Here’s my big secret: I love photography. There, I said it. Surprised? Yeah, I didn’t think so…

Ok, I know it seems rather obvious but what I mean is, I don’t just like taking pictures… I love the art, the craft of photography itself, what it means sociologically, historically, philosophically; how it forces us to think and remember and feel, days or months or years after an event has passed. I am constantly awed by the depths of it.

Yesterday I gave the french version of my PROXIMITY talk for the first time, at Club APAL in Laval. And… I’m just so damn happy with the response I’m getting; because the entire conference is basically a reflection on subject matter and on photography as a whole, which was a bit of a gamble given how these events are usually more technical, or about presenting one’s work in a very specific way. It could easily have been a total, boring bust.

I love tech; I talk about it, I geek out with the best of them. It’s intrinsic to our craft. But when you look at forum discussions, especially when new gear is announced, it’s just crazy to see electronics sometimes completely overshadowing photography. The end goal should never be the gear; the gear is the gateway, the enabler but the goal… The goal is image-making. We need to stop and think once in awhile, about the why instead of the how. The how is easy to grasp, we can learn the how, we can see it and touch it; but the why… That’s entirely personal and so, so easy to forget.

This experience so far has been nothing but rewarding. Seeing folks react the way they do, getting the feedback and having this amazing chance to exchange with other photographers, all of it is simply phenomenal. I truthfully never though I’d be doing this sort of work, and yet it feels exactly right.

I’m giving the conference again (french version) at L’IRIS in Chambly on March 31st. Many thanks again to the folks at l'APAL for having me. And I’m putting it out there: if you’re interested in hosting an evening such as this, please get in touch.

Have talk, will travel ;)

Images below from this morning. Kind of sums up the why for me. And yes, for the geek in all of us: X-T1 with the XF 35mm f/1.4 R.

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada