I was given my first camera when I was 12 years old. A Polaroid Square Shooter 2, which I still own.
In 1975, I started using my Dad’s “real” camera. A Mamiya 528TL. (Another one I still own) This was my first foray into SLR photography. Even though the camera did not have interchangeable lenses, it did have an accessory lens I could use for wide angle and telephoto. It was a big step up.
I started photographing and doing some darkroom work for my school annual in 1975. In 1976 shooting for the school annual consumed me. My grade 10 year was spent behind the camera or in the darkroom.
In the summer of 1977, I saved money from my part-time job and as soon as I had enough saved, my friend, Rob Fowler, and I took the bus down to Lens and Shutter on Broadway. I had my pockets stuffed with cash. When I asked the salesperson to take a look at a Nikon F2A with a 50mm 1.8, I am sure he thought he was wasting his time; after all, I was 16 years old.
In 1979 I entered a couple of photography contests. Photo Canada magazine, (If memory serves me correctly) and Nikon were putting on a contest and winners got their photograph published in the next year’s calendar. (Oh, how much I did not know about giving away your work back then!) And Sears Canada was also putting on a nationwide contest. (With much better prizes, money, Cameras and a trip) I won both.
In 1979 I decided that I wanted to make photography my career, I researched schools and decided on Ryerson in Toronto. The only school in Canada that offered a degree in photography. I started Ryerson in 1981 and graduated in 1985.
I moved back to Vancouver in 1986, just in time for Expo ’86! I worked as a custom colour printer at one of Vancouver’s bigger labs, and in 1988 struck out on my own. Working as an assistant some of the time and drumming up my own work the rest of the time. Doing mostly commercial and corporate work with some weekend weddings to pay the bills.
I continued doing this type of work until 1993 where I was fortunate enough to get a job at one of the local newspapers. My time working as a photojournalist was great. I loved the work. Meeting the people and getting the opportunity to photograph things most people don’t get the chance to do.
In 2003 I saw the future of newspapers was not going to be a rosy one and left the paper to go back to school to learn about web development and strategy. The web was (I thought then, and still do) the future. I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time and landed a job as a web strategist in 2004.
I was very lucky, in 2006 I had a new boss and he took advantage, (much to my delight) of my photography skills and incorporated shooting stills and video into my job. It was a great outlet for my desire to create.
Now, after almost 40 years of being behind the camera, I am mostly shooting for myself. I love to travel and I get to I shoot what I want, for me. I still take the odd paying job, but only when it interests me. It is great to be able to photograph just for the joy of it.
I hope you enjoy.