‘Paris was magnificent’ – Metro US

‘Paris was magnificent’

Joel Charlebois, the winner of Metro’s Global Photo Challenge 2008, talks about his prize — a trip to Paris.

How was the trip to Paris, was it fruitful in terms of your photography?
Paris was magnificent, through and through. The winding streets, the little shops, café culture and fashionable people galore; it was a marvellous experience. And the Eiffel Tower, I never expected to be so moved by the sight of it. One week in Paris allowed me to see Paris, the celebrity.

How has the competition changed your life?
While I hope to never be in the same place as I was the day before, this competition brought me many great places: Paris, of course, but also Barcelona and Valencia on the same trip; a gala event at the CN Tower in Toronto; midnight guerrilla poster campaigns.

I’m so grateful for the opportunities the Metro Photo Challenge has offered me, challenging me to believe in myself and to reach just a little bit higher. It has been a very fulfilling experience. The question now is, what next?

Do you think you will actively pursue your photography or keep it as a passion?
Actually, I have been making a greater effort to moonlight in photography, and work has also found its way to me. One of my photos is now illustrating the cover of a hardcover novel — The Way Home by George Pelecanos. Incredibly, that photo was taken on the same foggy night as Midnight Tram to Humber, no more than 30 minutes later.

That said, I am not at a point where I want my photography to be responsible for putting food on my plate. I realize I have much to learn, and I’m willing to take the time it requires to prepare for a shift in my career focus.

If the opportunity came my way, the plunge is not something that I would ever rule out absolutely. But for the moment, my passion for photography keeps me very satisfied.

Photo challenge

Joel Charlebois was the sec­ond winner of Metro Photo Challenge, with this photo, Midnight Tram to Humber. Now the competition starts again.

The competition
Enter your photos on the themes People, Places and Climate Change.

The prizes
Win one of three trips for two to any city where Metro is published. Global winners’ photos will be published in Metros in 100 cities.

The dates
Metro Global Photo Challenge 2009 starts Sept. 28 and is open until Oct. 20.

The website