Local photographer nominated for Saskatoon’s Women of Distinction in Community Building

Rosanna Parry has been taking pictures for a long time. 45 years to be exact, so, unlike myself, she’s no noobie to photography. Born in Hong Kong, Rosanna and her family moved to Saskatchewan when she was nine years old.

Kind of a funny story: she discovered her love for taking pictures by getting her first camera through a Hostess potato chip promotion. The cameras she uses now are a bit more complicated that the camera she first got, but years later she still spends most of her time behind the lens.

When Rosanna’s not shooting, she’s selling her prints to make some extra money. I recently met up with Rosanna at the Saskatoon Farmers Market, where she hangs out and sells her photos, to chat about all sorts of things like taking pictures, and the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui.

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You know those type of people who just seem to never ever be in a bad mood? Always smiling, like totally pumped for life? That’s Rosanna Parry in a nutshell. I walked up to her table, and she greeted me with a hug and a “hello honey how are you!” She’s a total sweetheart.

We started to chat a bit, but it was kind of hard to focus on the conversation because different customers would keep coming up to buy things or ask questions or whatever so Rosanna suggested we grab a bite to eat and sit down for a bit.

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Feng Shui is a big influence on Rosanna. I’m not a huge expert on the subject so I asked her if she could explain to me basically how it works.

“Feng Shui is the placement, or representation of objects in your house to enhance your life. For example the turtle is considered to be the guardian of the North, so if you have a turtle, or a picture of a turtle on your north wall, that will bring you good business. I first became interested in Feng Shui because of my father. He was not really interested in Feng Shui, but he knew that a lot of the big businesses in China and Hong Kong were built using Feng Shui principles.”

On some of her older cards, she would include an insert that would tell you the best place to hang the photo in your home according to Feng Shui principles. A few months ago, I got one of Rosanna’s photocards with a picture of the river on it. I was told to place it on the north wall in my apartment, I haven’t been able to tell if it’s made much difference when it comes to my space’s physiological state as of yet though.

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We had a good laugh about it because Rosanna wanted to state that she obviously doesn’t take Feng Shui literally. Though she’s a devoted Christian, there’s no harm in experimenting in the art of Feng Shui casually. Who knows? Maybe a photo of a turtle on your North wall could one day make you a millionaire?

Digital photography is still a pretty new phenomenon compared to how long people used film cameras for photography before digital cameras came out. Rosanna said at first she was faithful to shooting film. However, her husband, John, urged her to get a digital camera early, but she was reluctant.

“I was really against digital at first. My husband said that “digital is so much cheaper, and you have such flexibility with digital, but I didn’t want to, then I bought my first digital camera about six years ago and the results were just lovely. It takes the guesswork out of a shoot. It’s less taxing.”

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I asked Rosanna if she had anything to say about her inspirations in photography: this is what she said.

“In terms of inspiration for my photos, there was one image, it was just from a walk on Spadina Crescent, but a lady came to me last month and said ‘Rosanna I just have to tell you that I bought this photo for my mom at St. Paul’s hospital gift shop when she was in care, and this photo brought her so much joy in her last days…’ It made me cry because it’s so beautiful, to be able to give someone happiness just by taking a nice photo.

“Images are very evocative.”

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This year, Rosanna was nominated for Saskatoon’s Women of Distinction in Community Building award, which is super rad. It’s quite the prestigious award, and Rosanna said she’s very excited even to just be nominated, so I wish her the best of luck.

If you dig any of Rosanna’s photographs, make sure to head down to the Saskatoon Farmers Market and purchase some. She’s there Wednesdays and Saturdays. Her next gallery showing will be in the Crimson Gallery at the Centre Mall starting November 25.

-All photos by Chris Colwell

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