Caroline Gomersall is originally from England. She immigrated to Canada in 1998, and moved to Ottawa in 2004. She has a Masters degree in the arts; with training in design, photography, film and animation. Her work history includes lecturing, commercial photography, picture framing and animation.
Caroline took up photography at the age of 16, since then she spent many years working with black and white film and became a master of the darkroom. She has worked in a variety of photography jobs both in England and Canada. Now she works with the digital format, but still has a love of black and white.
My photography allows me to express my emotions, thoughts, questions and beliefs and on occasion allows me to step outside of my own personal sphere and learn. Each time I capture an image, it reminds me that my time on earth is fleeting and I want to create something precious that might outlast me.
I use photography as a personal process of exploration, to gain understanding and insights into myself, human nature, and the world around me. To question why things are the way they are, to take time to look at the things that often get overlooked, or to enjoy for just a moment something that is simple and captivating. I begin a piece by feeling an emotion, or recognizing a situation that affects me. In the end I want the piece to contain stillness, a sense of balance, a timeless quality and enable a connection between the viewer and the image. I hope to create photographic works that not only touch the viewer but also encourage the viewer to question the image, and walk away feeling different that they did before.
When I first started photographing I would simply take my camera and find pleasing subjects, compositions and lighting and try to create a beautiful image from it. I still do this with my landscapes and other photographs. But I now have a different system for creating my portraits, and that is to work with the subject to create a portrait that they feel expresses something about themselves or makes a statement that they wish to make. It is a challenging but rewarding process, where the image is created before I even pick up my camera.
I am constantly changing the way I work, not only in the subject matter I choose to photograph, and the things that interest me at the time, but also photographing to express my own experiences of that time. My recent work with First Nations portraits grew from my knowledge of how historical photographs were inaccurate and stereotyped. I wanted to change that as a photographer, which I achieved by allowing my subject to control the way in which I represented them, allowing them to represent themselves, and working together to discuss how we could do so. I find this a deeply interesting process; mainly because I believe that it is impossible to encapsulate every aspect of a person in a single photograph.