Gordon Perry sits bent over his book, pointing to the pages and telling stories about each of the images he has captured.
His joy in the book is evident as he talks about it.
“It’s been a fun thing to do,” he said, with a smile on his face.
Each picture has its own story he tells, whether it’s personal or communal history.
To capture those stories, Perry added a few words to back up the pictures.
“There’s a fair bit about photography in there plus what the pictures are about and a little bit of history,” he said.
“I tried to give people an idea of what lies behind this stuff.”
It’s Perry’s fifth book, two of poetry, a memoir of his childhood hockey days and a book of photographs and words about Barkerville. This one, however, will be his first to rely on the photographs to carry it.
Perry’s always had a camera with him, though he started getting serious in ‘81, when he opened Perry’s Picture Place. The idea for the book has been around for a while as well.
“As far as I knew there had never been one done, a photo book of Quesnel. So, with the encouragement of Chris Harris and a couple others, I got it done,” he said.
And it’s a wide array of images and stories that he has captured in his effort to sum up Quesnel in photographs.
A sunset through wildfire smoke, in dramatic black and orange with a pink sun sunk half below the horizon, took him 15 seconds of furious snapping to capture, while a shot of a rainbow over Dunrovin Park Lodge sat in his brain for two years before he managed to capture it.
The range of pictures in Quesnel the Beautiful, from past to present, film to digital or from the dramatic to the mundane, does well in capturing Quesnel
The book has already had a small, unintended pre-production run during the Christmas Market. Perry had printed out some copies to show people so he could take orders for when the real thing came out. The book, however, proved popular enough that people wanted to buy the book and send it to loved ones for Christmas.
It has since had an addition of old photos of the arena, along with a new photo of the fundraising efforts for the new arena.
Now, with the book laid out and ready to print, comes Perry’s least favourite part of the process.
“It’s awesome to do it, but then marketing it, that’s the difficult part,” he said.
He’s currently only selling it directly, though he has ideas for marketing, like a book siging he is trying arrange, to help spread the word about the book.
With Quesnel the Beautiful’s final iteration to be released in weeks, Perry already has his mind on his next project: a photography book for the casual, point-and-shoot photographer.
Quesnel the Beautiful, when it comes out within the next few weeks, will retail for $24.95, including