Portrait of Douglas Kirkland by Tiffany Alonzo (signed by Kirkland) | ©Tiffany Alonzo

While legendary photographer Douglas Kirkland was in Vancouver this past January, I created the opportunity to photograph him by simply asking. It was that easy. He happily agreed and I took some simple portraits, which was surreal since I've admired his photographic work and work ethic for years.

Douglas Kirkland and Tiffany Alonzo | ©Tiffany Alonzo

Douglas was in town to teach a Master Photographer weekend course at VPW, which I attended. Douglas was extremely humble, approachable, funny, down-to-earth and young at heart. He has so much passion for photography and a massive love for people, which he said is what has kept him motivated after all these years. There were not only lectures given by Douglas, but in-studio photo sessions with local models. Douglas would explain the set up, photograph the model quickly and then allow us to do the same while guiding us. He'd bring so  much energy to his photo sessions and would joyfully let out a "whoo-hoo!" and jump around. He had more energy in him than everyone in the room combined!

Douglas Kirkland Photography Workshop | ©Tiffany Alonzo

You could imagine the surprise and surrealism when I'd realize I had Douglas Kirkland assisting me as I photographed the models. He'd move the lights if you wanted him to. He'd hold a fan up to the model to give the shot some movement. Anything you needed, he was ready to help you out. 

Douglas Kirkland Photography Workshop | ©Tiffany Alonzo

Douglas Kirkland Photography Workshop | ©Tiffany Alonzo

He sat down with me while he went through my portfolio and had this to say: "I love your work, I thought that immediately. I commend you on your technical quality. You have command of this process. I wouldn't be dishonest about something like that. I haven't seen one weak photo yet. They're all very, very well done. I really commend you. Beautiful work."

He inquired about the stories behind some of my photos and it was amazing to have him be so interested in my work. Needless to say, I was on cloud 9. There are no words to truly describe that moment. 
I learned a great deal from Douglas and continue to keep in touch with him and his wife, Francoise. I will be forever grateful for that weekend.

 Tiffany Alonzo and Douglas Kirkland | ©Tiffany Alonzo

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