12 of Our Favourite Artist Portraits of 2015

We spent the summer festival season getting sunstroke and taking portraits of our favourite musicians across Canada.

- Dec 18, 2015
EXPOSURES captures the moods and experiences of fans and artists, both onstage and off.

My entire summer was one big blur. Between June and the beginning of August, I was at a music festival every weekend. Somehow I'm still here. During my time, I came to the realization that it is very boring to shoot photos from the pit. Exposures was our way of branching out and covering festivals with a fresh perspective. For our second season, we tried our best to stick with this.

Our bodies were powered by cheap beer, greasy food truck snacks, limited shade, brand activations, sunscreen, portable phone chargers, room temperature water, shoes that were falling apart, and a willingness to trot across Canada, from Calgary to Sackville, with our film cameras. The following are my favourite artist and band portraits of the year, taken by me and Colin Medley (where noted).

Fountain at Sled Island

I walked into Sled Island without any sort of plan of what to see and spent the rest of that month with a catalogue of new bands. One night at the festival, someone told us to find "the red house" to catch some bands. The next day, we found the (very) red house and inside were the amazing Victoria post-punk band Fountain, who I spent my entire day falling in love with. Perhaps it's no surprise they made Chart Attack's Best Canadian Songs of 2015 list.

[More EXPOSURES: Sled Island 2015]

Angel Olsen at SappyFest X

One of the best things about SappyFest is its community feel. Whether they're from New Brunswick or North Carolina, artists are out and about catching the vibe. Here, Colin Medley found Angel Olsen hanging out early, checking out the sights and sounds.

[More EXPOSURES: SappyFest]

Speedy Ortiz at SappyFest X

Another case in point: Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis and Darl Ferm got caught up with Sean Michaels' Sappy Times the morning after their show at SappyFest. Photographed by Colin Medley.

[More EXPOSURES: SappyFest]

Kendrick Lamar - Exposures - WayHome Festival 2015

It's safe to say Kendrick Lamar released the most critically acclaimed album of the year. At WayHome, to no surprise, he pulled in one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. It was incredibly powerful having him only a few feet away, running through his hits.

[More EXPOSURES: WayHome Festival]

Slim Twig at NXNE

Colin captured Slim Twig taking a moment to chill after slaying the crowd at NXNE.


Jessica Pratt at NXNE

After mesmerizing her audience, Jessica Pratt was slinging merch at NXNE. Photographed by Colin Medley.


Meg Remy of U.S. Girls at NXNE

I always love how warm and natural Colin's photos feel. This is Meg Remy of U.S. Girls galavanting through Toronto.


Bestival 2015 - Exposures - Magic Man

The downpour didn't stop Magic Man from pulling an early morning (ok, it was like 3pm) crowd. This is Alex and Sam huddling under a tent for shelter before their set at Bestival.

[More EXPOSURES: Bestival]

Bestival 2015 - Exposures - Clean Bandit

Grace and Neil of Clean Bandit took a break from playing in front of thousands of people and did my personal go-to move when there's a camera in my face.

[More EXPOSURES: Bestival]

Bestival 2015 - Exposures - Shamir

I challenge anyone to be around Shamir for longer than 30 seconds without smiling. Between his bubbly personality and his award-winning hug, I guarantee you'll struggle. After our Rapid Fire interview, I snapped this portrait.

[More EXPOSURES: Bestival]

Bestival 2015 - Exposures - Owen Pallett and Caribou

Dan Snaith of Caribou and Owen Pallett arm wrestling on a ferry back to the city from Toronto Island was definitely a genuine, non-staged moment.

[More EXPOSURES: Bestival]

Max Kerman of Arkells with his dad - Field Trip 2015

In probably the cutest photographed moment of the year, I caught Max Kerman of Arkells and his proud Dad in all smiles hanging out at the kid's stage at Field Trip.

[More EXPOSURES: Field Trip]

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