Yannick Anton is a photographer. He’s been documenting Yes Yes Y’all, a queer dancehall party in Toronto, since 2010–among other projects.
When I do event photography, I usually have a beer in my hand and I lean in like, ‘Hey lemme take your picture,’ and then it’s on to the next one. You have to make sure people aren’t boring. Show that you’re having a good time. I shoot things in my style—people hire me for my style. That fly on the wall, in the mix, style.
My series ‘Bodies‘ started because I always appreciated nude photography. I was tired of seeing the same skinny, white bodies. It’s important to show a variety of bodies–men, women, all different types of bodies and skin tones. As many people as I can shoot naked, I will.
My godfather took pictures. He was the first person to show me a darkroom. When he got tired of working with film, I got all of his darkroom equipment and set one up in my dad’s basement. I applied to Ryerson University but didn’t get in. Then, last year they showed my work at the Ryerson Image Centre. They showed my work but they didn’t let me in [Laughs].
My real education in photography was from a course called ‘My City, My Story’. I learned about studio lighting and did my first show with them. There were ten of us in the program and we had conversations that were more than, ‘That’s a nice picture.’ Instead it was, ‘Well, why is that a nice picture?’ It had a school vibe but totally not school.
My two best friends live in the same building. When we hang out, we’re talking about ideas and ways to make more with what we have. It’s a very collective energy. Everyone’s on the same page to take their work further and help each other do that.
I love art and books. I buy work all the time even when I can’t afford it. People don’t buy shit. It’s like, ‘Are you going to help me with my dream or are you just going to like my photos on Facebook? Are you going to help me make it out here or what?’ If I could get paid off of Facebook profile photos, that would be great [Laughs]. If I could figure out a way to do that, please. It’s so important to buy work.
–Yannick Anton, as told to Studio Beat
Photos by Lodoe Laura
Visit Yannick Anton’s website here.