What an honour!
Vancouver-based photographer Christopher Edmonstone has thrown himself into an incredible portrait photography project. It’s called #artistathome. And I’m his most recent subject!
He hand-picks artists who he believes are doing great things in the city, whether they’re recording albums or building community.
One of the best parts is, he isn’t just wham bam thank you ma’am in and out; for Christopher this is just as much about building and strengthening relationships as it is about building a solid body of photos (he’s shot upwards to 90 #artistathome portraits now).
Christopher meets the artist at their home. He talks with the artist. Really talks. A hey-how-ya-doin’-it’s-been-waaaaaay-too-long-but-we’re-not-just-gonna-gloss-over-the-highlights-we’re-gonna-get-to-the-nitty-gritty-and-really-talk. And he really listens. And shares.
It was a fantastic Saturday afternoon.
I’m touched by what Christopher wrote, to accompany the portrait:
I really want you to meet today’s #artistathome as he was one of the first people that helped enable the way for me in my current path.
I met him in January 2011 shooting a show at The Commodore Ballroom. Back then I was hustling every band I wanted to photograph coming to town to get a photopass. He suggested that I contact him the next time I wanted to shoot a show as he was now the photo editor of concert blog site called guttersnipe. From that point I on could focus on shooting shows instead of spending time trying to get a photopass.
After a couple of years Ashley had come to the realization that big stars didn’t need him to take photos, but that his local community did. He started shooting events featuring local artists, gallery openings, artists talks bands and performers eventually wrapping all of it into what is now the website called VANDOCUMENT. Actually, it is more than just a website, it is a great collection of photographers, videographers and writers that embody and share the idea that art is important, and that you can build community through it. Ashley’s is doing his dream and what he believes in.
VANDOCUMENT has grown into a true collective of over 50 volunteer contributors over the past two years since it was launched in May 2013. Having seen first hand the growth of this VANDOCUMENT I am really impressed with everything about it, from the aesthetics, to it’s mission statement, to plans to turn it into an official not-for-profit organization. I think everyone can learn something from some of Ashley’s guiding principals for his life.
I will share with you three points taken from a recent talk that he gave at the Dreamers + Doers Event:
- Surround yourself with believers, supporters, and participants in your dream.
- Thank those who help you, give back to those who give to you, and create opportunities for them. Build and respect your community.
- Take chances. Lots of them. As often as possible.
These are amazing words to live by and they are something I strive towards. It was really great to get together with Ashley last week over some beers and later burgers! Be sure to check out http://www.VANDOCUMENT.com, lots of interesting stuff happening in the city we all love.
Thank you Christopher. You’re an incredible human and a massive talent. Keep it up!