Off the cuff with … John Gordon

John Gordon

John Gordon

On Wednesday, April 13, Langley Times photographer John Gordon wrapped up a 22-year career with the newspaper — but not before offering this snapshot of his life behind  and beyond the camera.    

 Who is John Gordon?

Father and husband. Professional photographer, author and speaker.

 If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?

Richard Gere, I admire his humanitarian stance.

 How did you become a photographer ?

In 1983 some friends encouraged me to take my photographs to the local paper. The editor gave me three rolls of film from which I produced three photo stories. The following year I sold 200 photos to the paper (Campbell River Courier/Upper Islander) for princely sum of $7 each. Both Photo Life magazine and Birder’s World ran four-page spreads of my nature photography and soon after, I was on a new career path.

 If you hadn’t become a photographer what would you like to be?

A monk.

 Hardest part of your job?

Documenting other people’s misfortunes. The fires, the accidents, the mayhem. In some way it has shaped the way I perceive the world. 

 Who or what is your biggest influence?

First and foremost, my family, whose love and support have guided me.  Secondly, photographer Ernst Haas. His unique vision of the world was a revelation from the moment I first saw it.

 How do you recharge your batteries?

Travel, nature photography, and as a fanatical football (soccer) fan. 

 What’s playing on your iPod?

The Decemberists, Townes van Zandt and Caribou.

 What book is on your bedside table?

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared M. Diamond.

 If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame).

 The world would be a better place if only … 

People were a little more compassionate toward each other.

 Tell us something about you that most people don’t know 

I once considered running for the Rhinoceros Party.

Favourite meal? 

Bubble and Squeak, an English delicacy made from left over potatoes and cabbage/brussel sprouts, fried in hot bacon fat and then doused in lots of ketchup. Little wonder English cooking is revered around the globe!

Favourite holiday spot? 

Anywhere my Air Miles points will take me. 

The best part of the job?

Without a doubt, it’s the people of Langley and especially the readers of the Langley Times. I owe an enormous debt to them for their support, their generosity of spirit and kindness.