During the two years I took between high school and university, I spent a lot of time taking pictures. Gradually I realized that not only did I really enjoy photography, but also that I was motivated to pursue a deeper understanding of it and to improve my own skills. Here, for the first time, was something I could see dedicating myself to; a significant realization for a teenage boy, previously compelled only by girls and sports. Finally, I went to school at the University of Calgary and majored in Religious Studies with the intention of using it as a background for photojournalism. Religion is a significant factor in shaping peoples lives, and therefore the global landscape of our shared past and current reality. I wanted a better understanding of people to make work that generated a higher impact. It was a bit of a long route. I was still taking pictures for myself and for the school newspaper, but I felt my practical abilities were stagnating. Two years into the program, I enrolled at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in the Journalism program, with a specialization in photojournalism. This gave me the opportunity to have a full-time internship at the Edmonton Sun. I am now at York University in Toronto, studying International Development to further my understanding of the global environment.
The program and internship honed my skills to allow me to tell a story through images. In 2008, I won the Stephen Klatzel Memorial Trophy for Mini Essay from the Calgary Camera Club. My project, “The Spice of Life”, took Best in Class at “The Course”, a workshop for professionals using multimedia put on by Toronto’s Globe and Mail to raise the level of quality of work in the industry. I was accepted as a student into the 2009 Toronto MAGNUM Workshop, where Christopher Anderson led the group. I am a member of the Newspaper Photographers Association of Canada, and have attended their annual conferences for the past two years. The speakers at the conference are passionate about their work. Environment, development, and human rights are topic mainstays. A strong familiarity and education in these subjects have given these photojournalists the ability to make some incredibly moving work that has created awareness in those who have been exposed to it. It is my long-term goal for my education to culminate in a career in social and combat documentary photography to help develop this awareness. I was accepted as a student to the Eddie Adams Workshop, which I attended in the fall of 2010.