COM0014 – Blog #2: I shoot people for a living, and I brag about it.

 

Following a VIP in Ma’Sum Ghar, Afghanistan, in 2010. Photo by a friend.

I bet the picture with me and a camera de-fused that violent image you initially had in your head. That is the power of images.

It is my job as a photojournalist to tell stories. My story is simple. My assignments as a photographer take me anywhere and everywhere, therefore allowing to share what I experience along the way. I also have other passions like trail running, martial arts and traveling. On my blog, I want to portray myself as an accessible person who likes to share his adventures and challenges, that’s why I write in first person. I try my best to remain positive and prefer experience to opinions.

Covering the RCMP Sunset ceremonies in Ottawa, 2015. Photo by Rick Millette.

Luckily photography is a medium that is easy to share. They tell a story or show something in a way that is a lot easier than having to explain it; hence the cliché quote: “A picture is worth a thousand words”.

My intent is not to teach nor speak about the science behind photography, or at least not really in depth. There are plenty of people that do that very well in YouTube already. I try to keep it simple, and just give a bit more details about the photographs. I tell my story, very much like a journal, or a conversation I would have with my friends. It also serves the purpose of building credibility to the people who might be interested in hiring me down the road, allowing them to get to know me better before they make that first contact.

Would you allow me to shoot you now?

 

Documenting the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, France. Photo by my boss.

 

COM0014 – Blog #1: How I became a giant in 24h.

It all started over a beer on New year’s eve. My aunt told me about this race she had been running for the last two years. She said it was crazy enough that it would be “my kind of thing”: a trail race, in a cross country skiing club, with only 35 participants, and a poutine at the end. The trail is a 4.2km loop that you run/walk as many time as you possibly can, in 24hours. It’s called: “Le trail des géants », french for “The trail of the giants”. I was sold!

An ultramarathon, […], is any footrace longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres (Wikipedia)

I did not go crazy on the training but it quickly became obvious that I needed to add a few long distances training into my schedule if I wanted to survive this challenge. Away from my weekly runs, I decided to subscribe to the Ottawa Marathon (42.2km) on a 50 day’s notice. Later in July I walked a 56km training to test my legs and my kit. Many lessons learned during that day helped me on race day.

The race

I was the first participant to show up at the Skinoramik cross country ski club on Saturday Aug 3rd. There were only a few clouds and the weather was really nice. I setup my tent, cooler and laid out my gear (Clothes, headlamp, blister kit, spare shoes etc.) in preparation for the hours ahead.

This was my home during the race

It was 12h11 when I started my GPS watch  and began running in a trail I was going to get to know pretty well over the next day.

One of the easy stretch on the trail – Photo by Joannes Gouin

At supper time I had completed 9 laps and 38km before we sat together to eat an amazing pig roast. At midnight, most of us met to walk 1 lap together; my 15th lap. I went to bed around 2h30am after a couple of beers from my favourite brewery, Le Trefle noir. I slept for almost 3 hours before heading back on the trail, coffee in hand, for the last 5 laps I needed to reach my goal of 85km (2x marathon).

My aunt had managed to catch up with me to walk my last lap and since there was still time, I decided to join her for her last lap (She completed 12, reaching her goal of 50km). These last 2 laps, were definitely my favourite ones. My legs were hurting, my feet were ready to quit, but It felt good to have someone with me and share those special emotions together.

After a quick shower, they served us an AMAZING poutine with bacon and what was left of the pig roast. #fooddrunk.

THE poutine!

My final marks were 91.6km for 21 laps. This is how, on the eve of my 40th birthday, I became a giant.

Me and my aunt, looking proud after 24h and a combined mileage of 141km

 

Here is a couple links that inspired me during the training leading to that race:

Audio book: Can’t hurt me

Youtube: Where dreams go to die

 

What inspires you when you train?

Do you have what it takes to be a giant?