Lift Off: A Career in Creativity

How Trevor Lalonde used Beakerhead to help launch his photography career.

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Written by Laurel McLean
Photos by Trevor Lalonde

Beakerhead is an initiative that isn’t possible without a massive battery pack of people like Trevor Lalonde, a member of the Beakerhead photo and film crew and one of the many talented volunteers that help make Beakerhead spectacular. Here’s how Lalonde’s experience at Beakerhead helped launch his career:

“I’ve always been taking pictures,” explains Lalonde. “I started messing around with an old Nikon film camera that my grandpa gave me when I was 11 years old. I had no idea what I was doing and half [of] the pictures didn’t turn out, but it was a lot of fun.”

Lalonde first discovered Beakerhead by chance after stumbling upon an installation outside of Sunalta CTrain Station in 2015. He became intrigued by the peculiar ways in which Beakerhead engages communities and the public, and volunteered his photography skills for the event the following year.

It was around that time that Lalonde took the leap from working in the construction industry to becoming a fulltime professional photographer.

“[Photography] had always been a hobby for me and I’m a very visual person—I’m a visual learner and I love the visual arts,” says Lalonde. “So it was a very natural transition for me to move into that professional field.”

Members of the Beakerhead film and photo crew are assigned specific exhibits and events to cover during the week of Beakerhead, and they are also granted access to the installations at any time, which Lalonde used as an opportunity to photograph the installations at night.

Of the many events and installations at Beakerhead, Lalonde says one of his favourites to photograph was Torched, a unique culinary experience that merged engineering and food, featuring the talents of six Calgary chefs working out of a warehouse.

Torched was a really excellent event to be a part of,” remembers Lalonde.

“It was really good food, really good drinks, [and] really awesome people. It made for awesome photography.”

“There are so many good moments,” says Lalonde, adding that Beakernight was another one of his favourite events to photograph.

In addition to being a fun volunteer opportunity, Lalonde says Beakerhead has also helped him to advance his photography career.

“Beakerhead has opened a lot of doors for me in terms of networking,” says Lalonde. “They’ve been really good about helping me with connections in the city.”

“One of my bigger clients, Tourism Calgary, has been a direct result of Beakerhead.”

Lalonde recommends other up-and-coming photographers get involved with Beakerhead, explaining that the event helps improve photography skills by creating various scenarios—such as low-lighting with fast-moving action—that are good practice for photographers.

“Beakerhead really is an opportunity to expand whatever type of photography you’re into—whether it’s event photography, portrait photography, or really any type of photography— and it’ll give you a chance to shoot some really unique and cool things in town,” states Lalonde.

“[Beakerhead has] been such an awesome driver in my career and I think they’re a great community ambassador. I can see Beakerhead just keep growing and growing.”

“It’s a cool thing to be a part of, for sure.”

Curious about opportunities to get involved with Beakerhead?

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