South Cariboo photographer Chris Harris will be the keynote speaker for the North Shore Photographic Society’s virtual Photographic Challenge next month.
This year the NSPS is inviting photographers from across B.C. and the Yukon to submit photos for the challenge, which has a deadline of Feb. 12. Following a judging period, the photos will all be showcased and the winners announced on March 6 along with Harris’ keynote address. Both contestants and the public are invited to attend this virtual Zoom event.
An accomplished and celebrated photographer, Harris has lived in the Cariboo since 1984. He said he plans to discuss the importance of artistic expression and viewing photography as an art form. He also intends to prepare several slides of photos to take attendees on a “journey of discovery” where he’ll show them the potential of the medium.
“It’s to be inspiring and informative, basically and to encourage photographers to see their craft as an art form, not just as a way to duplicate or replicate the world they see in front of them,” Harris said.
Harris is no stranger to working with the NSPS having served as a judge on its panel three times over the years. For him, photography isn’t just a passion but a dynamic art form. He first started taking photos as a hobby when he was 20 after his dad gave him a camera but has since always found a way to combine his love of taking photos with his professional career as an adventure tour guide. He made a name for himself capturing the beauty of the Cariboo.
“So I’m an explorer, a photographer and a publisher,” Harris said. “I’ve published 13 books on the region. It’s my way of trying to generate a sense of place for people. Not only people who live here but also British Colombians and Canadians.”
After he published his last book in 2016, The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: A Photographer’s Journey, Harris was faced with a dilemma of what he’d photograph next. As a result, he made a complete change from documentarian style photography to the artistic side of the medium, experimenting and exploring visual expression. His work can be found on chrisharis.com
“I’m mostly an expressionist abstract photographer (now). I photograph for myself as opposed to for the region as a sense of place. I photograph from my heart now,” Harris said.
He encourages all photographers to try their hand at submitting their work. For details about how to submit photographs and how to get tickets for the March 6 event, visit the NSPS website: https://nsps.ca.