Three’s a Charm - Portrait Photographer of the Year

Katheryn Gordon Canada's Portrait Photographer of the Year!


Reprinted from Gallerie Magazine - Professional Photographers of Canada

A Passion for Capturing and Creating

Following several successful careers as an artist, surgical intensive care nurse and classical pianist, teacher and performer, Katheryn Gordon, MPA, transformed her passion for caring and performing into the art of capturing and creating photographic portraits.

Katheryn’s husband, Warren Gordon, MPA, with over 35 years experience operating a successful studio and publishing business, encouraged her to become involved in photography.

They attended a lecture by renowned portrait artist Darton Drake at the New England Institute of Professional Photography. Gordon was excited by his creative images and moved by a slideshow he presented of the emotionally charged work of his friend, Fuzzy Dunkel.

“Because I was an artist, Warren felt I could I do it, be a photographer. He taught me how to use a camera at the Boston Airport the next day. While Warren was teaching me, I came in very close to his face to photograph him and he said that I should stand back further to get the image correctly, but I insisted that if I was going to do this, then I was going to do it my way!” she says.

Shortly after returning to Cape Breton, Gordon and her husband were confined to their home by a huge snowstorm…it was a perfect opportunity to learn more about photography. “We put up a backdropand took pictures of each other. He taught me how to use Photoshop. He pretty much said go for it, experiment, don’t be afraid to make mistakes… I’ll buy you a new computer if you break it! And he meant it!” Gordon laughs. “We always say it was a good thing there was a snowstorm.”

Katheryn Gordon

After working on her skills as a photographer with the help of her husband, Gordon said goodbye to her days as a nurse and a piano teacher. She has come a long way since. With no formal training, she has risen to become PPOC’s Portrait Photographer of the Year, and has received a multitude of other industry awards.

“My favourite aspect of photography is creating something beautiful,” she says. “I really love faces. I was like that as an artist. I would always start with the eyes. It just attracts me,every face.”

Her favourite image, Legend of the Rhine Maiden (shown to the right), took a tremendous amount of work to create. “I loved the way it evolved, it was a real journey. I would love to do a musical lecture-type concert that would discuss the evolution of that image,” says Gordon.

This would be the second major artistic showcase by Gordon who, in 2006, presented a very well received three hour lecture at the PPOC National Convention in Halifax.

Gordon, at the piano, was joined by four musicians who accompanied the slideshows of her images with 13 instrumental arrangements.

Gordon continues to make her mark creating imaginative and unique portraits in her home-based studio and adjoining riverside photographic park, a scenic location for outdoor photographs, on Sydney River.

“I still love my music and art, however, I feel much more satisfied with the addition of photography in my life,” she says. “The journey to PPOC Portrait Photographer of the Year has taught me to look beyond the obvious to achieve my artistic vision.”

On winning the award:

“Getting this award has given me an extra boost, a pat on the back and extra credibility. I was fortunate enough to be trained by pros like my husband, John Beesley, Joseph and Louise Simone, and Sib Pye of the PPOC, on a personal individual level. This award has given me a greater sense of accomplishment and confidence. It has inspired me to be even more creative.”
More of Katheryn's award-winning images. Click to enlarge ...
A-Lifetime-of-Devotion300 Age-of-Innocence240 When-the-Smoke-Settles