ADOBE Alternatives

Times were that if you wanted to be a creative professional, you were most likely going to need Adobe’s suite of applications (either purchased or often pirated). Adobe had established themselves as the standard for so many industries with so many of us building careers off of their great software.

In recent years, Adobe has made many controversial business decisions that ended up being great for them, but sometimes hostile towards users, and with this growing resentment from customers (myself included), and a precieved stagnation and bloat in many of their core apps, alternatives started emerging that offered an alternative to the software giant.

I love learning new software and would regularly get my hands on any piece of software that could potentially ween me off of Adobe. After several years of growing pains and increasing frustration with the Creative Cloud, I have finally achieved an Adobe-free workflow for every area of my creative business, one that is more intuitive and far more affordable than what I had before.

The apps listed below are available for both Mac & Windows (the exception being Apple’s Final Cut Pro x and Logic Pro X being Mac only), and each piece of software is a one-time fee that is often a fraction of what Adobe would charge for just a single year’s license.

VIDEO

I’ve always preferred Final Cut Pro X’s intuitive design and blazing fast performance over Adobe’s Premiere Pro, but it couldn’t compare to Premiere’s toolset, and that is where DaVinci Resolve comes in. Blackmagic Design has created what I consider to be the most robust NLE on the market, and what’s more amazing is that it’s completely FREE! More advanced features can be purchased with an upgrade, but really there is no need, the standard version has more than everything you’ll need (save for advanced noise reduction).

PHOTO

Since Apple discontinued their brilliant photo editing and management software Aperture, photographers have only had one option (Lightroom) to manage a large photo library and have the tools to organize and do basic editing, until this year. Skylum’s Luminar 3 is a fantastic and polished app that I find gives more a more intuitive and advanced set of features compared to Adobe Lightroom. This was always the last holdout for me and why I needed to still use the Creative Cloud, but not anymore!

DESIGN

Over 2 years ago I’ve made the switch from Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to Affinity Designer and Photo and I feel like it’s been one of the best decisions ever. These pieces of software are so fast, powerful, and intuitive, and as a bonus, they can open and export PSD files! Affinity Publisher is the new kid on the block in open beta, but is poised to take down Adobe InDesign next.

AUDIO

Audacity has always been a favourite amongst audiophiles, it’s also FREE, so you can’t argue with that! Logic Pro X fills in the gap for my podcast and general audio recording, and if I need to capture recordings or editing audio for my films, that can be done at a very high level within DaVinci Resolve’s Fairlight editor.

TO SUMMARIZE

Adobe has some created some amazing software over the years and has been instrumental in the development of many industries and creative careers, but with their growth, and the growing frustration from users, the demand for alternatives has been addressed. Even though not everything is perfect just yet, and I am so happy that there are finally real alternatives that I can use, saving me money and even improve my creative workflows in many ways. I know that I didn’t mention all of the alternatives, but these are the ones that I use day-to-day and plan to continue using.

Our World Filmmaking Workshops: Haida Gwaii

The month of May has been an absolute blast, thanks in huge part to working with some amazing high school and elementary students across Haida Gwaii, co-facilitating youth filmmaking workshops with Lisa, Tracy and Venay of Our World Language.

We did a stop motion film in the Masset elementary school, adapting an old story of a spider that lived on Tow Hill and had to be killed by the two bravest warriors in the village.

The next week we began in the Queen Charlotte high school with an amazingly creative group, one creating a mockumentary about a travel vlogger coming to Haida Gwaii, and the other a short horror film about 6 high school friends that go camping, and one of them is killed after a night of partying.

Darla Contois in Toronto

I met Darla over a year ago during the 2017 Young Entrepreneur Symposium, she is a fantastic actor based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Darla was passing through Toronto and we took the opportunity to catch up over brunch and take a few fun snaps as we walked through Kensington Market and down Spadina.

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Moe Clark à Montréal

My first introduction to Montréal occurred in 2013 and that is when I met the amazing Cree/Métis performer Moe Clark.

I had chatted with Moe in the past about potential collaborations, and after a brief reunion in Vancouver for the 2018 Verses Festival of Words, I knew for a fact that I had to come back to Montréal to see Moe.

My first day was jam-packed, right off the train and into my first shoot documenting performances at the Sisters in Motion event in the Mile End, followed by attending the Tomson Highway opera, which Moe was performing in. I was unprepared for how amazing this evening was going to be, I had never been to an opera before, and to have the Montréal Symphony Orchestra accompany an opera performed in both Cree and Inuktitut was just brilliant.

The rest of the week includes meeting many amazing people and shooting photos and band promo videos. My time here is coming to an end and by tomorrow I’ll be back in Toronto, but I am definitely moving here soon!

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Hullabaloo 2018

Hullaballoo is an amazing 3-day event that happens every year on unceded Coast Salish territory (Vancouver) and brings together 16 high school poetry teams from across the lower province to compete and celebrate youth poetry.

I’ve been so fortunate for many many years to come in, brand the festival, and photograph every performance.

These young people are amazing, and if you ever get the chance, do not miss out on next year’s event.

YOUTHSLAM.CA

Below are some select photos from this year’s event.

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Andre Chapatte A.K.A. Zachary Airhorn in Brussels

In 2012 I was dating a barista in East Vancouver, long story short it did not work out, but I did make a wonderful friend (who was also dating a barista at the same café) and we ended up commiserating over our relationships – fast forward 6 years and we finally meet up again, and many conversations revolved around her brother who was (in my eyes) a brilliant artist that I knew I had to meet.

I’m in Amsterdam now, waiting one week to fly back to Canada, and guess what, the brother (Andre) just happened to be living in Brussels, Belgium. Within a few hours we had met up for the first time and had become such fast friends – in just one afternoon we had created a music video and this photo series.

Andre started out as a cartoonist but transitioned into a physical performance and musical artist that really pushes the boundaries of his mediums and society as a whole.

Andre’s music persona is Zachary Airhorn, and he is as beautifully weird and transcendent as you might expect with a name like that. You can often tell a person’s character by the quality of people that they surround themselves with, and Andre’s crew is amongst the most loving and wonderful souls that I have had the pleasure to meet on my adventures; thankfully I was able to take photos with many of them as well.

Oh, and Brussels is so dope. Belgium is like a better and friendlier France, just sayin’ 😉 

 

Winnie and Renzo in Amsterdam

I am from Haida Gwaii, a small chain of islands in the North Pacific off the coast of Canada and despite the distance I am still able to bump my neighbours around the word; this time it was one of my most favourite people Winnie Tsai, who had just come off of a few-weeks adventure through Egypt. Turns out we were both en route back to Canada and had a bit of overlap in Amsterdam, so we did what any reasonable young person would do, buy ridiculous outfits from H&M and do a photo shoot in the Netherlands.

While in Egypt Winnie had met Renzo, a very handsome Dutch boi from Rotterdam, and after a yummy breakfast went for a romp around town as first-time models.

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Edra Deux

I’m not sure why, but we felt very French today…

Edra and I had met up again for one last photoshoot before I leave Albania on Sunday and per usual it was a fun romp around the centre of Tirana. This time Edra’s wardrobe had two very fun pieces, a sheep’s hair vest and a striking red coat which felt straight out of the movie Paris Je T’aime.

Daniele in Tuscany

Two years ago in Berlin, I was lucky enough to meet Azzura, a wonderful new friend from the Tuscany region of Italy. We had kept in touch over this period and knew that we would reconnect somewhere in the world, and thankfully it was her home country!

Without an itinerary or plan, I had packed my bag and hopped a plane from Tirana to Pisa for a weekend of fun and new friends. My first day I was taken out to Livorno (on the coast) and was introduced to Daniele, a brilliant and very charming friend of Azzura; after a night out on the town, we had known that a photo shoot was in the cards!

The next day was taken up by some adventures with Olga in Florence, but my last afternoon we made the shoot happen. Daniele had never modelled before, but you definitely could not tell by his H&M style and good looks. Our time was short, but it’s the quality that counts, and I definitely count Daniele as a friend that I will have for a long time!

If you want to follow more of Daniele’s life, you can check him out on Instagram @lumoru_90.

Edra Bala

I love Instagram, it is such a wonderful tool for connecting creatives, and Edra is I’ve of those people that I was so fortunate to meet and collaborate with.

Edra is an accounting student and developing creative currently working on an online lifestyle magazine/blog based out of Tirana. I came across Edra’s work through the copious use of Albanian themed hashtags, right away I noticed her fantastic style and eye for engaging content and I knew that I wanted to shoot with her.

The first stop was a construction barrier that I spotted on one of my first days in Tirana, it was covered with a large canvas covered in tropical plants and animals and I was desperate to do a shoot with it as our backdrop.

We proceeded to walk around the centre of Tirana, stopping at many locations that many people wouldn’t think twice about, but Edra was game for anything and that fun energy resulted in some fabric photographs!

You can follow more of Edra’s work on her Instagram @edra.bala

Ani Dishnica

My friend Kibela had told me so many stories about Ani, which had me very excited when we finally met after a few days of me arriving in Tirana. Right away I could feel the love and kind energy that she put out into the world. Ani’s look reminded me of a classic French model, so classic yet unique. Kibela had stated right away that the both of us MUST do a photo shoot, and a couple of weeks later it finally happened.

I had just come off of another wonderful photo shoot that afternoon and was definitely feeling tired, but we decided to give it a go anyways and the results speak for themselves. Ani approached the shoot like a seasoned professional, but with zero prevention and a willingness to try anything. Even though our shoot lasted less than two hours I am so happy with the number of quality images that we were able to capture together!

If you would like to see more of Ani, you can follow her on Instagram @anima8891

Vivi and Kibela

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“Why Albania?!” Many people back home have asked since I arrived here 2 weeks ago. I can blame it on one thing, getting schlossed with Kibela Nasufi every night in the basement bierstube (German beer house) last October while attending the Salzburg Global Seminar.

Kibela and I had become great friends after just a few days, and she offered for me to come visit her in Tirana (capital city of Albania) – little did she know that I’m the kind of person who will take people up on their invitations 😉.

One of the first people I was introduced to was Vivienne (Vivi), Kibela’s best friend and all-around wonderful person. For weeks we had talked about taking photos one day, but busy schedules stopped us, until one hungover afternoon…

Where I am staying in the centre of Tirana we are quite close to a beautiful lake that Kibela always said that she would take me to, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to check that experience off the list. We had our coffees, our muffins, and once we had fully awoken, I pulled out my camera and beauty and fun unfolded from there.

You can follow Vivi on Instagram @vivienne_pitarka and Kibela @kibelanasufi

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Cindy Kokomeci

Before my first week in Tirana has come to a close, my “manager” Kibela had organized a photo shoot with a very talented model based in Albania; it was my first photo shoot in the city and I was very excited, to say the least.

Kibela and I met up with Cindy at the Tirana pyramid, though the sun was so intense that we were only able to get a few photographs before needing to find the shade of many beautiful buildings. The buildings that we found, though beautiful, also happened to be too “important” to take photos in front of, at least that’s what the security guard was yelling at us as we were chased away several times.

Our next stop was a plaza which had perfect lighting, but also came with its own balcony section as dozens of onlookers gathered to see what was going on – apparently, we were quite the attraction.

We ended the long day at a fantastic restaurant called Tëduktu, where after a delicious meal proceeded to take one last series of photos. We were very inspired by the cacti, green neon lights, and intimidating literature.

If you would like to see more of Cindy, you can follow her on Instagram @cindykokomeci, and Kibela @kibelanasufi.

Ellena Neel Indigenous Fashion Line

I was so fortunate While passing through Vancouver to be contacted by my good friend and powerhouse indigenous fashion hero Joleen Mitton. She was organizing a private show featuring the new clothing line by designer Ellena Neel @ellenaneel.

Ellena’s beautiful and diverse clothing line was complemented by the stunning and talented indigenous models Gillian Thomson, Cody Kearsley, Alexis Battle, Monday Blues, and Ellena herself, with MUA Alyssia Requena.

Westin Bayshore Photo Shoot

Behind The Scenes

Fashion Walk

We The Inspired

Soon after arriving in Toronto I was very fortunate to meet Nadia George, an inspiring and talented social entrepreneur and actor. After getting in touch we decided to collaborate on a photo series of her new indigenous clothing line We The Inspired, she even got me involved as a model, something that I have not really done before.

Any photos of me in it were taken by the absolutely fantastic Stacey Johnson.