I watched my grand­fa­ther Peter Pit­se­o­lak take pho­tos and de­velop them. That is when I started to be­come cu­ri­ous about pho­tog­ra­phy.

Inuit Art Quarterly - - INTERVIEW -

them. I still have a few here, but most of them are at McGill. It is im­por­tant that my work is trans­ferred to dig­i­tal. Af­ter they are done, the agree­ment is that they will send the orig­i­nals back.

EY: What has been the most mean­ing­ful photo that you have made here, the most spe­cial to you?

JM: Af­ter some years, I am able to see some of the por­traits that I have done of the peo­ple here—por­traits of chil­dren and el­derly peo­ple. I think [those are] the most im­por­tant.

EY: Aside from your tech­ni­cal skills, have you seen a change in the way that you see a sub­ject?

JM: Yes and no. To­day a lot of things have changed up north. I can’t just ap­proach some­body for a por­trait. We have to ask now. Be­fore that it was very open and vol­un­tary. But to­day it is kind of dif­fer­ent. Now we have tele­vi­sion, ra­dios [and] mag­a­zines com­ing through. Peo­ple might think that there will be money in­volved in par­tic­i­pat­ing. But that is okay, too. I have no hard feel­ings about that.

EY: Do you have any ad­vice for young pho­tog­ra­phers?

JM: Yes, we did a lit­tle bit of pho­tog­ra­phy in the field with the kids. Some kids were con­cerned with not get­ting the right pic­ture and they gave up on it. We tried to tell them not to give up. Keep try­ing, be­cause if you make more mis­takes, down the road, you are go­ing to be a very good pho­tog­ra­pher. I had to go through a lot of that too.

EY: Do you re­mem­ber a spe­cific pho­to­graph where ev­ery­thing came to­gether?

JM: Yes, it was 1970. I think that was the year Queen El­iz­a­beth, with the Duke of Ed­in­burgh, Prince Charles and Princess Anne went to Iqaluit—Fro­bisher Bay at the time—and I was in­vited for a spe­cial din­ner. That was a great high­light for me. I was very out­go­ing with my cam­era then, so I shot quite a bit of the Queen’s visit. The Queen was hold­ing a sil­ver shovel that she put on the ground at the time that the new church was be­ing built in Iqaluit. That was spe­cial.

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