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Star Story

The Toronto Star published a feature story called The Pivot in the youth-oriented ID section of yesterday's paper. The story includes an explanation of how I became involved with photography.

Yuri Dojc's pivot came after he moved to Toronto from London, England, in 1969. His roommate asked him: "What are you going to do?"

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Snapshot of a pivot

Yuri Dojc's pivot came after he moved to Toronto from London, England, in 1969. His roommate asked him: "What are you going to do?"

"I don't know. I'll probably go back to Europe," said Dojc, who was 24 at the time.

"Why don't you become a photographer?"

"What is a photographer?"

"It's a job."

"Interesting. Where do you learn this?"

"Ryerson."

So Dojc went to the Visual Arts building at Ryerson University and looked at the photos on the walls.

"This guy stopped me. I thought he was the superintendent. He said, `May I help you?' I said, `I'm just looking at the pictures ... My name is Yuri Dojc and I came from Czechoslovakia.'

"He said, `Come to my office.' He's asking me all kinds of questions. We talked politics. And then he said, `Where do you live?' I gave him my address.

"I go home. In about two weeks, I get a letter: `Dear Mr. Dojc, you are accepted into Ryerson's photography department. Signed, Dean of the College.'

"The guy I ran into in the hallway was the dean."

"For everybody else — you have to have a camera, you have to go through exams, you have to have a portfolio. I had nothing. I didn't even have the knowledge of how a camera operates."

"Photography became my obsession. I dream about pictures."

Three decades later, the 58-year-old photographer's fine art posters and prints grace the walls of collectors and galleries around the world. See his work at https://www.yuridojc.com.

"Two weeks ago, I was driving on Queen St. I saw (the dean). He looked exactly the same. I said, `Hi. Do you remember me?' He said, `Of course, I remember you. You're my prize student.'"

October 21, 2004 | Permalink

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