I met Caroline Oullette of the La petite Fiole at the East Bolton Farmers Market when I was selling my teas. I wanted to explore Healing and Shamanism and Wildcrafting a theme that resonated with both of us.
Recently I stumbled upon an Experimental Folk group called Heilung. Their sounds and dress inspired me. Do explore this group if you have a chance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heilung
Anyways, I hope you enjoy the series as much as I enjoyed exploring this theme … lets all take a little time to heal our spiritual wounds.
And Please do check out Caroline’s natural products and services! https://www.lapetitefiole.com/
Every so often, if we are lucky, we meet dynamic and wise people like Haruko Takahashi. Our fates crossed when she needed identification photos. She had such a great time in the studio she kept telling everyone around her “you should bring your family” take pictures in the studio! Soon after that Haruko invited me to visit her on 17 East of the Montreal General Hospital, an invitation I gladly accepted. Haruko has no known family and she bonded with the staff and they in return bonded with her. Haruko just was and she shared her wisdom and educated thoughts … her presence and made its mark. When I was there we had a great chat and wonderful experience. A few days later she died. I do believe in fate and that we met people for a reason … its just up to us to be aware to see and understand why they are in our lives. For me as a portrait photographer meeting Haruko was an intense encounter and learning of her sudden death was very shocking and left a mark on me … quite un-expectected and painful … the human hart is the only organ that keeps breaking … and we go on …
These are the last portraits of who I was introduced to as Haruko Takahashi. I do believe in fate. Thank You Haruko for being there and reaching out and touching us all. I wish your soul a happy journey home. With lots of love Michael Cichon
It was an honor to finally meet Korean Master Potter Toyayo. His pottery was introduced to me through my Korean Tea & Pottery connection in Pusan, South Korea. I imported a few tea cups and immediately fell in love with them. They were so light and crisp; the edges rough with a sophisticated texture; infused with refined culture. But that’s my impression! You will have to discover your own experience. His cups are such a pleasure to hold and drink from; especially a first flush green tea! Korean Master Potter Toyayo, like the earth tones that he wears, is such a down to earth and gentle man. These days his work is growing in popularity, especially in Japan where he recently had a show. This timing of this visit coincided perfectly with the latest firing his wood kiln. Now understand with heat fluctuations on average 60% of the pottery survives! And this firing was very, very successful. Here are some pictures from our visit. Enjoy.
I was introduced to this special lady in a most wonderful way and that was in her restaurant which she has been running for over 40 years. She is cherished by many poets and artists for her famous Pajeon (Korean pizza they call it, but the name doesn’t do it justice). She made us the great fresh seafood Pajeon and served us a bowl of great home made Makgeolli, also called Dong Dong Jew; a mild rice wine. This was worth the trip I tell you! You have to understand this was one of my favorite beverages while I was living in South Korea. I even made a pilgrimage where some of the best stuff is made. When I returned to Canada, I would also try my hand at making it for myself. Not so easy. The first time I used the wrong rice and made more of a cement which you had to use a spoon! Anyways …
After a 17 year absence this trip to Busan, South Korea was really about reconnecting with my dear friends and partners in the tea business. Park Jin Kuen and Kim Jeon Yeon run a small tea shop in Busan, South Korea. This year, while visiting I was introduced to their unique community and managed to take some interesting environmental portraits of shop keepers, tea farmers and Master Potter’s. Each portraits is a story, so stay tuned for more pictures on these wonderful people. Enjoy.Cheers
I was very privileged to have had done my graduating portfolio on the sisters living at the residence Maison Jesus Marie. I am more privileged still to be able to continue the project. For the senior nuns that I have photographed many have used their portraits for their funeral and obituary. Since I have exhibited my portfolio about half of my Sister sitters have made the transition. This project has really put time in perspective, as well as who if fact gets asked to pose for a portrait. The power of the portrait is powerful. Marie, the last in this series, is the evening nurse and the care taker of these wise women. My aunt Helen (2nd to last) invited her for a photo. When she stepped into the the room I immediately could see her glow in the late afternoon light. It was a pleasure to stop her in her tracks, pose her and capture an essence. She was so ecstatic with the result that I was moved. So often I hear “oh I’ll break your camera” “I’m ugly” “I wish my looks were worth your talent” … if only they could see through my eyes. Through a photographers eyes we see so many more versions and the light that helps to define you. That’s why I am so happy when people who normally don’t pose allow me into their world, and allow me to make a rendition of that moment … all passing moments. By the way the first lady is Sister Theresa who taught at Vincent Massey High School, a teacher I have known since my high school days; and it is a pleasure to allow you to see her smile this way. And as for my center portraits two and three … these are the very special Superior’s who allowed my project to take root in the first place. My deepest gratitude!
Bertrand is one of those giving people who made a difference while working at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. He retired early this year and I wanted to be sure to photograph him to be sure people remember his legacy. Thank You Bernard! and all the children you helped and the staff Thank You. Have fun traveling.
Vancouver Re-Visit tour … part 2 … Tom Small is big on wine and lots of other spirits, but you need to talk to him about that. The man is made to be a Master Distiller … in the meantime go down and make some wine and talk to the man! Tom is lucky to have a north facing window in the back of his shop … A good size window facing North Vancouver and Grouse Mountain. I fell in love with the late afternoon light as we; Keith, Carole and Tom chatted. This needed to be captured and it was … I was really happy with these portraits which are as organic as it gets …
Update: A wonderful time with Keith Lehman, Carole Henshall and Vin Arora … a wonderful time spent in the Kingsmill Pottery Studio on Granville Island, BC… https://granvilleisland.com/directory/kingsmill-pottery-studio
Ps they have a rule if you like the delicious looking pottery you bought it! …
This is my updated installment from my Re-visiting Vancouver series. Yes, it all starts here. These 2 wonderful people, Keith and Carole the potters at the Poplar Studio https://www.facebook.com/ThePoplarStudio/ Dear friends that were there for the many different manifestations of my Live Like Water Tea Room … from Hopkin’s Landing to Chinatown Vancouver and Galaxies Beyond. True friends that are right there with you when you need them the most. As much as we can maintain some connection on line we think we’re fine … but true friendships need re-connections and this is what my re-visit to Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast was all about … and so the first part of the first part of this installment … stay tuned this story will swell with pictures but for now these portraits …
Not everyone ventures to the basement at their work place, and yet the staff of the basement help support the functioning of the top side, day to day world. Here are 3 faces that you might find, if you venture down to the basement of a hospital. And so without further a due I want to introduce you to Elga and Estelle from the laundry department and Mike Black from receiving; an amazing man who manages to find and track boxes without names or room numbers! To me Mr.Black looks like the character from the series Breaking Bad: Heisenberg. What do you think? Potentially his double.I thank all these people for letting me practice my mixed lighting techniques for environmental portraiture. Enjoy. Cheers
Here is a portrait I took awhile back. I came across this shoot I did with my friend David J. Lane. At the time he was build a trail at the Live Like Water Retreat. David is very good at trail building and really gets into it … as you can see in this photo David is in his element.
This week I was fortunate to photograph a team of 4 men who were trimming trees that would potentially interfere with the Hydro high tension wires. These guys were very professional. It was a pleasure to photograph them as they worked. Here are the photographs of the team that work for Asplundh Enjoy. Cheers
I was lucky to have met Itisha Chowdhury a local Indian woman and model here in Montreal. It was a pleasure to explore the far eastern theme with her. I thank her so much to exposing us to her culture and the beautiful Sari she brought. Also a big thank you to my crew Bin Han my studio assistant and 2nd shooter and Kate Keltoum Naas our dedicated make up artist. Thanks team for making this happen. Cheers Michael
In my current exploration of the Lolita theme here is the current installment … a Goth Lolita. Keep in mind this story is still being developed … lets see how the tale unfolds … in the mean time enjoy this potential chapter… Thanks to my team Bin Han my studio partner, Kate; Keltoum Naas our make up artist and our model Emilie Gagnon. A big thank you for your participation and energy. Cheers to all. Michael
I met Sheba through my aunt Helen who just had hip replacement surgery. Sheba was her roommate. A charming, intellectual and compassionate woman. I was lucky to have met this engaging woman. We bonded over the Jewish writer Isaac Babel whom I’ve read in my Russian Studies and she met in her classroom! Here are a few interesting shots from her bed side as she was convalescing.
It because she was part Polish that I started calling her “Pani” Maclean (Madame or Lady)… And we had a great shoot and had lots of fun. I got the shot I was really after and it is the only one I retouched … that was the conceptual shot for my caption: “Big Leek No Problem.” All the other shots are out takes which need to be retouched…but here they are in the raw…so to speak. Enjoy Cheers