This year I’m feeling like a professional photographer, and I know how that sounds, but it’s pretty amazing to me.

I’ve been shooting since I was a kid–I still have my Spider-Man camera that I used when I was five–and I got my first paid gigs when I was in university, shooting social events for the alumni group. Even with that work, and the occasional projects now and then, my photography runs more often than not on my own website, The GATE, and while that’s professional, it’s hard to think of myself as a “professional photographer” when I’m actually employing myself.

Every now and then, something comes along to remind me that I do work as a photographer though. Last week it happened when a publicist forwarded me a story about actress and singer Jennette McCurdy for Just Jared Jr.. The publicist had asked me to take some photos of Jennette after I interviewed her for her new series, Between, and they ended up being used for the teen site, which is a great feeling when you see your work out there.

As it happens, I saved the best photo of Jennette for The GATE, which you can see here cropped up above, but there’s nothing quite like being featured on a website as big as Just Jared Jr.

Still, my friend Christopher Heard, who also writes for The GATE, pointed out to me that I do have these opportunities now and then. Christopher actually still uses the portrait I shot of him a few years ago when he was writing a book about living in the Royal York Hotel in Toronto–The Suite Life: The Magic and Mystery of Hotel Living. You can see two of the photos I shot below from a magazine feature on Christopher.

There is a lot of photography on The GATE that I’m really proud of though, and I’m lucky to get a lot of opportunities to shoot people and events that I love. Here’s one sample–check out the photo of the one and only Guillermo del Toro from last year’s Rogers Media Upfront in Toronto.

Christopher Heard at the Royal York
Christopher Heard at the Royal York

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