Favourite Photo Moments of 2022

February 01, 2023

Every January, I take time to look back and remember all the good that happened in the past year.

Thanks for joining me as I share some of my favourite photo moments from 2022:


1. Exhibiting Old World Shoes in DesignTO

In January 2022 I was able to show my Old World Shoes project in Capri Shoes as part of the 2022 DesignTO Festival.

Having the exhibit in the DesignTO Festival allowed more people to see the project, and to consider the value of small and local shoe and shoe repair stores.

Participating in DesignTO led me to winning a "Best of Exhibition" award which was a big surprise!

Many thanks to Paola of Capri Shoes, and to all the hard-working business people who allowed me to share their stories in Old World Shoes.


2. Film Photography

I continued to enjoy shooting film in 2022.


A Simple Dream

Aug 2022 - Kodak Gold 200 - Nikon AF600

...Black and White...

The Cinesphere

Jan 2022 - Arista EDU 100 film - Konica Auto S3

...and less common film types were a joy to shoot with in 2022.

Stay tuned for more film blog posts in 2023! (Click here to see my past film photography blog posts!)


3. Xanap Double Exposure

In early 2022 I participated in a film exchange project organized by XANAP Filmlab of Thailand.

Rolls of film that had been exposed by photographers in Thailand were given to photographers in eight different countries to shoot with.

I was thrilled to be selected to participate by Downtown Camera.

I had a few weeks to shoot the film and then Downtown Camera collected the rolls from participating photographers and sent them back to XANAP filmlab.

In April 2022 I received the scans of the developed film. It was very intriguing to see the results.

Click here to see Instagram posts that are tagged in relation to this project.

I hope to post more about this project, but it definitely was another favourite photo moment of 2022.


4. On Notice

In May 2022 I exhibited On Notice in the Contact Photo Festival.

On Notice explored Toronto's ever-present Notice of Development signs. I owe my friend, filmmaker Simon Madore, a huge thanks for this.

Affordable Housing Now

Simon co-directed a short film called Excluded By Design that was part of Hot Docs Citizen Minutes.

The film features civic activist Dave Meslin and addresses how public notice signs can more effectively engage citizens.

House of Music

We opened On Notice with a screening of Excluded By Design along with a panel discussion which was facilitated by Dave Meslin.

L to R: Dave Meslin, Chimwemwe Alao of Mass LBP, Myself, Hanen Nanaa founder of BAM Collective and Daniel Fusca - Manager, Public Consultation, Parks, Forestry and Recreation. Thanks to each of the panelists for their insightful contributions.

I couldn't have dreamed up a better event or way to show these images!

Many, many thanks to Simon Madore and his colleagues at Dave & Moi and RingFive for helping to make it happen!


5. Newfoundland and Labrador

In the summer of 2022 my family and I travelled to Newfoundland.

A sign on the trail to Bakers Brook Falls in Gros Morne

Sunset in Bonavista

I need to do a separate post (or three!) about this trip, but needless to say it was a real highlight for me in 2022.


6. The Exhibition

In August 2022 the Canadian National Exhibition opened for the first time in three years.

As someone who has been going to "The Ex" for many decades, and made it a family tradition, it was wonderful to have it back.

I tried to just relax, camera-wise, and celebrate having the Ex back again.

Of course I did take a few fun photos though...

I went back more than once, including a visit with my friend Sammy who was possibly as excited as me to be there.

My Pal Sammy in front of the Princes' Gates


7. Meeting People

One benefit of taking weekly photo walks around Toronto is getting to meet people of many backgrounds and life experiences.

I love hearing different perspectives and personal stories so these encounters often feel like a gift.

Here are a few of the good people that I met...

Alex - Fuji Acros 100 - March 2022

City Councillor Mike Colle with Gloria and Joe outside of Caribbean Slice Restaurant - April 2022

Winsom - Kodak Ektar 100 - April 2022

It was a wonderful surprise meeting Winsom, an award-winning artist who has exhibited her work in many galleries.

I was taking photos near the AGO and Winsom called out to me. She said she could tell I was an artist. Winsom and her friend Marlene and I had a very nice conversation, after which Winsom allowed me to take her photo. I love moments like these.

I may need to do a blog post, or something more, to celebrate the great people I've met here in Toronto!


8. Being Published

I had several nice moments seeing my work getting "out there" in various ways in 2022.

An assignment I did in 2021 about two indigenous elders was published in an international faith-based journal...

Documenting Work of Two Indigenous EldersDocumenting Work of Two Indigenous EldersIn October 2021 I had the privilege of accompanying Dr. Jeff Green of the Canadian Bible Society and documenting the work of two Indigenous elders who are helping preserve language and culture by translating the Bible into Mohawk (Harvey Gabriel in Kanesatake, Quebec) and Inuktitut (Jonas Allooloo in Iqaluit, Nunavut). Images and words were published in Bible & Society Journal.

Seen on these pages is Harvey Gabriel with his daughter and granddaughter, who are assisting with the translation work, and Harvey Gabriel with members of the local Mohawk Council.

Harvey Satewas Gabriel with his family and with local Grand Chief and Council members - published spring 2022


My On Notice exhibit was featured in BlogTO

On Notice featured on BlogTOOn Notice featured on BlogTOMy Contact Photo Festival exhibit On Notice was featured in BlogTO. BlogTO article about my On Notice Exhibit - May 2022


A photo I took for a documentary by director Cat Mills appeared in the Toronto Star...

Images of the Mesdames of Mayhem, taken while working for Director Cat Mills, published in the Toronto Star.


CBC and Al-Jazeera articles included images I created for director Cat Mills for her Billboard Squad documentary.

Images for The Billboard Squad documentary on CBCImages for The Billboard Squad documentary on CBCA photo I took for The Billboard Squad, a documentary by Cat MIlls and Felicity Justrabo, was featured on CBC.ca.

I'm so thankful for these opportunities. Click here if you wish to see more of my published work.


9. Rochester Road Trip

In October 2022 my friend Sammy and I went for a quick trip to Rochester, NY.

There was a talk by Martha Cooper on at the George Eastman Museum - a great reason to get out there and enjoy ourselves.

Myself with Martha Cooper and her latest book Spray Nation

I wrote about the experience in a blog post, which was shared by the Eastman Museum on their social media feed.

Sammy and I actually did one of our first road trips together in August 2006 to Rochester, NY.

We saw Bob Dylan play at Frontier Field, with several Texas blues artists opening up for him, including Jimmie Vaughan.

That was such a fun night. Road trips are worth it people!


10. Art exhibits

I'm thankful to have seen many great photo exhibits this past year.

Here are a few of them:

Art Gallery of Ontario

- Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows (on until April 10, 2023)

Art Museum at the University of Toronto

- As We Rise: Photography From the Black Atlantic

The Cardinal Gallery

- David Hunsburger - Saturday Social

- Joan Latchford - Love Isn't Limited

Stephen Bulger Gallery

- Jill Freedman - Social Documents

- Gabor Szilasi - book signing and film screening

The Image Centre

- Sunil Gupta - From Here to Eternity, A Retrospective

Paper Mill Gallery

- Lori Spring - Bus Station

My thanks to all of the above artists and galleries!


I'm sure there is much more to say about 2022, but I will stop there.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Click here to see my previous annual year in review blog posts!

Click here to follow me on Instagram!

Cheers and best wishes to you!

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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