Torin Halsey

“There’s essentially three parts to my photography career, other than my photojournalism career. The second part is, is my photography business, I’ve owned a photography services business called Photos by Torin since 1984. Shortly after I started here at the newspaper and over the years I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of weddings and family portraits and senior portraits and children’s photography and a lot of event photography and documentation and things like that, so that’s slowed down a little bit in the last few years. I don’t do weddings anymore. And a lot of events are not being held anymore right now because of the pandemic, but I’m sure that’ll pick up when things get a little bit more under control. And then the third part is what I started about, I don’t know 15 or 20 years ago is  I started seeing pictures, and I would be on my way to an assignment or I’d be on my way to meet with a client, and I would see what I would think would be a really cool picture and I didn’t have time to stop. I was like running late or whatever and I was like, oh I need to remember to come back to that, whatever it was and then photograph that’s something that I really enjoy having just for myself. You know I’m not doing it for a client, I’m not doing it for the newspaper, just something fun to do for me. After that happened a couple of dozen times I finally said, You know what, I’m gonna stop. I’m going to make time in my day to stop and take pictures just for me. And it really, I think it saved me from being burned, out it really sparked a fire under me as far as enjoying photography again, just for the simple fact that it’s photography, and a year or so after that I had my first exhibit at the Kemp Center for the Arts and and started selling some of my artwork and it was just really, of course a huge ego boost and it but it was just really just fun. And so I tried to do that and then with cameras in the cell phones, that’s made that even easier, because I don’t necessarily lug my giant very expensive cameras around with me 24 hours a day. But I do keep my cell phone with me so I’m able to take some really fun pictures.”

“I don’t know if it’s a style or not but but I’m definitely drawn to the old and the decay made in the rusty and the cracked and peeling paint and rotting wood is just a, you know, I have a I have a whole series of photographs that someday I’m going to make a coffee table book. But, and I refer to it as Portals, and it’s a series of pictures of old doors and old windows, and those kind of things just really, really appealed to me old vehicles or rusted out trucks sitting out in the pasture and anything industrial or back from the early part of the century with the industrial age, things like that machinery, gritty, grimy, old things that are old, for some reason appealed to me the older I get. I try to make beautiful pictures out of things that some people would just pass by or not notice or take for granted.”

“I think that’s a very real dark dichotomy actually because every family somewhere has a shoe box or a drawer full of old photos family photos that were handed down or that were taken whenever they were, they were young and there’s just just print after print after print of larger snapshots and, and things like that, documenting their lives, and nowadays more pictures, I don’t know what the statistics are with everybody having a cell phone and a camera in their phone there they’re taking millions of pictures per second across the country, you know, and if not billions in, and there’s very few prints being made. So, the actual record of all that lives only in the digital world, in most cases. So that’s really kind of sad. I mean it’s wonderful that photography is so ubiquitous, but the fact that hardly any of it is, I don’t know I guess it’s shared. Of course through social media, electronically that way but the old school, having prints made, is few and far between these days. So it’s kind of weird.” – Torin Halsey