It's been nearly a month and I'm not even close to breaking the surface yet. Mr. Palmer at the post has sent me a couple of friendly reminders that I'm straining the social contract that I have with all of you. Apologies for the silence, I've had a few things to sort out.
My time in France was an end and a beginning wrapped in sweet chocolate pastry. Early in the trip I decided I wasn't going back to the software design job that's kept me in tubes and kit for the past four years. I've spent a decade trying to refine the raw ore being mined in Silicon Valley... long enough to feel the effects of creative silicosis creeping in. Truth is I've never felt comfortable as an employee. A healthy paycheck is no substitute for the satisfaction of following your own ideas, which I managed to do quite successfully for thirteen years prior to being drafted by the dots @ com. I missed the excitement, the engagement and the success of that life while at the same time fully appreciating its costs. So I've resolved to suit up and get back in the game.
And if returning to the ranks of the self employed closes one circle, choosing photography as the means completes an even greater journey.
As a boy I grew up listening to my dad, photo editor at the Toronto Star, giving us the behind-the-scenes story of the day's news each night at the dinner table. We got to know all of his photographers as friends and he had some great ones: Boris Spremo, Graham Bezant, Ronnie Bull, Dick Loek, Andrew Stawicki and Frank Lennon head the list. They were all larger than life characters in a daily drama and their stories and antics could fill volumes along with their stellar photography. There's no doubt their work, most of which was in B&W, has been a major influence on my own photography and design... and there's more... my brother Craig shoots for the Toronto Sun and my recently retired uncle, Douglas was the photo editor at the Glasgow Herald. I suppose you could say that photojournalism is the family business.
It feels good to come home but now the real bootstrapping begins. I want to grow VeloDramatic Photography from those photojournalistic roots, capturing ride documentary, race and bike culture as it happens. More long-form assignments like the Tour for Kika and Specialized's Ride to Vegas are in the works, and now I can actively pursue editorial and dynamic product work for an expanded roster of industry clients and publications. I'd love a crack at a grand tour as a full-blown embedded shooter one day but that's a very exclusive club and far less glamorous than it might appear. Those guys work incredibly hard.
So the "open for business" sign is up and I'm keen to get to work anywhere the light is good and the fee is right, that includes making the most of "head on a stick" jobs, portraits and the occasional wedding (which I really enjoy having done quite a few over the years). I'll put my 25 years of design experience to work whenever possible and can take an assignment from concept creation to final print/html as needed. OK, end of marketing pitch.
This blog is going to be an important part of the mix, but it's going to take a while to put all the pieces together. The past year has been pretty spotty in terms of posting. I hope you'll bear with me and whether you're a cyclist, a photographer (or both) you'll find content here that's interesting and visually compelling.