Jean-François

(he/him)

I left my hometown of Trois-Rivières (Quebec) and came to Montreal on my 20th birthday, with my prized possession: my first camera, a Pentax K1000, which I still own to this day. Photography has been my hobby since I was 14. I evolved as innovative technology evolved. In my twenties, I owned a small black and white lab where I experimented with different techniques. Then digital came along and I followed suit, developing photos in the virtual lab that is Photoshop.

While I’ve been working as an IT Professional for the last 30 years, as life unfolded, I collected a wide range of hobbies, such as Astronomy, Magic, Comic Books and Science Fiction Literature. I decided that if I wanted to become proficient at something, I had to focus all my efforts on one hobby, and photography has truly won my heart. In the last 5 years, photography has become my true passion, fuelled by a lifetime of experience of seeing the world as a father, a son, a lover, a friend, and foremost, a man in constant awe of the wonders of the world.

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Week Six - Sell Me a Story (submission for critique)

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER

Live long and Prosper

The secret to longevity is to be young in the brain, train your body and play with kids, at least, according to Mémé Killer who just turned 81. She has been working out everyday since she retired at age 65. Martial arts, yoga, walking, playing with her grandkids is her daily routine. Medications? she takes one pill for cholesterol’s prevention, and that is all ! « Honestly, I feel like a youngster of 60 » she says. As if it wasn’t enough, she went IndoorSkydiving at SkyVenture. Is it the first step toward real skydiving ? « Maybe ... », she says with a little smile.

Long live Mémé killer !!!

Week Five - Black and White (eliminated)

VAX PRESSURE

As the pressures of covid rise, the government has to act quickly to protect public health. Mandates are put in place, vaccines are created and administered with the hope of normalcy. But what happens when they don't hit the mark and people are stuck on the fence? Time and time again, studies show that vaccinations are safe and effective but many are still unsure. While the governments intentions when deciding to incentivize people to get vaccinated were not in malice, the impact had a negative effect on those who just weren't sure. After all, many minorities don't have the same access to healthcare and incentives may alleviate some of the financial burden.

But what about those whose situations aren't so black and white? Weighing the pros and cons can be difficult for those without the knowledge on interpreting the information available about the safety of vaccines and this is why education is necessary. Many factors play a role in informed choice especially when it comes to pregnant women. These women are doing their best to protect themselves and their baby based on the information available to them but the pressure to get vaccinated continues to rise. Creating fear by threatening consequences for not getting vaccinated (job loss) or guilt does not address the root of the problem. Education = informed choice.

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TRIGGER WARNINGCarousel image

Week Four - Scratching the Surface with Maya Ramsahoye (SAFE)

DRAG KING

This special lady is Lilly (Eliane) Bonin, a strong and fierce Drag King. She has wielded her body into a piece of art but not any kind of art: the kind that shatters stereotypes. As a little girl, she was frustrated that more opportunities were given to boys, so she made it her life’s mission to shatter any stereotype she encountered. As a top-rank student, she dropped out of school to follow her dream and joined the circus. She travelled the world and lived life to the fullest. Masculine? Feminine? Her war cry is a resounding and playful “yes” to all genders and every facet of herself. When I told her we couldn't pay her, she was simply happy to be a part of this competition, and send the message with the giggly thrill of the indomitable woman who kicks doors down and any obstacle in her way.

Week Three - KISS with Curtis Jones (Keep it Simple, Shooters!) SAFE

LONELY

Minimalism : a simple word but a complex concept. For my first attempt, I chose this Lighthouse on a snow day. I love the purity of a snowy sky, erasing everything and making a brand new canvas for Nature to redo its magic. The whites of the snow compete with the Lighthouse’s; the fence is an anchor.

Despite its feeling of cold and loneliness, looking at this pure and peaceful scene sends my mind in a meditative state where I can rest from life’s turmoil. It is a feeling I often share, and I connect deeply with the scene.

Week Two - Recreate a Renee Robyn (Top Three - 3rd Place)

Week One - Spectrum (Bottom Three)

"VioZen"

This Inukshuk is an Inuit statue crafted from Amethyst crystals: the properties of the Inukshuk and the violet colour enhance peace, meditation, cleansing, protection, purity of spirit and inspiration.

Inukshuk is a guide for spiritual quests; smoke from incense represents spirits, so I placed 7 rocks in a circle to represent the seven chakras in a ritual.

This scene also represents a glimpse of my inner sanctum since I meditate often, and I’ve been searching for life´s meaning for quite a while. This was my way to express the journey that I am on and reveal more of myself.