It has been awhile since I last posted but I'm happy to say that things are going great and PPPInc. (or P3 as friends fondly refer to it) is progressing very well.
Friends and colleagues in the newspaper industry have been feeling the sting of the decline of advertising, readership, and revenue, but thankfully there continues to be a demand for great photography in the editorial world, and elsewhere.
While I continue to do assignments for my editorial clients, I have been steadily increasing the client list for PPPInc. with valued companies in the corporate and commercial sectors. I have embraced this new work and am finding it a wonderful environment with new challenges and many opportunities to showcase photography and grow my business.
During the past year my work has ranged from writing a 5,500 word essay to accompany my images from a self-assignment in Natuashish, Labrador to working on a book of corporate location portraits.
I was very pleased to see my story, Hunting Demons in Labrador, given five pages in The Globe and Mail, and a wealth of space and promotion on-line.
Sharing such a wonderful experience with the people of Natuashish was a privilege I will never forget and it was an honour to be able to draw some attention back to the many challenges faced by the people who populate Canada's remote northern regions with a story that is both chilling and to a small degree, encouraging. My thoughts still go daily to the people I've met I'm my travels and wish them continued success in their struggle to make their communities happy and healthy places for families to grow and prosper.
You would think that after working in Toronto for two of the largest newspapers in Canada for a quarter of a century that I might have at least covered Canada's largest stakes race - the Queen's Plate - at least once. Well, I had never done so.
But that all changed yesterday, and it was a fantastic experience!
I joined a team of about eight photographers and editors, from various backgrounds to cover the race and the festivities surrounding it for Michael Burns. Michael and his father have been the track photographers in Toronto for decades. It was an opportunity I was very pleased to have, but covering an entire day of racing and all of its pageantry, demands many hours of work.
The race day culminated with the 155th running of this historic race. It's certainly an exciting couple of minutes, but everything visual depends on the horses, and the jockeys. Photographers, including myself, had remote cameras set up at various places around the track, some that provided good results, and some that did not. The winner, started in the back of the pack, so my remote stuff from the inside of turn one didn't even show him. But I was able to shoot the first turn from the outside and then get back to the finish in time to photograph Lexie Lou, ridden by jockey Patrick Husbands, cross the line first and celebrate.
Like many sporting events, everything was very civilized until the big race. Then HBL - or hell breaks loose as Mike described it. But it was great to be in the mix, making pictures at a great, and historic Canadian event. I'm looking forward more horse racing, and certainly this event, in the future.
This week Toronto hosted World Pride 2014 and there were plenty of events for participants to be educated, share their ideas, make their voice heard, and simply enjoy themselves. The gay village in Toronto, and the neighbouring streets, were filled with people celebrating throughout the week. I must say, that I have always enjoyed covering Pride week in Toronto. It is a very joyous event that rarely has a downside.
The only downside for me this year was the application process for getting accreditation. There was nothing unduly challenging about it in itself, but it was another reminder to me of the challenges of getting accreditation as an independent photojournalist. I am finding this process very difficult to accept on a regular basis, and I'm sure it will continue to be a regular issue in the coming years.
In any case, I was successful in getting a media credential for Pride events, and separately I was able to access the Grand Pride Wedding that took place at Casa Loma, sponsored by the Liberty Entertainment Group and The City of Toronto. This was a free event to same-sex couples who wanted to be married, and on that beautiful sunny day 110 couples either renewed their vows or were married. The jury is still out but organizers say this was a record-setting event. Visually this wasn't all that photographers had hoped for thanks to the huge clear plastic tent that was erected in case of bad weather, but we all endured the intense heat, and puddles of sweat to make images of the proud newlyweds.
Today I am preparing to cover the last of the Pride events this week - the Pride Parade - which will shut down much of Toronto's core, and make the streets into a stage for hundreds of thousands of celebrants to express themselves and cap off their incredible week. It should prove to be interesting, especially if the organizers are successful in keeping journalists off the parade route. What a ridiculous idea! They are siting huge crowds and security concerns as a reason. Obviously they've never looked carefully at how the media covers other huge events around the Globe.
In the meantime, I have posted some images from the Grand Wedding on my website.
I'm going to try something new and post the bulk images from the day here instead of on my website. We'll see how that goes.
Peter Power Photography Inc. is now a registered corporation!
There seems to be a never-ending list of minutia that needs to be dealt with before my business is up and running, and it's not easy getting things done while still working my scheduled shifts at the paper, waiting for that final day. April 2, 2014 will be my last official day as a staff photographer by the way. The fact that it's also the anniversary of my dad's passing doesn't help either. I'm sure it will be an emotional day.
But I'm discovering there's plenty of time to get things done as long as I whittle away at it in a steady, organized fashion. Plenty of time if I'm content to be up and running for April 3rd, but the problem is that in my head at least I've already moved on from being a staff photographer and I'm already running my business. Every day I wake up thinking I need to have my affairs in order TODAY. I need to be getting assignments TODAY. I need to be invoicing people and depositing cheques TODAY. But then common sense prevails and I relax enough to deal with the challenges directly before me at a given time. This new phase of my career will evolve but I need to take it one step at a time, and allow time for everything else in my life. And that still includes making images for a newspaper, as it always has.
The thing about most people I know in this industry is this; We love what we do, and we take great pride in doing it exceptionally well. This includes photographers, writers, editors,....everyone! Regardless of work environment, politics, circumstance I know very few people who would ever "mail it in." Of course, employers know this, and count on it on a daily basis.
But I don't just work out of personal pride, or professionalism, or because somebody expects it of me, or because my name might appear with an image, or a video. The most important reason I work hard to make the best images possible is because I owe it to the subjects of my images.
Whether its a simple portrait or a sensitive documentary story we owe our best to everyone we focus our lenses upon.
Pride, professionalism, respect, passion, patience, commitment, consistency, innovation, dedication, determination, duty, dependability, flexibility, compassion, sensitivity, honour, honesty, and humour are all things that I have tried to live by and base my career approach upon. I have always done the best possible job for everyone involved and this has always served me well.
So now, as I transition from being a staff photographer to working independently I have no intention of changing the way I work and the way I approach my life.
Peter Power Photography Inc. is my company, but my company is me. Everyone I know, meet, photograph or do business with will continue to get the absolute best I can offer, and they deserve nothing less. In this I will not compromise.
« Older Posts
© Peter Power