Francis Vachon Photographe

May 24, 2010

Being a freelance photojournalist

I am a photographer. That you should know. I like to call myself a photojournalist. But more precisely, I am a freelance photojournalist. That does not mean I am working for free. That means I am not an employee. I am my own boss. I am my own company and the product I am selling is me.

A link I found on Twitter today made me think about what I am, why I love what I do so much and to recall how I made the switch from a bored employee in the IT business to a full time freelancer: There’s More to Freelancing Than Working from Home

For other freelancers, part of the adventure is working in your home office one day and in a coffee shop the next. Or, working while traveling the world. Our lives are like a create-your-own-adventure book

This quote sums up very well the mindset I am now.

That did not happened overnight though.

Not having a fixed income every month, for example, is part of the risk. The risk may scare us, but it doesn’t stop us. It’s also part of the adventure.

From that second quote is linked a second article, The Fear of Freelancing: Why You Could Be Hurting Yourself. That fear is something I had to overcome before I could leave my job. It gave me so much anxiety that I almost went into depression – having to take weeks of sick days from my job – before I could finally make the jump and take the leap of faith, quitting my day jobs just weeks before my girlfriend gave birth to my son Edward.

I never looked back. And so should you.

May 17, 2010

CN Tower, not the obvious way

At the end of April, I attended the Photojournalism 2010 conference in Toronto. I decided to arrive 5 days earlier to shoot stock photos, as you probably noticed with the last few day posts.

Since I was paying hotel and restaurant, my time was precious. I could have paid the ferry to the islands and spend an evening getting the perfect sunset shot of Toronto skyline and the CN tower, the most known landmark of the city. But that would have been time not wisely spent, since it was a bit too obvious photo.

Microstock agencies are already filled with postcard shot of every landmark of the world, sold at a buck each. I can afford to spend to time shooting the Chateau Frontenac here in Quebec City, since it’s my hometown and I drive by often, but the time I would spend getting a good shoot of the CN tower was time I was not spending shooting something else in a city that I don’t visit often (enough). When you are a stock photographer, but not the microstock type, you have to readjust the way you are shooting and what you are shooting.

That said, I DID shoot the CN Tower here and there, but not in the obvious way. Here are three of them.

CN tower is seen behind the Canada Malting Co. grain processing tower in Toronto April 22, 2010. The tower is part of the earlier industrial era of Toronto heritage, concentrated along the Toronto Harbour and lower Don River mouth.
CN tower is seen behind the Canada Malting Co. grain processing tower in Toronto. The tower is part of the earlier industrial era of Toronto heritage, concentrated along the Toronto Harbour and lower Don River mouth

CN Tower is seen behind monument of the Irish Famine Memorial in Toronto.
CN Tower is seen behind monument of the Irish Famine Memorial in Toronto.

The CN Tower is silhouetted against a bright sun in Toronto. The CN Tower, located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a communications and observation tower standing 553.3 metres (1,815 ft) tall.
The CN Tower is silhouetted against a bright sun in Toronto. The CN Tower, located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a communications and observation tower standing 553.3 metres (1,815 ft) tall.

Comment utiliser Google Map pour planifier la prise de stock photos

Chaque fois que j’entends parler d’un truc que j’aimerais photographier, que ce soit un beau village, une usine, une mine abandonné, un refuge pour animaux, une réserve amérindienne, etc., et qui pourrait bien s’ajouter à ma banque de stock photo, j’utilise la fonction “My map” (mes cartes) de Google Map pour l’ajouter à une carte personnalisée que j’ai créé.

Lorsque je dois me déplacer à l’extérieur de Québec, en assignation ou par plaisir, je n’ai qu’à regarder sur ma carte s’il n’y a pas des trucs à photographier dans le coin. Lorsqu’il y a plusieurs éléments dans la même région, je peux même planifier un voyage juste pour photographier ces éléments.

My map

May 16, 2010

The homeless guy on Queen Street, Toronto

A homeless man sleeps on Queens avenue in downtown Toronto April 19, 2010.
A homeless man sleeps on Queens avenue in downtown Toronto

May 15, 2010

Toronto Chinatown images

Yes, more image from Toronto. Today, I bring you to the Chinatown.

Chinatown (Chinese: 多倫多華埠) is an ethnic enclave in Downtown Toronto with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses extending along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. First developed in the late 19th century, it is now one of the largest Chinatowns in North America and one of several major Chinese-Canadian communities in the Greater Toronto Area

[Wikipedia]

More Toronto Chinatown images on my stock photo site.

Stalls of vegetables are seen in Toronto Chinatown April 19, 2010. Toronto Chinatown is an ethnic enclave in Downtown Toronto with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses extending along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue
A man walks by stalls of vegetables Toronto Chinatown.

A vendor reading a Chinese newspaper is seen behind stalls in Toronto Chinatown April 23, 2010. Toronto Chinatown is an ethnic enclave in Downtown Toronto with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses extending along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. The Canadian Press Images/Francis Vachon
A vendor reads a Chinese newspaper behind stalls in Toronto Chinatown

A woman and her daughter look at vegetables on display on a stall installed on the sidewalk on Spadina avenue in Toronto Chinatown April 23, 2010. Toronto Chinatown is an ethnic enclave in Downtown Toronto with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses extending along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. The Canadian Press Images/Francis Vachon
A woman and her daughter look at vegetables on display on a stall installed on the sidewalk on Spadina avenue in Toronto Chinatown.

Mushrooms are on display in stalls in Toronto Chinatown April 19, 2010. Toronto Chinatown is an ethnic enclave in Downtown Toronto with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses extending along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. The Canadian Press Images/Francis Vachon
Mushrooms are on display in stalls in Toronto Chinatown

Next Page »