Monday, October 28, 2013

Richard Beland the program coordinator is featured in the Sarnia Observer newspaper and online edition.

TEN: Richard Beland
Observer Staff
Sunday, October 27, 2013 10:14:42 EDT AM

Beland just can’t sit still Sarnia Observer 13-10-28 

Editor’s Note: Each Monday, the Observer will publish a Q&A with a local citizen to help readers better understand what makes him or her tick. Our subjects will come from all walks of life, but will have a strong connection to Sarnia-Lambton.

Richard Beland is an instructor and coordinator for Lambton College’s Digital Photography Program and is a working music and entertainment photographer. His extensive body of work, which dates back to 1993 and includes live performance photographs as well as studio portraits, celebrates popular music's depth and eclectic breadth. From photographs of Coldplay to those of The Tragically Hip, Beland's images of international stars and Canadian icons reveal his passion for his craft, his keen sense of composition, and his steadfast commitment to detail.

1. Who is your favourite entertainer?
Well, my rock and roll friends may be perplexed by this answer but, in all honesty, I have to say that Tony Bennett is one of the best performers I have had the opportunity to see and work with. He is a consummate professional. I’m also a big fan of Dave Grohl, mainly with the Foo Fighters, but in every band I’ve seen him play with. In my experience, Dave is one performer that always gives you his all. I can recall photographing him in the UK in the midst of a torrential rainstorm. He was drenched, the crowd was drenched, the photographers and their gear were drenched and, in spite of all this, he was unfazed. I’d say he worked even harder!

2. Who do you most admire and why?
My children and how they move through their young lives with limitless ability to see the beauty of life and its surroundings. They constantly and consistently inspire me.

3. What book has impacted you the most?
At the request of one of my students, I just read (I actually listened to the Audio Book) Animal Farm last week. One of my favorite albums, Pink Floyd’s Animals, was directly influenced by the story. So the actual story and the connection between the book and album both have had an impact on me.

4. How do you relax?
I don’t. I mean, I try but I don’t sit still very well. I intend on relaxing when I retire.

5. What is your most embarrassing moment?
Hmm... there are many. I’d say it was either when I was chased by a cow while walking along Modeland Road one day, or when Chris Martin from Coldplay heard me singing their song “Yellow.” Before our photo shoot, I was in the men’s room washing my hands, singing away in my best warbling falsetto like no one was listening. Mid-song Chris appeared from one of the closed stalls.

6. What career would you opt for if you could do anything else?
Without hesitation, an NHL hockey player.

7. What do you love most about living in Sarnia-Lambton?
I just returned back to the area after living in Toronto and London for the past 27 years. The things I love most about living here is access to Lake Huron in the summer. I had a really great childhood in Bright’s Grove and every corner I turn, I’m flooded with good memories. I’m also very happy to be close to my family and extended family that live here.

8. Name three things on your bucket list:
     1. To see the Pyramids in Egypt.
     2. To make the Lambton College Digital Photography Program the best in the province. 

     3. To live the answer to question #4 to the fullest.

9. What is something that few, if any people, know about you?
There are probably lots of things that people don’t know about me. Considering my lines of work, I’m incredibly shy. To be a photographer and an instructor I’ve had to learn how to overcome this but it still dogs me at the most inopportune times. Also, in my late teens, before I studied photography, I worked part time as a garbage man. I have the utmost respect for the garbage man.

10. What local resident has influenced you the most?
Am I allowed to say my kids again? In all seriousness there are too many people to name, but I have had an immense amount of help and guidance from my colleagues at Lambton College. They know who they are and I am grateful for everything they have taught me. Ultimately, if I had to choose one person I have to say my younger brother, Dave Beland. He has an admirable work ethic and a vast desire to learn. Despite being younger and maybe an inch shorter, I constantly find myself looking up to him.

To recommend someone to be featured in The Observer “10” series please email Please outline your rationale, what your nominee does and provide that person’s contact information. 

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