So here’s how and why it happened.
For those who don’t know, when I was a kid my dad used to be the person in charge of organizing all the Montreal Tours for Tibetan Monks visiting Canada. About 2-3 times every year, I’d have a group of about 12 monks sleeping in my basement. Then about 10 years ago they converted an old Tiki Sun restaurant on Chemin Chambly in Longueuil to become the Manjushri Temple. My parents/uncles/aunts/cousins and I all helped in the whole renovation of the restaurant into the temple. So we know the monks who stay there very well and visit them several times a year.
Now, the Dalai Lama was about to tour in Montreal to give a few talks, and was asked by the monk from Manjushri to come visit. It wasn’t a big conference or anything, but it was still packed with people, press and security. I was asked by our local monk to come take photographs on behalf of the temple, since the only other photographers allowed were press photographers. So I got my fancy credential badge thing that said STAFF on it. Turns out I still had a hard time with security letting me stay, and I didn’t know until the car arrived where I’d be standing to take pictures.
That’s my grandma, waiting outside with flowers.
So anyway the Dalai Lama arrived and the press photographers unleashed their inner aggressive paparazzi bulldogs and were all over the place, pushing people, standing in the way and being disrespectful and super intrusive. (One was even using a pop-up flash to photograph his Holiness! For those who don’t know, the pop-up flash is evil and horrible).
So I’m just a wedding photographer haha. The Dalai Lama walking down the carpet is just like a bride walking down the aisle right? And since I’m not used, nor am not interested, in going crazy and fighting over taking pictures, I just waited patiently for my turn. I ended up only getting this single shot as he walked in the temple.
I knew I didn’t want to battle with the other paparazzi outside and so instead of following him (and probably get shots of his back anyway), I went to get a spot inside right away from another entrance and got to see him speaking from up close, and came away with these. He kinda has a sense of humor. I wasn’t really expecting that. No offense. Oh and I saw him for the first time without his hipster glasses. To be honest I’d never recognize him without the glasses.
So this by the way is not the first time I see him. When I was a little kid my cousins and I were part of the welcoming ceremony when he came to give a talk. I had a basket and would throw flower petals on the carpet before he walked. BADASS. Anyway, enjoy the rest!
Rendu là j’avais déjà manqué un cours, et j’ai du quitter un peu plus tôt pour ne pas manquer mon lab. En sortant, il y avait d’autres paparazzi à l’extérieur de la clôture de sécurité qui n’avaient pas de passes pour entrer comme moi. Ils avaient l’air frustrés de me voir à l’intérieur et en sortant ils me demandaient pourquoi le Dalai Lama n’avait pas annoncé cette visite au public et pourquoi eux, ils n’avaient pas le droit d’entrer, tandis que moi j’avais le droit.