As a South African friend of mine so eloquently once told me in what I can only assume is a South African expression, I can talk the ear off a donkey. So I apologize in advance if I ramble on in this "about" section on my website and I'll try to keep it just about photography.
I was born and raised in Calgary Alberta Canada, but my real beginning in becoming a photographer started when I moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to go to The Los Angeles Film School. During the time I was in Los Angeles, Canon began releasing cameras that could shoot full 1080p video. This probably means nothing to you, but being able to shoot Blu-Ray quality video on a cameras that didn't cost a fortune was a big deal. I was lucky enough to be able to get one of these cameras, but while I was exploring Los Angeles, I ended up taking a lot more photos with that camera than I did video. That was definitely my first hint that I was more interested in photography than I had originally realized.
After a couple amazing years in LA, I moved back to Calgary and ended up working at a local camera store selling photography equipment in between my work on film sets. I had some pretty cool experiences working on shows like Hell on Wheels and Fargo, but I didn't get into the department I was trying to get into and I really didn't like the lifestyle that comes with working on film sets enough to continue doing it in other departments.
It was at this point in my life that I felt like Tim. I really wasn't sure what to do with myself.
Luckily I had been becoming more and more interested in photography through my work. My co-workers were all talented photographers and I was constantly meeting people who were either making a living as photographers or generating some nice secondary income through their photography. Before then, I'd never really thought of photography as anything more than an enjoyable hobby. The thought of making a living through photography was a pretty exciting idea. I love photography! In addition to that, I basically spent everything I earned while working at that store on camera equipment (I'm the ideal employee), so the idea of my camera equipment paying for itself also seemed pretty appealing.
There were a few different things that happened that really cemented my interest in becoming a photographer. The first one was two good friends of mine getting married in Kauai. I'd just bought my first really nice lenses and I wanted to have a ton of good photos from that trip. It was a trip to Hawaii with a bunch of my close friends from high school! How could I not take a million photos? Now I have to admit, I kind of cringe thinking about the way I was taking photos at their wedding. They had two professional photographers there and I was actually standing at times to take pictures during the ceremony. I was in the back row, but still. As someone who photographs weddings now, I really can't forgive myself. Regardless of that, I still love those photos and I know I always will love them. That was an amazing trip with a lot of people who I'm lucky to have in my life and there's something very satisfying and meaningful about taking and having those photos, and I really love capturing those kinds of photos for my clients. I find it very rewarding.
The second big thing that happened for me actually started off as a simple request to take a family photo at a wedding I was attending. A friend of mine who was a fellow guest at the wedding in Kauai was getting married and, after seeing my big fancy camera in Hawaii, asked me if I could do a family photo at her wedding. Her brother was going to be photographing her wedding but obviously needed to be in the family photo and couldn't take that picture. I was more than happy to take the family photo, but after loving the experience of taking the photos I had from my friends wedding in Hawaii, I thought it would be fun to try photographing a whole wedding! So, I asked if I could second shoot for her brother at her wedding and she said yes!
After that I was hooked on the idea of being a photographer. I love taking photos that mean something to people. Naturally my photography expanded from there. I got into portrait and fashion photography, I started doing family and baby photos for my friends, started shooting real estate listings and events, and was even lucky enough to have a cousin who worked for the Calgary Flames and got me some work with them.
Overall my career in photography has been a lot of fun and very rewarding. Photography has given me a career with variety. I get to meet all kinds of different people, see things I wouldn't normally get to see, and go places I wouldn't normally go. I love photography and the life it provides. It's something I never want to retire from.
I hope the donkey still has both of its ears!