I am a photographer based in Toronto, Canada. I am also the Director of Sales and Marketing for Higgins Event Rentals. How I do both involves many late nights. I am, however, passionate about both practices. Photography and helping people grow their event businesses.
I was born in New York State and immigrated to Canada with my family when I was twelve. We settled on a farm on Prince Edward Island. I learned to milk cows and use a chain saw.
But from a young age, I followed in my father’s footsteps. I always had a camera with me. I would often spend time in his Darkroom, the red safety light would reveal the amazing images swimming up from the developer bath. I watched as my father, the humanist photographer, George Zimbel danced with light and silver to create rich black and white prints. My father taught me to see, to frame images in my mind, and to notice the light and watch for the decisive moment.
I had sold my first photograph before we left the states. It was published in a science text book by Holt Rinehart and Winston. As soon as I could I began working on the school yearbook and had my photographs published in the local newspaper.
There wasn’t much work in the photography line, in PEI so I tapped into my other passion, food. I started working in kitchens at the age of 15. I worked in restaurants in Charlottetown, then went to work in London, England and then to Helca Island Manitoba. I learned very soon after arriving in Hecla Island, that I didn’t know much about cooking, so under the guidance of a classically trained chef, I started learning.
And yet, my camera was always by my side. When I moved to Toronto, I put my camera down. The reasons, as is often the case with decisions we made when we were young, are lost in the mists of time.
After a few years of working in restaurants as a cook and then a waiter, I started a catering company called the Amazing Food Service, which I ran for almost 30 years. Through this experience, I learned how to run a business, plan events, and manage venues. A couple of years after my business closed I joined Higgins Event Rentals. Working there I have had the support and resources to really flourish as an event planner, advisor and catering guru.
In my late 50s, I started walking to get over a broken heart. On my walks, I started to notice a magical world in puddles, light and shadow. Slowly I started using the camera on my iPhone to capture moments.
Now, I use my iPhone and Photoshop to create images that capture the beauty of everyday life. My artistic vision is driven by the subtle cadence of the world around me, the whispers of the ordinary, and the beauty that often goes unnoticed.
My artistic journey has led me to my first self-produced one-man show, “Whispers of the Ordinary,” which will open on May 17th, 2023. In my exhibition, a gift to myself on my 65th birthday, I explore the intricate connections between nature and humanity, the interplay of light and shadow that shape our shared experiences, and the transformative power of art.
Although I have returned to my passion for photography, I am still working in the events industry. Recently, Chair-Man Mills Corp purchased Higgins Event Rentals, now I find myself playing on a larger, national stage. I am so excited about the future and inspired by the people I am working with.
Thank you for visiting my website and for joining me on this visual pilgrimage, where the ordinary transforms into the extraordinary and where the echoes of existence harmonize with the whispers of the soul.
Andrew Zimbel, May 7th, 2023