While I was living in Banff, Alberta I’d thought about how cool it would be to go to the Calgary Stampede (it’s on the Canadian edition of monopoly) so my friend Tiffany and I bought a bus pass that would take us to the city.
While I was scrolling through my newsfeed I saw J.T was going to be there, I had followed his photographer Adam Scotti for a while on Instagram so when we were on the train through town I told Tiffany we should try and meet them.
Once we arrived at the Stampede I checked with the information desk to see if they might know where I could find the PM, sure enough they said I should check “Indian Village”. As I was crossing the bridge I was caught off guard by J.T walking with a small group of people, I walked up and introduced myself asked if Scotti was with him and he introduced me. I talked to him about an opportunity for an internship then stayed in contact with messages until September 2018 when I was granted a pass to work as a photography intern.
I now help Adam with documentary work when needed, they’re frequently traveling so I have been picking up placement hours whenever I can in Ottawa, ON. He’s definitely mastered the fast pace of the craft where as I still don’t feel like I’m quite up to speed. I’ve learned to manage two camera bodies to have access to a full range because there really isn’t any time to swap lenses, I’m happy to be learning everything I can from placement and I’m excited to see where it will go.
Both of my parents graduated from college as photo-journalists, so growing up I was around film cameras a lot. When the switch was made to digital they phased into different jobs.. but inspired mine. One of my earliest memories of photography was my kodak cx7430, a camera my Mom had let travel with on elementary school trips.
It was always so fun taking photos with my friends so I started bringing it with me on the bus. I eventually started using it during recess, we would explore the schoolyard and get creative with timing (and failing) a mid air jump with the capture time. This didn’t sit well with the teachers at the time, smartphones weren’t a thing so nobody had easy access to cameras, they took my camera and frowned upon taking photos without parental permission.
Meanwhile in my computer class we had recently been introduced to photoshop, a program allowing us to make creative designs on something other than the program Paint. My teacher at the time decided it would be a good idea to introduce a green screen and camera for spirit days, so I started taking photos when people would dress up and everyone would edit them onto fun backgrounds to put into a class slideshow.
From there things picked up quite a bit, I went into high school anticipating I would join the communications course but when their devices seemed too outdated I decided to sign up to do a co-operative education working with the Canadian Armed Forces Image Techs. Here I got access to a range of lenses and lighting equipment I hadn’t used before and became faster at manually exposing in different lighting scenarios. They introduced me to IPTC and copyright information using light-room. I used these skills to help run my high school’s yearbook, there wasn’t a class for this so I teamed up with the teacher running it and got access to take the bus with sports teams to events. During my high school years I frequently took trips to Toronto, ON where my Mom would influence me to try street photography, a style were you capture people in there element rather than pre-plan the model.
I used photos from all of this to apply to college for media and design. I ended up in Ottawa and traveling to Banff, Alberta to work during the summer. I saved for a plane ticket and flew by myself to stay in staff accommodation and work on the Lake Louise canoe docks, I met a lot of great people and tried to soak up the landscapes as much as I could before returning to school in the fall.
The second summer was a 3,479km drive from Ottawa to Banff where I was able to see so many different parts of Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
I hope to continue exploring Canada and meeting different people, I’m not sure where I’ll end up but I know it’ll be an experience I’m excited to share.
Ever since i’ve wanted to be a photographer i’ve dreamed of having my own professional website, well here it is! Check my blog for weekly updates on my work, life and travel.