Photographer. Archivist. Writer.

Every time I'm asked to write something biographical, I am reminded of a Groucho Marx quote "To write an autobiography of Groucho Marx would be as asinine as to read an autobiography of Groucho Marx.” And that's how I feel right now. Still let's try to get through this together shall we? I am Zane Andres, you're average wandering idiot.

Throughout my life the one consistent companion has been a camera. My first camera was a disposable Kodak I received on Christmas 1996, and I have never looked back since. Photography has opened many doors for me; helping me find my career, taught me how to archive my families memories, and given me a general appreciation of the world around us. 

My History

I moved to Hamilton in 2008 to attend McMaster University, initially planning on being a History teacher. At university I realised I hated studying History, which seemed to be little more than studying long and dry political treatises by old dead men. On the advice of one of my TA's I switched to English, instead focusing on long works of fiction by different old dead men. Additionally I pursued a Theatre and Film degree, with a minor focus in Religion. The Theatre aspect was absolutely dreadful, but I loved studying film and film history. Most of the writing I still do is about films and cinema and one of my dreams is to get a Masters in Cinema Study.

After graduating from McMaster I floated around for a few years, before deciding I needed to head off in a new direction. I wouldn't trade my University Degree for anything (though I may reconsider certain aspects of it) but liberal arts degree's aren't the best for getting jobs. But for what I wondered? I knew it had to be college because the last possible thing I needed was another BA, so I had to pick a trade. I don't see myself as an office worker, or a lab technician, and I've always been a thinker rather than a mechanical person so that only left on option. Photography. My constant companion seemed to be the best option, even though I was getting yet another arts degree in a world that seems to be against them, but I knew it was what I wanted to do.

After two years at Mohawk College I jumped out into the world and landed a job selling cameras. It seemed the best option for me - I love photography and I like helping people. But again I yearned for more, so I began thinking about how I could use my photography degree to expand my horizons. Once again the answer was simple; scanning. I absolutely loved scanning my family archives, I love viewing the history, and I love the methodical meditation that is involved in scanning. So I bought myself a scanner and here we are!. 

Archiving

So why Archiving?

Growing up I had never seen a photo of my paternal grandmother as she passed away in 1972, 18 years before I was born. Grandma Joan was always sort of this subject of curiosity for me, as all I had were the stories about her god-awful cooking to go on without a face to put to the name. After her daughter, my aunt, passed away I inherited a large family photo album and suddenly I had more photos than I could have ever expected. What amazed me was the fact it was all so...normal. There my grandmother was; laughing with her friends, going to school, and walking around bombed out Great Britain with my grandfather.  There was all these beautiful photos of the two of them laughing like two goofball kids without a care in the world, even though this was in the middle of the Great Depression and the Battle of Britain. The fact I had this window into her life was amazing.

If this was the kind of joy that I could get out of these photos, then others would surely feel the same way. I began scanning for other people, and the joy it made them to see their photos archived made me feel great about the job I was doing, so I decided to make a business out of it.