What's Your Story, Etobicoke?

October 12, 2016  •  Leave a Comment





"What's Your Story, Etobicoke?"

—Assembly Hall, Sept 29, 2016—


(Arts Etobicoke link here)




This relaxed and informative evening at The Assembly Hall in New Toronto turned out to be something I wasn't necessarily expecting: fun.


Hear me out...


When I shoot event photography, I don't plan to be entertained. I plan to work; and I can get pretty zoned-out* in the process. Ask my wife, "When is the absolute worst time to have a conversation with Jeremy?" Answer: when he has a camera in his hands.


But this night was one of those rare times when I could actually listen what was being said and process it. I got to hear solid writing advice, interesting prose, and arresting poetry.


And, as a bonus, I was allowed to put images to it all.


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My favourite take away from the night regarded poetry (courtesy of Bardia Sinaee, above)"Assume every decision is deliberate"—which is to say, the poet has intentionally placed every syllable and line in a particular way for a reason. If it strikes you as out of place, you may want to examine it more closely. (Unlike photography, where every now and then I look at a good photo I've taken, and say, "Oh... yeah, I totally meant to do that.")


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Thank you to Antanas Sileika, Bardia Sinaee, Farzana Doctor, Catherine Graham, Maria Coletta McLean, and Transient for letting me lurk and snap while they spoke; and thanks, as always, to Arts Etobicoke for the opportunity to do so.


(Sorry for all the em dashes, Antanas. It's my personal vice.)




*Regarding the "zone-out"...

Beginning one hour before a shoot, and continuing for the next couple of hours, I am generally at—or above—a base-level of freaking out. "Am I at the right location... at the wrong time? Who is the organizer again? Are my batteries full? Are my cards empty? Damn, the lighting's mixed! Did I remember my gels? Did I just trip over an antique chair?" 


This doesn't subside until I've loaded my images onto a computer and backed them up—twice. (At which point I would gladly lend anyone a thousand dollars, because I'm so happy.)





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