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Photographer captures the faces and places of Toronto on Instagram

Photographer Josh Mankz says he likes to shoot the faces and places of Toronto. His Instagram feed, which has amassed nearly 12,000 followers, blends urban exploration and portraiture to capture a sort of mosaic of the city.

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Mankz recalls how he got into photography in 2011 during his last year of high school. He was taking a media course at the time and one of his basketball teammates needed photos to help promote his new musical venture.

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The two bought a camera together and Mankz got started shooting behind their Brampton school.

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"I started using that com-tech course as a gateway to find my creative expression because as a kid I was always one of the worst artists in the class, I could barely colour in between the lines," he says.

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Now, he works in marketing, but much of his roles involves photography. He's also the creative director behind the clothing brand and arts collective 528 Co.

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Before he got those gigs, he worked in-office for St. John's Ambulance. It was his first job downtown. So, he took advantage of his hour-long lunch breaks and made it his goal to take five portraits before heading back in to work.

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Since then, he's grown his portfolio, but credits networking with other photographers and creatives as essential for his burgeoning career.

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Currently, he does lots of city and streetscapes shot from places such as Polson Pier. "It seems like the ever-changing skyline is one thing that never disappoints me. The skyline always looks different when you go there," says. 

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Kensington Market also draws him in, largely because of the diversity of the people there. Though, he says, whenever he's taking someone's photo, he always asks for their permission.

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And while he might shoot Toronto's skyline and its busy streets, he's keen to continue his portrait work. "I think shooting people is where my passion resides," he says. "And hearing the stories and meeting all the characters and the life that the city has to offer."

Lead photo by

@joshmankz


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