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.

Slider Gallery

Photos by Paul Perrier

Swipe or click to view all the images


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

6- Karsh

Toronto photographer Paul Perrier The Mask Series

“I am setting September 19, 2020 as the final day of shooting Mask portraits. This makes it a six-month project. Also, this series of portraits, which I hope will top 400 by the 19th, has a zero-carbon footprint, as I used only my bicycle to travel around Toronto.“

Thank you Paul Perrier!


Be sure to check out the artist on Instagram – @thetorontoportrait

Follow Tdot Shots on Instagram – @tdot_shots


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