Photographer Darran Chaisson is bringing the brightest colours of the west coast to an art exhibit at Everything Bagel.
Chaisson has been working as a full-time professional photographer for three years now, although he has been taking photos for more than 30 years. His work is entirely self-taught, and he is currently waiting on accreditation from the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC).
“It’s all been through trial and error,” said Chaisson.
Chaisson is originally from Nova Scotia, but he moved to the Valley with his wife four years ago. He was drawn to the area by his former profession as an industrial mechanic. He worked briefly as a millwright at Catalyst Paper before he was pulled away by his passion for photography.
“I got tired of working in an industrial setting,” he said. “This is a much more fun job.”
The title of his display at Everything Bagel is “West Coast Wanderings,” and features a number of images of the west coast, from Port Alberni to Tofino. “They’re the most colourful representations,” said Chaisson. “The most appealing.”
One image is a black-and-white photo of a Burmis Tree, which Chaisson refers to as the “gateway” to the west coast, as these pines are markers for people arriving west from the Prairies.
Although he can be spotted around town at many Alberni Valley events, landscapes and portrait work are Chaisson’s favourite subjects to shoot.
“I used to be really scared of shooting portraits,” he said. “Now I’m really enjoying capturing expressions and personality.”
Chaisson is the first artist featured on Everything Bagel’s new wall. He said he contacted the shop shortly after they finished renovations.
”I’ve been coming in here and supporting them since they opened,” said Chaisson. “There was a lot of empty space after the renovation. We discussed me putting something up for a few weeks.”
It was a benefit for both parties. “It was just to lend some colour here, and have a place to put my art up,” he said.
You can check out Chaisson’s display at Everything Bagel (4505 Victoria Quay) until Sunday, Dec. 10, or check out more of his work online at darranchaissonphotography.ca.