What do you get when you mix together a group of modern ballet dancers, a barren landscape and a freelance photographer who doesn't take himself too seriously? If that photographer is the itinerant Albert Normandin, the answer is "Jump," an image that sums up his kinetic style and love of spontaneity.
The shot was taken in August 2000 ("It seems like so long ago," Normandin says) outside of Las Vegas. "We just went out to the desert, and I let them jump around and shot about 150 rolls," he says. "I like to work that way, just let them go with it. I suppose I have a fear of setting things up too much.""Jump" was later part of a 2000 exhibit called "Beauty and Hiding," which was showcased at the Sugar and Sugar gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia.
A native of Vancouver, Normandin was interested in photography as a child, but took a characteristically meandering path toward becoming a pro shooter. His other passion, automobiles, took hold first and, for a time, he was a racing car mechanic. Later, he shifted into a 10-year career in the graphic arts field.
At age 27, he took a photography workshop run by famed New York City photographer Jay Maisel and decided to change professions again. After moving to New York, he apprenticed under Maisel for a few years before striking out on his own in the world of freelance commercial photography.
Today, back in Vancouver, Normandin does a thriving business in several genres, including advertising, corporate photography, travel, panoramic landscapes and fashion. Most of his images, however, are personal projects, shot just for himself, as was "Jump."
Normandin has traveled to at least two dozen countries, including Myanmar, from which he recently returned in January. He also teaches an "Art for Kids" fashion photography workshop for high school students in North Vancouver.
In addition to shooting whatever he wants, he says whatever he wants, too, often with tongue firmly in cheek. According to his playful web site bio, he dabbles in voodoo, once killed a man with his harmonica and "recently saved a busload of nuns from plummeting off a cliff."