Hi! My name is Denis Deroche and I'm a photography addict. I just can't get enough of it!
I've lived in or near Winnipeg, Manitoba all of my life except for a short stint in Australia. When I look back I'd have to say my love of photography started after a family trip to Ireland when I was 16 years old. That's right, it was 'after' a trip to one of the most picturesque countries in the world. Fortunately, I was able to make a return trip a couple of years ago to make up for the lost opportunities when I was there as a teenager. So what happened after that trip that piqued my interest in photography? Well, here's the story. For that first trip to Ireland I proudly left home with a newer Kodak 126 film camera, positive that my 'new technology' would outshine the 20+ year old 35mm German range-finder camera that my brother had inherited from our dad. Oh, how wrong I was! What a disappointment I experienced after we got home and I developed my pictures! From that point on I was determined not to miss another priceless photo opportunity and fortunately for me my step-father, as always, was willing to assist with knowledge and encouragement. We headed down to our local Astral Photo (circa 1982) with the money I had left over from our trip. That was the beginning of my love for everything photography. I don't even want to think about how much I've spent on equipment and developing over the years but it's all been worth it. The memories and fun I've had taking the photos has more than made up for the cost.
I've photographed memories from my trips to Florida, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Hawaii, California, British Columbia, Ontario and of course many locations in our own province of Manitoba. A lot of people thought I was crazy to carry a 15 pound camera bag around with me for 6 months in Australia, but that doesn't bother me. They also called me crazy when I bungee jumped with half of that gear... twice. It was worth it when I was able to send personalized postcards to my niece and nephews back home with my G-force distorted face in the foreground and the rapidly disappearing bridge behind me as I rocketed towards the water below.
For two decades I worked in the retail photo industry for both Astral Photo and Black's Photography. Ironically, it was only after I left for a job in a different industry that I decided to become more technically proficient and took the 2 year photography course at Red River College in Winnipeg. I had so much fun during those 2 years! I still get together with a couple of great friends I made during that time to go on 'Photo Safaris'.
I dragged my feet about joining the digital age of photography for quite some time, but I finally bought a full-frame SLR camera (although I still love my film cameras) and the majority of the shots you see on this website are taken in the last 2 years with this newest addition. If you see something on this site that you like (except the people pics!), check with me because there might just be some copies for sale. After all, if you can make some money doing something you love - isn't that the very definition of success?
Photography has always been a very personal experience for me. Each photograph carries with it its own memories - a portal in time to when the picture was taken. Being able to share that experience with others makes it even more memorable and enjoyable. When I'm gone, someone is going to inherit a great number of photo albums. I hope that they'll be able to tell how much love and time was spent on the images in them, and even if they gather dust, I hope someone will dust them off now and then to visit the places I've seen, the people I've met and remember the fun I had photographing it all.
If I could share a couple pieces of wisdom with you now that we're so heavily into the digital age of photography, the first would be to think twice before you delete a photo. Usually the photos we delete are of ourselves. As I say this, I think of a photo taken of me as a kid. I'm 5-years old, sitting on the front porch of our house in the summertime with my sister. I'm wearing a t-shirt, shorts and cowboy boots (I still wear cowboy boots). I hated that photo as a teenager and young adult. In this digital age I probably would have deleted it from the family computer on any number of occasions but what's the first image that comes to my mind now when I think of my early childhood? You're right - that 5-year old kid on the front porch with his sister. My second piece of advice, is to back up your photos in more than one location. Save them to a portable hard drive or other media form, even take a copy to a friends house or store it in a safety deposit box. The memories we capture in photographs are just too precious to lose.
Hey, check it out! On August 18th I took part in The Drop Zone, a fund raiser for Easter Seals. There were 81 people who rappelled down the side of the Royal Bank Building on Portage Ave. and Fort St. Over $147,500 was raised. Thank you very much for all of the support. Maybe I'll do it again next year...or maybe I'll find something else to hang out doing.