Talking about myself

Hamilton, Ontario (photo by Cordelia McGinnis)

I DON’T MIND TALKING ABOUT MYSELF. I didn’t do much of it until recently, and I’m still not sure why I’m suddenly worth listening to, but I’ll take it while it lasts. I have my theories about vlogs and podcasts and YouTubers and why everyone is all about listening to other people they like on the internet – it has something to do with erosion of trust in traditional news media and a generational shift – but let’s save that for another day.

A few weeks ago I did an interview with Tim and Tammy on the Creative Chaos podcast. I’ve known Tim for years so it was a very comfortable hour plus chat. If you’ve heard my B&H podcast you’ll know that I repeat myself a few times – I’ve got to get some new talking points if I want to do more of these podcasts – but I think I got my message across that this is a great time to be a photographer, even if the whole medium is in the middle of a massive transition.

A while before that my friend travel writer and photographer Stuart Forster contacted me about an interview for his website. The target audience was other photographers, so the interview was a little inside baseball, but I did get to explain a bit about how and why I work nowadays, like here:

Do you have a favourite destination for photography?

Honestly, I don’t care. I love taking photos literally anywhere. I like to start a day by saying “Let’s see what we see today.”

I started doing travel photography to get myself to as many new places as possible, but even when I was grounded here, so to speak, I’d do still life work at the kitchen table, or go out to parts of the city (Toronto) that I know well, like the old working class neighbourhoods I grew up in, or the abandoned industrial port lands, or the hydro electrical corridors that run through the city.

If I have any mission right now – besides getting my name out in the world again after years of obscurity – it’s as an evangelizer for the simple joy of taking pictures, no matter what they are. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, photography saved me at a time when I was perilously close to the sort of despair that can ruin lives. As a creative enterprise or a meditative exercise I’d recommend it to anyone. And I’m happy to talk about it with anyone who’ll listen.

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