Photographer’s Q&A – John Lucas

This week’s Q&A is with John Lucas, staff photographer for The Edmonton Journal.


A ringed tailed lemur enjoys a banana treat sprinkled with cinnamon hidden under a leaf at the Valley Zoo on Wednesday Nov 26. Photo by John Lucas/Edmonton Journal.


What were your first steps in the industry?

My first step in the field was when my father-in-law, who collected Nikons, showed me his cameras and I got the bug, soon buying my own. My first paying job was when I walked in to The Edmonton Examiner in the early 80’s looking for a job shooting. They declined, but offered me – and hired me – for a job in the darkroom. All the reporters had to shoot their own pictures. After I did some assignments, the editor realized that he and the reporters preferred writing only and they hired me fulltime as a shooter.


When you were just starting out in the industry, what did you want to do, and are you where you thought you would be now?

I had sort of envisioned ending up somewhere like National Geographic or Time, but as I don’t like traveling that much for work. I’m very happy where I am.


University of Alberta Child Study Centre’s kindergarten students Michaela Bierman (L) and Amelia Chan wait their turn to plant marigolds while the politicians speak at city hall during a ceremony to mark 100 years of the city and the UofA growing together on Friday May 2. Photo by John Lucas/Edmonton Journal


Do you have a mentor when you started?

Not really.


What or who are your biggest inspirations?

W. Eugene Smith, Margaret Bourke-White and Robert Capa were a few.


Feb. 27 – A giant flame flares through exhaust clouds at the Petro Canada Refinery on Wednesday. Photo by John Lucas/Edmonton Journal.


What was a pivotal point in your career?

Getting a full-time job.


What are you working on now?

Trying to get my Luddite butt up to speed on multimedia stuff.


Lorne Haas, who says he will be 40 on February 19, warms up at a picnic stove in Queen Elizabeth Park on Friday Feb 4, 2009. Hass, who has been homeless for 7 years, sleeps outside 365 days a year, and prefers that to a shelter, as “nobody steals your stuff”. Lorne says he has a little hut in the trees with a -60 degree sleeping bag and 3 bales of hay for insulation. Photo by John Lucas/Edmonton Journal.


How important to you is multimedia?

It’s important to my employers and therefore, it’s important to me.


How do you ensure you are progressing as a photojournalist?

I read a lot and look at websites, and of course as many papers as I can.


Aug 24/06 – Its a bird, its a…..11 year old Dakota Kulba had fun flying off of the diving board at Fred Broadstock Pool on Thursday. Photo by John Lucas/Edmonton Journal.


What is your favourite way to unwind?

Spending time with family and going to the lake cottage. And of course, just looking for the next photo.


What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you about being a photographer?

Always keep your eyes open.



Category: Photographer's Q&A

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