In 2008 I realized that photography was my true calling. The first three years of limited high school course selections led me down a path I did not want to walk. At the end of grade 11 I decided to look at options beyond those provided by my current school. I transferred from Colonel By Secondary School to Gloucester High School. Unfortunately, I transferred too late as grade 12 photography was planned for first semester, and grade 11 in second. This cheated me out of participating in both classes.
I was pleasantly surprised when I received my schedule for second semester. I had spare first period followed by photography for the remainder of the year. The photography room was multipurposed, however, I was permitted use of the darkroom during ceramics before my class. I was in solitude and darkness for 75 minutes of experimentation. Darkroom concepts naturally made sense to me from hours of Photoshop and using other light-bending toys in my childhood. I played with various techniques of enlargement and film manipulation. My session of self discovery concluded when the bell rang, and I emerged to join my classmates for our lesson.
Upon graduation it was clear what profession I wanted to pursue when I applied to post secondary education. Ryerson was the only school that accepted my application. However, I took a full time job as a dish washer at the Highlander Pub downtown when I realized tuition would be paid for by student loans. Soon thereafter I was promoted to food prep supervisor and managed the kitchen’s inventory. I saved up seventeen grand before the next September when I enrolled in the photography program at Algonquin.
I worked with a medium format film field camera during first semester. This built on my existing knowledge of film and digital environments as we scanned negatives and processed them in Photoshop. There was nothing quite like the freedom that field cameras offered. Classmates of mine were eager to move on to the DSLRs they purchased for the program, but I knew one day I would yearn to return to these relics of a lost age. It became a long-term goal of mine to acquire my own medium or large format field camera to further pursue my growing interest in real estate and architectural photography.
I decided to leave the program after completing first year in 2011. I fell out of love with the program over a few defining moments. My savings ran low and the focus shifted to studio and model photography in second semester. I spent years after college making a few questionable life choices while trying to find my way. I worked a few jobs in several cities, feeling lost within myself and this world. “Is there even a need for photographers anymore?” I pondered. The answer was: most certainly. I returned home and reconnected with the life I left behind. I created my own business to pursue my passion and prove that photography is not a lost art.
I continue to be driven by genuine photographic principles despite living in an age where Matterport and automated virtual walkthroughs are becoming the staple of cutting edge property marketing. Though some houses may be seemingly identical, they each have their own unique character. I walk into a property, take in its design, appreciate the vision of the stager and capture charismatic vignettes – slices of still life. That is something clinical 3D walkthroughs will never be able to portray. The interaction the human soul has with a house makes it a home. I deliver this experience to potential residents through my art with hope that they, too, will see the beauty and fall in love with their new abode.