OCAD University Photography Program

News about events, our community & opportunites

Friday #ArtCrush: Aaron Moore

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.

This Friday’s art crush is Aaron Moore, a fourth year thesis student majoring in Photography.


In this issue, Morgan and Aaron talk about re purposing images, issues of representation in photography and ideas of what a photograph can be.

Who or what are your main photographic inspirations?

Right now I’m really interested in Broomberg and Chanarin, Walid Ra’ad, Taryn Simon and Thomas Demand as well as Martin Creed, although his work isn’t mainly photographic.

What subject matter do you tend to spend the most time working on?

I’m really interested in geography, history and issues of representation within images so I find myself going back to the history and landscape of Northern Ireland (where I’m from) and The Troubles, and I enjoy working with material I can pull from that.



Aaron Moore, Star Wars #2, 2016


You work often with found and/or archival images, what draws you to those objects and what makes you want to use them?

I think it’s that there are so many associations that already exist within those images, and I find it far more satisfying to reuse an image, and work with whatever it provides me than to try and invent my own, I actually don’t take a lot of photographs at all.

How do you think using archival images or text in your art practice challenges or broadens notions of photography?

For me it’s more about shifting contexts around photography, I think archival images and photographs with text are indisputably photography, I’m just not too sure what a photograph is at the moment.

Much of the subject matter you use in your work, and in the found images and materials you use can been seen and interpreted as political. Do you see yourself as a political artist? What do you believe or see as the line between being a political artist and using politics in your work?

I believe my work is political, but only as political as every other kind of art object; I’m not necessarily trying to push any kind of political statement onto a viewer, but I enjoy using politics as a subject and it’s important for me to critique certain politics, and make that critique available to others.


Aaron Moore, Star Wars #1, 2016


Do you work in any other mediums or do you blend photography with other mediums?

I work with found objects quite a bit, I also work in video sporadically and I’ve recently started making sculptures.

What is the value of being able to blend photography with other art mediums? How do you think that changes viewers experiences?

I try to use whatever medium I’m working with in a kind of utilitarian way in order to articulate my ideas, I’ll use sculpture, video or readymades if what I want to express can’t be expressed in photography, it definitely has the ability to change a viewers experience but that really depends on the object/medium and its function within whatever I’m doing.

What body of work are you working on right now?

I’m working on my thesis work right now which I’m calling Diverted Traffic, I’m basically taking around six different issues that come up around the history of The Troubles in N.I. and rethinking and reinterpreting them in a particular way.


Aaron Moore, Untitled, 2016


Where do you foresee your career path going? Who would you like to work with in the future?

I have no idea, I’d like to continue to try show my work, and the goal is to be able to sustain myself and live comfortably through my art practice, but I’m not too sure about how I’m going to get there right now. In my ideal world I’d love to work with Broomberg and Chanarin, Martin Creed and lots of artist working in Toronto right now.

Are their any specific OCAD U Faculty who have influenced your work? A specific discipline or course?

There have been lots! Nick Pie and Simon Glass have really helped me develop what I do conceptually, as well as Jean-Paul Kelly, Jeff Tutt, and Lee Henderson, there’s lots of great people working in that building.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in photography?

I get stressed out a lot, so I would say relax !

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.
Interview by Morgan Sears-Williams

Directed Studio presents…


The Collaborators is a dynamic group of 4th year Photography majors enrolled in OCAD University’s Directed Photo Studio course. This exhibition is an opportunity to see the stellar work being produced by this team and an invitation to come and collaborate with us! We want to build our network and work with students and alumni from all areas of OCAD U and the community at large.

LOCATION: Ada Slaight Student Gallery, 2nd floor (North end) of 100 McCaul street. Wheelchair accessible.

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, Feb 16, 4:30-6:30 pm
EXHIBITION CONTINUES until Friday, Feb 24th


Jason Collette-Lockyer
Mariam El-Toukhy
Nadia Fareed
Ashley Harry
Ashley Hiltz
Brooke Holmes
Emily Howes
Jessie Kitchen
Nicol Labal
Tamara Leger
Dion Lin
Angela Lui
Hannah O’Gorman
Cory Parsons
Bryant Pimlatt
Sheana Puvicanthan
Kevin Ramos
Shivani Sharma
Anna Staier
Becky Thorpe
Tiffany Voiadzis
Natalie Wainewright

For more info, please visit our facebook page

Come Hang: Snack and Chat


Friday #ArtCrush: Tam + Kyt

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.
This Friday’s #ArtCrush is Tam + Kyt, a fourth year student photography duo
In this issue Morgan and Tam + Kyt talk about collaborating with artists, best practices and how to make shoots reflect their clients.
What is your favourite lighting set up and camera/lens combination?
We enjoy using an over head soft box combined with a fill light or bounce. We tend to change it up throughout a shoot but that is usually our starting point. Our most used camera is Nikon D610 with an 85mm prime lens, however we love to get our hands on the Hassleblad when we can and we always shoot tethered in studio!
Can you walk us through how you set up the studio during one of your shoots?
We start with setting up a camera tethered to an iMac, we do our initial lighting set up and slave it all. We mess around with light positioning a lot until we are happy. We alternate between using the boom with soft boxes or using the beauty dish – we just started experimenting with the beauty dish and we are really liking it! We usually try to get to the studio with ample time before our model or client(s) show up so we are more than prepared.
What subject matter do you tend to spend the most time working on?
Our collaborative project (TAM + KYT) started with the idea that we would build a fashion photography portfolio as a duo. However, this winter semester we have sort of fallen in love with editorial photography, as we love to get to know the people we are shooting and tell stories about them! We have collaborated with other artists from visual artists to musicians and DJs to create photographic series that say something about them in a creative way.
Tam + Kyt, 2017
You work as a photography duo, can you tell us why you were both interested in making that decision?
It’s so hard to do it alone! Having a partner to talk to, bounce ideas off of, pick up your slack when you’re having a bad day just makes you stronger. Each of us have different strengths when it comes to working in photography, so when we can each focus on what we are great at we can make the best quality images possible. Photography always comes off as a competitive field, but honestly it helps so much to work with your peers. You get to learn things other people know and vice versa.
How has this experience in collaboration been rewarding or challenging, and how has it changed your relationship to each other?
There have been one or two creative differences…but we get through them knowing that we both push each other to do even better. Looking at what we have been able to learn from each other is the most rewarding!!! Along with being able to network and meet so many cool people in the art community that are liking and interested in what we are doing.
Frances Frances, Tam + Kyt, 2017
Each of your series has a specific mood or atmosphere to it, what inspires these shoots and what do you look at for inspirations?
Each of our shoots are inspired by who we are shooting! Each series definitely reflects the ideas behind the person’s or group’s personality and style and how they we think they want to be shown to the world. We like to discuss what our models/clients want first, and we work with them to make images in our own style that still represent them and who they are. We do research about them online (whether it’s social media or if they are more well known there are sometimes articles about them online), we look in to their genre of music if they are a band or a DJ, and just try to absorb as much information as possible. Pinterest is also really helpful to make mood boards!
Where do you see your career path going and who would you most like to work with?
For now we simply hope to keep working with the wonderful creative people that we end up shooting to build a strong portfolio! We hope to become a registered business where clients come to us who need interesting photos of them. If there’s an agency who would like to sign us for quirky commercial work that would be interesting (and a great way to make a steady income). Being able to get by doing something we love is the ultimate goal.
Lum, Tam + Kyt, 2017
Are their any specific OCAD U Faculty who have influenced your work? A specific discipline or course?
Honestly simply being in an art school and being surrounded by so many creative people has influenced us immensely. Some of the best advice style wise is probably just to look at everything! Go to art shows, browse pinterest and instagram, find beautiful things from real life. Trying different things and seeing what you’re good at and what you like also really helps. I think a lot of profs here encourage that way of working and thinking. It is really up to you to just go for it!
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone looking to collaborate with other artists?
It is really helpful to have a contract between all parties involved. Make sure all terms are covered and clear so no one feels like they’ve been cheated at any point. Also talk out all of the details of the project so everyone knows their part and make sure their voices and ideas are heard. You choose your collaborators for a reason, so trust them and their talent to do a good job on their part!
Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University.
Interview by Morgan Sears-Williams

Alumni Walter Segers showing at The Window Gallery!


Installation detail, by Walter Segers

The Pop-up The Window Gallery is now open at 558 Church Street (Church & Wellesley) and showing What I Did On My Summer Vacation,  by Photo alumni Walter Segers.  This autobiographical series inspired by real-life travels and wistful make-believe continues Walter’s focus on belonging, gender and identity. The Window Gallery YYZ, managed by ONE Properties and curated by Sonja Sharf, is at the North West corner of Church and Wellesley. This corner will be demolished soon but instead of having it sit empty over the next year(s), a pop-up gallery is supporting local  artists.

The exhibition is accessible 24hrs and will continue until March 18th.

Bio: Walter Segers emigrated from Belgium in 1993 and currently lives and works in Toronto. He graduated from the OCAD University in 2008 with honors and received OCAD U’s prestigious M.C. McCain Post Graduate Photography Residency in 2009. He has exhibited his photo-based works at Spin, The John B. Aird Gallery, Propeller, P|M Gallery and the Gladstone art hotel in Toronto. In Ontario he exhibited at Open Studio at Cambrian College in Sudbury and at FHM in Cambridge. His work has been shown internationally at Leslie Lohman Annex Gallery in NYC, Peter Deckers in Belgium, Galerie AMU in Prague and Galerie 12 in Zlín in the Czech Republic. Segers’ work is published in ArtWindsor magazine as well as the online magazines Wondereur, Frank by The Genteel, and Pixie And Rotter. His photo-based works explore issues surrounding gender, sexuality, immigration and identity.



FREE Tax workshop


Friday #ArtCrush: Meghan Boyle

Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at OCAD University. This Friday’s #ArtCrush is Meghan Boyle, a fourth year student at OCAD University, majoring in photography.
In this issue Morgan and Meghan talk language in relation to gender roles, disrupting the patriarchy and the feminist gaze in photography.
Who or what are your main inspirations?
Some of my main photographic inspirations would have to be Henri Cartier Bresson, Carrie Mae Weems, & Nan Goldin. As well as writers such as bell hooks, John Berger, & Allen Ginsberg.
What drives you to work with that subject matter?
I think the idea of a female, or any other minority really, being the role of anything other than the muse or person in distress disrupts the patriarchy & I get a kick out of that.
You speak often of the ‘female gaze’ in photography. What does that mean to you and how is that shown?
I like to think that I’m trying to propose the idea of a “female” or “feminist gaze” by presenting women in a new way, outside of the inherent sexualized and victimized role typically seen in media. I think it’s so important to me because for so long I felt that I did not have censorship or control over how my own body was being seen or portrayed, & I feel that’s a feeling both men and women have alike.
Meghan Boyle, Projections, 2016
What do you believe to be valuable in the idea of women taking photographs of other women and how does this subvert the typical male gaze? 
Women taking photos of other women opens up a new way of seeing, in my opinion. Not to say that every time a man photographs a woman or vice versa, they are being subjected; but by giving women the option to be both the artist & muse, we can be empowered by things outside of our looks and physical appearance or how men see us.
How would you describe the aesthetic you choose to work in? 
I would say my aesthetic reflects my outlook on the world. I typically try to look for the positive side of things, hence the colour palette and serene lighting. But sometimes you can’t help the dark days or feeling down about things, which is why I tend to hint towards the darker side life through certain symbols & other implications.
You have spoken before about having an intersectional feminist framework for your work, what does that mean to you and how does this come out in your work? 
I aim to create intersectional feminist work because I feel there is a big misrepresentation of what feminism is truly meant to be in mainstream media. As often as I can I try to address how the patriarchal & capitalist society effects both men and women of any demographic through creating idealistic or idealized living standards. In my current thesis work I am aiming to use language to create a piece that can speak to many different generations and subcultures.
Meghan Boyle, The First Time, 2015
You work a lot with film, what do you think the value is in working with film in an increasingly digital age?
Working in film is something I’ve been doing since I started taking photographs, there’s something about how film works as opposed to digital. I enjoy the idea that film photographs are one of the only ways you can create something personal without having to digitize it or share it over whichever social platform you choose. I also prefer grain over pixel.
Besides photography, what other mediums do you work in? How does this influence your art practice?
I enjoy working with other mediums such as embroidery & printmaking, I find that these mediums can help me piece together my ideas in a tactile way without bombarding the viewer with too much information. I also work with collages quite a bit, they help me with my process & to subdue or narrow down my thoughts and ideas.
What body of work are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on my thesis which is going to be a textile installation with photographs addressing language and gender roles. I’m also creating zines which are basically like monthly photo diaries. As well as a portfolio of editorials and still lifes.
Meghan Boyle, PUSSY, 2016
Where do you foresee your career path going? Who would you like to work with in the future?
I see my career path going many different ways, I’d like to try a lot of different things in this life but I’m hoping to someday to have my own publication that speaks on what I think are important issues and ways to live a more feminist and sustainable life. The list of people I’d like to work with is never ending, which I like.
Are their any specific OCAD U Faculty who have influenced your work? A specific discipline or course?
I wouldn’t say there are many that influenced my work visually. But some OCAD U Faculty such as Paul Dempsey from printmaking and Peter Sramek, and Simon Glass from photography really made my education about becoming a better artist and using my time in school to learn about how to translate and express my ideas through art in a meaningful way.
Meghan Boyle, What You Don’t Have, 2016
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting out in photography?
My piece of advice to anyone who’d like to take up photography is to always always have your camera on you! Shoot everything that catches your eye, good and bad. It’s important to figure out your own eye and shooting style, figure out what you want your photographs to look like and say, if your photos aren’t unique to you then no one will care.
Friday #ArtCrush is a weekly blog series highlighting students in their final year at
OCAD University.
Interview by Morgan Sears-Williams

Call to Artist & Designers

If you hadn't seen this picture, you probably wouldn't have believed me if I told you I had a camera that could be confused with a feminine hygiene product. The Lady Carefree is a plastic camera for 126 film cartridges. It wasn't actually made by Argus, but for Argus, by Balda-Werke (Germany) around 1967.

Want to get your work documented by seasoned Directed Studio photo students who shoot everything from fashion, food, documentary to landscape and portraiture?

We would like to invite you to share with us your best work or to collaborate with us on projects so that you can get your work properly documented and we can practice our shooting skills!

Don’t want to share work? You can get some practice modelling, joining us as make up artists, stylists, graphic designers, writers, or location scouts and we can offer some in demand tutorials on Photoshop, camera basics, headshots for your fancy linkedins and documenting your work for portfolios!

if you are interested, please send an email to directedstudio@gmail.com before Feb 16, 2017 with a link to your website or 3 jpegs of your work. include how you are interested in working with us and we’ll share your message with the class.

Hopefully we can find everyone a match!

And don’t forget to like our  Facebook page!

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