Rosamond Norbury - A Very Good PhotographerFriday, November 14, 2008
In Spanish the saying is, "Nadie es profeta en su tierra." It seems to sound that much more final in Spanish that no one is a prophet in their own land.
As a photographer I always try to do my best. As a commercial photographer I don't perform in direct relationship to how much I get paid. I feel I must give my best. I show my photographs to my wife. I may be proud of a particular photograph and when she sees it she looks at some obscure corner and (finding some hair that is askew or a finger not in place or some wrinkle here or there) and usually says, "What's that?" I dismiss her criticism. I take the photograph to some competent art director who upon seeing the picture (notices what Rosemary noticed) says, "What's that?"
In the end (and I am convinced of this) you are only as good as you think you are. If you think you are good and you have been around the block you might just be almost right.
After 35 years in Vancouver I have seen many photographers come and go. Some were one or two month fashion wonders instantly superseded by the next two-month wonders. Few of them ever stayed. One of the best, Howard Fry, retired to Saltspring Island. There is James La Bounty, Hans Sipma, Roger Brooks, Doane Gregory, Raymond Lum and a couple more I may have forgotten. As for the new young ones I am sure time will tell.
There is one photographer who has remained and never given anything but her best. And she gives her best with a smile on her face. It is difficult to be a photographer in Vancouver and still be cheery. Rosamond Norbury is cheery and she is very good. And she is one of the few Vancouver photographers who manages to be commercial when it is necessary while not sacrificing her art side. Some of the serious stuff she does at Malaspina Printmakers on Granville Island is seriously good.
Every once in a while I run into Norbury. She is quick to smile. I smile back and I remember the best thing anybody ever said about my work, "Alex, thank you for not having ever taken a bad picture."
I do hope that after seeing this picture I took of her a few years ago she does not change her mind.