Q: Hi Andre, it's so nice that you have a few minutes to chat. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: I really appreciate this opportunity! I am 34 years old, born and raised in Riverton, Manitoba. My love for the outdoors and nature started at a young age. I grew up living on a big acreage where there was lots to explore and see. My dad and both grandpas were carpenters and I'm honoured to follow in their footsteps. I preferred the finer details of carpentry and went out on my own about 6 years ago as a finish carpenter. Over the years I have lived in Winnipeg, Vancouver Island and Churchill where I met my beautiful girlfriend Avere.
Q: Your photography has really taken off in the past year. What inspired you to get into it?
A: With the love for the outdoors and scenery I started by taking pictures on my phone. After posting a few, and seeing the response I got, I decided to go out and buy a camera. I came up to The Pas last summer for work and after seeing the beautiful landscape and lakes in the area I saw an opportunity to practice and grow in photography. Instagram was and still is a huge motivator, seeing such talented people posting incredible pictures, I was hooked from day one. Having a brother that is a professional photographer has helped immensely and I have learned a lot from him along with endless hours of tutorials and trial and error.
I have always loved the northern lights and spent most of last winter practicing, pushing my camera to its limits to learn how to capture them properly. Night photography has to be my favourite. I love the challenge and showing people of the world the beautiful skies we have here during the night but also during the day.
Q: The Pas' economic issues really seem to affect everyone, have you personally been impacted?
A: Yes it is very unfortunate to see so many people losing their jobs and have their future hang in the balance. Personally, I lost two big jobs the week after the news of Tolko possibly shutting down. That definitely took some of the wind out of my sails, so I started thinking of ways to build up and grow my photography. I'm excited for the future and have some big plans in the works!
Q: What's your hope for our communities? Where do you see us heading?
A: I hope things get resolved quickly for the people affected, and for our communities as a whole. It's hard to say in what direction things will go but I really do see the potential the area has and will continue to do my best to keep bringing people here to see what our community and surrounding area has to offer!
Q: Thank you so much for chatting, did you have anything else to say to those reading?
A: No problem! I'd like to thank everybody for making me feel welcome here and for all of the support. I truly appreciate it! If there is anybody that is interested in practicing their own photography or even just going out to see the northern lights, don't hesitate to ask. I'm always willing to help or take people out with me! Cheers!