As many of you may know I'm a very social person... I basically just love people. I love meeting new people, hearing new stories, and discussing different perspectives on life in general. Because of this portraits are a huge part of my photography... nobody is the same and that captivates me.
I've done a few "fashion" shoots and really enjoyed them but as time goes on I find myself more captivated in the faces of the people I shoot and not what their wearing. Therefore I've begun going more in the direction of "environmental portraits"; Pictures of people in an environment or a setting that is fitting to them.
So, my challenge to myself is to do at least one environmental portrait a week. And here is this weeks.
I first met Gerrard when he asked me to help him make a catalogue of his antique collection. I said yes simply because I knew I could use the extra income - but, after our first day of shooting I was happy I accepted the job.
Gerrard lives by himself in a beautiful apartment filled with impressive antiques collected from all over the world. What made me want to take his portrait wasn't his apartment or his antique collection it was purely based on his perspectives on life and the stories he's managed to bring with him.
Leaving his parents at 16 he moved to New York City and created an identity hanging out at the cities finest establishments. When I asked how he pulled it off he explained that all he had to do was "dress to impress and show confidence"; he explained that if you act as if you're important than nobody will ask, "I could have been the mayors son for all they knew!" he said laughing.
Since than Gerrard has worked for years as a respected interior designer and architectural planner here in Toronto. He's slowed down on his work when he started having heart troubles a few years back. Since than he's had two heart attacks but you'd never be able to tell with the energy he shows today.
Although Gerrard has an optimistic perspective on life, he still has very strong opinions and perspectives that he does not hesitate to tell you about. He's extremely respectful to everyone he meets but feels that most people "don't think abstract enough" implying that people are too literal... and I can agree with that.
Working with Gerrard was originally to get myself a few extra dollars but I now find myself looking forward to working with him as it always brings a new story or interesting discussion. To me good discussion is incomparable to money and in many ways holds a lot more value. Now if only good discussion could buy me some new flashes.