Category Archives: Toronto Photographer

Orchids from the Philadelphia International Flower Show. (©Julia Pelish Photography)

Orchids from the Philadelphia International Flower Show. (©Julia Pelish Photography)

Last weekend I enjoyed a wonderful visit to Philadelphia to see the world’s largest indoor flower show: The Philadelphia Flower Show. Botanical creativity is a one of a kind art form and the best of the best exhibit at this event.

Philadelphia by night. (©Julia Pelish Photography)

Philadelphia by night. (©Julia Pelish Photography)

Philly took me totally by surprise, it is city that is under the radar as it is situated between the big players of NY City and Washington DC. But I recommend taking the time to discover this historical city. Art, culture, architecture, parks, American history, music, food can be found throughout the city — and all at affordable prices. No sales tax on clothing and shoes alone makes visiting Philly an added bonus because everyone should bring home souvenirs for their closet.

The flower show is winding down this weekend but at you can read and see some of the highlights in my photo essay and story.

There are lots of unique festivals scheduled in Philly for spring and summer. You should check out the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (March 28 to April 27) and at the same time see Philadelphia’s other annual flower show, The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival (April 1 – 26). For all kinds of information on what is going on in Philadelphia, check out this great resource:

The pedestrian street "Strøget" glimpsed from a cafe window in Copenhagen is the world largest and oldest. (©Julia Pelish Photography)


I live in the city, have for a long time. I find there are times when I speculate on when or will I move on; get fed up with the density and activity that is constantly beckoning for my attention. But then another year passes by and here I stay.

It is easy to forget yourself and your own troubles by being a city dweller. I escape from myself as I observe all the varieties of lifestyles just walking around me. You can easily put your life into perspective; there is often someone better or worse off than you on just about any block. It is an education in human nature. And after awhile even the noise and commotion find balance with the quiet places and time you surprise yourself discovering.

I love exploring a new city and find myself fascinated by the dynamics of urban life: watching people congregate, socialize and live and work crowded together yet somehow autonomous. Looking at these photos, I am able to recall the sights, sounds and smells of these vibrant places.

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Photo by Julia Pelish Photography

NY City

This summer I returned to New York City with my camera and walked and sweated my way through a sweltering heat wave of a week in mid-July. Apple heaven, rushed, funny, grungy, dirty, poetic, humid, brash, captivating: snapping one vignette after another of everyday life as it saunters by. These pics are a little souvenir of my 2012 summer vacation, a reminder of what I so miss. Enjoy the heat.

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Mom with new baby Shay. (©Julia Pelish Photography)

Come on In

Siddhi is already dispensing beauty tips. (©Julia Pelish Photography)

When the weather outside is frightful (like cold and wintery), opting for an on-location outdoor photo shoot may not be ideal. A cozier idea is to bring the studio inside and take advantage of what this offers: consistent lighting, smart posing and letting the image focus on the subject above all else. It has the added bonus of keeping kids in the comfort of their homes, surrounded by the toys and games that put them at ease. Of course a spectacular outdoor setting can really lend a lovely backdrop to a portrait but there are challenges with that scenario too: light that changes often and quickly; annoyances like bugs, sand, heat, wind and humidity; bathrooms may not be close by and you know what a hassle that can turn into with kids.

Sashiv just being him and what’s not to love? (©Julia Pelish Photography)

All the challenges of an outdoor shoot are eliminated when creating portraits within a studio setting. Studios can be as mobile as the photographer. Lights and backdrops can break down and pack up nicely, fitting into the car and reassembled at the shoot location. And these images do not have to be stiff and boring either, they can be a chance to create classic and beautifully lit portraits. To add variety, lights can be moved around, colour gels can be added to lights, outfits can be changed and different props can be added.

Sashiv has all the right moves. (©Julia Pelish Photography)

These portraits were all taken one Sunday afternoon at the home of one of my favourite clients. I brought a black backdrop (only 6 feet wide) knowing that the clients planned on dressing in white and black. I used three lights, one in a large softbox, and two bouncing out of umbrellas. I was about half hour into the shoot when everyone kind of forgot about the big light and backdrop sitting in their living room and had a blast. We did quite a variety of poses too and it seemed like chaos some of the time but when all was said and done, we agreed we got some wonderful shots of a beautiful family that includes a new addition.

I love these portraits too, mainly for the beauty of the light and the classic feel. For both of the older kids we used props that interested them so they could interact and be themselves.

Dad joins mom posing with new baby Shay, who apparently sleeps very well! (©Julia Pelish Photography)

In one, Siddhi shows how she applies her makeup and in another Sashiv is demonstrating his Justin Bieber dance moves. They make great images because the focus is totally concentrated on the subject. On the last sample here, I recreated the backdrop in the digital darkroom (using Photoshop) to further make the image unique.

The key to success in a studio setting is to get all set up with lights and backdrop before the shoot begins, coordinate wardrobe and backdrop choices, bring music and treats, put on some smiles and have fun.

Siddhi is a charmer and poses like a pro. (©Julia Pelish Photography)