Today’s Poll

Daily Dose — Photographer in Residence Program Gives Photographers a Chance to Shine

Ari Lord
By Ari Lord
June 25th, 2024

Nelson photographer Tom Wilson was May’s photographer in residence for Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, and says the program gave his work much exposure and increased his connections locally.

“It was a super fun month,” says Wilson.

He says the program give photographers flexibility to represent the Kootenays in their own way.

Wilson is a photographer and content creator at Tamarack, a Nelson based creative agency.

From the United Kingdom, Wilson lived in the European Alps before moving the Kootenays.

The Nelson pwhotographer made a flash in the local arts scene as May’s NKLT photographer in residence.

At Tamarack, Wilson has worked on local accounts like the Nelson Chamber of Commerce, Vince DeVito’s Shoes and Jones Boys Boats near Ainsworth.

Since moving to Nelson, Wilson admired the photographer in residence program and aspired to take part in it.

“I wanted to wait until May, as it’s my favourite time of year to shoot. It worked out great. Nelson’s very much in bloom in May, and there’s loads of great events,” says Wilson.

Photographers in residence are asked to shoot a variety of locations and events.

“Ultimately, it’s your take on the area and the areas that surround. It’s what you want to show off and what’s personal to you. They want you to visit places like Crawford Bay, the East Shore, Kaslo and Ainsworth and not just focus on Nelson,” says Wilson.

Wilson greatly enjoyed his month as photographer in residence, and says it was a lot of fun.

He was inspired to make a video in downtown Nelson based on his five favourite trees on Baker Street.

“I saw one of my favorite trees in Nelson and thought, I’m going to go around and rate the different trees and then take photos of them. I made a short video and it got really popular. Lots of people chimed in about their favorite trees, and it’s a nice way to connect with others in the area. That was quite unexpected, that kind of spur of the moment inspiration.”

The NKLT photographer residency program has been operating since April 2021.

The exposure the programs offers its participants is one of the positive aspects of the program, says Wilson.

“It’s a great program for allowing local photographers like myself to get their work seen by people in the community. It’s certainly allowed me to have a lot more people to see my work. I’m grateful for that. It’s great there’s twelve people every single year who do this.”

Wilson has been a photographer since 2019 when he bought his first camera. He had been spending his time in the European mountains then.

“When I moved to Nelson, I wanted to take a bit more seriously. Now I’m doing [photography] full time as a career,” says Wilson.

It was a bit by chance that Wilson moved to the Kootenays in September of 2020.

“I decided I’d like to find somewhere a bit quieter, had some friends who were already here, and they told me it was a really nice place to be. I feel far away from everything, which is why I wanted to move here. It’s a cool community. It’s definitely a place that I want to be.”

He was able to get back-to-back visas to be allowed work here, and is now working towards permanent residency.

Wilson is from the United Kingdom from a small island called Jersey. But he spent his time for five years divided between the French and Southern Alps, as he loves mountain towns.

“I wanted to move somewhere with more of a year-round outdoor lifestyle,” says Wilson. “I love camping, fishing, hiking. Big, big adventure. I love riding my motorcycle. That’s a big passion of mine, one that’s grown a lot since moving to the Kootenays.”

Photographer in residence at Nelson Kootenay Lake tourism this spring, Tom Wilson snapped some pics at the Kaslo May Days Logger Sports event.

Wilson speaks highly of the photographer in residence for June, Carlos Rubio, who specializes in landscape, cultural, social, and lifestyle photography.

Recognized as one of Honduras’ emerging photographers, Rubio has developed his unique style in night landscape photography. His work reflects a passion for storytelling through captivating visuals.

Learn more about Rubio and see his photographs here.

Wilson’s only hope would be that photographers, who receive some compensation, were rewarded a little better, as he says the program is a lot of work.

“It’s a great program nonetheless. It gives a shout out to the photographers,” says Wilson.

See the work of all photographers in residency.

Other News Stories