Portrait – Myriam Baril

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Myriam Baril a commencé sa carrière de danse avec le hip-hop et le house, pour ensuite vivre le grand amour avec le Lindy Hop. Elle a été l’une des danseuses les plus hot de la scène montréalaise pendant de nombreuses années au cours desquelles elle s’est également distinguée avec plusieurs prix gagnés dans des divisions de danse solo jazz.

I took Myriam’s picture on a cloudy afternoon so I had to set the white balance appropriately to the little cloud icon on my camera. A lot of photographers hate the use of auto white balance settings but sometimes you do not have more than a couple of seconds to snap a photo. The cloudy icon auto-white balance usually is my go-to preset when I’m not certain immediately on the right white balance setting when shooting outdoors. Doing so usually processes the photos on the warmer side of things which unless you are shooting very dark skin tones, usually works really well in Montreal :-)

Quick Thought on Curating

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How do you strike a balance between your signal and your noise?

I’ve been thinking a lot these days of curating my photography before posting them up on social media sites like Facebook, and to even more to an extent, on Hamfats.ca. I like to think in my own head that describing the process for choosing which photos to showcase and which photos is akin to black magic or alchemy – it doesn’t make any sense but in our imagination it does. It’s a constant balancing act of trying to find the right ingredients to catch people’s eyes or just saying fuck it and run with what I’ve got.

In the world of independent artists (read: our income depends on constant lead generation), people’s attention is a finite resource that must be smartly used. We all have those friends that constantly just post things non-stop (whether that is about dancing or another art) that their voice just becomes noise. At the same time, there is a need to show our progress and work to the world due to genuine excitement for our own progress as artists. Hmm…

Boogie Woogie Girls

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Everyone Should Move to Montreal!

I love summers in Montréal. No wait, I realllllyyyyy love (more letters = more love) summers in Montréal.

Not only is there a lot of interesting things to do all the time in this city (sugar shack, weekly festivals, fusions?!!), but it’s also filled with some very passionate dancers that I am super lucky to call friends. Also, it helps that they are also vagabonds/hobos like me. ;-) I know I’ve written this countless times on Hamfats but if you some how are able to make it out this way for a trip or vacation, book off a couple extra days for dancing, you might just fall in love with the city just like I did.

The Return of the Ring Flash!

Last friday, before performing their solo routine, the BoogieWoogieGirls* asked if I can take a couple of shots to commemorate taking a risk and doing a solo performance. I was thinking of something a little bit more interesting than just a straight out group shot and decided to dust out my ol’ pocket ring flash to bring with my little speed light off camera flash. I have actually gone back and forth in my preference of using a ring flash because like a good piece of cheese, have too much and you’ll start feeling queasy. However for these ladies, because they are always full of positive energy, I really wanted a fun way to capture their personality so I toughed it out and lugged my gear to the studio.

When shooting ladies like these, I always find it best to just let them do their thanggg and get out of the way.

*The Boogie Woogie girls are: Erin “Dougie” D., Emilie B., Kitty T., and Sheila B. You can check out their performance video here: http://irwinchiu.zenfolio.com/blues/h6DDD7C67#h6ddd7c67

A few more pictures after the jump…

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Words for Lindy Hoppers – Seattle edition

Written by Tien Le – Oh internets. You surprise me sometimes, especially when all y’all find the stuff that we store on Vimeo. More surprising is that sometimes what we do sends to resonate with others and then it goes EVERYWHERE before we even realize it.

One day after uploading my Kelly Porter “Words for Lindy Hoppers” video, I get a message that goes like this:

Randy: Your Kelly Porter Words for Lindy Hopper video is getting lots of airplay in random places.
Me: Really?
Randy: Yep.
Me: WHO RANDOMLY VIEWS OUR STUFF?!? Especially on Vimeo. Seriously, we have no cat videos. None whatsoever.

Anywhos, it is really inspiring to have people actively following us on all our social media channels. We started this site to continuously inspire ourselves and to capture the moments that take place around us in our dance journey. My Words for Lindy Hoppers project started because I wanted to capture a few words from Steven Mitchell and Virginie Jensen to keep the Toronto dancers inspired after an amazing workshop weekend. Through time, I have refined the video asking just one question, “If you had one thing you have to say to all Lindy Hoppers, what would it be?…and GO!” *starts filming*  It is so much fun to be able to film these videos and everyone’s answers always makes me laugh or feel inspired hence the “awesome” or laughter before the clip ends.

Stay tuned! I have a few more videos that I’ve been procrastinating on, but I can’t wait to put them up for you. I’ll do so soon, and the project is far from complete!

When Kelly Porter’s video went viral in the community, I had uploaded a few videos from my time in Seattle at “The Classics Vintage Dance Workshops” (2012) and haven’t had a chance to put them up on this site yet. If you haven’t seen them, above is Kelly Porter’s video, and the rest can be found below:

– Tien

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Sweet Molasses and Boston NOMNOMNOM

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I had the great opportunity to head on down to Boston for the Sweet Molasses blues weekend last week and had a smokin’ good time. I made a decision to not do the workshops this time around and just eat my way around the city and some of the highlights include:

  • Lobsters rolls! They were a bit expensive ($20-30) but oh my were they ever so amazing.
  • Lobster in everything!
  • Spilling spicy cajun sauce (from a mussels dish) all over my shirt and shorts.
  • Lobster macaroni and cheese… a mountain of cheese.
  • Late night chinese food (haha yes I know) after the loft parties.
  • I was a bit disappointed in the coffee in the city with the exception of The Thinking Cup but that’s because they use Stumptown’s coffee beans so it was a bit of the familiar.

    I highly recommend eating around this fantastic city but not if you are budget conscience traveller. You’re just not going to be able to enjoy seafood here without dropping some dime.

    Click on the jump link below for actual dance event pondering…


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