Check it out: Portraits for Good

Photos of ad industry folks lead to donations for the homeless in Toronto.

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“I think we’ve reached ‘peak selfie.’”

So says Dan Bannister, a photographer who makes a living shooting for ad agencies and their brands (such as trophy models for Taxi and Boston Pizza). He and another photographer friend were fed up seeing cell phone-shot headshots on social media channels. And they’ve noticed others are starting to feel the same way, because Bannister’s phone has been ringing off the hook with requests for professional portraits lately.

That’s when he decided to help push this trend along (while also doing some good) by calling up everyone he knows in the ad industry and asking if they would like to sit for their portrait in exchange for a donation to Good Shepherd, a safe haven for the homeless in Toronto. He called the three-day long event, “Portraits for Good” and people paid for their portraits with, mostly, non-perishable food items, while some gave cash donations.

About 40 men, women and children were photographed over the three-day weekend event. Bannister says of the process, “I wanted to spend enough time with each person to make what I felt was a good and meaningful portrait, and that takes time. I wanted them to love the results and not just make a ‘mug shot’ on an assembly line.” Next year, Dannister hopes to lengthen the “Portraits for Good” to become a week-long event, and perhaps even set up more “elaborate” portraits, which could then result in even bigger donations to the shelter.

Below are images of some of the ad folk, and their children, such as Katina Constantinou from Parcel Design, Greg LeBlanc from Cossette and Jesse Brook from Leo Burnett.

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From Stimulant. You just read about a “Passion Project,” a weird and wonderful thing keeping creatives busy when they’re not hard at work in the agency world. Have your own side project like the one above? Read about more Passion Projects on Stimulant, then email Jen Horn with your passion for the chance to be featured.