From the moment I created my website, I decided that I will keep my personal sharing to a minimum. I hardly posted on social media and refused to hop on the blogging bandwagon.
Yet, here we are, at my blog page.
Over the last few years my friends, clients, and mentees have repeatedly asked me to share more on social media. Which I have started to do; But I feel like it makes almost no difference. In between algorithms and trends your voice gets lost in a sea of a thousand perspectives, and millions of users. Share as you might, unless you somehow manage to go viral few, even those who keep an eye out, will ever see, hear, or read your work. If I’m going to spend my time doing something few will ever know about I’d rather it be useful for me.
So you must be wondering, with a cynical outlook on this whole blogging concept why on earth am I here?
It comes down to a culmination of factors both personal and educational.
I have been in the professional photography industry for nearly a decade now, working in Toronto and around the world. Many enter the profession but very few make it through the test of time. It is certainly a challenging industry, highly competitive and at times just downright bizarre. Over these many interesting years I’ve experienced a lot, and learned many things. Sharing them gives me an opportunity to enlighten others, particularly newcomers to the industry, of things I would consider essential to getting this far, or things I wish I had learned sooner.
This blog will also serve as a consolidated review. Each year I set aside time to do guest lectures at a variety of schools. Using this blog as a quick reference or to share for more topics that I can’t fit into a lecture, gives me the opportunity to reveal more with students and photography enthusiasts.
Finally, I am using this blog as a reflective tool for myself, and publishing it for your entertainment. Every day as a fashion photographer is a new and often exciting adventure, unless you count editing (the only adventure that consists of is delving deep, where few have gone before – up the nose of the subject I photographed. There’s nothing thrilling about making nostrils look fabulous on a 30-inch monitor). It’s fun to look back and remember some of the things that get pushed back into your memory. With a lot going on its easy to forget about some of the things that shaped your behaviors or how you came to develop a technique or methodology. It could also reveal early onset memory loss. Either way I have a way to reference it.
In this section of my website I will talk about various aspects of fashion, beauty, photography, lighting, travel, equipment, business strategy, experiences, art, inspiration and more. It will be really anything that I frequently come across, what I am passionate about, or if I receive a requested to cover a topic. Before I delve into the real content I figured I should probably introduce myself, and give you a brief synopsis on how I got here.
Well, here I am:
Ahh, the life of a fashion photographer. As you will see I am in my natural habitat. Amongst a lot of gear, and surrounded by organized chaos. With some of the greatest creatives you will ever meet.
It has taken many years to get to this point. Not many sane people can ever say their ‘office’ has ever looked like that.
As a young child I always loved art, a bit beyond the normal and this love developed over time becoming a relentless passion. I began with the traditional drawing and sketches, and moved on to painting. I cultivated most of my inspiration from surrealism, most notably Salvador Dali and Mc Esher. To this day some of my favourite shoots have been inspired by surrealism.
My parents always encouraged my creativity giving me my first camera at 11 years old. Shortly after I moved to Canada with my family settling in Toronto. At that point my camera became a way to document and express all the new and exciting things that I experienced. That is when I developed the desire to make this my career.
I became one of those kids that tries to find any way to get my foot in the door. During high school I assisted a local photographer and learned what it takes to run a studio. I immediately felt at home in there, the business side of things came easily. I quickly came to realize what I was missing was a more technical knowledge of the equipment. So with my typical dive in head first approach to learning, I got a job at a professional photo development lab, with the end goal of saving up enough money to pay for my education.
Shortly after, I enrolled in Humber Colleges photography program, beginning my studio within a few months of graduating. Since then my career has consisted of patience, experimentation, dedication, education, reinvention, and a drive to create the highest quality work. In short these 6 principals have gotten me where I am sitting at in my career today.
In my spare time I like to research newly developed technology, travel, follow international news, and see stand-up comedians. It’s a bit of an odd combination of interests but they have all played into my photography at some point or another. I love to incorporate technology into my work, and streamline processes wherever I can. Travel is one of the ways I garner a lot of my photoshoot direction and inspiration; seeing new cultures and natural landscapes puts a fresh perspective on life. Following international news helps to put context to trends, and gives insight on the future of the creative industry. With comedy, well nothing beats a good laugh. It’s always good to see the positive side of things, with my work, sometimes days are very long and tiring, or just plain awkward. Being able to laugh at the unexpected and bizarre moment is always a breath of fresh air.
The full story could span a thousand posts, but a lot of it would be me talking about a lot of planning, time spent developing my business behind my computer screen, and how great my office chair is, but that wouldn’t make for exciting reading (but really, a solid piece of advice – get a good chair, and good shoes, for every hour you are shooting on your feet you will have at least an hour of prep work and planning if not more).
My online portfolio shows the final works, after everything has been prepped by at least 3 or 4 professionals, fixed, retouched, liquefied, limbs replaced and so on. Those who are not a part of this industry don’t know what we have to go through to get that perfect shot. With new accessible technology many underestimate what it means to be a modern creative. It’s a lot more than some equipment, a camera, and a filter or two. It’s 20 hour shoot days, broken bones, destroyed equipment, long distances traveled, and years of practice. Just for a single magnificent shot.
From the best to the worst days, there is no job like this. I want to show there’s more to our art than just the final portfolio. Sometimes it’s goofy, exhausting or painful, most of the time it’s fun, exciting, and rewarding.
So here we have it, one cliché blog post down, a little tid bit on who I am and how I got here.