There is much to feel grateful about as I celebrate 20 years as a full-time professional freelance photographer. In and of itself, 20 years in a career is not overly special but it becomes a little more significant when you consider that it follows an earlier 20-year career in the biological sciences. It was no ‘April Fool’s joke either as I launched the new career on April 1rst, 1996, essentially starting from scratch. Needing an outlet for creativity, this new adventure as an entrepreneur demanded much effort along the way but it also proved to be extremely exciting and rewarding. What began as an innocent hobby soon became a serious hobby, then a passion (if not an obsession at times) and eventually turned into a profession. After 40 years behind the camera, I now consider photography a lifestyle that will likely continue until I pass on into the next world!
This occasion offers a splendid if not timely opportunity for reflection. I feel that I have been blessed in so many ways. From a happy and nurturing childhood I then raised a wonderful family which is still growing! My relatively good health has allowed me to travel and explore the width and breath of this great country we call Canada. In the process I have engaged in many fascinating experiences, witnessed some amazing vistas as well as observed many personal, intimate views of the natural world which I seem to be drawn to.
I learned fairly early in the new career to focus on things that I liked and respected, to photograph what I loved and avoid the things I really did not enjoy. I learned to command a fair price for my services and not give away my work for a ‘song and dance’, for the promise of a credit line or, worst of all, for free. This is not to say that I didn’t contribute to charitable organizations because I did but this was done prudently and for causes I truly believed in. To be successful, a profession must be sustainable.
While I am my ‘own boss’ and I have the freedom to work for whom I choose, I also realized that, in order for this profession to be rewarding, it was imperative to treat my clients with respect and dignity. Generally, I work with clients who respect me, who appreciate the work I do and who are willing to pay a fair price in exchange. I refused to work for many clients who did not meet the above criteria. In the process, I created what I believe to be a significant body of work about this great country which will soon celebrate its 150th anniversary. I feel privileged to have authored a number of books to date and to have my photography featured in countless venues in Canada, the U.S.A. and around the world. In the last few years, I have focused more of my energies into producing books and making fine prints. In my humble opinion, those venues offer me an opportunity to present my work in the best light as well as afford a longevity to the work. This 20th anniversary further coincides with the launch five years ago of ‘The Canadian Gallery’, my online venue for displaying my artwork. Indeed there is much to be grateful for.
I also learned a great deal from others while pursuing this passion of mine. We don’t generally acknowledge the people that have made a difference in our lives until it is too late. I have been blessed learning from some exceptional teachers. I also feel grateful for the opportunity to have worked with many wonderful designers, publishers, printers and representatives who have allowed my creativity and vision to come forth. I am also grateful to have collaborated with some exceptional clients on fascinating and engaging assignments. I have met many interesting people along the way either at seminars, presentations, workshops or simply ‘in passing’. I made new friends in the process and have had the chance to reconnect with many others. My colleagues, friends and family provided me with much support over the years, sometimes via a warm meal, welcomed accommodations, a tasty cup of coffee, sound advice or simply through their friendship. I would also be remiss not to acknowledge the influence of many of my colleagues across the country as well as my colleagues closer to home, in particular those from my photo critique group which has met almost once a month for more than 35 years. We do not live in a vacuum! And what about the other artists who inspired me early on and who significantly influenced the way I see and do things, like Freeman Patterson, Brett Weston, Robert Bateman, The Group of Seven and Emily Carr to name just a few. I am forever grateful to all of you.
While I feel that much has been accomplished, I also feel that I have so much more to contribute. It’s as if I am just getting started. As the industry and profession of photography forge through challenging times, I look forward to continuing my explorations and creating imagery that I hope will inspire.
Thank you all and looking forward to the next 20 years!
"We all have a book inside us waiting to be written".
I am pleased to announce that I will be presenting 'The Art of Making A Book' for a second time on Friday, March 18, 2016 at McNally Robinson Booksellers from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. The presentation had originally been scheduled for last month but had to be changed because of a death in the family. To all those who had already registered for the full-house, thank you kindly for your understanding. The first presentation on October 9, 2015 was also a resounding success. Space is limited so register by email to email@example.com
Donovan Bergman of Friesens will be joining me to discuss everything you want to know about making a book. The event will include a Q&A and some publishing materials will also be given out. The event is sponsored by Friesens, The Manitoba Photo Friends and FlashFest (Winnipeg's Annual Photography Festival). I am looking forward to seeing you there!
January 28, 2016
THE GREAT ICE SHOW, Winnipeg's Winter Wonderland, opened January 25, 2016.The ice sculptures were created by fifty specially trained Chinese ice artisans. Sculptures include life-size dinosaurs, an ice replica of Manitoba’s legislative building, huge sliding toboggan runs, an igloo and dozens of smaller sculptures of various wildlife, etc. The pilot project, The Great Ice Show, is the brainchild of Paul Kostas, the owner of Humphry Inn & Suites, Andy Zhao, general manager at the Hampton Inn by Hilton Winnipeg Airport, and Vivian Jiao of Humphry Inn & Suites. The Great Ice Show will run as long as the ice can be maintained intact. Have a look at some of my images.
January 21, 2016
Renowned world and humanitarian photographer, author and international photographic adventure leader David duChemin will be making a guest appearance in Winnipeg on Saturday, May 7, 2016. David is the founder of Craft & Vision, and the author of the books Within The Frame, VisionMongers, Vision and Voice, Photographically Speaking, and The Print and the Process, along with over a dozen Craft & Vision titles.
Each year, the Manitoba Camera Club, Manitoba Foto Friends and Winnipeg South Photo Club come together to sponsor photography speakers that will educate and inspire the local photography community in Manitoba. 'Photographically Speaking' by David duChemin will be their third annual event. I have attended the two previous events and I would highly recommend this presentation to anyone interested in learning more about the craft and vision of photography.
You can learn more about the day's PROGRAM by visiting the website.
The event takes place on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the SAMUEL N. COHEN AUDITORIUM of the St. Boniface Hospital at 351 Taché Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Doors open at 8:00 AM for additional registrations.
Until January 31, 2016 register now to qualify for the Early Bird Registration fee of $75.00. Starting February 1, 2016 registration fee will be $ 100.00 per person - an excellent price for a full day packed with excellent information and inspiration.
'Photographically Speaking' by David duChemin is just one of the many Manitoba Photo Events organized by this group. Check their website often for additional events.
Speaking of other events, on Sunday, May 8, 2016 Manitoba Photo Events will be holding a series of small workshops. For additional information about these workshops, visit the Manitoba Photo Events website.
January 21, 2016
"We all have a book inside us waiting to be written".
I am presenting 'The Art of Making A Book' for a second time on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at McNally Robinson Booksellers from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. The first presentation on October 9, 2015 was a resounding success and a full house so we decided that we would offer the presentation again in 2016 using names from a waiting list to begin. Space is limited and we now have only 8 seats left as of this morning!
Donovan Bergman of Friesens will be joining me to discuss everything you want to know about making a book. It will also include a Q&A. The event is sponsored by Friesens, The Manitoba Photo Friends and FlashFest (Winnipeg's Annual Photography Festival).
To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know!