a j a n i photography: A Tribute To David LaChapelle’s “Jesus Is My Homeboy” Series

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David LaChapelle will forever be one of my favorite visual artists and his unique vision, creativity and versatility have hugely influenced my work and how I interpret visual arts, especially within the realm of photography.

When LaChapelle saw someone wearing a “Jesus Is My Homeboy” t-shirt in 2003, the simplicity of the message immediately grabbed his attention and caused him to ask a number of questions.

He began to wonder about Jesus’ homeboys, otherwise known as the 12 apostles and how they would be manifested within 21st century American culture.

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Short Film: “Monolith: A Tribute To Stanley Kubrick” By Shaun Pitz

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Stanley Kubrick is regarded by myself and many others as one of the greatest and most influential visionaries of all time.

Like myself, Kubrick began his career as a photographer (in New York City) and I have an immense amount of respect for his contributions to the art and film worlds.

Kubrick taught himself all aspects of directing films and production after graduating from high school, his earliest projects were created with shoestring budgets and he eventually experienced his first Hollywood breakthrough via the blockbuster, “Spartacus”.

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a j a n i photography: The Atomium

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I first photographed the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium at the age of 15 using film and my first SLR camera — the Canon EOS Elan II. With that said, I have been meaning to post my pictures of the structure online since the early 2000s.

I have traveled all over Belgium (and Western Europe), I miss Belgian culture  quite a bit and I hope to visit Brussels and the rest of the country again soon.

To this day, the Atomium is still one of the most unique structures that I have photographed and it was first constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.

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Music Video: “Forever” By Majid Jordan

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OVO Sound’s Majid Jordan have released their Torontocentric visuals for “Forever” from their amazing “A Place Like This” EP.

The duo do not appear in the video, which instead focuses on an awesome dancer doing his thing throughout Toronto’s downtown core, including parts of Chinatown, Brookfield Place and other landmarks.

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a j a n i photography: The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple

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The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple is quite easily one of the coolest, most beautiful and most intricately built structures that I have been to in North America.

The temple doesn’t look or feel like anything else in Toronto, it’s truly a hidden gem and stepping onto the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir property made me feel as if I was in India for a couple of hours (albeit a cold part of India).

What struck me the most was the high level of craftsmanship within each part of the temple and the fact that the structure’s exterior was no more or less detailed than its interior.

Furthermore, I found the temple’s prayer area to be incredibly calming and sacred (due to its design and lighting).

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Short Film: “Skydiving In Slow Motion With Jokke Sommer” By GoPro

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Jokke Sommer is a former professional motocross racer that quickly transitioned into skydiving and base jumping in 2007.

In 2008, Sommer traveled to the United States and completed 250 jumps in two months to gain the required experience needed to familiarize himself with base jumping and skydiving. Soon after,  it didn’t take him long to acquire Redbull and GoPro sponsorships, in addition to many other accolades.

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a j a n i photography: Portraits of Maria Stern

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Maria Stern is a Toronto-based documentary filmmaker and she aims to inspire people through her work, allowing them to look at our world with a fresh perspective.

She is currently working on  her first feature documentary entitled “The Wandering Feast” and she also owns and operates a film production house known as Turquoise Films.

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Short Film: “Gravity Glue 2014″ By Michael Grab

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Michael Grab is an amazing visual artist that has been creating balanced rock sculptures for years and I recently came across his work this morning (via Sploid by Gizmodo).

His secret to balancing rocks in ways that seem to defy physics is a combination of dexterous hands, slow breathing,  immense amounts of patience and thousands of hours of practice.

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a j a n i photography: “Reflective Arrangement”

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“Reflective Arrangement” is a series that I had a lot of fun shooting and there were many reasons behind the fact that I experienced high volumes of flow and positive energy while producing it.

Firstly, the project’s process represented one of the most important aspects of my life and career: that enriching, genuine, empathic and reciprocating human interactions and relationships are paramount to one’s success and must form the basis of each project (preferably before the technical details have been ironed out).

With that said, one of my many advantages as a photographer is my ability to put my subjects at ease by simply being myself, by accepting my subjects’ stories and paradigms with open-mindedness and by sharing my stories and paradigms from the heart.

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Documentary: “Ai Weiwei’s Appeal ¥15,220,910.50″

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Ai Weiwei is an artist and political activist that I greatly admire, that I have the utmost respect for and that I have made a point of photographing one day, much sooner than later.

Not only is he a prolific and versatile visual artist that has excelled at expressing himself through every medium possible, not only is he at the forefront of the modern Chinese art movement, not only is his life story a work of art, but he has also successfully challenged the oppressive nature of China’s government (and many other governments) through his poignant artwork.

“Ai Weiwei’s Appeal ¥15,220,910.50″ was produced by the artist’s studio and opens with Ai Weiwei’s mother at the Venice Biennial in the summer of 2013 examining Ai’s large “S.A.C.R.E.D. installation” portraying his 81 day imprisonment.

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