Photographer Katheryn Gordon earns national recognition

By Laura Jean Grant - Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY - To say Katheryn Gordon is a quick study may be a bit a of an understatement. Only a year and a half after first picking up a camera, Katheryn has recently received both regional and national recognition for her pictures.

Katheryn, wife of successful Cape Breton photographer Warren Gordon, took up photography in April 2001 after being inspired while attending a photography event with her husband.

“I was moved by a slide show presentation of portraiture,’ she said.

Katheryn said Warren had often told her he thought she would have a knack for photography as she is very creative and enjoys the arts. After taking her first picture of Warren at an airport, Katheryn said she was hooked and began learning the art of photography from him.
She said she was lucky to have such a great teacher who taught her the basics and showed her little tricks.

She added she’s equally grateful he encouraged her to try things for herself and be creative.

“He got me started and then said do your own thing’,’ she said.

And she has done just that.

After becoming comfortable with the digital camera, Icatheryn said she found she particularly enjoyed taking portrait pictures.

“1 love doing children’s portraits. I love thces. That’s what attracted me to photography is the faces,” she said.

During the last year she has become increasingly busy with customers who have seen her work and want her to do their portrait. She noted her husband Warren Is really supportive of her new photography career.

‘He’s so encouraging and happy for me, she said. “There’s no competition between us. We encourage each other and enhance each other’s work” -
Katheryn said her photo shoots generally last about two hours as she needs at least that amount of time to get to know her subject.

“I feel like I know the person very well at the end of shoot. You develop a friendship during the photo shoot,’ she said.

And while photography has become a big part of her life and career, that certainly wasn’t always the case. In fact, Katheryn has worked in a wide variety of fields learning skills which she says now compliment her photography work.

“I think I’ve brought something from all my careers to photography” she said. For example Katheryn said nurses need to be compassionate people and that trait is also necessary to do good photography work.

Katheryn worked for 15 years as a surgical and trauma nurse in Halifax, Ontario and Alberta before returning Cape Breton in 1994. At that time she decided to teach piano full time. At her peak Katheryn had about 60 students, but has cut down on that number since taking up photography. While she has reduced the number of students, she said teaching music will always be a part of her life, because she loves it.

‘It’s fun,” she said. “My youngest student is five and the oldest is 93.’.
Katheryn admitted juggling both music and photography can be challenging, but said she enjoys every minute of it.

She added she was thrilled and surprised to receive recognition of her hard work at recent photography competitions.

At a competition of Maritime photographers Katheryn won best commercial print and a Nikon award of excellence in digital photography. Then at the 2002 National Print Competition of the Professional Photographers of Canada Katheryn had three prints accepted and received an award of merit for her print entitled ‘Victorian Beauty’, and an award of merit and judges choice award for her print ‘Scarlet’s Dream. That print was also chosen as one of the top 40 prints which will tour Canada as a representation of the best work in Canadian photography.

During the last year she also received accreditation in children’s portraits, fantasy illustration, and general portraits from the Professionals Photographers of Canada.

“It (recognition) was really great because it means I’m doing the right thing,” she explained. “It encourages me to keep striving for perfection.”

Reprinted courtesy of the Cape Breton Post - Copyright © 2004. All rights Reserved.