Philosophy Beauty is presented to us daily – we just need to pause a little to see it. As photographers, we can learn to record those beautiful moments to share with others and enjoy ourselves, over and over again. Our art is making time stand still.
Style Documentary and Environmental Portraits.
Technique Eric started making photographs in high school, learning to develop and print in a basement darkroom his Dad built for him. Those black & white skills were refined when he was sent to the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California in the mid-1960s. As his career path unfolded, working for glossy magazines meant learning to shoot colour transparency film. Then, the switch to digital in this century was like learning a new language, requiring new camera skills and a working knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom.
But the payoff is huge. Fifty years ago, who could have imagined the ease with which we can now create big, beautiful, vivid colour prints at home.
Background Eric grew up in Kelowna, a small agricultural town in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. The Hayes family's neighbour, Russell Gage, was a retired stock broker who had taken up photography as a hobby. Watching images appear in a tray of liquid in his darkroom was pure magic. That fascination led to 2 summer jobs at the local newspaper, 3 years at a photography school in California, and a career that has taken him around the world.
A one-way ticket to Bombay in 1968 turned into a year-and-a-half in England where he became part of the London music scene, photographing Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon, The Who, and many others. Demand for those photographs continues even now, thanks to the internet.
Eric returned to Canada in 1970, making his way to Toronto, then Nova Scotia, where he built a photojournalism career that put his photographs on the covers of many Canadian magazines. In 1983 he won a National Magazine Gold Award for a photo essay in Maclean’s.
Eric is a founding member of ViewPoint Gallery, and he credits its members with spurring him to create a fine-art series from those rock & roll shots. That was his first show, Legends of Rock & Roll, in 2003. A year later he produced a second show entitled, In Their Own Skin, a series of straight-forward black & white canvas portraits of naturists on a Caribbean cruise.
In 2015 Eric was made a lifetime member, and he continues his relationship with ViewPoint from Victoria, BC, where he lives a couple of doors down the street from his son and granddaughter.
Publications Book projects: A Day In The Life of Canada, 1984; Share The Flame, 1988; and Remembering Diana, 1997.
Magazine covers: Rolling Stone, Maclean’s, Atlantic Insight, Sailing, Equinox, Today’s Parent, Canadian Geographic, Harrowsmith, Dalhousie Alummi, Small Business, Sphere, Canadian Welder & Fabricator, Commercial News, N Magazine, and Going Natural.