I am very honoured to have been asked to speak to the Barrie Photo Club! This special presentation is also open to the public, so I invite you to join me on Thursday, September 25th at 7pm at the Southshore Centre in Barrie. The topic of my presentation is “Using The Camera as a Tool of Expression”. I will be sharing my documentary street photography from my trip to Paris in May this year.
It was an amazing trip & much needed getaway with two of my girlfriends. We were there for 10 days. We rented a sweet little apartment in the heart of the Latin Quarter. If you plan a trip to Paris, I definitely recommend renting an apartment. It was so great to have an entire space to ourselves. We popped out every morning to get our coffees and a fresh baguette for breakfast. It was fabulous! On many of the days I wandered the streets on my own breathing in the amazing Parisian life and would meet up with my girlfriends for dinner and of course a few glasses (or bottles…) of red wine!
This trip was such an amazing experience for me. I have been to Paris several times in the 1990’s. I lived in France in 1994-1995 & hopped the train or hitchhiked into Paris on several occasions. I also went back with my younger brother in 1999. I am sure that this will not be my last trip to Paris either. I would like to go for even longer next time…perhaps a couple of months. In the past eleven years of being a professional photographer, I have not often had the opportunity to simply photograph for myself for the sheer pleasure of simply photographing whatever moved me to bring the camera to my eye. One of the reasons for going on this trip was to connect with myself again as an artist. It gave me a chance to remember why I first fell in love with photography and to push myself to create some new personal work. I think that all artists are continually working on their art. With each photography commission, I am pushing myself as an artist to create beautiful work and to continue to learn and develop my talent. However, I was always too busy running my studio and creating work for all of my amazing clients that I had not created any new personal work for many years. So needless to say, this spring I kind of hit the wall….I needed to create some work for myself to feed my artistic soul and breathe new life into the rest of my work. I needed to get back to my roots as a photographer.
My love of photography began in the streets and through my many travels throughout North America and Europe. I absolutely love documentary street photography. I love to immerse myself in my surroundings and absorb the spontaneity, interaction and energy of life around me. For my Paris trip in May, I also wanted to go back to my roots as a film photographer. I brought several rolls of Kodak Tri-X Film with my and my old Canon Elan 7 with my 50 mm 1.2 lens. This lens has always been my favourite lens for documentary work. I often use this lens while documenting weddings. The great thing about shooting film is that it slows you down; in fact I ended up only shooting 6 rolls of film while in Paris (216 frames) over the course of 10 days. I wandered the streets and found such joy in capturing a spontaneous moment or a simple and beautiful vignette.
What I also used to love about film photography was getting the negatives and prints back from the photo lab. I had these rolls processed and the negatives scanned by Caribou Film Lab in Toronto. It was so exciting to finally see my images when I received my negative scans from Chris, one of the owners of the lab, and a very talented photographer as well. Honestly, it was such an emotional experience. I actually teared up the first time that I looked through my images. This may sound corny to you, but it was an important and emotional moment for me. I love many of the images that I produced in Paris, and I am very excited to share them at my presentation next Thursday.
I hope to see you there.