What: Olympic photography exhibit opening
When: Saturday, Feb. 12, 8 p.m.
Where: Blake Jorgenson Gallery
This time last year, four professional photographers had a very important (and fun) job: they were tasked with capturing the faces and places of the 2010 Olympic Games for the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC), contributing to the official commemorative book, "With Glowing Hearts." One of those four photographers, Blake Jorgenson, calls Whistler home, and to help celebrate the one-year milestone of the Games, he has teamed up with the other three shooters and the Whistler Arts Council to host a special photography exhibit at his own gallery.
"As a Getty news photographer, you're not concerned with the crowd, you're only concerned with the events, with the athletes and who has won, as a news journalist," Jorgenson explained.
"But the project we were working on is sort of the moment behind the moment, so expressions, feelings, any environment."
"...It was really cool because it was just straight-up photojournalism and the brief was pretty wide. It was really just me going by myself to all these events and venues and just watching and observing, and just shooting what I thought was necessary, which puts a lot of freedom and enjoyment into your photography."
The assignment was worlds away from Jorgenson's typical shoots: "The things I normally do are big logistic nightmares with huge group dynamics, with all of these other factors."
Instead, Jorgenson shot the Olympics as is. He showed up and worked with what he discovered along the way.
"You're forced to be out there all the time, and when you're out there all the time, that's how you see things that don't get overlooked."
He attended two to three events each day for 21 days straight, all in Whistler, bouncing back and forth between Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler Sliding Centre and the alpine venue in Creekside.
"It was still quite challenging, because I didn't really have an all-access pass; I really only had the same pass that the spectators had. Then I could call venue managers where I could get an escort around, but I definitely did not have free reign, because one of the things that was difficult is that the media is incredibly controlled and all the 'official media' are only allowed to stand in one little spot. They're not allowed to wander around."
He actually became a VANOC volunteer staff member, discreetly wandering around venues and events to capture the atmosphere and magic of the Games.
But going into the Games, Jorgenson, like many other Whistler residents, didn't really know what to expect.