Up Close & Personal: Q & A with Jaime Kyle

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At Vistek, our staff are multifaceted and multi-talented. In fact, one of our top-notch customer service/admin. employees – a graduate of MacEwan’s Design Studies program with a major in Design & Photography – has been teaching the Macro Photography course at the Vistek Edmonton location for four seasons. She’s even fashioned her own “macro-contraption” giving her magnifications up to 14x life-size.

Meet Jaime Kyle (Vistek Edmonton, Acting Floor Supervisor)

How did you get your start?

At the very beginning I had a Kodak Instamatic that took square pictures. For a 9-year-old, this was amazing. In the early 2000s my aunt loaned me her Nikon F2020 and I was hooked! I showed four of my pictures in an art show and really enjoyed the validation of being an artist!

What is your background/education?

Several years after the first art show, I took the Design Studies – Photography Major at MacEwan University.  Studying design opened me up to all the different uses and forms of photography.  As a graduation present,  in 2008, my parents funded a solo macro photography show entitled, “In My Mother’s Garden.”

How long has photography been a passion?

Since my mid-teens photography has been a passion. Though, at that time, I used photographs from magazines to cut and paste together collages. When I was in school and we were picking our majors, I remembered that and decided to learn about taking my own photographs.

Do you have a favourite style or genre you prefer to shoot?

For the past few years, I have focused my spare time on macro photography.

How did you get involved teaching Vistek’s Macro Photography course?

One day in 2010, the store manager Garry, asked the staff if anyone has a specialization that they think they could teach a seminar on. I volunteered my knowledge and sat down to research, write and compile photographs for the seminar.

What’s your favourite part of teaching?

I’ve found teaching others about Macro Photography very enriching for myself. I love being able to show someone a technique and have them be amazed at what they can now take pictures of.

What advice can you give to aspiring photographers?

Never quit. If something is frustrating you or you’re confused at how to use a certain photographic technique: don’t give up. No one took the most brilliant photo in one day. You have to have patience with yourself and sometimes you have to humbly ask someone for help. Which is perfectly fine. Everyone learns in different ways, if something isn’t working do it in a different way or see what others are doing.

How important is it to you to maintain a creative pursuit outside of your job here at Vistek?

It’s very important. No matter what job you make your money with, you must have something creative to do outside of it. Art is a way we express ourselves that we can do in no other way than through that art. It doesn’t even matter if you show it to anyone: if you’re doing it, you’re getting something out of the process of doing it. Creating something takes something that which is inside you and places it outside for everyone, or just yourself, to see. This is very grounding and, for most, very healing.

Is there anything you’ve learned at Vistek that has changed or helped what you do?

Vistek has been integral in helping me be exposed to equipment I would have otherwise not had access to. I am also spoiled by having an awesome group of people to work with everyday and with whom I can be myself around. I meet pros, amateurs and beginners who inspire me and sometimes whom I can inspire.

In a perfect world, how would you be paying the rent?

I would love to see myself as working in design – perhaps designing things around my photography. Ideally, I would be able to be working from home, maybe manufacturing my designs in my own studio.

What/who (where?) inspires your creativity?

I could say everything. It’s maybe that I can find something interesting about anything that I would say everything. I love narratives within photographs. They create intangible interest that deepen the meaning. Nature, definitely, is inspiring. I also find any kind of destruction or contrasting subjects inspiring. I love colour.

Can you share with us anything that you’re working on right now?

Right now, I’m collecting images from over that past few years to make a new solo show. I’d love to show the world how I’ve grown as a photographer and how much I can magnify!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In ten years I would love to be fully established in my studio or someone else’s studio, designing and making stuff. I would love to be having art shows on the side and maybe have published a book or two of my macro photography.

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