By Jim Button, Don Tse and Colin Way
CALGARY — One of the best things about beer is that it brings people together — at festivals, in kitchens, after playing a game or a rehearsal, or just sitting on a patio or in your backyard, beer is the great social lubricant.
At Village, we have made it one of our missions to gather people around community (the other mission is great beer, but that’s pretty much mandatory, isn’t it?).
We are very proud of our great city and are working hard to make it even more spectacular, and one of the ways we are trying to do this is by introducing you to some of the people working hard to make this place even cooler every day.
Every month, we are going to bring two strangers together and ask them to interview each other. We figured this was a unique way to make new friends for them and for you, the reader.
Don Tse: I’m a freelance beer writer. I write for local publications in Calgary such as FFWD Weekly and City Palate, for American publications, such as All About Beer Magazine and Ale Street News, and anybody else who wants articles about beer. I’ve been into beer for about 18 years and writing about beer for about 12 years.
Colin Way: I went to ACAD and graduated in 2005 and I’ve been a professional photographer since then. The majority of it is editorial, but I do a little commercial work, as well. I would consider myself a freelancer; it’s all contract work. I was a staff photographer for Avenue Magazine, but I was able to do freelance on the side. Now I’m busy enough that I can freelance full-time, although I still contract with them.
DT: So how many clients would you have at a given time?
CW: It’s very random. I have a lot of repeat clients, but I could do work for them a few times a year or it could be once a year. It depends on their needs. And you have to understand its part of the creative process that they have. They need a variety of different photographers.
DT: We need to work on a project together! I’ll write the article and you do the photography.
CW: Sure! As long as I get to drink the beer! It must be pretty exciting now, the beer scene in Calgary?
DT: It’s fantastic. It used to be that if a new beer became available, I’d have to rush out and get it because there was so little interesting new beer. Now, every time I go to the store, there’s 15 new beers and I have the luxury of just buying the ones I want to try rather than having to buy something just because it’s the only thing available. It’s a good time to be a beer lover.
CW: Oh ya! I was excited to get involved with Village Brewing and I like the scene around beer. There’s a great community around it. It’s fun! DT: What percentage of your photography would be in the studio versus on location?
CW: It’s about 50/50, although lately I’ve been shooting mostly on location. I was just thinking about how photography has given me a passport to go places you can’t normally go. You get invited to these places because you have a camera. It’s a cool way to meet people and hear their story. It’s just really cool to meet interesting people.
DT: So, do you tend to shoot lifestyle?
CW: I specialize in portrait, fashion and lifestyle stuff. It’s usually people, which I like, but at the same time, sometimes I like shooting still life. I actually enjoy that because you don’t have a subject that’s moving and talking. Shooting something that is still can be calming in a way. You can relax and take your time. But, I prefer the lifestyle side of things and meeting people. Do you travel a lot?
DT: Yes. I go to a lot of beer festivals and conferences. Obviously, I’m passionate about beer, so I’m happy to do that.
CW: What’s your tip for not getting shit-faced?
DT: Tasting, not drinking.
CW: But it’s not like wine where you spit, right?
DT: Right. But if you taste rather than drink and if you pace yourself with plenty of water, you should be fine. But, you don’t have to take beer too seriously. I do, but you don’t have to.