Monday, August 11, 2014

Beautiful Portraits of Sgt. Karen Hermiston Posing with Her Speed Graphic Camera

Sgt. Karen M. Hermeston was the first woman military photographer in the Canadian Army. She had had a bit of studying in interior decorating at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, but photography was her passion. When Hermeston joined the Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC), among the first way back in 1941, she professed qualifications as draftswoman, storewoman or seamstress. She was willing to do anything to get that uniform on. But in back of that Englehart, Ontario, girl's pert head was a single plan, centred around a camera. Recently, the Library and Archives Canada has posted and made available a rare collection of colour photographs. Within this collection of photos are images of Sgt. Karen Hermeston in uniform, posing with her camera, an Anniversary Speed Graphic from WWII.

"Hermeston is only a bit of a girl really, that slight, perky CWAC sergeant you see at all the big events, aiming her camera at the brass and the other ranks alike. She may be squatting on her knees, lying prone on rafters, climbing ladders or dropping into pits - any place or position for a good picture. When the Canadian Army's Film and Photo Unit sends Hermie out on a job, some clear and interesting "shots" are a certainty." Sam Koffman, one of the staff writers from the Canadian Forces newspaper wrote on The Maple Leaf in November 1945.

(Images courtesy of the Library and Archives Canada, via Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit)

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