focus on: photographer Christopher Lovegrove
Christopher Lovegrove MPA, F/MPPA, M.Photog. of Christopher Studios in Bathurst, New Brunswick is one of Eastern Canada’s foremost photographers. His career as an image maker, teacher, and consultant spans more than 30 years.
"Every photographer is above all else a craftsman, thoroughly knowledgeable about the materials, tools, and techniques of his medium," he says. "However, technical experience and competence is not enough to make a craftsperson into an artist. That requires a special combination of talents - a careful eye, a compassionate soul and an awareness of his responsibilities as a creator of images. The historical significance of a family portrait or the first images of a newborn child, the relevance of a graduation portrait or the beauty of a natural landscape... none are lost on me."
What was it that lit your photography spark? Do you remember a particular camera, course, mentor, roll of film?
Two things actually. The first was when I was about ten, my father showed me a photograph by Karsh of Hemingway. While I did immediately wish to become a photographer I was in awe of how something that was two-dimensional could seem so "alive" on the page of the newspaper. Looking back, I suppose it was published at the time of the author's death. The other thing that impressed me that it was Karsh of Ottawa. I thought that it was cool to have a Canadian photographer be so good. I have a poster of the image in my studio still today.
The other event happened while I was a student a Hallmark. We went to an exhibit of black and white photos in Norhthampton. It was quite a large one containing several of the "greats" including Walker Evans, Weston and Ansel Adams. In one room there was an assortment of photographers' work on one wall as you entered the gallery. From a distance I was struck by a pattern of images that seems to literally jump of the walls... so different from the others. They were all outstanding but these particular ones seems so much more alive than the rest. They were not hung together but really did stand apart. Upon closer inspection I realized they were all by the same photographer -- Ansel Adams. I was and still am completely in awe of his print making. That inspired me to become the best print maker I could, a skill which sadly is being lost in the fast paced digital world.
What makes an image recognizable and uniquely yours?
This is a good question that I personally do not have an answer to. And yet, my customers and fellow photographers seem to be able to recognize my work without any problem. If anything, I guess it would have to be IMPACT, either from a technical viewpoint or from an artistic one.
You can go anywhere in the world for an epic, weeklong photo excursion by yourself without any issues of money, time, family or travel. Where do you go and why?
This is a tough one as there are so many, but I guess it would be a toss up between Scotland and Iceland.
Share with us another photographer whose creative eye you admire.
There are so many. I can honestly say that there is probably not one photographer that I have met that I have not learned something from. However the four photographers who entered my life when the time was right to hear what they had to say and make a huge difference in my approach to photography are Paul Turnbull, Dean Collins, John Hartman, and Martin Flewwelling.
What kind of shoot is your bread and butter -- and what's your passion?
Without a doubt graduation photography is my bread and butter but my passion would be black and white landscapes.
You're shooting a portrait in natural light. You can choose one lens. Which one, and why?
The Canon 70-200 f2.8 zoom. Very sharp and fast, although it is a little heavy.
What kind of photography do you wish you could do more often?
I wish that I could do nothing but Spiritual Landscapes.
What's the most indispensable thing in your camera bag?
Oddly enough, I still rely on my old Minolta 3 flash meter. But the most indispensable thing in there is bug repellent. The meter I love, but can always get by. I hate mosquitos. But they surely love me.