Our director of video & photography with his cat Kato
By the Get Leashed Doggy style team
As our director of video and photography, Kalen Hayman gets to meet a lot of people and a lot of pets. Get Leashed wouldn’t be the same without him, but we also like to think he wouldn’t be the same without Get Leashed. Being around pets a few times each week would make anyone happier, but Kalen gets to make people happy in return. We get a lot of notes from pet owners after Doggy Style features get published from people that are thrilled to have a lasting memory of their dog or cat in the photos Kalen takes.
Kalen and Kato the cat live in Toronto’s Parkdale neighborhood. We’ve included a couple of Kalen’s own photos as well as a couple pictures of Kato through the years because he’s so cute. Read on as Kalen gives you a bit more insight into himself, his work, and life with Kato.
Please tell us about yourself:
As a video director/producer and photographer, I love working with and meeting new people as often as possible. Life and business is all about the relationships you make and meeting new people through creative business is a very refreshing experience.
After growing up in the U.S. and picking up the camera at the raw age of 16, it’s taken me years to develop my craft professionally. I’m still always finding new avenues of creative expression to work into my portfolio. From commercial, corporate, event, wedding and music video production, I’ve touched almost every format but feature-length film. I’ve lived on reality television, produced my own television specials, produced videos for Tegan & Sara, Alice In Chains and now live and work in my own studio loft in Parkdale.
A bit about your pet:
I adopted Kato from the Humane Society as a newborn Tabby. He had a brother they wanted me to adopt as well, but I just couldn’t commit. Kato fit in the palm of my hand at the time. I work from home most of the time and cats are very low maintenance (unlike me). I’d say only 50% of women I date approve of me being a cat owner — as if it’s not manly enough. Trust me, if I could own a pit-bull, I would. But we don’t breed them in Ontario anymore and I’d prefer to share the responsibility of a dog with someone. Maybe one day.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
I’m a coffee and brunch addict, so I currently frequent Rustic Cosmo, Capitol Espresso and The Drake. I’ve also been drinking a lot of Jugo Juice seasonal Pumpkin Patch and Egg Nog smoothies when I’m not juicing proper green leafs and vegetables at home.
I also spend a lot of time at the West End YMCA. I’m an outdoor runner but had to force myself into the gym before I got lazy during our notably long winters! I’m also working on avoiding a skinny runner’s build by hitting the weights for the first time in over a decade!
I’m the oldest of four so I try to see my siblings and family as well. So if I’m not courting my single bachelorhood in the city you’ll find me shooting or with friends or family at home or the occasional event. The TIFF Bell Lightbox is also one of my favorite places in Toronto.
Describe your personal style:
Creative, casual swag. Blue and black denims. I’m into that long European streetwear look. I only own one (lavender) suit and upset every groom whose wedding I wear it to.
What inspires you?
I grew up inspired by a lot of dark and twisted bands and filmmakers like Korn and Stanley Kubrick. Now in my 30’s I’d like to think I’ve cleaned up and I strive for a much healthier lifestyle of reading biographies and business books. I’ve enjoyed watching Barack Obama in the media and was thrilled Justin Trudeau made it into office. I’m still on the hunt for good mentors and influences!
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
It’s a creative, open-concept, live-work studio-loft. Part gallery, part photo-studio, with a personable, homey-feeling. A cross between modern and antique. The couch I got off Kijiji and the lamp was a hand-me-down from my mother. All my tables are high and meant for functional working stations. I don’t like lazy couches or rooms that focus on the television set. I prefer a functional space for being active and creating!
A story about Kato:
When I first adopted Kato we lived in a similar loft. As a newborn he tried running across the room for the first time to his litter box but didn’t make it in time. It was an endearing moment, but he was happy knowing he was in good hands. I just think he’d rather be outside chasing birds…just like daddy.