Archive | February, 2011

Bikes: Growing the local economy

28 Feb

Today’s excellent post (with useful links) by Grist columnist Elly Blue, ‘How Bicycling Will Save the Local Economy (if we let it)‘ reminded me of how often I’ve tried to emphasize this message when speaking about the myriad benefits of cycling.

Imagine getting a $3,000 to $12,000 tax rebate this year. Now imagine it coming again and again. Every year it grows by around a thousand dollars. Imagine how this would change your daily life. … it’s actually a conservative estimate of how much you’d save by ditching your car, or even just one of your cars — and getting on a bicycle instead.”

By switching to cycling transportation, rather than spending a yearly average of $8,500 of your hard-earned income on car payments, insurance, parking, tickets, maintenance and gas… you can redirect some of it into the local economy via groceries, theatre, restaurants, services, etc.., as well as contribute more to your own personal savings for retirement (don’t know about you, but this is something I’m starting to take more seriously).

Thanks to great car-sharing services like Auto-Share now widely available in the city, you can have access to 4 wheels whenever you really need them and still save thousands!  I sold my car (that I was very attached to) back in 2001 to help pay for grad school – I’ve been on 2 wheels, year-round, ever since and haven’t missed the expense, responsibility, or hassle of car ownership one bit.  I’ve structured my life in such a way that I can get to 95% of my regular destinations by bike.  The TTC, or car rental, are handily available on the rare occasions that my bike just won’t get me there.  Although I don’t have to worry about children, I have several friends with kids who have found excellent, non-car solutions.

Although this infographic is specific to car ownership costs in the US, it applies equally well here in Canada and shows the immense amounts of money that are redirected out of our local economy due to the automobile.

Investing in the local economy. Infographic by MGMT Design


And bikes/cyclists really are great for business! There’s been some excellent research done locally by the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation and the Clean Air Partnership via their 2009 report ‘Bike Lanes, On-Street Parking and Business‘. Amongst other very compelling findings about the benefits of on street bike infrastructure, they found that in the study area, “Patrons arriving by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month.”

As per Elly’s piece – there are many additional economic, environmental and health-related benefits to cycling. Not to mention how much FUN it is to ride!

Portraits are a hit at CSI!

18 Feb

Seems there were quite a number of Centre for Social Innovation members interested in an updated headshot. Here are a few images from the two ‘Photo Day’ portrait sessions I held this week to kick off my new photo gig.

Shooting portraits is quite a connective experience.  I really enjoy helping people feel at ease with being photographed, and involving them in the photographic process.  With the ‘preview magic’ of digital cameras, I can get immediate feedback from the subject to see what works for them, or not, as we try different things with lighting, background changes, etc…

These images have been cropped, and I’ve also done some very slight modifications to correct for blemishes, stray hairs, tricky reflections in glasses, fluffy bits on jackets, and the like.

I can say wholeheartedly that upgrading both my camera and laptop were the best things I’ve done in recent months – and now my friends and colleagues can benefit from some high quality images since I’m available as a shooter-for-hire!

Need a new Headshot? Check out my Portrait Photography Service!

3 Feb

Common Problem: Access to a quality headshot photo of yourself that is suitably professional, but not too boring, and that you are comfortable using.

Solution: Portrait photography service that comes to you, by bicycle no less! Get in touch to coordinate a Photo Day shoot with workplace colleagues, or book a one-on-one session just for yourself.


Offering: A fabulous, high quality portrait of you in four handy formats.

You approve the image on the spot!  I email you 4 digital files for unlimited use on your website, in that upcoming conference program, your LinkedIn profile…

  • 2 Print-ready image files, 1 wide cropped, 1 close cropped (large file sizes)
  • 2 Web-ready image files, 1 wide cropped, 1 close cropped (small file sizes)

Payment: Cash preferred. Open to sliding scale & barter proposals 😉
(Please note that rates below are for Non-Profits/Low Budget Biz)

Photo Day portraits, delivered via email within a week.
(5 subjects minimun for Photo Day)
$50 – Individual headshot
$100 – Group photo of your staff team
+ $25 for second photo (ex: 1 formal, 1 fun)

Alternate Date &/or Location portraits can also be arranged, images delivered via email within 2 days.
$75 – Individual headshot
$125 – Group photo of your staff team
+ $25 for second photo (ex: 1 formal, 1 fun)

For those of you that dislike having your photo taken, please note that I will make this as fun & painless as possible!

About the photographer:

Yvonne is an Urban Cycling Advocate & Consultant, an Independent Communications Professional currently coordinating the Forest Hill Village BIA, past coordinator of Toronto’s much loved Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market, and regular contributor to Dandyhorse and Precedent magazines. With over ten years experience shooting events and portraits, her photos have appeared in numerous publications, including cycling magazines Momentum and Dandyhorse, Green Power and Corporate Knights Magazines, Spacing, NOW, Globe and Mail, and the Toronto Star, in addition to a wide variety of websites & business publications.