Richard Vroom has been a photojournalist traveling the world since 1968. His photography has been in over 25 Canadian books by National Film Board of Canada, Readers Digest, Oxford University Press. He has worked for 10 different governments, CIDA, and Air Canada. After working in over 56 countries around the world, he returned to live on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, where his family originated from in the 1800’s. He has always wanted to show Canadians, the natural beauty of their own country.
In the 70’s, he spent many years in Ottawa working with the National Film Board of Canada, and studying other Canadian photographers’ works. He met Yousef and Malak Karsh, two of Canada’s most famous photographers. Yousef Karsh invited Richard to bring his photographs into their studio once a month and he would critique his work. For two years, he met with Karsh and would also work along with his brother Malak Karsh travelling around Quebec and Ontario. It was not long before the NFB was buying Richard’s work for books and exhibitions.
A big break occurred in 1970, when the National Film Board of Canada asked him to go to Japan for 6 months, to cover Expo 70. In Osaka, he lived with a family of photographers that did not speak a word of English. Together they worked all over central Japan, covering many aspects of Japanese life. After Japan, Richard had other assignments Vietnam, Singapore, Bali, Thailand, then climbed the Himalayas of Nepal for 2 ½ months alone.
Upon returning to Canada in 1971, the Readers Digest of Canada commissioned him to work on one of their first major books on Canada called “Explore Canada”. This led to four more books for Readers Digest. At the same time, Lorraine Monk wanted his work for “Canada”, a book given to Queen Elizabeth 11. The NFB then hired him for aerial photography for their book, “Between Friends” to commemorate the American Bicentennial. In 1977, he began producing books of his own such as “Cabinet Makers of the Eastern Seaboard” and working with Charles Foss of King’s Landing, Fredericton. The same year, he began researching for another book “New Brunswick, A Victorian Portrait” which was a compilation of early photography in New Brunswick from about 1880 to 1920.
In 1978, the Department of Foreign Affairs hired Richard to head their photography section, which he did for 6 years. This involved both taking photographs of Heads of State visiting Canada, and coordinating the foreign press with Foreign Affairs Protocol. He photographed the visits of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, as well as those of Queen Elizabeth and Ronald Reagan. Richard was responsible for hiring Canadian photographers to photograph Canada, from the arts to industrial perspective. He was also involved in the production of exhibitions of photography on Canada for the embassies around the world. Over 70,000 of Richard’s images are currently in the National Archives of Canada.
In 1984, Richard purchased Miller Services Limited, Canada’s largest and oldest stock photo agency originated in 1923. With over a million stock colour photos and half a million B&W photos, Miller Services began to grow quickly. Within 3 years, it tripled in sales with 230 photographers around the world contributing. Eventually Comstock, NY bought out Miller Services.
Currently, he travels the Maritime provinces, in a Cessna 172 doing aerial photography, photographing prestigious homes along the coast, as well as business interiors. In the last few years, he has worked for Nova Scotia Tourism, Doer’s and Dreamers Guide, as well as working on magazine articles for “Readers Digest” and “Our Canada” magazine.