Welcome to my Blog, this is where I talk about my latest projects. View my website here: www.lisakannakko.com

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Open Show Toronto presents Chris Buck

Photo posted by Chris Buck: "Leonard Cohen makes lunch for my assistant and I in 2001 after our session. I had a pastrami on rye, with a side of chicken liver."

In 2012, I had the rare privliedge to attend a masterclass with Chris Buck at the Santa Fe Workshops. This experience changed how I approach portrait photography, think about my work and future as artist. Since the beginning, the art of photography has been passed from mentor to student - Chris Buck is all that and more.
Join us in welcoming him to Open Show Toronto on Feb. 23 at the 918 Bathurst Media Arts Centre. He will be sharing stories and images from his latest book Uneasy. He will also be selling signed copies of his book. Here are the details...

Open Show Uneasy Talk
February 23, 2017 7 PM ($12)
918 Bathurst Street, Toronto

Uneasy is a book of Chris Buck’s portraits of the famous from 1986 to 2016. For three decades Buck has been carving out a unique space in the world of celebrity portraiture, capturing its ineffability - its danger, its oddness, its warped sense of reality.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Open Show Toronto

When I launched Open Show Toronto in 2014, I did not anticipate the boundless resource that it would become for creativity, creators networks, and community building.  It has taught me the power of story, of shared experiences, and allowed me to encourage and mentor emerging and working photographers. 

As Lead Producer I curate and host Open Show's social event, bringing together the public to experience compelling visual stories and interact directly with photographers, filmmakers and multimedia producers.  

Open Show’s core event format features 5 projects, either still images projects or films with the opportunities for artists to develop their work further with a Q & A from their audience and peers.

Five different presenters from students to award-winning professionals show a project based on narrative, topic or single visual style. We curate for diverse genres including reportage, art, commercial, historical and more. Both completed and works in progress are accepted. Collaborative projects are also welcome.

Join us for Open Show Toronto #16 on October 27th at the Belljar Cafe.   Check out our lineup: 

Toronto Photographer Sarah Palmer attended rallies and the Republican National Convention to shoot multi-frame exposures for her timely political series "Drunk on Trump" about the current U.S. Presidential race.

Haley Stewart is a recent graduate from of Sheridan College. Her photography project "Twins" took her to Anime North to reveal similarities and a desire to connect between multiples in costume.

Photographer Nick Kozak captures the daily struggles of youth in the First Nations community of Fort Albany, Ontario. 

Photographer Matthew Kruchak recently moved to Toronto from Saskatoon where he spent nearly three years photographing Sailor Dan, who sells his marine-themed artwork on the city's streets.

Be apart of the conversation shaping the future of photography and video.  Submit your work for an upcoming show.

Lisa Kannakko
Open Show Toronto
Lead Producer 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Cowlick Yyz Hair Salon

The latest incarnation from Toronto Colourist Franz Yyz's entrepreneurial mind is C O W L I C KFrancis, founder of Parlour Salon and LoLa (both on Ossington) is credited to educating much of Toronto's top talent, and will start Saco Academy Classes in the near future.
Open 7 days a week for cut, colour and styling, this Bloorcourt space feels open and airy like a canvas that is always ready for a new face to add a pop of colour.  


Monday, February 1, 2016

Rasputin: a short film for the Henderson Company

What a pleasure this week has been! To DOP for Director / Writer / Puppeteer Jamie Shannon on his short film #Rasputin for #heatherhenson no less - from @hensoncompany
It's all magic and jokes from here on out.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Rock Show Archive

There are stories that go with these images. Stories written in a book, my journal, that was stolen with my backpack by a street kid from under my desk. The journal was filled with fantastic stories of adventure, debauchery, treachery and friendship. If this book ever turns up I bet another adventure would ensue.

The other day I realized I hadn't looked at these images for over a decade. Hadn't shown them to anyone I currently know - I mean there was a time we were all living these stories. There was no social media to share them with the world, if you didn't come to my house you wouldn't have seen them posted up on my wall with thousands of other images of my friends and our daily happenings.
At the time I shot these images all I lived for was shooting, that much hasn't changed.  I've posted a larger edit on my site.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Live At The Belljar: Good & Evil, Episode 23

If you'd run into me on the street a year ago, I woulda been like yes I've got this neato idea but it's still coming together, yes the first show was so amazing, yes I have more in the can but if only I had a really great editor...
Well with unwavering determination, hard work, and a like minded production team, we output 22 fantastic music shows this year.

Take a look at Episode 23 of Live At The Belljar - its top notch.

Sound: Ben McPeek
Edit: Andrei Ionescu
Camera: Lisa Kannakko & Andrei Ionescu
Booker: Sparrow Tree Productions
Producer/Director: Lisa Kannakko

Friday, December 5, 2014

Patio Build Timelapse - Belljar Cafe

After going through my archives I realized I hadn't properly shared this timelapse of the patio I designed and help to build.

Edit by Daniel Reis

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cover of Worn Fashion Journal, Issue 20: The Last Issue.

The final issue of Worn has just been released. It has been such a pleasure to work with this team of talented individuals.  I'm looking forward to creating more exciting projects as we move forward.  

Cover Credits
Eliza Jade Robin //  Art Direction and Styling 
Lisa Kannakko  // Photography
Tammy Wong  // Makeup
Maiko Watson  // Modelling 
Alexandra Niit  // Design

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Mural

Ok you've caught me - Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. All the scary and infinite possibilities to dive into the creative imagination is hard to resist. Hence I offer this little gift to celebrate the season:

Mural Artist: Kneil Spek
Song: Yelle - Safari Disco Club
Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko
Editing by Andrei Ionescu

Monday, October 20, 2014

Live at the Belljar: Kira May

We had the pleasure of having Kira May play a Live At The Belljar music session:

Director/Producer:  Lisa Kannakko
Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek
Editor: Andrei Ionescu
Camera Operators: Lisa Kannakko and Andrei Ionescu
Promotion: Sparrowtree Productions

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Year 2: Rocco DeLuca & Daniel Lanois

It was one year ago this month that Rocco DeLuca and Daniel Lanois performed in the first "Live at the Belljar" session, on the back patio of my little spot the Belljar Cafe, in the west-end neighbourhood of Parkdale/Junction/Roncesvalles.  

Well they've done it again! This time they performed for a delighted audience in the front window. Lanois walked across the street from his studio to play the show with DeLuca, and basically blow our minds as we sat within a few feet of the deeply creative duo. 
California based artist DeLuca released his self titled album this month. It was produced by Lanios who has produced albums for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson. Lanois also collaborated with Brian Eno: most famously on producing several platinum albums for U2, including The Joshua Tree. 

"Live at the Belljar" is a music series that I started as a way to combine my love of music with my love of filmmaking.   

Rocco DeLuca performing "I Trust You To Kill Me", "How Many Times" and "Congregate", with Daniel Lanios on accompaniment.

Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko
Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek
Editor: Andrei Ionescu
Camera: Joshua MacDonald, Lisa Kannakko, Andrei Ionescu

Friday, August 29, 2014

Live at the Belljar: Abi Rose

Abi Rose is a Toronto based singer songwriter. She graced our patio with her beautiful voice earlier this summer.

Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko
Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek
Editor: Andrei Ionescu
Camera Operators: Lisa Kannakko & Andrei Ionescu

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Night Rider

As the summer comes to a close I find myself looking back on the things I love most about this warmest of seasons, my favorite of course - rollerblading.  Made even more fun by the dark of night. Here's a little GoPro film I made:

night rider from Lisa Kannakko on Vimeo.
the blade from work to home. taken daily. best at night.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Live at the Belljar: Clinton St. John

another taste of musical delights. this show happened at the Belljar a little while back, we just finished up the edit.

Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko
Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek
Camera Operators: Lisa Kannakko, Andrei Ionescu
Editor: Andrei Ionescu

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raleigh - Live at the Belljar

playing music / telling stories / being together in a space

Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko
Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek
Camera Operators: Lisa Kannakko, Andrei Ionescu
Editor: Andrei Ionescu

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Live at the Belljar: Hunting

Lots of little moments happened when the music started. On the street, in the room, and there was profanity which is a habit I enjoy.

Director/Producer:  Lisa Kannakko
Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek
Editor: Andrei Ionescu
Camera:  Lisa Kannakko & Andrei Ionescu

Monday, May 19, 2014

Live at the Belljar: Jordan Klassen

Here is the latest addition to my ongoing video series. Love the approach Jordan Kassen - and his band, are taking towards their music. Very creative and smart.

Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko 
Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek
Camera: Lisa Kannakko, Andrei Ionescu
Editor: Andrei Ionescu

On a separate note - some of what I've been cooking up has leaked out into the world.  Read this lovely little article about how things have come together at the Belljar, and how my music series started with Daniel Lanois.  Pretty neat to hear it reflected back.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Whitebrow - Live at the Belljar Video Series

For over a decade I've been a huge fan of Vincent Moon's Take Away Shows, drawn to the idea of having a creative project which encompasses music and motion, that fuels and furthers my constant need to produce new work. Through a series of events, such as opening a bar, returning to writing music, and connecting with new people, I realized that I had all the ingredients to move in this new direction. Hence, please be introduced to the Live at the Belljar Series, which started a little while back (with the Rocco De Luca & Daniel Lanois piece) and has finally found its feet.

Director/Producer: Lisa Kannakko
Sound Engineer: Ben McPeek
Camera: Lisa Kannakko, Thomas Lee
Editor: Andrei Ionescu

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Honest Ed's - Duets

When I shot the "Duets" piece at Honest Ed's a few months back with Worn Fashion Journal, it hadn't been announced that the end was near for the historic business. As I passed through the hidden passageways of the building I felt there were many more stories to be told about this place and those who had kept it going since 1948.

Most of my memories are of my Great Grama Rose coming to visit from Los Angeles and just going bananas over how great the deals were.. She always had her eyes on the "BEST DEALS IN TOWN!", was pretty comical, and easily as much of a character as Honest Ed was himself.

Behind the scenes video Shot & Edited by Daniel Reis

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Live at The Belljar" featuring Daniel Lanois & Rocco DeLuca

Proud to release the first "LIVE at The Belljar" featuring Daniel Lanois and Rocco DeLuca.

The Belljar Cafe is a little spot I own and operate with my husband Geoff McPeek. We have been in business since 2010, making killer espresso and grilled sandwiches. After spending most of the summer in renovations we launched evenings hours (with a liquor licence) in late July, starting things off right with a musical performance by our talented neighbour and community supporter Daniel Lanois, along with the talented Rocco DeLuca.   I'm looking forward to an exciting future working on this "Live at The Belljar" series - a project that combines my deep love for music, image-making, and connecting with people.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Worn Journal shoots at Honest Ed's

Gotta hand it to Worn Journal - they got creative mojo. We shot these portraits at the famous Honest Ed's a few days before the big announcement (the location is for sale), and I remember thinking to myself "this place is a goldmine on so many levels" with the interior dating back decades, broken down and beautiful inside, while being centrally located - it is a dream for artists, shoppers, realtors and potential land developers. 

When I was a kid my crazy cool Grama used to bring me here to buy under-garments and fresh turkeys for cheap.  Be sure to take a moment out of your day to marvel at its wonders, you will never regret taking in this historical fun spot and you might find jazzy panties too!

These images will be featured in the next issue of Worn Fashion Journal, launching on November 23nd at Dovercourt house (going to be a great dance party, come dance with me!)  I'm shooting the cover of Issue 17 this week - will keep you advised.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Living in Print - Behind the scenes

I always love behind the scenes videos of shoots I've been involved in, what took us a full day to shoot replays in mere moments and all the best moments are there to invoke memory.

Taking full advantage of the unique details and beauty of the new offices of Worn Fashion Journal, here's a look behind the scenes during the photo session of Living in Print, Issue 16.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Shooting Jes Sachese - Behind the scenes

Jes Sachse was full of humour and generosity on our latest shoot. here's a look at how the shoot unfolded:

“Growing up, I felt like I had to pick between something stylish and something I could actually wear. It would be nice to realize a future where retailers and the fashion industry stop forcing people to make that choice.” – jes sachse
How can fashion engage with disability? While we’ve recently seen a fair bit of progress regarding companies that accommodate wardrobes of folks of varying bodies and abilities, it’s not exactly a one-size-fits-all solution. Clothing is an incredibly personal and political choice, and no two sets of needs are exactly alike.
In our most recent issue, we had an in-depth chat with artist and activist jes sachse about how identifying as disabled and genderqueer collides with their love of fashion. We had a great conversation full of new ideas, the re-telling of experiences, and hard laughs. Beautiful photos were taken, and feet were tap-tapping away during the whole shoot.
It was a damn good time.
text // Jenna Danchuk
video // Daniel Reis
end animation // Barry Potter
Read full article and view my photographic contribution in Issue 16 of  Worn Fashion Journal 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Slideluck Potshow Vancouver 2013

It was an honour to be invited by the organizers of the Slideluck Potshow to contribute work to their  first screening in Vancouver. Good to see a personal project find a place to be seen.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Family Cottage time

Every year in June we rent a family cabin at Geneva Park with a few parents from my neighbourhood. 
Its always a nice respite from the city and the kids have the chance to run free and grow together. Since I'm a huge fan of Instagram, here are a few selects from my feed.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fresh off the Press: Worn Fashion Journal - Issue 16

Worn Fashion Journal is releasing Issue 16 with a Dance Party on June 8th:  Second Hand Prom Party will take place at the Church of the Holy Trinity.  Here is some of the work I contributed to the issue - as always, it is a pleasure to work with a publication that is so full of creative innovators.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Industrial Install for Ausenco

I'm always excited to shoot in new environments and gain access to new worlds.  Recently I photographed an industrial install for Ausenco a global Engineering and Project Management company.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mother's Day Promo

April showers bring May flowers - and Mother's day!  This image was shot for Worn Journal's Mom Column, accompanying an article on how our fashion sense is inspired by the great outfits our mom's would wear. I photographed real people beside a framed photograph of their own mom looking fabulous!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club

The Toronto Newsgirls is a boxing gym run by Savoy Howe, who was once my boxing coach. She is one of the coaches donating her time to the "Shape Your Life" recreational boxing program, offered for free to woman and trans people who self-identify as survivors of violence.  This project began in 2007 through a partnership between The Toronto Newsgirls Boxing ClubOpportunity for Advancement, the June Callwood Centre for Women and Families and Brock University.  
 Read more about this program on the SYL blog.

 To view more images from this photographic project visit my website

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Boxing project

Just started a project shooting boxers who train at the Toronto News Girls Gym. Some are women, some are transgendered, all are heroes.

Winters End

I write this hoping that winter will decide to vacation elsewhere.. while the snow might be gone in the city its full and beautiful up north. we drove back through a massive snowstorm on drift covered roads without a snow plow in sight..

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hot Fuzz

I love this behind-the-scenes video from my photo shoot for Issue 15 of Worn Journal.    We shot model Alyssa Garrison on location at the labour of love I share with my husband:  The Belljar Cafe.

  video // Daniel Reis   end animation // Barry Potter 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Heather Morton ~ Front and Present ~ One Year Later.

Thankfully it doesn't happen often that a friend has a health crisis, but when I heard that Heather Morton was diagnosed with Fibromatosis I felt the need to participate with others to do something more.  The result was a February 2012 fundraiser that brought the local photo community together for a night at Toronto's Gladstone hotel.  There were Artist talks by Brett Gundlock, Naomi Harris and Daniel Ehrenworth and a silent auction of 40 photographic prints from local and international photographers.  Printing services were donated by Pikto and we spread the word months before the event through Heather's well read blog HMAb.   In the end we had raised $9500.00 to help Heather and her family (which includes her beautiful children Theo, Tilly and Max) minimize costs related to her treatment.

Recently I checked in with Heather to see how she was doing and shoot her portrait. As you can see, she is as lovely as ever and here's what she had to say:

1.  How do you feel these days?
 When we had the fundraiser, I was still looking at another year or so of treatment and that was so disheartening. An MRI in the spring confirmed that if I was lucky I would be done by Christmas 2012. But then my next MRI at the end of the Summer showed enough progress that my Oncologist abruptly said I could stop treatment. I was elated but also a little skeptical. The next two months coming off chemo was hard because the pain that had initially plagued me came right back! I had still experienced pain in the tumour site during chemo but it was much less than prior to starting treatment. So... when the pain came back with such force I was really concerned and so was my Oncologist. At a meeting in the Fall he kind of panicked and sent me for an emergency MRI- he thought treatment had stopped too soon! The MRI showed no change in the tumour and so he was reassured that the decision to stop was the right one. Thankfully, since that little set back the pain has slowly and steadily declined- I feel pretty good now- besides nighttime pain (I've got drugs for that) and limited range of movement with my left arm, the chemo seems to have worked. The tumour is still there and will probably always cause me discomfort but I feel like I can live with it. Living with the chemo was difficult and I'm still dealing with the repercussions of that so I think about it all the time- how glad I am to not feel sick and exhausted and not need to panic if I get a cold. Its such a relief to be done with it.

2.  How did it feel to have the photo community support you during your time of need? What has been the most lasting result of the fundraiser? 
As I said over and over again leading up to the fundraiser, it was amazing to feel the support of so many people- many of whom I didn't even know!  I really mean it when I say that it got me through some tough emotional times. I think we are all so lucky to be part of a community that is willing to step up and celebrate each other, to share with each other and hopefully inspire each other too. I really desperately miss my blog but the fundraiser was a fantastic farewell to HMAb. I'm really thankful for the tremendous job you guys did (Lisa Kannakko, Kristin Sjaarda, Jamie Rosenthal) - it was really humbling. 
In terms of the legacy of the fundraiser, I'm not sure. I guess that's a question for the people who attended. I know there are many non-photo community friends of mine who now own some beautiful pieces of art! And I think there were some significant connections made that night too. I'm a sucker for these kinds of community nurturing events and I hope we can keep doing them.  Before Christmas I attended one of Johan Hallberg-Campbell and Brett Gundlock's evenings and was really impressed with the quality of work shown and the commentary/critique offered. 

3. What surprised you most about the fundraiser? 
 I was surprised by  the amount of people who got involved from different segments of our community; from my students at Sheridan who shlepped in from Oakville to help out, the photo community: photojournalists, hard-core commercial shooters, junior shooters, fine art curators, assistants and then lots of agency folks too!  The Gladstone was packed and I think we had to turn away people!

As I was saying good-bye to Heather, we both realized how much of the time we spent talking about our kids and life in general.  Illness doesn't discriminate and we acknowledged that life continues to move forward regardless of the plans we make.   We have no choice but to keep moving ahead and working hard for the things we want to be doing regardless of what life throws at us.  Our role as professionals and mom's is really to handle whatever comes at us and keep on fighting the good fight.I ended up sending Heather the questions she so eloquently & honestly answered, so she had time to contemplate and and reply...front & present...in her own words.  

To be in touch with Heather find her through her blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The collaborative process: Geometress

Happy to post this at the start of the year from a client I love to collaborate with - Worn Fashion Journal.  Shot during the photo session for the Issue 15 editorial, Geometress.  Read more about it on their blog.

ps. I'm launching my new website today. Looking forward to hearing your comments.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mid-winter thaw

Yesterday felt like a spring day as we walked through fields. 
This mid-winter thaw happens every January.  Looking forward to the return of snow!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year! Lets go Skating!

Wishing you the best in 2013!  Here is something fun I helped bring to life.

Earlier this year I worked with Director Jessica Joy Wise to brainstorm a concept that would reflect the brand of Sartoria, a company that makes colorblock hand-stitched long johns from recycled cashmere. 

Director/Producer - Jessica Joy Wise
Director of Photography - Lisa Kannakko
Editor - Robert Jackson
Creative Direction - Ace Billet
Choreographer - Shelley Miller
Additional Cinematography - Jack Yen Chen
Steadicam Operator - Thomas Lee

Figure Skaters
David Burkholder
Shelley Miller
Julia Grandfield
Sara Yacobi-Harris
Stephanie Hodgson
Sarah Jane Hong

Special Thanks to Christopher Bolton

Monday, December 10, 2012

Geometress - Worn Fashion Journal, Issue 15

Shooting with Worn Fashion Journal over the past few years has been an ongoing and welcomed pleasure. The Wornette team creates ideas that are refreshing and fun and a big plus, there is no limits on where we (I) can go with my camera and team.

For our latest shoot we referenced images from Mod culture featuring bold shapes and black & white photographs of the 60's as our main inspiration.

The latest issue just hit the stands. Spoiler alert...here's a sneak peek:

creative direction and styling // Casie Brown
photography // Lisa Kannakko
additional styling // G. Stegelmann & Rachel Walker
make-up // Tammy Wong,
hair // Morgan Inniss & Kristjan Hayden of Civello Salon, civello.com
photography assistance // Thomas Lee
layout // Laura Kloepfer
modelling // Natalie Papanikolov, graphic design
intern & Sofia Luu, editorial intern

The best part is that I'm an official contributor in Issue 15 which is all about Hair, so the question posed was "What's the most spontaneous thing you have ever done to your hair?"