Bad Bokeh Cafe

Photography by Pierre Lachaîne


There I was in 1975... a Sub-Lieutenant (Navy) in the Canadian Armed Forces, graduated from the civilian university division of the Regular Officer Training Programme in 1974. I ended up serving four years in the regular navy before leaving to join the federal public service, where I eventually headed a division of the Secretary of State department embedded at National Defence Headquarters. I left that for the private sector in 1988, during which time I alternated between freelance contracts in naval technical documentation and serving as an officer in the primary army reserves. I had fully re-trained as an army transport officer and I was Lieutenant Colonel-qualified when a chronic kidney disease I had developed in my late 20's started taking its toll. Sadly, I was unable to hang on for a 12th year of service. So, I had to resign my commission and leave my full-time callout in a brigade headquarters with no place to go... other than four years on hemodialysis and eventually a kidney transplant from the waiting list. 

Since I was already a commissioned officer in the navy as a young man, I never aspired to become a professional photographer, but on the other hand, I've been an amateur in the truest sense of the word for a long time. I actually started taking pictures with some degree of artistic intent in the late 1960's, and by the mid-70's, I was developing film in my studio apartment on weekends when I wasn't at sea with the navy, dodging and burning black and white prints in late night sessions with an enlarger I had set up over my bathtub. Unfortunately, most of my earliest pictures were lost a long time ago, except for a few fading prints sans negatives and some Polaroids, some of which I've included on this site.

Since the beginning though, I've always liked the snapshot aesthetic. Never been a big fan of contrived, over-produced photography, whether it’s landscapes or portraiture. I can do the pretty landscapes and the studio-type portraits — it’s not rocket science — but almost everything you see on my site is essentially a handheld snapshot without any post-processing. That’s the way I like it. Of course, that doesn’t mean some thought doesn’t go into it before I snap the shutter. 

Pierre Lachaîne
Ottawa, Canada