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My Story

Hi! I'm Adrian Lyons, the guy behind Toronto Headshot.

I Guess You Could Say It’s In The Genes

My dad was involved in photography for years and worked for distributors of photographic equipment. I was incredibly lucky to have access to cameras and equipment to test out pretty much whenever I wanted. Just before high-school, I started my first real job, in a photo lab. While other kids my age were running their paper route, I was elbow high in film and print developer. In hindsight, working with all those chemicals probably wasn’t the greatest idea.

The Early Years

Before long, I was working the printer and not long after, the darkroom making enlargements. Learning all about colour and light at such a young age. Like many budding ‘togs, landscapes were the start of it all and something I still enjoy doing when on vacation. I dipped my toes into weddings for a bit in my late teens both shooting my own and assisting a full wedding photography studio. It’s probably where I acquired my taste for really good Italian food with all the Italian weddings I had been to. But then life happened. Photography became a hobby instead of a life. Partly because of computers, partly because of my parents’ advice steering me away from it. It was after all the beginning transition from film cameras to digital and computers were the direction everything was going.

A Wrong Turn

Fast forward a few years and I’m living on my own, running my own IT business selling computers and fixing them. I had some small support contracts in place which kept me going but just barely. it wasn’t long before all of the camera gear I had amassed was sold off to pay for rent and food. All I had left was an old portfolio book and some memories. Fast forward again and my soon to be wife and I were planning a cruise together. but not one of the usual cruises. This was a 12-day European cruise through the Mediterranean. Barcelona, Monaco, Nice, Livorno, Rome, Naples, Dubrovnik, Venice, Messina and back to Barcelona. It was a dream trip that came true and a thought popped into my mind just as we booked it. I can’t go all the way to Europe on a trip like that with just my cell phone camera. So I bit the bullet and bought a new one.

It Was Like Putting On An Old Pair Of Pants

It was all so new yet all so familiar at the same time. I will never forget that trip as it was one that changed my life’s direction and got it back on track to what I was supposed to be doing. Photography. I happened to come across Peter Hurley. A headshot photographer out of New York. His headshots really took me back as they had a certain quality to them. As it happens, he offers training courses at his studio. So off I went to New York and studied with him.

The ‘Re’-Start Of It All

It became something that just gelled and made sense to me. I had tasted all of the other avenues of photography earlier in life and this path shooting headshots sat very well. Over the years I’ve perfected my approach and created my own distinct style. I also started to notice certain personality traits that we all seem to share. I’ve always had an interest in psychology and why we do the things we do -both Anthony Robbins and Mel Robbins are very popular in my home. Which led down this very interesting path.

Putting It All Together

It dawned on me that all those psychological quirks we share present themselves when we’re getting a picture taken. So I developed my approach, taking into consideration all of these quirks. The results speak for themselves and my clients all leave a little surprised and a little better armed for their next picture taking session. 

To sum it up

I've heard it said many times, when you follow your passion and start doing what you are supposed to be doing, it doesn’t feel like work. Well, I have to say, I don’t feel like I’m working. I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to have been since all those years ago.