Cecilia Walters in Jades, Emeralds & DiamondsWednesday, February 12, 2020
In the height of the Vancouver magazine quality boom of the 80s I was a happy camper as I worked with magazine art directors who did not pigeon-hole me into this or that. One of them, Rick Staehling (who for many years was our local Man at the Movies for CBC Radio) believed in cross casting. This meant assigning me to something that I was either not comfortable with or the job was out of my league.
For that wonderful Vancouver Magazine specialty that was the one page profile accompanied by a one, vertical page bleed photograph I was told to shoot CBC announcer on the rise in 1985 in two ways. One was at home. I was comfortable with that. The other was really the domain of the fashion photographer. I was not one. I remember that we rented Denis Montalbetti’s studio (he was a fashion photographer). I had yet to master the perfect white background (you need three lights). I hired a makeup artist and famous local jeweller,Toni Cavelti sent some jades, emeralds and diamonds with a police escort.
After all these years I have had to work extensively with my 17 year-old Photoshop to get the colour almost to satisfy me. Those who don’t know should be aware that colour negative film (including the for many years standard of movie film) is highly unstable. The colour shift and the negatives eventually crumble. We know that the Vancouver Sun, and Province when they switched to colour (before the digital era) used colour negative. I would not want to see what those negatives look like now.
For me in spite of my nerves I was delighted to photograph Cecilia Walters. The CBC gave me my first job (around 1978) when my Rosemary , two daughters and I arrived to Vancouver. I have always had a sweet spot for the corporation which began with my renting station wagons to CBC film crews when I was working at Tilden-Rent-A-Car on Alberni Street.