Originally I am from a northern Alberta town, ran by the oilfield, called Rainbow Lake.
I moved to Central Alberta when I was eight years old, after my parents realized I wouldn’t receive the education I needed to be successful in the north.
The number of high school students graduating was in the single digits every year, and my family did not want to risk me being forced into working at the oil and gas plant outside of town, which was where a majority of the communities population already worked at.
Moving across the province was simple, since my entire family lives in or around the Bentley area.
When I was in junior high school, I took photography classes that were offered through the school, and soon realized that it was a hobby I wanted to pursue further.
As soon as I had graduated from the Bentley high school, I began working in the quality control department of a fabrication welding shop; however, I knew working in the oilfield was not something I wanted to do for the long term.
Although working in the welding shop taught me valuable life lessons, such as how to work with different personality types, and how to work under employment pressures, I knew that working the in oilfield wasn’t something I wanted to do for long, there was too much uncertainty.
I watched my family, which is mostly oilfield workers, struggle with the flux and flow of the industry. After working to the point of exhaustion, where they are forced to take days off, and not being certain that they will have a job in the coming months.
While working at the welding shop, I decided I needed a change of pace, and bought myself a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera, something that I had wanted for years, and I was in the position to buy for myself.
Soon after purchasing the DSLR, I began taking online digital photography classes at Red Deer College, where I learned the basics of photography, and how to work my camera efficiently.
I would go for drives before my 7 a.m. start time at work, looking for anything that looked visually interesting to take photos of for an assignment, and do the same thing after my 10 hour shift later in the day.
After my third semester at RDC, I found out I was accepted into the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, for the journalism program offered.
Going into post secondary I had no idea of what to expect, I was set on the idea of only becoming a photojournalist.
Although I do enjoy photography, throughout the first year of school I found a passion for writing people’s stories also.
I realized quickly after beginning classes that strictly photojournalism might not have been for me.
Through school, I found some things out about myself that I didn’t know previously, such as I enjoy interviewing people, meeting complete strangers, and writing their stories.
I have always had an interest in telling individual’s stories, and wanting to tell the public what is happening in and around their community.
The more interviews I conducted, stories I wrote, and portraits I took, I knew that working in the media is what I truly wanted to do with my life.
I have always wanted a job where I am not confined to one place.
Working in the media will give me the freedom to travel, even if only to a city council meeting, or to an event downtown.
During the previous summer months I have enjoyed going on road trips, practicing landscape photography, paddle boarding on Gull Lake, and surfing, whether on the Bow River in Calgary, or in Tofino on Vancouver Island.