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In 2012, after a twelve year stay in Golden, Penny retired from teaching and Bill closed his 2000 sq. ft. studio - and they moved lock, stock, and barrel to Victoria, where Bill promptly had a heart attack. That, combined with other health issues, forced his retirement too. Both continue to do what they love best - walking, shovelling snow, driving slippery mountain roads in 30 below temperatures, dressing in five layers of clothing just to go get a litre of milk, and of course, acting and photography.

 



About Penny

Born and raised in Montreal on Howdy Doody, Father Knows Best, and Leave it to Beaver, I graduated from Bishop’s University in 1967 with a First Class Honors BA, major in English. 

Thus, sadly lacking in marketable skills, I headed for England, where I lived for seven years, got married, had two children, and renovated a 17th Century house. Then back to Canada and Dawson Creek, BC, where I grew my hair, wore long dresses, and went back to the land.

Couldn’t quite make it living off the land, so variously worked as a Radio Continuity Writer, a Librarian’s Assistant, and a Newspaper Reporter---Photographer.  Although I had owned a film camera from the age of 12, now I could run around shooting pictures with reckless abandon. 

Then, older and wiser, I went back to University for a teaching degree and headed off to Burns Lake to teach High School English and French.  From there it was back to Vancouver Island for a few years to work as a Teacher on Call. 

Next stop, Vancouver, where I met Bill, a professional photographer all his life.  We then spent several years in Williams Lake before making the move to Golden in 2000 so that I could teach Grade 1 French Immersion.

The beauty of my surroundings (coupled with standing around with Bill as he “waited for the light”) prompted me to dust off my camera.  I spent time with my macro photos of flowers, playing with them outside the constraints of photography. Thus were born Springtime Swirls. 

I am drawn to the quirky, the unusual, the unexpected. I go for long rambling walks every morning, my camera at the ready. Even in Victoria, one never knows what might be waiting just around the next corner.

 


About Bill

It’s all about the print.

With film, printing didn’t matter as much. Negatives and slides were stored and people filled albums, or shoe boxes, with small prints of kids growing up and holiday trips etc. These can still be reproduced today of course. (I have a print of my grandparents, for example, taken over 100 years ago in their first apartment and believe it or not – it’s a selfie.) 

These prints are not merely snapshots; they show us how we lived, dressed, worked and played.  They give us a realistic view of what the world was like.  Look up Vivian Maier, (vivianmaier.com) whose photography wasn’t discovered until two years after her death, to get an idea as to what will be lost if prints aren’t made in the digital age - because hard-drives do die and technology does change.  We all know there are many Vivian Maiers walking around today taking DIGITAL images that won't make it very far into the future. Images will be lost forever unless files are printed.

I've probably spent too much of my life behind the lens, in the darkroom, or in front of a computer working with PhotoShop. A published photographer, I've worked mostly with corporate clients (both domestic and foreign) and with various levels of government. I've done my share of weddings and portraits too.  (One has to eat you know.) But I am grateful for the opportunities and challenges. I wouldn't change a thing. 

I consider myself more of a photographic illustrator and storyteller than a conventional photographer. My large scale tableaux depicting contemporary issues through mythology and metaphor have been exhibited in public galleries. These, and many of my other works, have found their way into private collections around the world.

I enjoy the photographic process, and every aspect of every piece is 100% my own work. Editing, printing, mounting, matting, and framing are all done in house - literally in house as I no longer have a studio. I no longer have a 44-inch printer either.  So, for now, I'm forced to print smaller. I just can't seem to convince Penny that a large industrial printer would look great in our living room.

 

 
  © Penny & Bill Pitcher