Richard Vroom is a documentary photographer.
Vroom graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a Fine Arts degree in the 1960?s. He was mentored by Yousuf Karsh in Ottawa; who invited the young Vroom into his studio for critiques and discussion. In 1969 he completed this work Popeye Motorcycle Club which displays the energy and vigour of a young artist investigating his craft.
In the 1970 he was contracted by the National Film Board of Canada to document Expo 1970 in Japan. After the success of his Japan contract Vroom continued to work for the NFB creating education filmstrips for Canadian schools. His travels for the NFB brought him to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Bali, Thailand, and Nepal. Returning to Ottawa Vroom set-up a colour-processing lab to independently manage his film processing and printing; his business quickly expanded and took on additional clients.
As appreciation for his work spread he began to receive a variety of commissions including several from the Readers Digest of Canada for book projects. In 1977, he began producing books of his own such as Cabinet Makers of the Eastern Seaboard.
In 1978 Vroom was hired to manage the photography division of the Department of Foreign Affairs; he remained in this position for six years. There he was responsible for documenting visits of Heads of State to Canada. Dignitaries photographed by Vroom include Prince Charles and Lady Diana, as well as Queen Elizabeth and Ronald Reagan.
In 1984 Vroom purchased Miller Services Limited, a stock photo agency run by his agent. In three years the company tripled in size, Vroom later sold the business to Comstock, a New York newspaper syndicate. Half of the company was retained by Vroom and runs under the name Canadian Artists Syndicate Incorporated.
Over 60,000 of Vroom?s images are currently in the National Archives of Canada. He continues to create photographic work for print publications.
Photo by Steven Lacey
Born in Montreal, Quebec, 30 November 1943
Library and Archives