I cover news and sports.
I learnt photography in a high school class that I enrolled in to gain a quick and easy credit to graduate. It wasn't that I didn’t take school seriously, because I certainly did, but I had a heavy workload and I wanted to do something fun and easy. I soon discovered it wasn’t at all easy, but it sure was fun! My experience at school led me to Ryerson University, where I was accepted into the photography studies program.
I never really made any pictures that I liked until I was about 25, when I started an internship with the Reuters pictures team in Toronto. My university years provided me with technical skills, but my internship with Reuters gave me real life experience.
Photography has provided me with a life-long learning experience in a craft that can never be perfected. It can be frustrating, but equally rewarding. I am always amazed at the places my camera takes me.
My first assignment was an NBA pro basketball game in Toronto. A Reuters photographer had taken me to the game as part of my internship while I was still in university. That’s when I realised that I wanted to be a wire photographer.
By far my most memorable assignment has been my visit to a naturist park. For the assignment, I had to work in the nude as well. It was pretty amazing to work this way, most people frown upon you taking your clothes off on the job, but this time it was acceptable. I spent three days with naturists, learning an alternate view on life while taking note of the way society views beauty.
The smaller, more intimate stories where it is just the subject and myself are my favourite. The big stories are fun to do – competing for online and print play, trying to come up with fresh ways to provide coverage, battling with other photographers in the spirit of competition – but it’s the smaller stories that are the most rewarding.
I always try to communicate the mood of what I am photographing to my viewers, as if to try and tell them exactly what it was like, because they couldn't be there themselves. Writers can do this beautifully with words, but a picture provides an instant idea.
For the most part, I have found this job to be about anticipation. Trying to put your two feet in the right spot, at the right moment, with the right lens, with the right exposure, after a careful calculation of the mood and circumstances of the situation.