Philip Zave Photography
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Philip Zave Photography

My goal is create an online space for joy, reflection, growth, character and of course, beautiful memories. That is why I do not limit myself to a specific kind of photography. In this blog you will find work from my spectrum of creation. You will also find tips on taking beautiful photographs. Lastly, you will find some examples of who inspires me and why I love their work.

Mya's Bat Mitzvah
Mya Bat Mitzvah collage (toronto ontario)

Looking back 17 years to the time of my Bar Mitzvah, I cared deeply about how our photographer made me feel.

When I met Mya knowing I may very well be shooting her Bat Mitzvah, I was keenly aware that at 12 years old, she too cared deeply about who would be capturing one of the most significant days of her life. Like any new teenager, she initially came across as shy and reticent.

As we chatted and went through my portfolio on her living room couch when her bubby (grandmother), I noticed a shift. A wave of energy bursted through her. At once you could see the glimmer in her eye - a deep excitement about her upcoming Bat Mitzvah. She had been working so hard studying the torah and helping to plan the event. It was marvellous to imagine with her how the day will unfold.

Her one request: can we make sure to do group photos with her and her closest friends?

Mya found that a lot of photographers never take the time to do single and group shots with best friends. I found this point rang true, my photographer never did took photos of me and my best friends and it would be nice to have today.

I am so happy with the way we worked together to make sure that all of Mya’s most important moments were captured in a fun, relaxing and playful way!

The best part of the entire experience — the look on Mya’s face when we were sitting on her living room couch once more, reviewing all of the photographs from that day. Mya continuously laughed about the silly things her friends were doing in the background of each photo.

Enjoy some of my favourites below.

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Jaime and Arnar
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It was a Sunday morning when I met Jaime and Arnar for the first time. I knocked on their apartment door and moments later we were capturing these beautiful moments.

The exposed brick wall, the couple’s elegant attire and their stoic dog all work together in a way to create images that feel bold and joyful at the same time.

Midway through the morning Jame and Arnar told me that this was their first official photoshoot!

They had a small wedding a couple of years ago, but chose not to hire a photographer at that time. I feel grateful to have shared these moments with them. My experience with Jamie and Anar was great, together we all tried some new things and had fun together as a group.

Click on the images below to see them full size!

Speaker Slam: Grand Slam
Speaker Slam Grand Slam

WOW, do you like to be inspired?

You have to check out these photos from Canada’s biggest inspirational speaking competition!

Speaker Slam: Grand Slam took place last week at a sold out Jane Mallett theatre, in the core of Toronto’s Downtown.

This year there were many special guests including last year’s winner Joze Piranian. Joze’s message of finding and overcoming your ‘stutter’ is winning him worldwide acclaim in public speaking and stand-up comedy.

The night opened to a lightning bolt of energy provided by Marcos Mendosa. Marcos had the whole audience powerfully and poetically reciting affirmations.

Even the guests judges were legendary! The creators of the viral inspirational platform Goalcast, gave out a special prize to Sandra Elia who will be featured on Goalcast!

Lastly, congratulations to the winner of this year’s Grand Slam Jessica Opoku. Her speech was titled Remember When! and you can watch it here!

Check out Jessica at:

If you like changing lives and have an amazing story to share, who not apply to be a speaker for next year!? I will be there taking your beautiful portrait while you shine on stage :D

Click on the photos below to view them full size:

Happie and Rainbow
Happie and Rainbow

Happie and Rainbow are two of the most inspiring people in Toronto.

Our goal with this photoshoot was to find a way to visually communicate their all-inclusive culture in a striking new way!

The three of us started the morning with a meditation exercise, we took a moment to listen to our collective hearts and truly tune in to our inner beauty, joy and spirit.

Rainbow expressed new sides of herself. She jumped deep into her feminine energy that she combined with her colourful, playful energy to create magic. From hosting morning dance parties to being the proudest mascot and cheerleader for social impact in town, Rachel Rainbow moves mountains with her love.

Happie dove deep into a heart that is hungry for connection and love. Happie loves performing in drag, diving deep into personal stories through public speaking and hosting unique, badass charity events for the international queer community. Happie is working towards the release of an upcoming talk show, which will focus on turning the dreams of the shows guests into reality.

Click on the images to view them big:

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Online store grand opening!
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Click here to skip the blog post and to straight to my 2018 Collections

I have received request after request from art lovers like yourself who want to buy a framed print of some my favourite work.

Well, the wait is over. My 2018 collections are finally here.

The Toronto Collection features images that capture the nostalgic romance of Toronto.

The Scotland Collection features images inspired by Walt Whitman’s famous line, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”

The Desert Collection features images that have been described as spiritual and ‘otherworldly.’

I have spared no expense by having them printed and framed here in Toronto at Pikto, one of the highest quality print boutiques in the city.

Please choose to support the success of my small business.

You can purchase one of these beautifully framed prints or an entire collection, which will become the talking piece of any room in your office, community space or home.

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Adam's Personality Photoshoot
Adams Headshots

When I first heard of Adam Fearnall he was the president of the student council at Western University. My friend Patrick was producing his campaign video which helped to win him the presidential position.

A few years later Patrick suggested I meet Adam and his team who, at the time, were forming the London Youth Council, a group working towards getting young adults engaged in civics by shadowing the government of London, Ontario. A week later, I met him and his entire LYC leadership team, who helped me form a pitch that I was delivering to the management of CBC.

Now I no longer work at CBC, and Adam no longer runs the youth council, but we have kept contact as he follows his dreams of being a writer and artist and I follow my dreams of being a storyteller and arts advocate.

Here are our favourite selections from the personality photoshoot we did this past summer! Click on the images to enjoy them in full size.

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Our love story
Philip and Jenny collage

Six years ago in Cuba, I found Jenny.

Flash forward to November 7th 2018, at the Grand Canyon, I asked for her hand, and foot, and hair.

Pretty much all of her.

In fact, all of all of her.

But sandwiched in between those years, we have gone through it all…

Less than a year after we met, I moved to Australia and volunteered at a variety of music and art festivals.

One year after that, Jenny moved to Korea to teach English.

Both me and Jenny live according to what we believe to be the greater good.

And yet, against all odds, our relationship has been resilient.

Jenny gives her full self to educating children and being a support system in their lives.

And I dedicate my life to creating artwork for others and nurturing artists.

We both believe that the ideal world is one where people are actively loving others AND pursing their dreams, even if these two ideas can contradict and cause pain.

But that is why we both let each other go to the other side of the earth, because we believe in seeing those we love soar.

This is how we live our lives and this is the love story we plan to share with the world in our upcoming blog Beyond Mulberry, where we will be providing insight to traveling on a dime and loving near and far.

Click on the link below to join our story by investing in our union of love.


Philip Zave

help our love story thrive