I was a little girl, maybe 5 years old. I was sitting on a closed toilet lid in silence swinging my legs in anticipation. We were on location in Florida and my grandpa had crafted this makeshift darkroom in the washroom of our rented condo. I remember everything, the smell of the chemicals, the dim red light and the silence. It was as if talking wasn’t allowed and somehow might upset the process. I peered into the buckets as he gently swished the paper back and forth and watched in amazement as the ghostly images magically appeared. I was hooked.
He’s traveled all over the world photographing everyone from David Bowie to the Queen of England. He gave me my first professional film camera when I was maybe 13 years old. It was gifted to him upon his retirement from the Toronto Star and in turn gifted to me. I spent days running around my house taking pictures of my family. I even created a fake studio in my bedroom and would practice taking awful pictures of my brothers in random awkward Sears poses. My grandpa, always my biggest fan.
Though many years have passed since those early days, I still get excited to show him my newest images and I know that no matter what, he will tell me how great they are. He will even go as far as to say I’m a better photographer than he was. As untrue as that may be, it still warms my heart to know how proud he is of me and my little business <3