with Photographers Without Borders in Uganda at all of their Canadian stores. My images, as seen here, were shown in Vistek's three Alberta stores in early to mid 2015. More about these can be seen on Vistek's Photo Blog.

To see more of my art images please click here.

Vistek Galleries

8. Event Photography

I really enjoy capturing exciting events on behalf of clients. Here is one of several I documented in 2015 - the Reel World Films With Impact event at Artscape's newly opened Sandbox venue. It was packed with very creative and socially engaged film, radio and TV personalities and content creators.

I enjoyed working with my friend and colleague Warren Pot on this event who covered the Red Carpet portraits for the evening. Images from the evening can currently be found here.

To see more of my event images please click here.

Event PhotographyEvent PhotographySome of the many talented people at Reel World's Films With Impact Gala in September 2015.

9. Honest Ed's

In late 2016 the great eclectic shopping experience that is Honest Ed's will be closing. A sad day that will be for many. Here is one of my favourite images of Honest Ed's - taken in July 2015. I'm proud to say this image currently hangs in the office of Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton.

To see images of Honest Ed's final Turkey Giveaway, from Dec 2015, please click here. To see two more of my art images of Honest Ed's please click here and here.

"One More Thing" - street photo of Honest Ed's

10. Pan Am Games

The Pan Am Games were a real success for Toronto and all the cities that hosted events. I really enjoyed the energy and excitement. Here is one of my favourite moments from the games - capturing US long jumper Jeffrey Henderson in every phase of his long jump - an event he went on to win gold in.

More about Jeffrey Henderson can be found here.

Jeffrey Henderson Pan Am Long Jump Gold Medalist

To receive updates on my work throughout the year, please follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To contact me for a photo assignment, please click here.

Thanks for sticking with me! Here's to a great 2016!

Henry VanderSpek

P.S. I hope to do more blog posts in 2016. Watch this space for more!


Nancy Del Col(non-registered)
Great photos Henry! Love the shots of Honest Ed's (those will be collectibles!) and the long jumper in Panam Games.
No comments posted.

Culture Snap Photography features the work of Toronto-based photographer Henry VanderSpek. Henry specializes in documenting the work of local and international non-profit organizations, special events, live music, street and art photography. To hire Henry for an assignment, please click here to get in touch.
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