I can’t tell you how often I’m looking at profiles on Linkedin of people searching for jobs and see that their photo is just awful! You may have spent money to hire a professional to help you write your resume, so why wouldn’t you spend just a few extra dollars to get your personal profile photo just right. “I’m completely serious, what’s the first thing you look at when you’re on any Social media channel?” It’s the person’s profile picture.

IMHO, I feel everyone I know, and those I don’t should have 2 types of headshots. One should be a fun casual headshot that could be used every day. Think about what you would post on F.B. or Instagram,  or Twitter! The photo should be clean and you should be dressed in your version of “Casual”, this could be a T-Shirt, Polo shirt, blouse, whatever is your style of fun, and shows your character.

“Casual Headshot”


The other should be more business like. Now business like is a bit more formal, as you can see from the photo above and below, we have 2X distinctly different looks.

20130302_155-EditThe Headshot you ultimately get should convey who you are, and let your personality shine. Below I share with you many of my clients that have chosen me to create their Linkedin Profile Headshot.










Okay so what’s a typical headshot session like when you hire me to “capture your personality!”

First thing to do is look at my website, and get an idea of the different types of shots that we do. My full portfolio website is at www.fastfocus.ca . Then give me a call or shoot me an e-mail. Tell me a little bit about what it is you’re looking for. We will then book you in to do a session. A typical session runs about 2 hours, 3Hrs  if you want to get hair and makeup done. We can shoot on location of your choice within the GTA, or at my studio located conveniently in “The Beach” area of Toronto. I work with some great Hair and Makeup people and their rates generally start at around $150 for a session, and I highly recommend hair and makeup mainly for my female clientele, and actors and models, to get the look that they want, just right for the camera. Think of it as a mini makeover!

During your session we will work with you, to create a few distinct looks, with lighting up to 2 wardrobe changes. After your session is complete we upload all of the images to a private online photo gallery, so you can pick your favorite images. Each client is given 5 final images from his or her shoot that have been colour corrected, and lightly retouched, for their personal use, delivered via dropbox, for digital download. You will be given lo-res files, that are great for Linkedin, and social media online, and hi-res files that are ready for up to 8X12 colour prints. If you’d like a B&W version those are also available at no additional charge.

A typical session including the 5 finished images, is $300! A $50 nonrefundable retainer, is expected via Paypal or Credit Card, at the time of Booking your appointment. We will work with corporate offices on reduced rates for photographing their entire office at a discount, call for further info.

If you have any further questions, feel free to e-mail me directly fastfocusaticloud.com


Back in August my wife and I decided to vacation in Halifax and PEI, on the East Coast of Canada. I currently own 2X camera systems, Nikon D-800 with all of the popular lenses you could want, and a Fuji X-T1 with a 35mm 1.4, and 18-55mm F2.8-4. I have to admit honestly that I’m friends with a few of the folks over at Fuji Canada. I wanted to travel light on this trip because I knew we’d be doing a lot of walking around. So I asked my friends over at Fuji if they would lend me the XF 50-140mm F2.8, and the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR, although these were 2X of the heaviest lenses in Fuji’s lineup, I decided to just take my X-T1, these 2X lenses and my standard array of ND, and Polarizing filters. This still saved my back from bringing my full D800 with my myriad of lenses in my standard backpack. I ended up taking a small gear bag, and a tripod.

There is something about the Fuji X-T1 that just encourages you to take photos, more so than any other camera I’ve ever used. I feel it has something to do with the flip up screen, and it’s ability to be used in most daylight conditions. It allows you to get angles you wouldn’t normally shoot at when at eye level. That doesn’t dismiss the fact that I took plenty of shots using the EVF, but I felt I took just as many using the flip up screen which allowed for some very unique images. 

I’m a huge fan of Fuji’s “Classic Chrome” setting, and I typically shoot with high JPG and RAW setting, so that I can get the CC look and the RAW file that will allow me to adjust my settings later if I don’t like the CC look. The portfolio of images that were taken on this one week trip astounded me. It might be a combination of my first time being on the east coast, having perfect lighting conditions most of the trip, and the pure excitement of carrying this camera almost everywhere I went. I will allow the images to speak for themselves, and post below with EXIF data, and any additional comments that I feel necessary in explaining the shot. This story is not really meant to be a review, but as I write this blog post I’ve continued to use my X-T1, 90% of the time while my Nikon’s sit in the bag. I’ve since just bought the 50-140 lens, as I decided I couldn’t live without it. My Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS, for Nikon has since gone up for Sale, so if anyone is interested in purchasing it, get in touch. 

Below images from Lunenburg, NS

1/180 f/9 ISO 200 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR FUJIFILM X-T1

1/250 f/7.1 ISO 200 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR FUJIFILM X-T1

1/2000 f/2.8 ISO 200 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR FUJIFILM X-T1


1/1900 f/4.5 ISO 200 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR FUJIFILM X-T1


1/2000 f/4.5 ISO 200 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR FUJIFILM X-T1





1/1000 f/2.8 ISO 200 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR FUJIFILM X-T1 Classic Chrome Setting

Below images from “Peggy’s Cove” NS

13 f/11 ISO 100 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR FUJIFILM X-T1

1/1000 f/9 ISO 200 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR FUJIFILM X-T1

1/180 f/5.6 ISO 200 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR FUJIFILM X-T1

1/2000 f/8 ISO 200 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR FUJIFILM X-T1

1/2000 f/2.8 ISO 200 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR FUJIFILM X-T1

Below images of the “Confederation Bridge” NB

1/125 f/7.1 ISO 200 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR FUJIFILM X-T1

1/180 f/7.1 ISO 200 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR FUJIFILM X-T1

Below images of PEI different locations:

1/340 f/2.8 ISO 200 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR FUJIFILM X-T1

1/100 f/7.1 ISO 200 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR FUJIFILM X-T1

  • […] Sourced through Scoop.it from: http://www.thebeachportraits.com […]

  • Rick Lewis - November 8, 2015 - 10:54 AM

    Gary, I very much enjoyed this blog post. I have the X-T1 and an X-E2 along with a host of lenses. I still rely on the 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS for 95% of my images but have been wondering about upgrading to the 16-55mm when I get the next generation X-T or X-Pro.

    I’m curious to know if you saw a marked improvement with the 16-55mm f2.8 to justify the upgrade.

  • admin2 - November 8, 2015 - 4:43 PM

    I personally felt that the lens has amazing edge to edge sharpness, especially wide open. It is without a doubt in my mind worth the upgrade, and I plan on making the investment myself as soon as I can afford it. However for now, the 18-55 is a great lens, that is light weight and easy to walk around with day to day. Hope that helps.

  • Steinar Knai - November 9, 2015 - 9:29 AM

    hi Gary

    I must admit that I cannot see which og these pictures you could not have taken with a D810 and two lenses. The FF kit is not much heavier than APS-C!
    If you really want to go light, you need to go to MFT and you will be amazed at the IQ, lower prices and weights.
    I just migrated to the OLY OMD EM1 and their top glass from NIKON PRO KIT. I saved half the weight, cost and maintained IQ good enough to print A2 (420X594)mm

  • Rick Lewis - November 9, 2015 - 11:30 AM

    Steinar, I’m afraid I have to disagree with one of your points. You are correct, the D810 an 24-70mm f2.8 and the 70-200mm f2.8 Nikkors certainly would have captured these images.

    Your assessment on weight is wrong though. The Nikon D810 weighs in at just at 2 pounds (about 907 grams), while the little Fuji X-T1 comes in at one (1) pound (about 453 grams). That is half the weight!

    The same applies to the 24-70mm f2.8 Nikkor vs the 16-55mm f2.8 Fujinon (24-83mm equiv). The Nikkor comes in at 2 pounds and the Fujinon comes in at 1.4 pounds. That is a considerable amount of weight. Combine the two and you have a huge savings in weight, and in my opinion, little to no difference in image quality for this type of photography. There is a one (1) pound savings in weight with the Fujinon 50-140mm f2.8 as well. There is parity if you choose the f4 version of the Nikkor 70-200mm.

    I’m not saying that the OMD EM1 isn’t a fine camera, but, you don’t have to go micro 4/3s to get a substantial savings in weight.

  • admin2 - November 9, 2015 - 12:12 PM

    I have to agree that is the whole reason I left the Nikon D800 at home for the savings in weight, and form factor. After this trip I will probably be doing all of my traveling from this point forward with Fuji.

  • […] / Roanoke Marsh Lighthouse at Dusk at xshooters / Vacation with Fuji X-T1 and just 2 lenses at thebeachportraits […]

Every once in a while all of your planning and hard work, come together and the results are just stunning (IMHO). I had been looking at nudes done with Silver body paint, and put together an inspiration board on Pinterest, while getting my ideas together, thinking about how I could do this in our studio. The thought occurred that this would be a great little workshop for us to do in our Beaches Studio Workshops.  I had worked with Fredau before and thought she’d be the perfect model, easy to work with great at posing, and just naturally comfortable in front of the camera. If you ever get the chance to work with her, you should. A few months earlier I’d met, a husband and wife team, Aaron and Melanie Knox, that does bodypaint, and I’d contact them to see if they’d be interested in working with us to create the perfect look. On Feb. 6th, 2015 we had a group of about 8 People come to our studio, and after about 90 minutes of preparation we were on our way to shooting.

If you’ve never photographed someone using body paint, it ain’t easy. As your model moves around the paint smudges and gets streaky, it needs constant attention. Thank goodness our M/U team stayed for the entire shoot, and I thank them. Shooting in a group situation has it’s strong and weak points. The strong being that everyone feeds off of the energy and you come up with ideas as a team. The weak being that you never have enough of your own time to shoot. Although you might not think so, everyone walks away with their own images, reflecting their personality and style.

Interestingly enough, this was the first time I got into the studio with my new Fuji X-T1 and got to test it out in direct comparison with my Nikon D-800. I have to say that I was  mighty impressed, with both how it handled in the studio and the final results. Have a peak below and see what you think.

1/160 f/11 Manual ISO 100 02-06-15 4:02:47 PM NIKON D800 85.0 mm f/1.8

1/160 f/11 Manual ISO 100 02-06-15 4:02:49 PM NIKON D800 85.0 mm f/1.8

1/180 f/11 Manual ISO 200 02-07-15 1:13:24 PM X-T1 XF35mmF1.4 R

1/180 f/11 Manual ISO 200 02-07-15 1:13:43 PM X-T1 XF35mmF1.4 R

1/180 f/13 Manual ISO 200 02-07-15 3:21:25 PM X-T1 XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

1/180 f/13 Manual ISO 200 02-07-15 3:21:12 PM X-T1 XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

If you’re looking to book a session with me in “The Beach” area of Toronto, make sure to get in touch. Portraits, Headshots, Boudoir, Fine Art Nudes


There lies beneath this rubble,  a tumbling city, that once stood “Regent Park”, a low income housing community in downtown Toronto.  I know not of the politics, or decisions to renovate these old buildings, but all cities must grow. In the path of the destruction there lies an inherent beauty, and whilst we gaze upon this destruction, you will see in the photos below, a certain amount of poetry. I will leave you to discover this, while browsing the photos, and I welcome all feedback.

On a technical note of interest, this was my first opportunity to shoot with Fuji XF 50-140mm F2.8 lens. What can I say, it was the perfect choice for this assignment, and I was impressed with the quality of the optics beyond my expectations. There is an image below, that you will see, I have zoomed into a 100% crop, to show more of the scene. The image enlarged stands on it’s own merit even when blown up this much. I’ve also fallen deeply in love with the “Classic Chrome” film simulation mode, and all images below were processed using that setting. These images were shot in RAW mode and I then chose that specific film simulation in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5. If you’re not familiar with how to change the film simulation modes in LR 5, then have a look at my tutorial at the bottom of the post.

1/210 f/5.6 Normal ISO 200 02-04-15 1:03:19 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/105 f/7.1 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:04:56 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/110 f/7.1 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:05:42 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/170 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:06:16 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/90 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:10:19 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/75 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:11:26 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/50 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:13:45 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

100% crop of image above 1/50 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:13:45 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/50 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:14:00 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/55 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:15:26 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/60 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:15:33 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/70 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:19:09 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

1/100 f/5.6 Aperture priority ISO 200 02-04-15 1:19:54 PM X-T1 XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

  • Stacey Newman - February 13, 2015 - 12:57 AM

    Love the post, especially the first paragraph, which is lovely and poetic. Green wall with message is a haunting image.

  • admin2 - February 14, 2015 - 8:39 AM

    Thanks Stacey!

Really I’m in love with this Camera! I cannot say enough good about it. Just last week I picked up the 35mm 1.4 lens, and below is one of my favourite shots that I took while testing the lens. I think one of my other favourite things, is the “Film Simulation” modes that you can select while shooting JPGS. I actually quite enjoy the “Classic Chrome” look. The JPGS out of this camera are the best I’ve ever seen, it’s possible even that if I adjust the settings, maybe I would have gotten better rendition of the clouds in the shot below.

Lets talk about the shots below, my first image is the JPG straight out of the Camera. The 2nd image is the RAW file processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The 3rd image is processed in Capture One Pro 8. You tell me which one you like the best, seriously leave comments below.

I love the image management in LR, I also love the fact that I can use the “Classic Chrome” film simulation on my RAW file as my starting point to adjust my image, as I loved the JPG out of the camera. If you don’t know how to do this in Lightroom, let me know as I’m thinking about creating a quick tutorial on the subject, then with a bit of work I can get the results below. I felt I was able to pull a bit more detail out of the clouds int the LR file, then the CO Pro 8, but admittedly I spent less time on the CO file then I did on the LR file, I believe if I had created a few custom layers in CO 8 that I could have achieved the same effect. So what do you think? Which way should I continue with processing my files. I also want to point out that I read a great tip on how to sharpen Fuji Files from this blog post and that was a huge help. If you haven’t read this article by Pete Bridgwood then you should.

1/1000 f/13 Manual ISO 200 01-10-15 3:07:48 PM X-T1 XF35mmF1.4 R JPG Classic Chrome straight from Camera

1/1000 f/13 Manual ISO 200 01-10-15 3:07:48 PM X-T1 XF35mmF1.4 R Processed in Lightroom 5

1/1000 f/13 Manual ISO 200 01-10-15 3:07:48 PM X-T1 XF35mmF1.4 R Processed in CO Pro 8

  • Chris Tweed - January 15, 2015 - 6:13 AM

    I like what appears to be the slightly warmer tones of the Capture One rendered file.

    As you said, the jpg is great. The jpgs out of every X system camera I own have been superb but I still like to have that extra degree of control from shooting raw, especially when shooting in more challenging lighting conditions.

    I’ve been using Lightroom since before it was Lightroom, I was a user of Pixmatec Rawshooter. I have considered using Capture One for my X-Trans processing but then I’m happy with pretty much everything about Lightroom and I think the Lightroom rendering of X-Trans photos has improved. So I don’t see enough reason to invest in a second solution and fragment my workflow.

    And I too am enjoying the Classic Chrome look from my X100T. The fact that I can quickly and easily apply that look to raw files (at least as a starting point) very quickly and simply in Lightroom, along with the other Fuji camera calibration settings is great and I would certainly miss that with Capture One if it doesn’t offer the same kind of thing?

  • admin2 - January 15, 2015 - 1:45 PM

    Thanks for your comments. I’m in agreement with most of your points. I’ve always been a RAW shooter, and really like the extra depth I can pull out of the RAW files. As of this moment, COP 8 doesn’t offer the film simulations like LR5 does. I’ve been using them as a starting point, and they’re just fantastic. I

So one of my favourite accessories for my cameras is having an L-Bracket, after receiving my new Fuji X-T1 I really wanted to purchase an L-Bracket which is compatible with all Arca Swiss style tripod heads, and allows you to quickly go from horizontal to vertical format with out changing the position of your ball head. Not so easy to find, locally as I soon found out. So after doing some research and price shopping I thought I would take a chance on this nice looking L-Bracket that I saw on Amazon! 

What caught my eye was that not only did it have slots to let you remove your battery and access your ports on the cameras left side, but that it also had this built in and removable hand grip.

You can never be to sure about something that you just have seen photos of, but the price of just $49.99 got my attention, and I have to say that I’m a bargain hunter. So I figured I would give it a try, I even opted for the expedited shipping, coming from China, and I expected it would take a few weeks, but I received it 3 days after ordering, via DHL. I was super impressed with how fast it came.

Okay heres the quick review, it has an excellent build quality, the hand grip, makes using the camera even more of a pleasure then it did before, and it can easily be removed. See more below as I take you through some more thoughts with the below photos.


Nice contoured hand grip, and works great, I have pretty big hands.  

Additional 1/4″ thread on the bottom, which is great if you want to attach a wrist strap, or hand strap, or use it on another tripod that is not Arca Swiss.


Additional 1/4″ thread on the vertical side, and the vertical plate can also be removed, with an allen key.


Okay one of the reasons that the 1/4″ thread on the vertical side is a bonus for me, is that I like to use a sling strap. The camera actually feels more comfortable against your body while attached to the camera in the vertical position. As you can see below, I’ve now attached the Sling strap to the camera, and this particular one can easily be removed if you’re going to use on your tripod in the vertical position.

In conclusion I would give this bracket 4 out of 5 stars. It has 2 caveats, that I subtract the one star, that I can live without,

  1. It doesn’t have a lens alignment mark in either the horizontal or vertical access, this is something that most L-Brackets have, and makes it pretty quick to have an exact alignment when changing positions.
  2. The MFR, doesn’t ship with an allen key, they should include it, I would prefer to have that then the included carrying pouch which I will probably never use.

Luckily I have lots of allen keys at this point, so that was no biggie, all in all I would highly recommend  the iShoot bracket if you’re looking for one, it hits the sweet spot for price and performance.