Dailytoole 2021 Highlights!!!!

Where did 2021 go? It seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. Who would have thought we would still be in the throes of this pandemic two years after it took the world by storm? We are learning how to live with Covid as it appears to be here to stay, bending and shifting with each new variant, vaccine, and government-imposed restriction. Much like 2020, I did not get to shoot as much as I would have liked, but I did manage to get the creative juices flowing for a few special portrait sessions. Film work continued in full force, thank goodness, and all of us in the film industry bravely spent 65 hours a week in full personal protective gear to guard ourselves, each other and the actors in health.

I am getting to this annual highlight post of mine so late (posting mid-February this year!) due to a rough bout of Omicron that took me out for two weeks right after New Years followed by a major life move! My husband and I bought a beautiful home outside of Port Hope and in a Herculean effort managed to move our lives from downtown Toronto to this glorious winter wonderland. Needless to say, it has been a busy start to the year! I am delighted to finally have a chance to sit down and reflect on my professional highlights of 2021.

  1. Blackout Rage

My first foray into narrative filmmaking was encouraged by a few surprising and exciting festival nods in 2021. ‘Blackout Rage’ was selected by Venice Shorts, Montreal Independent Film Festival and Big Sur Film Festival, and was a semi-finalist in the Experimental Shorts category at Blow-Up Arthouse Film Fest out of Chicago.

You can watch the film HERE. It is rated MATURE. Enjoy!

2. Becoming a Full-Fledged Member of the International Cinematographers Union

After almost two years of paid apprentice placements with seasoned teams on epic shows being produced in the GTA, I finally earned my stripes and upgraded to full membership status with I.A.T.S.E. 667. My rotations included stints on Suits, Tiny Pretty Things, Good Witch, Pretty Hard Cases, Locke & Key and Chucky. The extensive training prepared me for the fast pace, long hours and high level of responsibility required when working on the camera teams of these high-budget productions. It was a challenging journey, made even more so with the limitations imposed by Covid shutdowns and restrictions, but I made it through and am proud to have tucked this accomplishment under my belt in April of 2021.

Slating on set of Locke & Key S.3
Photo by Amanda Matlovich

3. Pandemic Portraits

In the Spring of 2021 I posted a call for subjects interested in posing for a series entitled Pandemic Portraits. The goal was to play at glamour, beauty, fashion and freedom of expression in a rebellion against not being allowed to work, having to be masked in public and the inability to socialize with our loved ones. The photos in this series are some of my favourites I got to capture in 2021. I have always been a sucker for a sweet distraction from reality.

4. Locke & Key S.3

I was lucky to score my first job as a full member of the union on Locke & Key S.3 in May 2021. I had worked with the Locke & Key camera team for a six week placement on Season 2 the winter prior and from that experience, they hired me onto Season 3. I was so grateful for the opportunity! I had no idea if I had the stamina or guts to complete a five month contract working an average of 65 hours per week, but I did it! We had to get tested for Covid three times a week and our lunch breaks were spent in sanitized white plastic cubicles and we weren’t really allowed to have contact with departments other than our own, but we made it work and stayed safe.

At the end of the shooting schedule I was offered the opportunity to travel to Nova Scotia to shoot the final scenes for the series. We took a private jet to the east coast, were put up in nice hotels, and feasted on seafood in the quaint town of Lunenburg. The crew became my second family and we shot the hell out of Season 3. It will be out later this year on Netflix so keep an eye out!

Locke & Key S.3 Camera Team
Photo by Amanda Matlovich
“Big Stick Energy”
Photo by Amanda Matlovich
In the backlot of the studio finishing off a roll of Super 8 with Matt.
The Cast & Crew of Locke & Key S.3 on our last day shooting at The Keyhouse
Photo by Amanda Matlovich

5. Chucky

The new TV show about everyone’s favourite murderous doll Chucky was my last placement as a trainee for the International Cinematographers Union in March and April of 2021. It was educational and inspiring to see how it takes five puppeteers to bring Chucky to life and also how little CGI is used on him. He is truly terrifying! The original Chucky doll is still used in filming along with the original Master Puppeteer! Creepy.

I asked Don Mancini, the creator of Chucky, the writer of the series and the director of the pilot, what his inspiration was in creating Chucky. I wondered if it was a childhood fear or experience. Don said his father worked creating advertising geared toward children so Don got an up close and personal education about how evil and manipulative children’s advertising is. Chucky was born as a metaphor for this evil. I was a bit disappointed because I am terrified of Chucky and wanted to believe in his spirit, but no, he is a product of the times.

Very precarious camera position…

6. Boudoir

Boudoir photo sessions have been a mainstay of my photography practice since the beginning. I enjoy the process of creating an environment where my subjects can feel comfortable in their skin. It is an exercise in self-love, which is so deeply needed sometimes, especially when we get down on ourselves. I work to provide a mirror for my subjects to help them see just how powerful and fierce they are inside and out.

7. Little Tree Wellness & Apothecary

This autumn I got to do some art directing and photography of the lifestyle and products created by Little Tree Wellness & Apothecary. We caught some warm moments of little ones using the kid-friendly wellness teas and tinctures and mommas delighting in the facial serums and belly butters. It was a wonderful day capturing beautiful products and beautiful vibes.

Little Tree Wellness & Apothecary supports mamas, babies and families with functional botanical skincare and wellness products. The products are designed to help ease transitions and tackle common challenges of new motherhood and parenting, all the while feeling cared for and luxurious.

I honestly couldn’t recommend these organic, small-batch products more. Discover more HERE.

8. Painting

Mother/Daughter 2021, Acrylic on Canvas

I picked up the new practice of painting during the lockdowns and have come to love the medium very much. I can work from any photograph in this colour block style. Send me a note if you would like to commission an original painting for a loved one as a unique and thoughtful gift. It would be my pleasure. xo

9. One Plant Kensington

In my second shoot with the shopping mall of weed stores in the centre of Kensington Market I got to shoot some product, some interior and some lifestyle shots for the brand. Always a wonderful time!

10. Flute In the Wild

Effervescent Canadian flutist Jaye Marsh received a Factor grant to produce a promotional video for her new album. A mutual colleague put my name forward to shoot the set of stills on greenscreen for use in a stop motion animation video. I always enjoy working with musicians as they generally make delightful subjects being so used to performing. Jaye was a delight in the studio. Watch the video and have a listen to her sweet blend of flute, harp and the sounds of nature HERE.

And finally I will leave you with a few self-portraits I took in 2021 because that is what happens when you leave me to my own devices in the studio. They are exercises in self-love. I wish you all a wonderful year ahead and hope we all rise out of these trying times better versions of ourselves.

To shine like diamonds, we must first be cut.

Daniel Lanois

Alison Keery


Alison Keery is a gorgeous dancer with a bright inner light and and a vibrant energy. She is a delightful subject. She is based in Toronto and performs avidly with passion alongside teaching the next generation of dancers on the come-up. You can find her on Instagram @alisonkeery. She performed at the first showing of The Goddess Array. You can take a peek at the stellar performance below:

Meghan Lindsay.

In the midst of her busy performance schedule playing Amour in Opera Atelier’s production of Gluck’s “Orpheus & Eurydice” at The Elgin Theatre, revered soprano Meghan Lindsay and I managed to carve out some time for a portrait session. We captured Meghan’s strength, her provocative beauty, her capacity for dramaturge, and a particular “je ne sais quoi” in her eyes that elicits mystery and sparks curiosity. The next chance to hear Meghan’s ethereal soprano vocals will be at the opera house in the palace of Versailles playing Sidonie/Nymph des Eaux in Opera Atelier’s production of Armide November 20th to 22nd. The show will also do a run in Toronto beginning October 22nd, 2015. Buy tickets HERE.

* Shot at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto

Photography: Jennifer Toole // Hair & Make-Up: Elena Pacienza



Just a few streets north of the beach in Carmel lives Herb Lyman; a legendary genius/woodworker/artist/beach bum. Herb’s home studio is a working wood shop, library, recording studio and holistic herb resource all in one. Everywhere you look inside the low-ceilinged shed there is a hint of rainbow. Among the treasures to be found are Herb’s homemade left-handed drum, his most recent creations of mobiles and tops, and his other recent work colour coding all the sequences of various pentatonic scales into artworks. He was gracious enough to let me get a few shots. There are few things more beautiful on this earth than the hands of an artist. x

Peggy Kriha Dye.

Peggy-6Peggy-4Peggy-3Peggy-10Peggy-2     Peggy Kriha Dye, an internationally working operatic soprano & director of Opera Columbus, starred in Opera Atelier’s recent production of Persée by Lully which was performed in Toronto at The Elgin Theatre and then in the opera house of The Palace of Versailles. I was honoured to be invited to Versailles to shoot some new press shots for Peggy. It was a rainy day and we had the place to ourselves. We made some regal photo magic fitting to such a great talent. xo

Ambur Braid III.

Ambur-12 Baudelaire-1


by Manet.

And yet a few more selects from my shoot with soprano Ambur Braid dripping in diamonds and sitting pretty in a replica of Manet’s oil painting, “Baudelaire’s Mistress.” xoxo

Shot on location at The Ritz Carleton in Toronto, Canada.