Bio

This is my personal website. It’s not meant to attract clients or sell anything. I’m hopelessly behind the camera upgrading parade, so I just do whatever I want without necessarily following any of the popular photography or website design conventions.

I actually started taking pictures with some level of serious intent in the late 1960’s, when I was 16, armed with a big Polaroid Model 160. It used the original black and white peel-apart roll film. By the mid-70’s, I had taught myself to develop 35mm film, and I was burning and dodging black and white prints during late night sessions in my studio apartment, on weekends when not at sea with the navy. After a while, I moved on to slide film, developing my own Ektachromes and sending out the Kodachromes. Unfortunately, most of that early work was lost a long time ago, except for a few fading prints without the negatives, some vintage Polaroids, as well as a single yellow plastic case of Kodachrome slides. I also have a trunkful of family and vacation pictures I took from the late 1970’s to the early 90’s, which, despite my best intentions, I will probably never have time to scan.

In the real world, I never thought of photography as a way of making a living, but I did crave adventure, so instead of pursuing one of the traditional professions, I joined the Canadian Forces as an ROTP officer cadet attending a civilian university and I was commissioned after graduating in 1974. I subsequently served my ROTP commitment in the regular navy, after which I became a federal public servant, eventually heading a Secretary of State division embedded within National Defence. A dozen years later, I left the public service for the private sector and for some inexplicable reason, I also rejoined the military as an army reservist.

During that time, while freelancing as a civilian defence contractor in naval technical documentation, I fully retrained as an army logistics (transport) officer up to and including the command and staff course. I was qualified to command a battalion, but unfortunately, that never materialized due to the renal failure that put an end to my weekend warrior “career”. Instead, after commanding a company and having a few minor functions on division and brigade staffs, I ended up on the outside looking in and spending four years on hemodialysis, until I finally received a kidney from the waiting list. It didn’t do much for my freelance work on the civilian side of things either.

Technically, I guess I’m an 11 year veteran (4 regular and 7 reserve with several years on full-time call-out), but everything I did as a civilian was also naval or military in nature, including some NATO-related work in Paris, London and Brussels. I’ve never really done anything else.

With few exceptions, I take my pictures wherever I can walk, cycle or take public transit to in Ottawa, Canada. Not that I’m much of a photographer anyway, but all of them are photos of opportunity as it presents itself. I have no special access to anything or anyone, nor do I have pro-level equipment to do it with. It’s basically all just snapshot aesthetic street photography to me.

Pierre Lachaine

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