by Liz Onufer | photos by Soul of Photography

Tools of the Trade

You could catch him capturing life with a camera, wielding a few woodworking tools, or leading local law enforcement. But mostly these days, you can catch Gerry Bedard enjoying his new life in 92024.

Gerry’s life in Encinitas is a blend of woodworking, photography, writing, and volunteering. He enjoys the weather, outdoor opportunities, and finding ways to combine many of his interests into one afternoon. “Sometimes I enjoy a perfect combination of recreation, creativity, and serenity. I ride my motorcycle to a secluded hiking area with my camera,” he explained. But things weren’t always this slow paced.

Name: Gerald P. Bedard (Gerry)
Profession: Former Deputy Sheriff, Woodworker, and Photographer
Community: Encinitas since 2011
Hobbies: Hiking, photography, woodworking, motorcycle riding
Favorite Local Spots: Elfin Forest, Nékter Juice Bar, CRC Thrift Store

Gerry recalled when it all started. “Twenty-eight years ago I bought a Chevy van and went on a road trip.” While in the Florida Keys, he met an acting stunt-group and traveled the country with them for four years. His travels led him to meet his wife, a photographer in Texas. She taught Gerry a few of the basics and back in his home state of Massachusetts he began working as a photojournalist for several newspapers. He developed a deep philosophy behind his work: “I believe that an artist does not capture an image – the image captures the artist.”

“Open your heart, listen to your inner voice, and be kind to yourself and others.”

faces_bedard2Successful in his art, Gerry found another calling – police work. Starting as a reserve police officer, he was soon noticed by those in higher ranks and asked to apply for a full-time position. He made the rank of sergeant in three years. Responsible for arresting individuals on warrants, Gerry recognized the source of many criminals’ problems was addiction and always attempted to connect them to addiction resources. On his last day on the force he ran into a young man he had previously arrested three times. The young man, who had now been sober eight months, and his mother thanked Gerry for not giving up on him.

Today, Gerry volunteers as a cook at Interfaith Community Services in Escondido and is on the Search and Rescue team. He is also the co-chairman of the volunteer emergency preparedness/neighborhood watch in his community.

Gerry also finds time for his woodworking. Most recently, he has begun crafting new pieces that look like antiques. With used wood and New England inspiration, he focuses his latest projects on the shabby-cottage-chic style, even opening his own Etsy shop.

These days, whether Gerry is holstering a camera or a hammer, he is enjoying all that life offers in 92024. Above all else, Gerry asserted that the most important thing one can learn to do in life is “open your heart, listen to your inner voice, and be kind to yourself and others.”