I'm trying to remember how I met Babas Levrai, a Montrealer who came a long way from France to call Quebec home. He may have left behind his homeland, but his passion for photography and skateboarding came with him. Babas likes getting his hands in everything, from editorial and commercial photography to shooting skating. Back in France he was a solid contributor to mags like Sugar, among many more and you can now his work in Canadian mags too! It must have been through the wild world of social media that we became aware of each others existence, and as weird as that might be there are no complaints. I guess he must have looked around and got some good vibes because he asked me to help him out with a [secret] project this year. When I made a last minute trip to Montreal, his door was open and he hooked up lunch and we shot the shit in his living room. I guess the portrait he shot wasn't for nothing, I got a call a few weeks later and proceeded to answer a bunch of questions that made it into this interview that was posted yesterday... It's rare that I share this stuff, but I happen to like this one so click the picture below, or follow this link to take a read! I swear I don't look this crazy in person... ha! Thanks Babas, all the homies, and the magazines that have printed my work!
After a few busy weeks, I'm back home and plugged in to the office working on the website! Writing blog posts, like this one, and if you've jumped around my site you might notice some layout and logo changes. I spent the last 2 days in CSS land, teaching myself how to make changes along the way. There's a new image gallery too, so keep reading this post to see what it's all about...
Over the last few years I've been blessed with chances to shoot some really talented and respected stand-up comics. I was introduced, or should I say allowed, to go to these shows a few years ago when my Uncle (Jermy Hotz) came for the Just For Laughs tours in Ontario.
It was only natural that I would bring my camera along. In-turn I was able to hang out and shoot from front row and backstage vantage points. The performances and personalities I’ve witnessed through the short journeys are so fun and interesting it became a kind of infatuation. It’s an opportunity I never dreamed I’d get the chance of shooting; hearing some of the funniest acts in North America; I just had to remind myself there are pictures to take between the laughing fits.
Some of the best shots came out of the Just For Laughs Gala Montreal Comedy Festival. They rigged up Club Soda for a TV production of the various stand-ups, so the stage design and lighting was spectacular.
More recently was Jeremy Hotz’s own Magical Misery Tour, which took him across Canada to sold out audiences at some pretty renowned venues. He wanted me to shoot some photos on the Ontario leg of the tour, so I hopped in the van with him to shows in Ottawa, Kitchener, Hamilton and Toronto.
I got to see what it’s like for comics on the road, and what it takes to prepare for their shows firsthand. I can tell you It’s not as pretty as you might think! Taking a kind of journalistic approach when he wasn’t on stage, I started collecting some candid moments of everything in between what he loves most, being on stage.
Everything that happens off stage just feeds his misery. If you know Jeremy’s style, it’s a blessing and a bit of a curse but it all adds to the hilarity of the things. Even if I wasn’t related, I would definitely be able to relate to his comedy and be a fan regardless.
While meeting up with my uncle for a few days, I’ve gotten to see some pretty awesome acts. Among The Montreal Gala, Canadian Comedy Awards, and everything in between, I have somehow found myself in the same room as Dane Cook, Tom Green, Mike MacDonald, Harland Williams, John Pinette, Allyson Smith and Jessica Kirson to rattle off a few for your interests sake. Sometimes I had the cojones to take some photos, but often enough decided against due to fom the look of fear and anxiety in their eyes before getting on stage in front of thousands.
I still have a lot of images taking up space on my hard drives, waiting for the right project. With that being said I invite you to keep in touch with Jeremy on his social media accounts and my ongoing work as a freelance photographer through this blog and social outlets for news and updates!
Now, take a look at the new ‘Comedy’ page over at www.joshhotz.com/personal/comedy
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Given that I'm working so close to Detroit, I can't help but reminisce of the couple times I went down with the Top of the World guys. Here's a little throwback to an edit Jay Burles put together.
A lot of time was spent in Detroit over the last couple years filming for the Aspect Ratio video. Jay Burles, producer of the video that marked Top of the Worlds 20th anniversary, released this edit a short while ago after the full length dropped. Mixing 16mm footage with VX1000 clips makes for a unique edit with a nostalgic feel that no longer seems to exist in the new world of HD. And as the format implies, there could be a few timeless clips in here. Enjoy.