It’s been said that life is simply a series of moments lived in days that drag on and years that speed by, leaving us nothing but the memories of what was. Photography, however, allows us the ability to capture those moments, preserving a fraction of a second forever. And Chilliwack’s Devon Hall is now being noticed internationally for her ability to capture those moments with enough depth to convey the enormity of the human condition within a single frame.
Hall, who has always had an eye for faces, says she started out as an acrylic painter but fell in love with the art of light inside her university’s darkroom.
“I’ve always been fascinated with faces,” said Hall. “(And) photography has a way of capturing the soul and drawing … emotion out. Walking into the darkroom and watching (my) images come to life was so amazing.”
And while Hall has moved photography from the darkroom into the digital age, she credits the time spent manually exposing her images with her success as a photographer today.
“The darkroom taught me the craft … and allowed me to perfect it—having that in the beginning of my career has strengthened my (artistry) today, (but) becoming a mom solidified it,” adds Hall.
“I could pick up my camera and involve my kids, which is great,” says Hall. “It took me to a professional level, (and allowed me to build) a community of clientele and support (locally).”
Tara Johnston, a long-time friend and client of Hall’s, says she immensely enjoys working with Hall.
“She’s been doing portraits of my daughter since her birth 11 years ago. I Just love to work with her and my daughter,” says Johnston. “She’s very professional, yet super fun at the same time. Her work definitely has a style and mood,” adds Johnston.
It’s that mood and style that lead to Hall’s work catching the attention of The Brick Lane Gallery in London, England. After seeing her work online, the gallery contacted Hall and asked if she wanted to be part of their January Portraits art show.
“It was a big shock!” exclaims Hall. “I actually struggled with, ‘Is this email for real? Or is it spam?’” But the letter was real, and now—for the first time anywhere—Hall will be exhibiting a series of her personal family portraits at The Brick Lane Gallery.
“Running a successful business takes … the love and support of friends and family,” says Hall. “But to be approached as an artist, that’s a goal, something strived for as an artist. This is bucket list (worthy).”
By reaching out to a few close photographer friends for feedback, Hall says she was able to dig through her impressive portfolio and select a series of 16 portraits that, when displayed together, “creates a cohesive layout: something that works together and (creates a flow).”
The Portraits art show runs from Jan. 17 to 28, and even though Hall won’t be able to be there to witness how her work is received, she’s hopeful about the outcome.
“It’s an opportunity to sell my work,” which Hall said would be a first for her outside of her photography business. “But I’m hoping this will open new doors (for me).”
To view more of Devon Hall’s work, visit her website at DevonHallPhotoArts.com.