Votes for Women!

This past week (specifically May 24, 2018) marked the 100th anniversary of (*some) Canadian women winning the right to vote in Federal elections.  My paternal grandmother was 14 years old at that time.  She would've remembered that moment. 

Various events to commemorate this turning point in history have been taking place this year in the London area, many involving subjects I am working with in my 'Elder Activists' project. 

In the past week alone, the indefatigable Jean Hewitt has headed up two marches (in Stratford and London) to celebrate women's rights, in which she and others dressed in suffragette fashions and walked with people of all ages.  "We stand on the backs of our grandmothers and great grandmothers and great great grandmothers." 

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These are only two of the related events that Jean has been involved in this year.  Other events have included talks on the history of feminism in Canada, and dramatic suffragette re-enactments. 

Last night, as part of the series "Women Trailblazers: Writers & Voices for Change", activist poet Penn Kemp and feminist activist Judy Rebick read from their latest books, "Local Heroes" and "Heroes in My Head" respectively. 

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The readings were followed by an insiteful and courageous discussion with the audience. 

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My hat goes off to all of these women, who continue to push envelopes and fight the good fights. 

 

*Of note, Indigenous women, women of Asian descent, and others were not allowed to vote in 1918. It was not until 1960 that every woman in Canada would be free to vote in federal elections.

Bullfrog Power

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I am pleased to announce that Molly Miksa Photography is 100% Bullfrog Powered once again!  

Choosing Bullfrog Power means that "Bullfrog ensures the electricity or natural gas going on the grid or pipeline for your home comes from clean, renewable sources. You reduce your home’s impact on the environment and help green our energy systems."

I have been a client in the past and Bullfrog has also been a client of mine - I took portraits of their executives a few years ago and also profiled founder Tom Heintzman for my project 'Faces of the New Economy'.  Here's to renewable energy!

Model School, Vancouver BC, 1934

This is a recent photo restoration project I did.  It took many hours but was so interesting. It's a portrait of an entire "Model School" in Vancouver, circa 1934.  The original was in rough condition - folded, torn and with various black paint (see especially bottom right) and other stains on it. 

The children are amazing - the faces, the diversity, the expressions and relationships, the hair and fashions!  I've included a couple of close ups, but there are so many little things going on in this big picture! 

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Older Adults in Rounder Frames

I have been continuing to photograph seniors/older adults over the summer and it continues to be both enjoyable and educational for me.  Most exciting is working with people I've known all my life (parent's friends and friends' parents), getting to see people I've known for so long in a new light.  It's also fascinating hearing comments from various family members on the same pictures.  What a mother sees in her own face can be quite different from what her daughter sees.  There are so many shades of character, family resemblance and history at play, so much more than the photographer can be aware of. 

I've also found myself drawn to round frames this year.  They're classic and they're wonderful for bringing focus onto the subjects and getting rid of possibly distracting details on the periphery.  I am working on perfecting my round mat cutting skills as well - not such an easy feat, but at least I have a fancy tool for the job!

Photochromic Eye Glasses

Here's a shot from a recent family reunion shoot I did.  It was lots of fun and the pictures turned out well, but I had a challenge I've been having a lot lately - a subject (the girl on the left hand side of the bench) wearing photochromic (or self-tinting) eye glasses.  These are quite popular these days, as they give the wearer visual comfort when the sun is bright, and eliminate the need for separate sunglasses. 

Not invented by a photographer, I'd wager, these glasses present a challenge when shooting in any amount of light. Most times, the easiest solution is for the subject to take them off, but if that isn't feasible one can hide them in the dark until just before the photo is taken and try to get some shots before they tint up again.  According to Wikipedia, the lenses darken in less than one minute and begin to clear in darkness in 5 about minutes.  You can see how this is challenging in a photo shoot.  I'm a bit curious to know the future of this technology.  This too shall pass?  (Fingers crossed.)

Retouching

I have been getting some requests lately for photo retouching, for clients who have old photos they want updated.  This is not a service I have offered previously, but is one I am able to provide and happy to discuss.  Do let me know if this is something I can help you with.  Pricing is dependent on the specific needs of each client for each photo.  Here are a couple examples of work I did for one client, who wanted to have individual portraits of herself and her husband, where previously none had existed.  Scans were made from decades-old photographs (photographer unknown), which I retouched and reprinted.  

 Original photograph (photographer unknown)

Original photograph (photographer unknown)

 Retouched photograph

Retouched photograph

 Original photograph (photographer unknown)

Original photograph (photographer unknown)

 Retouched photograph

Retouched photograph

Elder Activists

Great news!  I have received grant funding from the London Arts Council for my Elder Activists documentary project. This is a huge step in bringing this project to life and I am extremely grateful for it. The project will focus on seniors in Ontario who have been social and political activists at any point in their lives. Attached is a photo of Joanne Young (for Dandyhorse magazine), who inspired me. 

 Joanne Young of Toronto

Joanne Young of Toronto

Printer: Game on.

Ah printing, but how I have missed you! 

I am delighted to introduce a new addition to my team - a brand new, beautiful Epson printer, the P800!  My previous printer, the Epson 3880, bit the dust not long before I moved to London (almost 2 years ago) and I have been living without a photo printer from then until now. 

Printing my own images has been a point of pride in my photographic career.  I have a great love of the natural-fibre (mostly cotton) papers I use and the warm deliciousness with which they reproduce colours.  These papers have texture and smell and vibrancy that standard photo papers cannot compete with.  I am so happy to be able to use these papers again, to use my skill in printing on them and to be able to see my prints brought to life in the best possible way.  And I am thrilled to be able to offer fine art printing services to my clients.  While I have appreciated the good work of the photo labs I've been working with, I do look forward to being there, watching and listening as my prints make their way into the world. 

I should also say that so far the P800 has been all aces.  No issues with set up, production smooth and unblemished.  (This has not always been the case with my past printers.)  It puts a sweet smile of non-stress on my face!

Ask away if you have any questions about fine art printing services or shoot me a message if you just want to geek out with me over ICC profiles and Hahnemühle's latest paper offerings. 

Here's to you, P800!  May our life together be long and uncomplicated.

Christmastime Family Portraits

Because it is winter again today, I thought it would be a good time to post these family portraits from Christmastime (I looked it up and yes, Christmastime is one word.)  This was a fun, crazy shoot with the smaller children just having driven into town and approaching nap time.  Great granny (pictured) made the party dresses herself and was in fine form!  Several familial onlookers were on hand for the festive picture-taking.  And here are the results. 

 

Nezzie with Mouse

Throw back Thursday!  This is one of my all-time favourite photos.  It was taken in Ecuador in 2005.  I was staying with my friend Yves at his permaculture homestead in the Andean mountains (a place called "Sacred Suenos").  There were no panes in the windows or doors in the door frames of the straw bale house we lived in, nor was there great need for them.  On this night, while we sat around playing cards, Nezzie the cat brought a mouse in that she had caught, to play with a bit.  She was told to remove it from the house but when she refused Yves took hold of the situation.  I lifted my camera as they were passing and caught this decisive moment, ever to be remembered. 

 Nezzie with mouse

Nezzie with mouse