I first met André through cycling with the EVCC. He enjoys all the challenges riding a bike affords, uphill grunts sure, but what he really loves is like the stunt man of his yesteryears, speedy descents. The long roll down a portion of the BJ highway going south gives him such a buzz. With all the technology to secure details of top speed and video to boot, reliving it gets him almost as high each time. Everything about cycling proficiency, cadence, body position, when and how to shift, braking ratios on wheels he sucks up like a sponge. I gained most of my insight into photography through André’s passion. His one-on-one times while cycle touring got me to buy a better camera and auxiliary equipment. When he started up his photography club I happily joined. His non-competitive approach is so refreshing. He set challenges we shared our successes and quandaries. His own results were the best. I was his gopher on some shoots. It's a delight to see how a pro of André’s calibre conducts business. He uses his excellent communication skills to get great results from both the talents and supporting cast. His encyclopedic knowledge of the craft shines through with his thousands of fabulous images. Coffee chats with André run the gamut from politics, travel, bikes, vehicles, best coffee and how to brew it and current state of our lives. Our mutual love and adoration of dogs is always a major component. His understanding of dogs, their gestures and how they think makes it so easy for him to befriend them and work with them so they can be less stressed and a valued companion. On a ride in B.C. André had noticed a dog on the side of the road. We rolled back to get acquainted and in no time there is André lying prostrate in the middle of this deserted street while a black puppy was head over heels in full play mode with his BFFL. André is always happy to share. Need to know some dog training techniques, have questions concerning your camera or photography, or things in the always changing IT world, André is your man. I think back and visualize some happy times in various locales. A few examples, looking out from a high mountain ridge in Kananaskis over an incredible scene of dynamic clouds, waving conifer trees, the full range of fall colours in deciduous leaves with jagged rocks and a beautiful blue river below; there I am holding a reflector in one hand and a strobe light in the other inside a vintage 1950’s recreation trailer while André is shooting through the rear window to produce a great poster for a live theatre event in Calgary; lying in a cramped position with a leaf blower causing the material of the model’s dress to wave in the breeze and seeing the results published in the Italian edition of Vogue then recalling snowshoeing in thigh high pristine sparkling snow then later waiting for the moon to get into position for a night shot over Lake Louise in February; spinning down a country road talking to a local farmer about his life on the prairies near Camrose and then sharing flavourful borsht cooked up by the locals. All of these because André invited me to share some of his world.
Thanks very much André.