YVR Vintage: Fred Herzog

Man and young daughter walk dog on sidewalk. Shadow hits storefront to their left.

This week’s artist is the one and only, Fred Herzog. Herzog was a photographer residing in Vancouver, B.C. from the late 1950s onward. Herzog was absolutely ahead of his time!

Fred Herzog holding camera and Canada flag behind window in background with red wall.

His style was actually considered pretty odd for its era and he captured many moments that seemed almost staged. His images often have people staring or interacting with something extraordinary happening off camera. Like the infamous casino win captured by him moments after happening or the building in flames just off the beach. There is never a dull moment with Herzog!

People at a casino after a win staring off at the results.

Vancouver’s history is captured like no other through Fred’s work. He was the original archiver and he probably didn’t even have this intention in the first place. At the time, he was simply capturing everyday YVR which to him, was absurd and captivating. He was often bound to lengthy shutter speeds that hindered his ability to capture events in the spur of the moment. However even with this challenge, Herzog did not let the extraordinary pass by. He determinedly captured every moment, ultimately creating an archival vault on those historic chapters in Vancouver.

He was a legendary local street photographer and a YVR trailblazer. Colour photos were actually associated only with advertising materials in the 50s, and black and white was reserved for artists. Nevertheless, Fred Herzog paved a new way for artists, capturing extraordinary and colorful images. He sadly passed away in 2019, at the age of 88, but he will live on through his children and his incredible art.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php Skip to content