8/10 Covid-19 Travel Diary: Paradise Island, Mar. 4

I called the cops first thing in the morning to inquire about the police activity on the block the night before. They assured me it wasn’t related to our robbery. The news of the passengers stuck in quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan was a headline. We brushed off our feelings of fear and discomfort determined to have an incredible day. The glorious tropical sun was shining all our troubles away.

We got ourselves decked out in swimsuits and sunscreen and hopped on the jitney. The bus driver was blasting Kenny G. classics really getting us in the mood for a wonderful day. We hopped off at the ferry docks and took the boat across to Paradise Island where we tried to sneak into the epic mega resort Atlantis. We have done this before without any problems, but the security was TIGHT! Crime has risen significantly in the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian decimated many residents’ livelihood in 2019. The Rolex store at Atlantis had fallen victim to an armed robbery the week prior. So we hoofed it to the public part of Paradise Island unattractively titled Cabbage Beach. Don’t let the name fool you though because this is one of the most beautiful, pristine beaches in the world. The water is clear turquoise and the perfect temperature; just cool enough to be refreshing. We indulged in rum drinks in coconuts and sunned our skin from white as Canadian snow to lobster red. My old pal Randy manifested and offered to roll us a spliff. The vibe was chill, at last. Perfect, actually. Ahhhhh yas. Toes curling in the sand, hair in salt waves, and skin bronzed. We made it. It felt like we had another chance at life. But a life without fear of death. Liberated. And no fucks given. I was enjoying this new attitude.

We taxied back to Nassau and scored a comfy cabana at Bikini Bar on Junkanoo Beach where we immediately ordered conch fritters and bottomless Bahama Mamas as we watched the sun set. A flea-ridden stray beach dog sat with us and acted as our guard dog as twilight fell. The four enormous cruise ships docked on Paradise Island shipped out one at a time. We imagined the cruise ship scene; everyone showered and dressed for dinner on board as the monstrosity head back out to sea. Connie would be on one of those with her family the next week if her passport arrived in time. The manager of Bikini Bar sent us a round of drinks on the house and offered to get us a cab home. He also gave us his reggae album. What lucky girls!

7/10 Covid-19 Travel Diary: Nassau, Mar. 3

I woke up the morning after the robbery with all four of my limbs in pins and needles. Maybe I was so shocked my blood slowed down? I’m not sure, but it was very odd. Connie was right beside me, still wide awake. Jenny was downstairs starfished on the back patio having a coffee and smoking a cigarette in the sun. We called our local pal Delroy and told him the story. He was floored and kindly arranged a driver to take us to the Canadian Consulate. Our driver’s name was Maurice, and he was an angel. He drove us to the back parking lot of a run down strip mall where a tattered Canadian flag hung askew from the second story of shops. Pretty ghetto right off the bat.

There were two dumpy Canadian women working at the consulate where they enjoy the casual working hours of 9am to noon, Monday to Friday. We were there to get Connie a passport. She had piggybacked a work trip on a cruise ship out of Fort Lauderdale directly from Nassau. The consulate woman offered Connie one option; she could issue Connie a one way pass back to Montreal and she could get a new passport there. We were unimpressed and thought there must be another option. Connie decided to give the High Commissioner in Kingston, Jamaica (the closest Canadian Embassy) a call and sure enough, there was another option. They could issue Connie a one year passport and get it to her in time for her departure to Florida in five days. Brilliant! No thanks to the consulate lady. It was nearing noon and the consulate lady played sorry to tell us the closest and cheapest passport photo spot was a twenty minute drive away and $50USD. She sent us on our way telling us to come by with the photos tomorrow morning, but then we may not make the DHL boat to Jamaica with the documents in time. As Connie was filling out her paperwork, I went outside with Jenny and Maurice for some fresh air. We gazed across the street and there was a sign “Roger D. Photo Studio, Passport Photos Done While You Wait $20!” I ran to get Connie as it seemed our luck was changing. The consulate women agreed to wait twenty minutes so we wouldn’t have to hitchhike back to the consulate in the morning and we went over to Roger D’s Photo Studio.

Now Roger D. turned out to be the best photographer in the Bahamas, if the many accolades hanging on his wall account for anything. His studio is full of his gorgeous wedding photos and impressive antique cameras. He said, “Welcome home!” warmly when we entered. He told us to wait just a moment while he readied his studio for Connie’s passport shoot. He fired up his lighting set-up and put on a Billie Holiday record. The mood was romantic and sweet. He had Connie giving all kinds of looks until he was completely spent, at which point Jenny and I burst into a standing ovation. Roger D., our hero!

We waltzed back to the consulate with the coveted passport photos. The ladies were super annoyed now to be working past noon, but we had them, thank goodness. As we were waiting for all the paperwork to be done, I perused the pamphlets section of the office and came across a stack of Roger D. business cards. The swines! They were willing to send us on a wild goose chase after surviving an armed robbery because they needed to get home to watch their kids’ swimming lessons or some shit! I was pissed. But we still needed these lazy slags so I suppressed my anger. In yet another misstep, they sent us to the DHL office to ship the documents to Jamaica after charging Connie close to $500USD for a new passport and a lost passport fee. Rude! What if we had no access to money? What if we didn’t have Maurice’s help and couldn’t get around?

Anyway, we went to DHL and shipped off the documents. Maurice drove us there and then took us home. We were so grateful for his help. We still needed to get some cash, a Blackberry phone charger, and Connie’s medicine. So we set out on foot to The Caves, a shopping centre down the street. We took some photos on the walk in an effort at normalcy. Since Jenny was the only one of us with access to money she agreed to be our sugar momma for the trip and we promised to pay her back upon our return home, bless her heart. We managed to get cash out of the liquor store ATM, but no luck on the charger or perscription. We called a cab from the liquor store and spent the next hour and a half visiting all the pharmacies on the island to no avail. We got a charger though. In the end it was a $70 cab ride. Ouch!

Back at the house again, the sun was setting and we proceeded to get drunk. We closed up the first floor of the house, storm shutters and all, which was now a necessity, and hung out on the second floor balcony, which had a great view of the street in front of the house and the ocean beyond that. We felt good up there from our vantage point, until a car cruised by us slowly and pulled into the neighbours driveway. I got spooked and we ran inside and locked up the whole house. Like three Rapunzels we drank the night away trying our best to laugh about it all. Just as we were going to bed I noticed police lights across the street. I planned to call the cops about it in the morning. We were exhausted…

 

Davie, FLA

I took a little detour from the hip madness of Art Basel Miami Beach in December and got a taste of some real Americana. All photos pictured here are 35mm black and white film. xo

Location Scouting in Versailles.

VersaillesGardens-2 VersaillesGardens-3 VersaillesGardens-5 VersaillesGardens-7 VersaillesGardens-8 VersaillesGardens-9 VersaillesGardens-10 VersaillesGardens-11 VersaillesGardens-12A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting Peggy Kriha Dye, internationally esteemed soprano and general manager of Opera Columbus, in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. This is a little taste of my pre-shoot location scout. Stay tuned for a peek at Peggy’s shots coming soon. xo

Dailytoole 2013 Highlights!!!!!

Happy New Year pals!!! 2013 has made a bonafide hustler out of me. Working full-time as a freelance photographer has been the most challenging and most exhilarating experience of my life thus far and I don’t expect it to get any easier as the business grows. I am very proud and grateful to be embarking upon year three. There is still so much to learn and there is a lot to look forward to. As we settle into the eve of 2013 here are the top ten highlights of Dailytoole this year:

1) Northbound Leather CatalogueNBLTears-1The beautiful people behind Northbound Leather have been a total delight to work with this year. In addition to the monthly fashion features I shot for the brand, I also art directed and shot their 2014 catalogue. With nine amazing models, the best beauty team in town, the help of some family and friends we made a sophisticated and sexy catalogue for the brand that I think is my best work to date. I am very much looking forward to working more in-depth with Northbound in 2014 and taking the brand to new and exciting places.

2) Soho House Toronto ResidencySohoLifeDraw-20My photographer’s residence at Soho House Toronto took me to some very interesting events this year. There were a handful of vibrant parties, a feature on sister design team Beaufille, author readings, culinary experiences, rooftop markets and more. The event that really took the cake at the house this year though was their life drawing evening. The soft, directional lighting, supple models, intent participants and flowing wine turned the main floor into a Baroque painting. It was a luscious feast for the senses. The house has had an amazing first year in the city and I expect it will only become more of an influential space for creative minds as it evolves.

3) PARISCWMParis-366Going to Paris on a work assignment was definitely a high priority on my bucket list and, thanks to a high-end travel and event photography client, I got to cross it off my list this year. The job took me to Paris, Champagne and Versailles. I had the incredible privilege of exploring the Louvre after hours and spent a good fifteen minutes alone with the Mona Lisa. Dreams really do come true! Here’s to 2014 bringing more travel & event photography opportunities like this unforgettable experience.

4) David Bowie AGO Exhibit Opening1mickrock-51The lovely folks at Arthouse had me out to cover the AGO opening of the incredible David Bowie Exhibit and the subsequent after party at The Templar Hotel. It was a star-studded event with Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era photographer Mick Rock in attendance, and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield performing a moving rendition of Bowie’s Space Oddity. It was an evening of Toronto at it’s best and I was thrilled to play my paparazzi part.

5) MTCKClaraKlien-2-2MTCK were the first ever to hire me as a photographer back in 2010. It gives me great pleasure that as my business has grown their music is reaching an ever widening audience. We shot this series for their new album art at The Drake Hotel. It is one of my most favourite shoots to date.

6) Kania F/W2014KaniaAsia_9Kania Couture has been a loyal client of mine for quite a few years now. We featured Asia V. as the face of the F/W2014 line which we shot in Toronto’s Distillery District. Stacey, Kania’s incredible designer, is such a delight to work with. I love to see young, entrepreneurial women achieving such high levels of success. Keep up the great work!

7) L’Oreal Colour Trophy Competition w. The Manor SalonL'OrealTeaserWith Amber Fairlie of The Manor Salon at the reigns, Bronwen Weiderick on make-up and myself behind the lens we put forward our best hair look modelled by the ever ethereal Natalie Sirianni for the L’Oreal Colour Competition. We were very proud to represent the smallest salon to make it to the semi-finals. Let’s go for the win next year!

8) Fashion Series Featurescreen-shot-2013-02-18-at-9-55-34-pmFashion Series did a feature article on my fashion photography in their aSymmetry issue this year. It is always flattering to have a publication take an interest your work. The interview was published alongside my fashion editorial entitled “Arinna Rises,” modelled by  Kadri Hansen, styled by Megan Ann Wilson with hair and make-up by Bronwen Weiderick.

9) L.A.Cali-47This year I finally broke the border barrier and worked for the first time in the states. The American Film Market had me down to L.A. to shoot a couple of red carpet events. A lot of doors opened up on that reconnaissance mission and I hope to work there a lot more in 2014.

10) www.jennifertoole.comScreen shot 2013-12-31 at 11.53.10 AMIt has been a bit of a process honing my own personal style of photography and figuring out how to best put my work forward. It is all most certainly still a work in progress, but the newest version of www.jennifertoole.com is headed in the right direction. I am aiming to focus on fashion, event and portrait photography in 2014. Please take a look at the new site and let me know what you think.

Moving into 2014 I have a few projects on the rise. I am extremely excited to continue working with Northbound Leather. There is a larger artistic project in development that I am hoping to put on my fourth photography show with. Stay tuned for more info on that in the coming months. My team and I are also in the midst of planning a creative for submission to Vogue Italia which is an unparalleled opportunity. All in all, 2014 is looking like the best yet. Happy New Years everybody!

P.S. Special thanks to my make-up artist and right-hand babe in most shoots, Bronwen Weiderick.  She is simply the best. xo

P.P.S. On a side note, I starred in the Mooseknuckle F/W2013 campaign commercial by the awesome production team at 1188 Films. Check it out!

A Recent Trip to Versailles.

 

CWMParis-815I had the great opportunity to travel to Versailles on contract this past May. The palace is the best proof I have seen of that great sin, Gluttony. King Louis XIV had 10,000 workers on staff just to keep the palace running for the luxury of himself, his ‘favourites,’ and his close family. It is no wonder he ran France to ruins with his extravagant spending. Take a look at the carefully maintained gardens, the artful statues, the gold trim on everything and, my favourite, Marie Antoinette’s bed. xoCWMParis-816CWMParis-814CWMParis-899CWMParis-818   CWMParis-836 CWMParis-819CWMParis-902CWMParis-843