Sam Javanrouh

The Best Photoblog in Toronto

Crowning Toronto's best photoblog is sort of like choosing your favourite cookie. There are so many good ones and they're all equally tasty in their own right. How do you choose just one?

That's what we set out to do in this year's Best of Independent Toronto survey. We even stacked the field with a number of past and present blogTOers including Take More Photos, SMLG, Doublecrossed, Photosapience and Photendo. But when the voting ended, sitting on top of the cookie jar was one of Toronto's most internationally awarded photoblogs - Sam Javanrouh's Daily Dose of Imagery.

Keep reading for my interview with this year's photoblog king.

Congrats on winning our survey as Toronto's Best Photoblog. I must say there was some pretty stiff competition. Why do you think Toronto has such a vibrant photoblogging community?

Thanks Tim, it was a big surprise for me, especially since some of the world's best photoblogs are from Toronto. I think there are a number of reasons for that. From my point of view Toronto is the city of hidden gems. Sure, we don't have many big or exciting landmarks compared to other big cities, but the range of urban scenes and city life in Toronto is amazing which means there is a photo opportunity in every corner.

Toronto is also the land of extremes; both in summer and winter. This variety of the seasons can create excellent scenes. And last but not least Toronto is one the most culturally diverse cities in the world and I see that as an important factor to make for a photogenic city, as well as generating new and fresh eyes who have unique perspectives of the familiar.

How many years have you been publishing your site now? What is your process for making sure there's a new photo on the site every day?

I have been posting a new photo every day from July 2003, so it's been more than 4 years. It is definitely a challenge to keep the site updated with a new daily photo, since each photo usually takes anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours to prepare. But over the years I learned to have a number of photos ready in advance in case I don't have time on busy days.

I have a full time job which demands occasional long hours so it's not always possible to spend a couple hours on my blog on a daily basis. When I find some free time, like on the weekends, I prepare as many photos as I can in one pass for rainy days!

Sam Javanrouh 1

You've published two books now - DDOI volume 1 and volume 2. How did sales go? Should we expect a volume 3 sometime in 2008?

Yes, the sales for the books have been surprisingly good but it takes a lot of work which means spending even more time. I'm looking for other ways to sell my book, since I simply can't keep up with demands for selling books to individuals.

You seem to take a lot of photos near where you work (King East and the Distillery District). What other areas in the city excite you as a photographer?

There are so many locations in Toronto that I love, but because of my job I'm usually somewhere around where I live (Dundas and Yonge) and my workplace. I do however try to get away on the weekends. I love Kensington Market, Beaches, Queen West, Centre and Ward's Island and many more areas. I still constantly discover new places, and that's why I love Toronto.

Does everyone you work with read your photoblog? How about your wife?

Yes my wife does follow my photoblog. A few of my co-workers check it on a daily basis as well but not many. But a lot of our friends and family follow it.

Aside from your fellow nominees, are there other photoblogs you're a fan of?

There are too many to count. I love using flickr since I can check out the newest photos from all the people I follow. That is, if they post on flickr.

Sam Javanrouh 2

Any photo exhibits planned for 2008? Any future plans for your site you'd like to tell us about?

I will have a few small exhibitions but no big plans yet. I'm thinking about a whole re-structuring of my blog but I just don't have the time to do it myself. I'm looking for a freelance coder to help me with it. Do you know anyone?

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks again to everyone who voted for my blog, it really encourages me to continue. And thank you blogTO. It's always a pleasure to be mentioned here.

Other nominees in this category included Photojunkie, Arieh Singer, MUTE, The Narrative,, Delineated, Istoica, and

Photo of Sam by Photojunkie. Other photos by Sam at Daily Dose of Imagery.

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