My breakthrough photograph happened in 1994 when I took a picture of my nephew, Shawn at a car wash. He was driving his father’s old Caprice and I was in the back with my Olympus point-and-shoot. I noticed three red poppies his dad had stuck to the roof and two boyish eyes looking back at me in the rear-view mirror. Something about my nephew’s youth juxtaposed with the symbolic poppies created a story that transcended the image.
The picture had color, simplicity, metaphor and visual design; elements that came to define what I look for in my work.
So my love affair with photography began.
I had always loved storytelling. In my twenties, I published poetry, made films with a Super-8 camera and interviewed eccentrics on the west coast. When I moved to Toronto I earned my living as a radio and television producer and writer, seldom taking a camera on travels because I felt it separated me from “experience.” Instead, I kept diaries. Words were my snapshots.
On a trip to Rajasthan in the mid-1980s, I met a charming driver in Jodphur who referred to me, (joking, of course) as “Lady Without a Camera.” After my conversion, I returned to India and looked up Mr.Tak, who was relieved to see me with several Nikons and a tripod.
Mine is a documentary approach. I am attracted to content, ideas and beauty. Something intrigues me- a scene, a circumstance- I record it. I seldom interfere with what is happening, but place myself in a promising location and wait for surprises. I often break rules by dividing a picture down the middle or cropping to the essence in the viewfinder: mother’s smile, baby’s ear.
I am interested in layers and hidden meanings. A photograph should make you feel something and lead to new discoveries. A window contains themes in addition to what is written on its surface; it offers one thing, reveals another. A shoe display with reflections of streetscape, passersby, the interplay of light and shadow, gains mystery and personality.
I have taken workshops with photographers such as Bruce Davidson, Freeman Patterson, who have helped me refine my vision and trust my eye.
If asked what photography means in my life, I would say it has shown me worlds I had not seen.
If asked why I chose photography as my means of expression, I would say I didn’t. Others may have said this but l like to think I said it first.
Photography chose me.
Anne Bayin was born in Dumfries, Scotland, of Burmese and Scottish descent. She moved to Saskatchewan, Canada at age six. She received her degree in English and Psychology at the University of Victoria.
Her broadcast career began as producer and on-air host of the weekly television program “CONNECTIONS” in Victoria, B.C., an eclectic mix of social issures, current affairs and arts. In the mid-70′s, having made short films and freelanced for the national radio program “This Country In the Morning”, she moved to Toronto where she spent the next two decades producing some of Canada’s finest radio and television programs, with hosts such as Peter Gzowski and Barbara Frum. Alongside, she pursued a writing career which is ongoing. Assignments have taken her from Santa Fe to Dubrovnik, from New York to Mumbai.
She was a producer on CBC’s Flagship Current Affairs program “The Journal”, and later made documentaries for CBC and PBS. From 1995-1999, she was Senior Producer of CBC Television’s “PAMELA WALLIN LIVE”, CBC Newsworld’s hour-long interview program. She was involved in the making of over 600 programs.
” PWL” was broadcast in primetime, five nights a week , dealing with current issues and ideas in a provocative and innovative fashion. The show featured top national and international newsmakers in politics, entertainment, medicine and sports; from Henry Kissinger to Anne Murray, from Andrea Boccelli to Wayne Gretsky. Based in Toronto, ”PWL” produced special remotes from Hong Kong, London and Los Angeles.
The Liberty Project: FCCT Gallery, Bangkok,
The Liberty Project: Arta Gallery
The Liberty Project: Arta Gallery
“PULP” GIBSONE JESSOP GALLERY, TORONTO
” M.I.L.K” VIADUCT HARBOUR, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Nov. 2002 – Jan. 2003
“M.I.L.K” LONDON SCIENCE MUSEUM, SOUTH KENSINGTON
“M.I.L.K” VANDERBILT HALL,GRAND CENTRAL STATION, NEW YORK
“FIVE BY SEVEN”. DESSINEE GALLERY, TORONTO
“WORLD VIEWS”. DESSINEE GALLERY, TORONTO
“AUTRES DIRECTIONS; IMAGES OF PROVENCE”, DESSINEE GALLERY, TORONTO
“INDIAN INSPIRATIONS”. CELEBRATION THEATRE, HARBORFRONT, TORONTO
“OUT OF INDIA”. DESSINEE ART GALLERY, CONTACT 1997
Here’s the book illustration I designed for Kaz Connelly’s Come Cold River published October 2013
With friends backstage at Luminato Festival, Toronto, June, 2013
With Kim Phuc at 40th Anniversary Tribute Dinner, Royal York, Toronto, 2012