Capturing the Urban Heartbeat

May 12, 2010


One of the world’s foremost photobloggers, Toronto’s Sam Javanrouh has spent over seven years capturing the heartbeat of the city, to the delight of a global audience.


The streets of Toronto have proven themselves to be fertile ground for upstart photographers. The city is a popular location for photobloggers, and at the forefront of this movement is Sam Javanrouh, the man behind one of the world’s most popular photoblogs, Daily Dose of Imagery.

Javanrouh moved from Iran to Toronto in 1999, and he soon started exploring the city, camera in hand. He set up a photoblog in 2003 to make it easier for friends and family to check out his new home, and within a few months it was receiving thousands of hits daily.

“I started it as a creative challenge, because I just fell in love with the whole process, as well as the fact that I can share it with anyone,” explains the soft-spoken Javanrouh. “It was really mostly for my friends and family; I never dreamed I’d have so many visitors. When I started it I had no idea how long it was going to last, and I never intended it to be only photographs. I thought I was going to put some of my other work there, but suddenly it became very specific and my visitors demanded certain things.”

A creative director at the post-production company Optix, Javanrouh has been involved in the creative industry for almost two decades. Starting out in print design, he eventually found his calling in motion graphics. Javanrouh has worked at Optix for the past 10 years, and Daily Dose of Imagery has become an important and complementary source of creative expression.

“[Photography is] a meditation for me. With all the craziness of life, it’s really mentally helpful sometimes. I always have a camera on me, and I’ve found so many amazing images that way. You’re looking at everything through a frame, and it really helps you creatively.”

His post-processing work typically begins around midnight and ends at two or three in the morning; due to the balancing act of a busy life, that’s the only time available to him. However, this isn’t a detraction to Javanrouh, as he enjoys every step of the photographic process. Burning the midnight oil allows him to work blissfully uninterrupted.

“I’ve always been a believer that half the photograph is made in the field and half in post-processing. There’s still a part of the geekiness and nerdiness of photography that I love. Finding new tools, new techniques, combining photography with Flash, time-lapse, and this whole new DSLR video boom; so many photographers are against it, but I absolutely love it.”

Despite the popularity of Daily Dose of Imagery, Javanrouh doesn’t often promote himself as a photographer. But he takes on freelance photography projects as they come to him, primarily when the subject matter interests him, with a soft spot for Spacing Magazine and other urban topics. He also licenses images for editorial usage and private printing, and has published three books compiling images from the blog. After seven years and thousands of pictures, there’s no telling what route Daily Dose of Imagery may take in the future. But whatever happens, the simple joy of experimentation will likely never leave Javanrouh.

“Ultimately, I love the visual arts. Exposure is my passion; just to get that cinematic look to life, and trying to capture that every day. I love making images, I love looking at images...At the end of the day it’s just about making images.”


Sam Javanrouh is a photoblogger and a creative director at Optix. He can be reached at Daily Dose of Imagery.


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