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. I have a ton of respect for the people who work in that industry. The hours can be pretty crazy.
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 a photographer 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!