Skip to main content

A Snapshot of the CreativeMornings Community

Last month, to celebrate the theme of Empathy, CreativeMornings and Shutterstock (one of our global partners that makes it possible to do the things we do) surprised the community in 10 cities—Vancouver, Mexico City, Austin, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Montreal, São Paulo, Toronto, and Melbourne—with the opportunity to have a portrait taken by a local photographer.

Now, we have the amazing opportunity to share a snapshot of the global CreativeMornings community through the lens of local creative talent. The full album of all portraits can be viewed on Flickr, but here’s a small selection:


Did you have your portrait taken? Download it! Use it as your CreativeMornings profile photo! Put it on Twitter! Maybe we’ll feature you on Instagram! Just be awesome and credit the photographer every chance you get!

Meet the remarkable photographers behind these portraits. You’ll be glad to know them!

Rick Etkin, Vancouver

A strong believer in community, Rick has donated his photographic services for many professional and non-profit organizations, as well as being an instrumental organizer for CreativeMornings/Vancouver. He hopes to use his photography to create a real human connection and to tell stories of peoples’ lives, challenges, struggles, triumphs, joy and in order to affect change. His advice on how we can be more human? “Do not judge circumstance, but find ways to accept and learn about the things we do not understand. We are all on one planet with no place to go, so we need to get along and make this work for humankind.”

Visit his website or follow him on Instagram.


Francisco Montiel, Mexico City

Francisco is currently pursuing a photography degree from Centro Universitario de Comunicación. He’s been the official photographer for CreativeMornings/MexicoCity since December 2014. Through his work, he strives to capture the true essence of a person or a situation within Mexico’s daily, varied realities. He believes that everyone’s story of what led them to be the way they are is one of the most important steps in understanding their humanity.

Scroll through his Flickr or follow him on Instagram.


George Brainard, Austin

George Brainard’s photographs have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Times of London, among others. He has twenty-plus years of experience, capturing everything from homeless teenagers to rock stars to chickens. As a former musician, he fits into the Austin scene pretty seamlessly.

Take a look at his website or follow him on Instagram.


Ashley Batz, San Francisco

Whether it’s creating the iconic portrait, refreshing a brand, or content strategy & creation, Ashley thrives on collaborating with her clients to tell meaningful and exciting stories. When asked about her work and empathy, she responded: “Susan Sontag said it best when she wrote, ‘To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.’ With each portrait I take, with each shoot that I complete, I’ve encountered more people and have been able to connect with them in the way that I connect with the world. Not only are they able to understand me better and see me in my most comfortable surroundings, I am able to know them. And honor them.” Well said, Ashley.

Visit her website or follow her on Instagram.


Tory Williams, New York City

Tory loves working with creative and energetic partners to tell their stories, whether she meets you in the studio or out in the field. She got her start in her mother’s photographer course when she was just 2-years-old, and after college she turned down a job as a rafting guide to work as a photographer at a portrait studio. We’re glad she did. We asked her how we can all be more human, and we’re taking her advice to heart: “Laugh, cry, shout, sing, reach out to someone and give them a big hug, treat everyone with the respect we would want, let someone off the hook, and pay attention.”

Scroll through her website or follow her on Instagram.


Bryon Summers, New York City

Bryon Summers is both a photographer and a podcaster. He’s the resident photographer for the hip-hop podcast, The Combat Jack Show and the host of his own weekly photography-based podcast, We’re Getting Better. He’s spoken at an Audience Takes the Stage event and has donated hours of his time to the New York City chapter. He believes that everyone can (and should) own their awkwardness; you don’t have to be a model to pose or make a great photo.

Visit his website or follow him on Instagram.


Jess & Martin Reftel Evans, Melbourne

Jess and Martin are the husband and wife team behind Amorfo. Jess is drawn to stories and Martin is drawn to light, making them a dynamic team. In all of their projects they try to tell a person’s individual story. They believe that by gaining insight into the lives of others, we can better understand humanity—and that makes us all more empathetic, better people.

Take a look at their website or follow them on Instagram.


Ryan Morgan, Los Angeles

Ryan isn’t just a photographer, he’s also a designer, illustrator and adventurer. He is the co-founder creative director at Los Adventures, a blog for adventurers. In addition to people, he loves shooting nature and adventure photography. As a result, he thinking it’s important to inspire more empathy for the environment because he believes that if we connect to with the natural world, we can connect more to each other.

Take a look at his adventure blog or follow him on Instagram.


Becca Lemire, Toronto

Becca has photographed everything from weddings to the Badlands to Cuba. In her words, she’s obsessed with a natural lens flair, art direction, fashion and anything vintage. She’s constantly inspired when she learns from niche subcultures and all the rebels she meets—breaking the rules is her jam. But what we love most is that she publicly posts her code of ethics, and works by them every day.

Look through her website or follow her on Instagram.


Vitor Neves, Sao Paulo

Vitor became interested in photography when he was a kid and hopes he never loses a child’s vision of the world. He doesn’t believe in giving up small-town attitudes when you’re in a big city. We should always say good morning to a stranger.

Visit his website or follow him on Instagram.


Cindy Boyce, Montreal

Cindy has an intense passion for breakfast, which means she’s right at home with CreativeMornings. She’s collaborated with magazines, advertising agencies, and record companies. She works to create a special relationship with her subjects, allowing her to capture as much of one’s essence in her portraits.

Take a look at her website or follow her on Instagram.


A huge, HUGE thank you to Shutterstock for making this project possible! Give ‘em a big social media hug @shutterstock if you love your new portrait!

Share on Tumblr Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Email

Mar reyes mexico

Beautiful work!!! this put a big smile in my face!

Mar Reyes • October 9, 2015

Super keen to do this for the Sydney Creative Mornings!!

Gary Compton • November 12, 2015