Keeping an eye on the city

Photographer's Hogtown Stories documents life in Toronto

Hogtown Stories founder Jeremy Korn takes portraits of people living in Toronto and shares anecdotes from their lives.  Sanjeev Wignarajah//Toronto Observer

Jeremy Korn, 28, is an urban planner and founder of, capturing photographs of people and telling the experiences of the areas they live in.

Korn studied urban planning at the University of Toronto. While there he also discovered a passion of photography, and a previous psychology degree from McGill led to the start of Hogtown Stories.

Korn says that his participants are comprised of models, urban planners and artists, from photographers and designers to writers and filmmaker.

“It’s sort of a process of trying to find interesting people in the community doing interesting things,” Korn says. “The most important thing is that they have an interesting story or at least a story that’s evocative.”

Korn says that the process of the photo shoots takes two hours and he also records an interview with the participant.

“I take about 500 photos (depending on the shoot),” he explains. “Sometimes if a person is really experienced with posing, it doesn’t take many photos to get an expression. If it’s a person who isn’t a model, it’s sort of a longer process of engaging the person. I’m doing it all by myself — I have a reflector and a camera and I’m shooting it all on manual and I’m engaging with the subject while I’m also dealing with getting the light right on their face.”

The portraits run with narratives told by the subjects.

“It’s a short story written in first person,” says Korn. “Through communication with the participants, I write up the story and I get them to approve it because it’s their words.”

You can check Hogtown Stories on Instagram @hogtownstories.

About this article

By: Sanjeev Wignarajah
Copy editor: Bogdan Stanciu
Posted: Nov 17 2015 12:09 pm
Filed under: News