From Corporate Television to the Okanagan Valley
When you look at a valley like we live in, there’s so much even the lifelong dwellers haven’t discovered; that’s what drew me here.
It’s exclusivity, anonymity, wonderment, and wanderlust all wrapped into the biggest little city (as I like to call it), while surrounded by crystal blue lakes and mountains made of magic.
I’m originally from Ontario, having spent the majority of my time working in the Greater Toronto Area in the television industry. A formal background in photography gave me the grounds to see life through the lens, and then in motion, as it spurred an interest from the very beginning.
After a few years of my last position producing and directing live sports and events, it ran it’s toll and I realized it never really fulfilled me the way I thought it would.
There was always a creative engagement missing; a flair of je ne sais quoi that wasn’t materializing on the screen for me. I eventually left my television career in search of peregrination once more, starting by moving everything I owned to the sunny Okanagan. Shortly after, I was down in Haiti, where I was fortunate enough to film a documentary looking at how the country was doing and how private organizations and the Canadian government were helping.
When I came back, I spent the next few months completing the documentary. On my off days, or when I needed some creative motivation, I would spend my time wandering the valley.
Living in Kelowna, I started with the simple things.
Knox Mountain, Myra Canyon, and the trails close by home — they were stunning. The views were that of books you read or you imagine, or from National Geographic magazines around the world.
Here this was, in our own backyard. I could barely describe it to friends and family back in Ontario if it weren’t through my visuals. As I got to know more people, I would question everyone relentlessly about new places to see views. Where are the hidden gems? Where can we go? The answers I got varied from, “This neat trail in Penticton!” to, “Where can’t you go?” I liked the latter better.
Between trips to horse ranches where the horses run wild, setting up tents with these gentles giants while the fire crackles away slowly as we fall asleep, to the lakeside views of Mabel Lake and trails running through the forest that look like a ruined jungle scene from a movie; there really wasn’t a lot I couldn’t get myself in to.
So where are the best views you ask?
Well, those are the ones you don’t know about, in my opinion. The best are the ones you have to find one day by hiking for two hours, or driving up a road you’ve never seen before and having a sense of adventure and wonderment. That’s where I find my true inspiration.
I try to focus on editorial and fashion in my photography life, and the Okanagan proves a beautiful backdrop time and time again for these things when I’m working and not just exploring and capturing landscapes. In January I shot a low-key fashion styled shoot in Joe Rich. The snow lightly falling, dense forest, and deep greens made for a beautifully juxtaposed lifestyle element.
Flash forward to the spring, and working with local singer/songwriter Johanna Olson and working on her creative elements for launching her debut EP. Kelowna made a playful adversary as this integral backdrop of style seeped through the images I captured in both still and motion, while making the city seem bigger than it is, but keeping that lakeside getaway emotion to it all. Graffiti murals, sign-filled downtown Burnard, and a quiet dock under a rigid sky were perfect settings to manipulate through the lens to match the vision.
Kelowna has been an integral part of my growth as photographer and cinematographer.
It has forced me to both open up artistically and further refine my style to set myself apart from those who were here before me. My environment here has opened up work for me from two upcoming documentaries around the world, and work back in Toronto and Vancouver.
Being able to come back to such a beautiful place is truly a blessing, though. Editing photos or video while looking out on a lake the span of the whole valley, with mountains in the distance like giant protectors, will never get old.
If you seek it, it’s here for you.
Water, earth, air, sun, and a constant element of wonder will keep you searching trails and trekking through the forest or driving down barren roads to find new views and places for you to explore through your lens.
I came out here to challenge myself and take on a new journey in my life, and the Okanagan hasn’t disappointed. Take it from a big city boy who’s fallen in love with the wanderlust of everything in my new backyard.