toronto portrait photographer

Brock

brock baby
Dukat Photos_Brock Weir-1005

Step away from the mothballs. You might not know it now, but the seeds have already been sown. You will find out soon enough that you’re just a little bit different from other people. Some might call you an “old soul,” that horrible term you will come to mildly detest over time as it implies you’re living in the past or, at worst, inching closer and closer to your ‘sell by’ date. Despite your best efforts, you’re not going to give a damn about most of the things your peers will obsess over. Unlike most kids growing up in the 90s, you’ll find virtual pets a waste of time. You will puzzle over friends going bananas over beanie babies. POGs? Please! And yet, you will find yourself giving each the old school try in a valiant effort to coast along with the crowd. In private, you acknowledge the fact you’re an old soul. You’re not living in the past or cocooning yourself in a false wave of nostalgia, but you appreciate what’s come before you, how it defines where you’re going and, moreover, you appreciate quality. Rather than coming home from school and flipping on the TV to watch something like Saved By The Bell, you’d rather take in that episode of I Love Lucy you recorded earlier in the day, timed perfectly to unspool within the VCR as you twiddled your thumbs during math class. Nevertheless, you just won’t be able to completely pull off your efforts to be trendy. Take it from me, that’s a very good thing.

You might get chastised by teachers the one time you let your freak flag fly by reading biographies of people long-since-dead during recess in the school yard – not for the act of reading itself, of course, but pointing out some of the spicier bits to anyone who happened to ask who or what you’re reading about. You might prefer to stand on the edge of what’s going on, taking in the scene and tucking your observations away in the event it might become useful. It’s a great skill to hone, of course, and will help your job prospects later on, but the longer you keep your freak flag under wraps, the worse off you’ll be. Everyone invariably feels the desire for conformity but it will always give way for an insatiable need for individuality. The earlier you unfurl the flag and fly it up your proverbial pole, the further ahead you will be. Fly it high and fly it proud. You will learn that there are a bunch of other people just waiting for someone to make the first move.

They will have the same interests, the same life experiences, and will lead you to finding the closest, longest, and most fulfilling friendships of your life. The sooner you embrace everything that makes you unique, the better off you’ll be.

PORTRAIT BY ANGELA DURANTE DUKÁT


Ben

ben child
Dukat_Photos_NTS_Ben&Julia-1000

Walk quietly through the darkness. Each step is its own journey. You will learn that most assumptions you have are false. You will struggle to decide which assumptions to base your reality upon. You will eventually realize that every premise upon which your reality is founded brings consequences. You must face this struggle without losing sight of who you are. Observe the world around you right now. Allow part of that world to impress itself on you. You must learn to assume that this is reality. You must learn to assume that right now is who you are. Make this your most basic assumption and become more than me.

PORTRAIT BY ANGELA DURANTE DUKÁT


Averill

Averill Bell - Childhood Photo
Dukat_Photos_NTS_Averill_Bell-1028

A note of love to my younger self:

You will have an amazing life! No matter what happens along the way, always remember that life is good! You will work hard and not everything will go the way you want, but things happen for a reason and all will be well in the end. You will shed a few tears along the way and your heart will break in more ways than one, but you will be blessed with so many wondrous things, all those tough moments will be what makes you who you are!

Try to enjoy the little things more and savour the day-to-day instead of worrying about things you cannot change. Life is good and deserves to be enjoyed no matter how bad or hard things get! Don’t be afraid to take chances, be daring and follow your gut no matter what! Don’t feel you have to do it all. Let life happen and try not to plan everything - it is the unexpected moments that can be the most wonderful of all. Life is full of changes so roll with them instead of stressing about them. Money will come and go but you will always be ok. Believe in yourself – you are better than you think you are! Love the people around you and trust in the true friendships you will make - they are worth more than gold. Be patient, not with just those around you, but with yourself as well. Always remember that love and happiness can be found in everything - know it will come to you in the most spectacular of ways so don’t ever stop believing in it - it will come!

PORTRAIT BY ANGELA DURANTE DUKÁT