Lori Ryerson is the owner and principal photographer for Focalocity.
My photography is usually the result of serendipity. Although it does happen occasionally, I don’t usually go out with a preconceived shot in my head, seeking a specific arrangement of things that tell that exact story. Rather, I keep my eyes and mind open for an alignment of things that convey their story to me. I look for the narrative in an abandoned urban landscape, with its fading echoes of lives lived. I travel to places that fill me with awe and wonder at our universe, reminding me that it took eons to create these vast landscapes. I seek to convey how, in the grand scheme of things, we humans have barely a grain of significance against Mother Nature’s timeline. These are the stories I look to tell through my lens.
The way I present my photographs in printed form is just as much part of my artistic consideration as the composition. I may print on canvas, or on metal, perhaps something with a glossy surface. That decision is entirely dictated by the mood of the piece. I want to make sure that the final result that ends up on your wall enhances that story.
Most of my life and work experiences have revolved around communications in some fashion. In my youth, it was through music and the performing arts. When I joined the business world, it morphed into the written word. Now I tell my stories through digital photography. (For those who like to know, I use a Panasonic Lumix mirrorless camera.)
On a solo trip to explore Egypt in 2010, I camped out (with a guide!) for a night in the White Desert. Sadly, that extraordinary experience can only be shared verbally; the images remain locked in my brain, because I didn’t know how to make my camera do that work for me. That was the impetus, after 33 gap years, to finally get a post-secondary education. In 2013, I graduated from Humber College with an honours certificate in photography.
I spent 16 years studying flying trapeze with a circus school in Toronto (my home and native land), which had a profound influence on how I now view the world and my life. I’ve had the great good fortune to travel to some inspiring locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Late in 2016, it became apparent to me that writing and photography are things I really love to do, and I needed to do more of them. In order to give them the proper time and attention, I moved on from 14 years of association management to become a full time artist. I am truly grateful that I have a lot of support and good wishes to launch this next phase of my life.
Thank you for giving me a little time in your life. Hope you enjoy the view.