The Vault Cultural Collective will launch the Alberta Portrait Project on September 30 and it will run until October 28. Although you have the whole month to admire the beautiful portraits, be sure to go tomorrow as Ramsey Kunkel, the photographer behind the photos, will be there from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to discuss his work!

Kunkel is a Strathmore born and raised Aboriginal photographer, currently living in Strathmore. His Alberta Portrait Project started 5 years ago, and for him it’s about showcasing the everyday people of our province and telling their stories.

“It’s become a show that celebrates the people in our backyard, instead of having to look all over the place. There’s so much amazing talent and people helping to build and grow this place that we know, and the cultural way that we collectively live right now. It’s a project that went in that direction, but it started with all of that in mind by looking at the people around us. They’re neighbors, they’re friends are people everyone knows, and if not can relate to or have a story to tell,” he said.

He started photography simply out of love, and as he continued to work on his craft, he began to truly appreciate the connection that comes from taking someone’s portrait.

“When I started photographing children, you see something more real in what you photograph, and that taught me to capture emotion and be sensitive to the people you photograph, so I can share that reality. Connecting with the people was probably the most amazing part of it all, the stories, the shared connections and the experience.”

This connection is something he hopes to convey to his audience. So far, he’s happy to see that people have been able to connect with his work the way he does.

“When people came down to see the show, they were able to connect with something, someone, or something about the portraits that are shown, because it’s such a focused group of people, and knowing how small this world is, it’s easy to find something you can take home and feel good about.”

If you want to know more about Ramsey’s work or contact him about photography, you can go to his website or instagram

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