Candids by marja


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28


God was good.

At the camera club he gave me a place where I felt I belonged. A place where my confidence was encouraged to grow. A place where I was able to develop skills that led to a colourful life—a life  that fostered healthy self-esteem.

Photography brought interesting opportunities. One of my favourite subjects in my early forties was people, especially young children.

I was able to get a part-time job freelancing for the Burnaby Now newspaper for a couple of years, as well as the Burnaby School Board. The work was important to me—not for the money but for the thrill of telling photo stories that would be published. I gathered courage I never used to have. Courage to drive to places where I’d never been, courage photographing people I’d never met. Much of my work was used, not only from assignments, but also from the work I did just for the fun of it.

My love of candid photography led to one-person gallery showings, workshop presentations, and illustrated writings for magazines. For awhile I did candid child photography for clients in their homes.

All of this gave me joy and a sense of fulfillment. It was a colourful life.

At one point, Wes and I had a stock photo agency, representing a handful of photographers. I found pleasure in approaching possible clients and sending them submissions.

Diarama Stock Photo Agency existed for about ten years until we decided to dismantle it. The enterprise was fun and challenging, but in the end did not produce enough business to keep it viable. Besides, the digital revolution would entirely change the business—something we weren’t ready for.

I mustn’t neglect to tell you about the many trips Wes and I went on in search of photographic possibilities. Our favourite destinations by far were the Greek islands. We travelled there nine times in total—on several of those occasions meeting with photographer friends from Romania. How we loved those visits! And the photographic opportunities couldn’t be matched.

Back in 1965, the staff at Riverview, didn’t hold out much hope for my future. But—with the help of individuals who believed in me, especially my husband Wes—they were proven wrong.

Today I think back to those days when I searched the Help Wanted ads every day, hoping to find a paying job. But now see the many things I was able to do because of the free time I ended up with.

I thank God for how it all turned out.

This has been part 8 of my series My Journey from Patient to Leader. Read part 9: Family Life