Emotional opening for “Life in a Morning” photography exhibition in Edmonton
It’s 3 pm. I’m at home in Sherwood Park. I have to be at the CAVA art gallery in Edmonton before 4 pm to add a few finishing touches to my Life in a Morning photography exhibition and get ready to welcome my guests around 5 pm. I also have a phone interview scheduled for 4:10.
I’m standing by the sink thinking about my speech. For a few seconds, I feel my heart pounding in my chest. I’ve never been a fan of public speaking and I’m a little worried. Being a very sensitive person, I know I’ll cry while doing it and I wonder if I’ll be able to talk at the same time.
4:25 or so…
It begins during the radio interview with Geneviève Potvin of Radio-Canada for the show La croisée. Toward the end, she asks me if this is the end of my project and I pause. She thinks she’s just lost the phone connection with me. Everything is fine with the line—I’m actually trying to find a way to stop the tears from coming out! And I just can’t control myself… (Listen to the interview en français.)
Fast forward to a day later.
I had a chance to talk to Geneviève again. She admitted she and a colleague of hers also got a little teary-eyed when I was emotional during the interview.
Apparently, it’s quite rare for people to cry on the radio, so they got great comments from the audience about my sensitivity. Glad I could be the exception to the rule!
To answer Geneviève’s question—no, this is not the end of my project. I hope to get it to travel to other art galleries. I’d like for more people to see it and feel the same kind of emotions many of the visitors who came to the opening reception felt. I hope other people can relate to the individuals and stories presented in the photographs. I want them to realize we’re all the same with our many differences. We all have basic needs and we’re all human.
Back to the opening reception of the photography exhibition and the speech
I can assure you everything went very well with the speech. Plenty of tears were shed—by me and many of the guests—but it was a real success!
A friend wrote me a note:
Ta sensibilité est ton cadeau. Ton talent est admirable, ça m’a aussi tiré une larme tout ça… [Your sensitivity is your gift. Your talent is admirable, all of this also brought a tear to my eye…]
Merci mon amie!
It was a night to celebrate. A dream come true. To see my project come to fruition on the walls of an art gallery and be surrounded by a crowd of supporters admiring my work with a glimmer in their eyes had such an effect on me.
The fact that these people could identify with my photographs and relate to other individuals is an accomplishment in itself and makes me so proud.
My friend Ofelia, a fellow Edmonton documentary family photographer, understands where the happy tears came from and expressed it so well in one of her Instagram posts:
Yesterday we attended the opening reception for Marie-Pierre’s project ‘Life in a Morning’ @galeriecava and it was a wonderful experience. Following your passion is not an easy thing when you have so many other roles in your life. So, Marie is truly an inspiration and the example that hard work takes you always ahead, one step at a time. I loved seeing how emotional she got seeing her work on the walls of a gallery and all the people who were there to support her. I wanted my kids to see that this thing that I do, means a lot to other people too. And that dreams don’t come true from one day to the other. Your work is seen Marie, the one on the walls and everything behind. Congratulations! I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Thank you Ofelia! Let’s keep dreaming and progressing together!
More thank yous
Many thanks to the CAVA team for giving me this amazing chance to present my first solo exhibition to the public, family, friends, and documentary family photography and graphic design clients. This is pure joy!
Thank you to my mentors Aimee and Jenna Hobbs for encouraging me to start a personal photography project and for being there with me the entire time. I think we made a pretty good selection of photos together, wouldn’t you agree?
Thank you to all the women, girls and members of their families who welcomed me into their homes the moment they woke up or a little later. Not everyone is open to be photographed when they step out of bed! I’m so grateful for your willingness to be real in front of the camera.
Thank you so much to my family and friends for always being there for me and for your constant support and encouragement.
Thank you to Denise Anctil, music teacher and member of Zéphyr, La Girandole’s professional group of dancers based in Edmonton. When CAVA told me I could have an artist for my opening night, I thought of my favourite little dancer (my daughter) and her friends. I asked Denise if she’d like to do a choreography on the theme of the morning routine with the girls and she happily got on board. What a pleasure it was to see the result in a beautiful performance that complemented my exhibition so well!
Finally, to all of you who came to the opening reception, thank you so much for your interest, amazement, teary eyes (I like it when other people feel the way I do!), and kind comments. You made my day!
Photography exhibition presented in Edmonton until June 1, 2023
If you couldn’t make it to the opening reception of the photography exhibition and are in the Edmonton area between now and June 1, 2023, you can still visit the exhibition at Centre d’arts visuels de l’Alberta (CAVA), 9103 95 Avenue, Edmonton. And if you do, please leave a note along with your name in my guest book. I’d love to read your impressions!
You can also purchase a catalogue of the exhibition and any of the prints displayed on the walls to support me.
Thanks again to all of you and you know what?
I love this photography business!
I'm Marie-Pierre, an easygoing mother of two and a documentary family photographer. I believe we can all learn and grow from other people's experiences. Real life stories help us relate to each other, open our minds and feel better about ourselves.
this blog is a collection of featured client stories, tips, and articles on various family related topics. I hope you will find some inspiration!