Interview with Paul Perrier
Toronto Street Portrait Photographer
Produced by Mike Simpson
We are living in a masked city, everywhere you look people are outfitted in face coverings. Masks are the constant in this new normal.
I met Paul Perrier near Dundas West and Bloor on a weekend morning. He was relaxed and engaging, chatting about his project and taking a few portraits of me.
I have admired Paul’s Instagram page for a few months. The portraits are a wonderful mix, eclectic masks and funky backgrounds. It’s a cross-section of people he randomly solicits in the downtown.
Photos and video were taken in early September 2020. Check out our post of this content and follow @tdot_shots on Instagram.
Who are you?
My name is Paul Perrier. I was born and raised in Montreal and I moved to Toronto in 1991 to pursue a career as a commercial photographer. I evolved into making documentary films and I sing and play harmonica in a band called NO $iGNAL. I have two daughters named Dylan and Taegan.
How did you get started with photography?
When I was ten years old back in 1970, I took a photograph with a Polaroid Swinger Instant Land Camera and watched the photograph develop before my eyes. I knew at that instant what I wanted to try and do for the rest of my life.
What do you like to shoot and where?
I like to shoot anything, anywhere at any time. I have been lucky to have travelled around the world with my camera but I would say that portrait photography is my favourite style. I find it to be the most challenging.
What gear do you use?
I have always shot on Canon cameras. I started with the Canon ME and the Canon F1 35 mm film cameras and progressed as I went along. I have a Hasselblad that is my favourite camera but I rarely use it anymore. The Mask Series is shot on a Canon EOS-R camera with a 35-350 mm f 2.8 Canon lens.
Who are your favourite photographers?
My favourite photographers are all pre-Instagram famous.
1- Albert Watson
2- Irving Penn
3- Robert Frank
4- Annie Leibovitz
5- Vivian Maier