On the Streets of Kingston 3

On the Streets of Kingston 3

What better way to get to know the people of Kingston then at the public market?

On a Saturday afternoon it is he hub of the downtown core.

The Kingston Public Market is the oldest market in Ontario and has been providing food and a sense of community to residents of Kingston since 1801.

Winding your way through the aisles guarantees all of your senses will be aroused. Often city buskers set up to entertain and music fills the air. There is a variety of food from fresh baked goods to Taiwanese delicacies. Of course this time of year everything you desire from the garden is in abundance. If you are looking for a unique gift there is photography, beautifully knitted shawls and jewelry made from sterling silver cutlery. Many of the items at the market are one-of-a-kinds.

The variety of wares ensures one does not go away empty handed.

Meet some of the talented vendors!

"I started here at the market making things out of wood and my wife would paint them. Then I switched to metal work. All of this jewelry is made out of old cutlery. Nobody wants the sliver sets his or her grandmothers used to use. They throw it away. I pick it up at yard sales and people just give it to me. I make something beautiful out of it.” Photo by Gail Paquette

“I started here at the market making things out of wood and my wife would paint them. Then I switched to metal work. All of this jewelry is made out of old cutlery. Nobody wants the sliver sets his or her grandmothers used to use. They throw it away. I pick it up at yard sales and people just give it to me. I make something beautiful out of it.”
Photo by Gail Paquette

“I have only been at the market for four weeks. I am a student at McGill University studying Nutrition Science. I love to cook and bake and thought why not try to sell my food at the market. People are very curious about it.”

“I have only been at the market for four weeks. I am a student at McGill University studying Nutrition Science. I love to cook and bake and thought why not try to sell my food at the market. People are very curious about it.” Photo by Gail Paquette

 “I make all this ‘sustainable art” out of tree limbs and discarded items. These chalkboards are old doors and windows. The money goes to our (Western Landscape Service) school education program,  “Plant a tree, make your city cool.” During the months of April to May and September to November, we plant one 45mm caliper tree at each of ten Kingston and area elementary schools free of charge. Our certified Arborist / Horticulturist and team plant a tree with Grade 6 students teaching them the value of trees in the community. Not only are students educated on the valuable skill of how to plant a tree, but how to care for a tree once it is planted. Students are each given a seedling to take home to plant at a location of their choice.”


“I make all this ‘sustainable art” out of tree limbs and discarded items. These chalkboards are old doors and windows. The money goes to our (Western Landscape Service) school education program,
“Plant a tree, make your city cool.”
During the months of April to May and September to November, we plant one 45mm caliper tree at each of ten Kingston and area elementary schools free of charge. Our certified Arborist / Horticulturist and team plant a tree with Grade 6 students teaching them the value of trees in the community. Not only are students educated on the valuable skill of how to plant a tree, but how to care for a tree once it is planted. Students are each given a seedling to take home to plant at a location of their choice.” Photo by Gail Paquette

“Our farm is called Bush Gardens and we are the only producers of organic raw cow’s milk cheese. My brother Nigel is the cheese maker and I do the marketing. It is our way of sustaining the family farm. We have two cheeses, Nauvoo, a type of cheddar (only we can’t call it “cheddar” be cause it does not come from pasteurized milk) and Pilgrimage, which is Dutch inspired.” Photo by Gail Paquette

“Our farm is called Bush Gardens and we are the only producers of organic raw cow’s milk cheese. My brother Nigel is the cheese maker and I do the marketing. It is our way of sustaining the family farm. We have two cheeses, Nauvoo, a type of cheddar (only we can’t call it “cheddar” be cause it does not come from pasteurized milk) and Pilgrimage, which is Dutch inspired.”
Photo by Gail Paquette

“I have been an artist for twelve years. I have stones from Madoc to Thunderbay and Afghanistan to India. People buy the local stones because they often have sentimental value and the imported stones because they are cool! The tourists really make it for us here.” Photo by Gail Paquette

“I have been an artist for twelve years. I have stones from Madoc to Thunderbay and Afghanistan to India. People buy the local stones because they often have sentimental value and the imported stones because they are cool!
The tourists really make it for us here.”
Photo by Gail Paquette

“Our business is called Sweet Bee and we have been selling our products exclusively at the market for four years. We buy direct from local apiaries. It is one of the most exciting things about this business, visiting the beekeepers and seeing first hand what they do. It is quite astounding.” Photo by Gail Paquette

“Our business is called ‘Sweet Bee’ and we have been selling our products exclusively at the market for four years. We buy direct from local apiaries. It is one of the most exciting things about this business, visiting the beekeepers and seeing first hand what they do. It is quite astounding.”
Photo by Gail Paquette

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On the Streets of Kingston 2

On the Streets of Kingston 2

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

I have always wanted to attend the Buskers Rendezvous in downtown Kingston. I was quite surprised to find out it was their 25th year! Where have I been?

I was also surprised to learn the performers are not only from Kingston but as far a field as New Zealand. This is what these performers do for full-time employment. They travel and put on shows on the streets of the world. I felt fortunate to drive a short distance from my home to attend such a spectacular event.

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

I also was on the look for a Kingstonian for my Humans of Kingston site. Amongst the jugglers and acrobats I found a quiet corner where a father and son were having their caricature drawn. I was lucky enough to arrive just as it was being completed.

Busker8

Photo by Gail Paquette

I approached the father and asked if I could take a quick shot for my site. He smiled and agreed. They removed the drawing from it’s packaging and proudly displayed their portrait.

What do you want to be when you grow up? “A Ninjaaaaaa!!!”

What do you want to be when you grow up?
“A Ninjaaaaaa!!!” Photo by Gail Paquette

“He was here with his mom yesterday and saw this man drawing. He really, really wanted to get this done.”

It was the only portrait I took that day because I felt I had nailed the ambiance of Humans in Kingston by capturing a special father/son moment.

I continued to wander from street to street and through Confederation Park. It was definitely a photographers’ dream. Colourful costumes, animated performances and crowds of people all under a beautiful blue sky secured me some great shots. Kingston is vibrant and lively city!

On the Streets of Kingston

On the Streets of Kingston

This young lady is someone to take notice of! She said it was a “huge honour” to sing O’ Canada at the Pan Am Torch Relay Ceremonies at Fort Henry July 2! She has opened for Hunter Hayes, sang a duet with Dean Brody and will be performing at Boots & Hearts again this year! Check out this local sensation! http://www.abbystewartmusic.com/ Photo by Gail Paquette

This young lady is someone to take notice of!
She said it was a “huge honour” to sing O’ Canada at the Pan Am Torch Relay Ceremonies at Fort Henry July 2!
She has opened for Hunter Hayes, sang a duet with Dean Brody and will be performing at Boots & Hearts again this year!
Check out this local sensation!
http://www.abbystewartmusic.com/
Photo by Gail Paquette

As I continue my journey of exploring my new home of Kingston, Ontario by getting out and meeting people through my camera lens, I am constantly amazed at the genuine smiles I am capturing. Only three people of about 50 have said ‘No.’ I believe it was my approach, not explaining myself well enough. That happens, we all get tongue-tied. I’m not going to say it is not disappointing but I realize not everyone likes having his or her photo taken. It is the ones who allow me into their lives that compel me to continue this project. I find myself being curiouser and curiouser about this vibrant community and look for events within the city. I am lucky here, as there are almost too many events to attend. Being in a crowd and searching for that unique individual is exquisite.

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Last week, I attended the Canada Day celebrations and the Pan Am Multicultural Event at Fort Henry. Both days were beautiful, weather-wise and the fort was filled with positive energy. I have to say besides the fireworks, the torch entering the fort carried by Kingston native Michele Kehoe was exhilarating. The people attending lined the route to the stage for the lighting of the torch bowl! Flags were waving and people were cheering.The energy was so high it was almost as if one’s feet were lifted off the ground.

Photo by Gail Paquette

Photo by Gail Paquette

Afterwards I was able to speak with Michele, a bubbly 20–something year old with a definite passion for her hometown and the support she received. Her enthusiasm boiled over as she spoke of her journey to become one of Kingston’s torchbearers. “It was a surreal moment when I read the email that said I was not only to be a torch bearer but THE final torch bearer. I must of read that email 100 times!” Congratulations Michele. You make your city proud!

“It was a surreal moment, when I read the email that said not only was I to be a torch bearer but THE final torchbearer! I must of read that email 100 times.” Michele, born and raised in Kingston, said she was fortunate to be able to return to her hometown after university to lead physical activity and healthy living programs for aboriginal youth in Kingston.

“It was a surreal moment, when I read the email that said not only was I to be a torch bearer but THE final torchbearer! I must of read that email 100 times.” Michele, born and raised in Kingston, said she was fortunate to be able to return to her hometown after university to lead physical activity and healthy living programs for aboriginal youth in Kingston. Photo by Gail Paquette

COM0011 Blog Post2 – My best day ever!

COM0011 Blog Post2 – My best day ever!

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All I can say about today, is that it was a beautiful one. I went back to my roots. I went back to where I am happiest.

With a camera or two strapped to my side, I went out and asked people if I could photograph them.

Why?

Because a fraction of time can emulate the truest being. It is odd being a photographer sometimes. Every moment seems to be deserved of a still life memory; every person seems deserved to be photographed. Every person has a story.

My goal is to photograph 10 people every day. Talk to 10 different people everyday. All strangers!

I smile, tell them who I am and why I am doing this. I tell them, they are important. As any photographer, I am aiming at a smile but I avoid saying…. “say cheese” Hahaha…..even though I love cheese of any kind!

My first subject was a young man in the park strumming on an electric bass without the electric! Sitting there crossed legged, in the middle of Confederation Park, Kingston.  It is not a quiet place, not one where you expect a strumming bass guitarist to be practicing.

“Why are you here?” I asked.

“I want to get rid of my fears of playing in public,” he said.

I very much understood where he was coming from. It wasn’t that he was seeking attention; you couldn’t even hear him.

But he was there. I really got it.

Here is to my first of many portraits of ‘People of Kingston.’

Being myself and doing what I love

Being myself and doing what I love

It has always been my dream to be recognized for my photography skills, worldwide.

Like a musician producing that’s ‘hit song’ and becoming an overnight sensation, I would produce ‘the photograph of all photographs.’

I realize now, in my more mature years that, not only must the song be great but the person hearing it must be influential.

I like Annie Lebowitz,  am a great portrait photographer.

Photograph by Gail Paquette

Photograph by Gail Paquette

I am not, however as renowned. Annie was in the right place at the right time and knew the right person.

So why am I surprised to find out, when a hit song emerges, that it in fact took the artists years and years of practice and rejections to reach that seemingly overnight success?

Am I naive to believe in instant fame?

It happens, rarely and it is kind of too late for me. It is not impossible, however, for the whole world to see my work.

With the escalation of visual content and social media platforms like Instagram, it would seem my talents are favoured for greatness.

But why take the time to produce original work when you can just steal it?

Personalized videos and photographs attract my attention and my trust.

I believe I am not the only one to feel this way.

Like a brilliant song that I tap my feet to and listen to over and over again, looking at a photograph or video clip that encapsulates authenticity, gives me the same desire to repeatedly go back for another look.

On my journey to being recognized, I have taken many leaps of faith and received many rejections.

But I keep going, like many before me.

I have had many published works, albeit to a small niche group of community minded people, and I am game to grow my audience.

The fear of being rejected is losing steam.

The ability of producing great photographs and powerful text, that reach a greater audience is within my grasp.

With the Internet and the power of Social Media, I will embrace my authenticity and make a difference in this world.