Lori Ryerson is the owner and principal photographer for Focalocity.
My photography is usually the result of serendipity. Although it does happen, I don’t tend to 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 essays in abandoned urban landscapes, with their fading echoes of lives lived. I travel to places that fill me with awe and wonder at our universe, reminding me that while it took eons for Mother Nature to create these vast landscapes, our human time here is relatively insignificant. I try to capture what silence looks like. 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, or use an older technique like gum bichromate. The 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 the early days, 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.)
With a desire to see the Great Pyramids before someone turned them into a condo, I took a solo trip to explore Egypt in 2010. One memorable night, I camped out in the White Desert (with a guide; I don't really camp, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!). Sadly, I have no images from that experience, because I didn’t know how to make my camera do what I needed it to do. That was the impetus to return to school, after more than 30 gap years. In 2013, I graduated with honours from Humber College's School of Media continuing education program.
I spent 16 years studying flying trapeze with a circus school in Toronto (my home and native land), which has had a profound influence on how I 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 proud to say that my work has become part of many private collections, and some corporate ones, too, both here in Canada, and in the US.