Commercial portfolio ©jimallen
At some point in my career I became restless, missing the travel part of my earlier career, when in the clothing business. So I began to try and find myself through my work. That eventually led to a year at the age of 44 and I spent that time travelling in the Southwest United States. I loaded up my Honda station wagon with a portable tent, and my effects, plus a new video camera which I developed a sort of mini stand that suctioned onto the metal behind the front left wheel. I attached the camera and looped the sound through the sunroof. By the time I figured out how to muffle the sound with some felt so the vibrations would be hear, I would reach the Route 66 portration of my trip and blast James Brown music into the videos as a mix. It was fun as I became involved with self exploration and developing my spiritual self. The trip took a full year as I would wash in streams and check into Motels here and there resting the at nightunder trees. It was a journey I had looked forward to after coming back from a short stay in Paris whre I tried in vain to become a permanent fixture. It was not easy in Paris and for the rest of that story and I have many small vignettes, lts go back to career choices.
After my sojuorn away for that year, I tried to return and work in the world of corporate design photgraphy. I had seen David Cronenbergs face two or three times and I had done a lot of everything and it all began to repeat itself. I do not think poor Mr. Cronenberg was all the happy about ever sitting for me again. It was explained to me, that he had told some friends that he turned down my request fora Different Hats Portrait. I guess that was a turn on for him, but for me it was curious. Talent here gets dumped on and I knew I had to leave to get some respect. I was even struggling with my own work as I knew it was time to move to learn more. Toronto a sophistcated but small town, as it could easily turn agaisnt talent. In Canada specifically we tear down people who have accomplished some independance. I know exactly how he must have felt. When two photogrpahers do the same photo with the same producer, Nigel Dickson and myself, doing seperate peaces for the movie, CRASH, and for different magazines, whose photos looked the same I began to think about where to go to. Nigels was photo was no doubt better. I needed to learn more, as it goes, in waves or in stages. After that and lots of thought, I decided to move to NY for 10 years to shoot simple editorial assignments and to hoepfully learn how to sharpen up my knowledge. Was it a good career decision? No, as it was plagued with sacrificing quite a bit of income to do it. In retrospect, I did become a better photographer? Yes I did and even after being at 9/11, something turned and I did become a much better shooter and more sensitive. It was the hardest dicipline to stay there as it was cost me my life savings. I just loved shooting and meeting new people trying to get better. Who wants to stand still and send out invoices after 30 years of shooting the same things over and over and over. So after 9/11 when returning to Toronto with the portfolio in this section I did encounter many difficult problems to come back into the community
I was from. One might consider you a traiter which is foolish and shows the mindset of people who no nothing about choices or hard decissions. NY is the envy of Toornto and newspapper report on how exciting it is, when in fact its not the big deal one thinks it might be. The people who work there go to sleep at 9.00 each night as others take over the late night gay driven party scnce. Good to do if your not struggling of course.Its very tough to live there and feel that you have a life. This portfolio represents the work as taken shortly after Different Hats as a presentation. The work took two year and in total there were 300 photos. There is a small sample of that work which was a leap forward and it was done for the purpose of charity as it took so much time and concentration to make it work. I had a wonderful team who contibuted to the process and they did thier job perfectly returning 250,000 dollars worth of recognition value to the receipients. ( Please refer to comments by Ron Jocsak on Link din about the event from his perspective. Although we came up short perhaps one day I will tell that story but for now the issue is the work and how it transformed my understanding about modern day charity practices. If I had a better education and understanding going in I am sure the result would have been somewhat more positive for my team and the charity. Nothing is perfect and the work stands as a a monument to the people who posed for the photographs.
Size: 18 items