Monday, April 11, 2011


What is it about Ktown? There is something magical about harbor towns. Red Lake, in northern Ontario is also magnificent. I will make my way back someday, just for the milkshakes and grilled cheese at the Lakeview Diner.

I love Kenora, Ontario. I used to visit this small city few times per year as a young chicken. My friend Jen had a cabin on Lake of the Woods and it was always a big deal to be dumped off by her parents at Dairy Queen on the edge of town. Armed with a Blizzard and a time frame we would run wild and explore. As time wore on, trips to Kenora became fewer and far between. When I started planting trees with a company based in Dryden, Ontario, Kenora became an intergral part of each summer. Last year we planted in the middle of the bush north of Kenora and days off were spent lazing around town like hot dogs in heat. Laundromat, Haps, beers on the sidewalk, that tiny diner with the weird breakfast. After six days of straight planting, we would squeeze into a planting bus piled high with laundry and gear and head for town. I don't know why but I have always needed a fair amount of solitary time and last season was no exception. Breaking away from the group, I would head off, loading my camera as I went in search of portraits. 

One day in particular, I met a man in a beater jean jacket hanging out in the sun on the front step of a bar. He looked kind and when I smiled at him he stuck out his hand to shake. No words necessary. We shook and I gave him a cold Lucky from a six pack of beer in my bag.  He cracked it straight away and I asked if I could take his photo. He obliged with a twinkle. I will never forget his kindness and trust. Face wide open, he gave it, the cold beer in his hand just out of frame. It was mutual and the moment translated on film. I live for those moments, if anything. Wordless, simple, truthful, telling. No need to double check what was just shot, it is in there. I am continually learning to trust that it is in there, a moment intercepted. 

I shot him twice even though there was no need for the second shot. The first photo is one out of nineteen I submitted in my Swamphand collection for one of my portfolios. More to come. Enjoy.

I want to live right here. Shot outside of Kenora, Ontario; 2010.

Tops of town. Shot on a high bank on the outskirts of Ktown. Kenora, Ontario; 2010.