The Value of a Good Shoeshine #portraits #photos

15 04 2017

This is Mr. Carter. He runs a shoeshine empire in Chicago. I can’t remember the number of chairs he has around Chicago but it’s significant. He does a great job from his double-chair setup in the Hilton on South Michigan Ave and if you get a chance to stop in you should. As with most places you can leave your shoes with him for later pickup but you would miss out on some great conversation and wisdom! 

I’m sure he has his moods offsite but on the job you will never find a nicer or more engaging individual. He can talk politics, federal or local, families, technology, or anything else you’re in the mood for. On occasion we touched on the fringes of theology (he is a God fearing man,) but he can go with the flow and you never feel as if he has a strong opinion he wants to impose on anyone else. 

His shoeshine, which I’m sure includes lots of environmental threats, is never rushed (which almost made me late to speak at a conference last year,) and seems to last just the right amount of time. A stop there borders on meditation, and I can’t imagine being in Chicago without a stop to see Curtis and to get a shine. I have had his shoeshine last six months! 

The snap was taken on March 18th with my Nikon D4 using the Nikkor 50f1.4 @ f4.5 and 1/250. 

-30-





What if that’s all there was? #abatechshow #photos #tech 

18 03 2017


Another year of ABA TECHSHOW is behind us and where are we? Well hopefully we are a little wiser, a little more road weary, and energized to take on some of the challenges of technology in law as change ambassadors to China phrase from about 10 years ago. I have to admit I managed to get through this show without hearing “synergy” or “disruption” although I heard “lean” and “agile” too many times people!? Have a little decorum! And please leave the puppies at home where they belong and NOT at TECHSHOW. 

As I look into the future what do I see? For one thing lawyers (attorneys) need to wake up and smell the VPNs! Seriously people! I was in a session this morning and one person (besides me) was running a VPN on public wifi!? I had to rush back to my room and shower! People stop exposing your clients confidential information to the world! If I can be the proud owner of a Pineapple Mk5 penetration tool (I know that sounds wrong,) then anyone can have one. 

OK and it’s not just VPNs (while I’m on a rant,) get yourself some encryption too! You know, you’re soaking in it! OK well not literally but sort of. When you turn on your Mac or your Surface, or your PC, it’s there for you with a right-click you can activate encryption. What are you waiting for? Use encryption now. Protect your USBs when you take data out of the office, use whole disk encryption (look it up!)

One of the things about TECHSHOW that always surprises me is the same things keep coming up. We have talked about mobile offices and paperless offices for years (although paperless got a break this year,) and yet, we seem no farther ahead. I heard one of the speakers mention an app this morning and said, “Well, for it to work you have give them access to all of your contacts and load them into the cloud” NO NO NO! Seriously people, this is NOT an app you want to use! Do not give up your data for the convenience of screening your calls (or anything else!)

What else? Well, collaboration is big again this year, and we did hear from the collective CEOs of Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom and Avvo. Just for fun I’m going to add my snapshot of John Suh here:


There was no doom and gloom, they weren’t talking “The Sky is falling” like Siskind(s) or Furlong (the Canadian Chicken Little,) but the message was clear about our clients really being consumers, wanting more control, more transparency, and a better customer experience. It’s not rocket surgery, the legal service or whatever it is we think we deliver is a specialized service for sure, but if we want people coming back, recommending us, paying us, and making their representation easier, we have to make them part of the experience. I had dinner with a lawyer last night and she gets it! She does customer service surveys throughout the duration of her family law retainer. OK, well that part she got, she did some other things that caused me to go, “Huh??” like a minimum general retainer that got you exactly…nothing. I’d like to think those days are coming to an end. If I’m giving a lawyer an $8,000 retainer they are giving me an itemized bill and I’m going to want a partial refund unless they’re also bearing one of my children. 

Where were the Canadians this year? A lot of people noticed there was a paucity of Canucks this year. I’m not sure why but it was great to see the Canadians I did see! The show had a bit of an unusual vibe this year but maybe it’s just because for the first time in a million years, TECHSHOW is moving! For those of use how enjoy stable wifi (adequately protected with TunnelBear or Cloak2 of course,) this might bode well for the future. Getting out of the Faraday Hilton might mean you ban actually get a signal but who knows?

I shot a bunch of photos this year, some of which I shared on my Twitter feed (@psuba98) and more I will post when I get home! It was great to see Jack Newton, George Psiharis, and Josh Lenon from Clio, Andrew Arruda from Ross Intellignece, and Aron Solomon and Jason Moyse of Legal X (and more.) The Canadians were definitely out, just not in quantity this year. A shoutout to my Nova Scotia peeps Julia and Robin! You guys make me proud to be a Maritimer!

The information about the photos above in sequence…well the first one was obviously shot on the shores of the Sea of Tranquility and yes, the small boy in the photo is Armstrong! The second I shot with a Nikon 14-24 f2.8 and is the inside of the clock tower at Old City Hall in Toronto. Special thanks to Justice Wong for facilitating that trip! Shot at 1/100, ISO 100, f8 and set at 16mm. 


OK so nothing to do with TECHSHOW but another shot inside the tower and the stairs! That one same lens but handheld 1/15 second. 

The John Suh shot (of LegalZoom fame,) taken at ClioCloudCon in 2015, magic natural light f4.5 with my trusty Nikon 85 f2.8 at 1/125 and ISO 800. John is a gracious guy and has time for lots of questions from people interested in tech and entrepreneurship. He and Chas Rampenthal (General Counsel,) are great guys and they were part of a great keynote this year (and at Clio in 2015.)

Last shoutouts to Adriana Linares, Jason Marsh, Ivan Hemmans, Lincoln Mead, Adam Camras, Laurence Colletti and anyone else who has been one of my photographic victims!


Since I’m on a roll, my interpretation of “American Gothic”…peace out! If I get more energy after going through my Polaroids® I’ll add more photos (yes, I’m joking.)

-30-





The Contractor #photos #portraits #photography

26 02 2017

19443762305_79d00d1a9d_o.jpg

Occasionally I get time to do some studio work. This was done with two small studio flashes, 1/160th with my Nikkor 50f1.4 @ f16 and ISO 100 and the trusty D4. The flashes were about two stops offset, and I was shooting Elinchrom D-Lites. Mark was still covered in glue from working on some frames for fine art (one of this many talents,) and he is about to start producing handmade wooden furniture.

-30-





There is lawyer advertising and then, there is lawyer advertising. . .

14 01 2017

Not long ago, I attended the Clio Cloud Conference in Chicago. For anyone who doesn’t know, it is a user conference and it is spectacular as conferences go. Full disclosure here, I have known Jack Newton and Rian Gauvreau the founders of Clio, for more than 8 years and I have seen them go from nursemaids tending to a bold new startup…to commanders of a serious cloud-based practice management empire.

I have attended a lot of conferences in the last 8 or 9 years, often speaking on the doom and gloom topic of internet security and preserving client confidentiality, but I love attending the Clio Cloud Conference. There is such an energy created by the whole Clio team, but even more so by the wide-eyed attendees, many of whom return year after year. The last years have been in Chicago but in 2017 moves to the Birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans. I hope to attend, but first, more about the energy.

There was one speaker there, a young man named Bryan E. Wilson. You may have seen his advertising on YouTube before. He occasionally masquerades as the “Texas Law Hawk!”   and that linked video, his 3rd commercial, has more than 1.6M views! I remember Bryan talking about his video budgets and I don’t think they went over $1500, including beer for his friends/actors. To say Bryan is always “on” is an understatement. The dude is loud and he hardly ever abandons his persona of screaming, “I’m the Texas Law Hawk!” Its in your face full-time marketing and I know a few people I spoke to at an afterparty were pretending they were not from Texas. Bryan is that “crushing empty beer cans on the head” kind of party-goer. . .he is youthful I guess.

Before I say anything more about advertising, I should make it clear that any of my comments about advertising are my own views and NOT the views of my employer. In Ontario, advertising for lawyers is a new endeavour and the rules surrounding it are focused on truth, verifiability, and there is a more vague requirement not to cast the profession in a bad light. The regulator has started reviewing lawyer advertising/marketing in Ontario to see if it should be…tweaked, and there is nothing approaching the decibel levels or showmanship of Mr. Wilson. He is not unlikeable. I’m not sure I would approach him for my DUI but hey, I’ve never been to Texas, (and just to be clear, I don’t drink and drive…and to be even more clear, I don’t have a car.)

Anyway, I hope this portrait captures some of the energy, some of the fun, and the fundamental spark of life Bryan E. Wilson seems to possess:

29453785014_1f5f506707_k

-30-





Zach and The Meat Department

1 07 2013

Zach and the Meat, originally uploaded by psuba98.

This is Zach. He’s in motion at The Meat Department on Danforth Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. After watching these guys all day I have a suspicion there are a few of them who might end up suffering from repetitive strain injuries.

I was shooting with them for a few hours on Saturday and it was fun. I got to watch the guys in the back (John was not one of my fans,) and I captured some trimming, the scrap bucket, the band saw in action, and the mysterious room in the back where one alchemist was making various rubs and marinades for some of their own stuff.

Jose and Corin ran the counter with Jose taking the DJ duties seriously, and if you went from the front of the store to the back there were two competing genres of music, heavily contrasted at all times. The back, some pounding rockabilly and hard core country mix, driven out of an aging boombox (possibly covered in meat juices,) and the front of the house, some pretty rockin beats and occasional club mixes.

Everyone was friendly (customers and staff,) the atmosphere was welcoming, and the bbq’d steaks I had later were…very tasty! Was it all organic, hormone-free and whispered to sleep by a kid from 4H? No, but I know Zach is passionate and knows where every bit of protein comes from and the meat is of the highest quality, some of it aged in house, and I appreciate it. You can tell these guys care about their customers and their products.

Mostly shot with my 85mm, and the D4 was clacking along occasionally turned up to 11. It was difficult shooting as the place was a blur of motion (and not everyone was excited to see me with a camera,) but I have shot in busy restaurants before and I’m not bad at staying out of the way — it is more of a challenge when everyone has a sharp blade in their hands but I got away unscathed.

The board behind Zach was their board of who get’s to eat for free and who they refuse to serve. . .quite entertaining. Lots of neighbourhood people coming by and they were solidly busy while I was in there. I watched Zach cut meat for a few hours, others worked on chickens, washed trays and utensils, carved up special orders, and at any given time 3 guys were steadily butchering, trimming, prepping meat.

The Meat Department is a great place to go, watch, relax, ask about your food, enjoy a beverage, and soak up some of the local ambiance. I will return weekly. Yes, I am a carnivore!

-30-





Neil & Tristan at The Fuzz Box

27 05 2012


Neil & Tristan at The Fuzz Box, originally uploaded by psuba98.

I happened upon these two East Coasters last weekend when we were taking a stroll along Danforth Avenue in Toronto. Neil is from Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia and Tristan is from Newfoundland. Neil has opened The Fuzz Box “Specializing in Nova Scotian Donairs” at 1246 Danforth Avenue a short while ago and the place has been abuzz ever since.

How were the donairs? They were great. The sauce is exactly as you would imagine it would be, sweet, ample, and yes, it escapes the wrap as you eat (although Neil said he had some smaller than usual foil wrappers that day!)

Quibbles? Well the meat isn’t done on a vertical spit, its done in an oven. It has a slight crumbly feel to it as a result but the taste is bang on and authentic. Its also fresh because Neil only buys fresh and makes a valiant attempt at supporting local merchants although he has had a small issue with supply and demand as his business takes off. While we were there lots of Maritimers strolled in, some returning customers and most drawn to the store like Richard Dreyfuss to the Devil’s Tower in Close Encounters. . .

Both guys were easy to talk to and were happy to stand at the wrong end of a camera (lucky for me.) I think I captured a bit of them but Tristan was much happier than he seems. . .

I will go back, I will eat again, and I will recommend The Fuzz Box not only to anyone who misses King of Donair or Tonys in Halifax but to anyone looking for something they had missed in their youth, or might have somewhere on their culinary bucket list.

-30-