Self-Portrait – Ottawa 22.05.2017
Cenotaph – Truro N.S. 03.07.2012
To put this article in context, I walked out on a job two weeks ago because it went against my values, beliefs and to some extent, ethics. So the threat of being homeless, although solved for this moment, is not the best place to be.
People Before Profit.
The man in this self-portrait is not me but I have been him.
The photograph of the Cenotaph in Truro, Nova Scotia was a photograph I took when I found myself homeless for the first time in my life. Canada Day this year will mark the 5th anniversary of that event. Continued thanks to the Truro Police for providing with a safe place to sleep during my short stay.
“Stigma”… With poverty comes stigma and my words to some will provide just e- nough ammunition to dismiss me. Fair enough. I too am guilty of dismissing people at times, even today.
Twenty some years ago I gave up traditional and profitable work, to work part time, just enough to survive and to keep me taking photographs. I’ve moved from town to town, financially poor and often hungry because photography meant more to me than things, position or power.
This magic box, my camera, taught me about the incredible beauty of life, the magic of people, compassion, empathy, happiness, sadness, fear and respect. With that, I’ve learned that all life is sacred.
Things mean so little to me.
In recent days I’ve targeted people with whom I want to share my dreams. They may see me as a bit off, insane or possibly both. It’s not the first time and not likely the last. My passion is my only excuse.
- I want to teach children of the magic of life through the lens of a camera.
- I want to provide the best of portraiture to people who may not be able to afford high prices.
- I want to work with non-profit groups and service groups to give them a rightly deserved presence.
- I want to teach photography with compassion as it’s core.
- I want to work on many areas of abuse in society.
- I want to use my camera for things that are truly meaningful.
- and “Yes” I do need to make a bit of money at it.
So many wonderful things are possible.
I need people to support what I am trying to accomplish here and having a few doors open would go along way in creating something that I feel would be special to many.
This photograph by Mike Wells rocked my world over 30 years ago.
Uganda Famine – Mike Wells – 1980
Thank you for your time.