So how about a little background on how I got started in this wonderful career?
I’ve always had a love for creating things, whether that be drawing, writing a song, making a video, cooking dinner, or taking a photo, the desire to create has taken many forms throughout my life. Attending a fine art elementary school (Georges Vanier) in Saskatoon, gave me an appreciation for the arts at an early age, and instilled the idea that I was capable of “creating”. Growing up, I always found myself creating something around my interests, starting with drawing pictures of cars that I loved, to making videos of my friends and I skateboarding or playing basketball. If I was passionate about something, just doing it wasn’t enough, I had to create something about it. As I was finishing elementary school, I started to play guitar, which naturally led me to wanting to create my own music, and write my own songs. This was the first time I considered myself to be someone who was “creative”. Throughout high school, I continued to make music, recording songs, making an album with friends, and selling it (my entrepreneurial spirit started shining through)! During this time, I also happened to stumble into the world of hip-hop production, as I started making hip-hop beats as a joke, then discovering I enjoyed it, and was actually good at it!
After high school, I attended the University of Saskatchewan, obtaining a degree in Finance, and during this time, I made the decision to move to Vancouver after graduating, to pursue hip-hop production. Yes, many people thought I was a bit strange, when professors asked everybody in the class “What are you hoping to do after graduating”, and my answer was to pursue “hip-hop production”. Finance and rap beats were a strange mix I guess? Up to this point, I still had yet to pick up a camera, but that moment came soon enough!
The fateful moment that would eventually lead me to where I am today, came during my last set of finals, when my sister and I decided to start a food blog called “BS’ in the Kitchen“. I had always loved food, mainly eating it, but I was also known to cook a nice meal here and there, and started the blog as motivation to cook more. Of course, due to my desire to create things, I couldn’t just settle on picking up a cookbook, and making a nice meal. I had to cook something, take photos, and write about it online! At this point I was no photographer, and my photos (taken with a broken point-and-shoot) were far from the beautiful dishes I would salivate over, on websites like Foodgawker. Never one to settle, I purchased my first DSLR in 2010, and began teaching myself how to take decent photos. Slowly but surely, my photography began to improve, and our blog began to pick up steam.
While living in Vancouver, along with continuing to cook and blog, I got the opportunity to intern for a music production company known as The Hastings Set, home to Grammy Award winning producer Chin Injeti (know for his work with Eminem, Aloe Blacc, Dr. Dre, and more). This opportunity was not only immensely inspiring for my music production, it also allowed me to improve my photography chops, as I always had my camera on me, documenting Chin’s production sessions, concerts, and day-to-day happenings of the company. During my time in Vancouver, surrounded by people who loved what they did for a living, I realized whatever path I took in life, it couldn’t be working a 9-5 job for someone else, doing something I had no passion for, something I saw many of those I graduated with, doing.
Eventually, I found myself moving back to Saskatoon, putting less of a focus on music production, and more on photography, food, and videography! While working a day job at Amec (an engineering firm), I took the occasional side project, photographing weddings with my sister, along with shooting a few wedding videos, and working on my own photos and videos for BS’ in the Kitchen. Eventually, I left Amec, and began looking for a job related to my business degree, only to be met with disappointment at how boring every job seemed. Taking advantage of the free time that comes with unemployment, I decided to do something epic on BS’ in the Kitchen, which would unknowingly give me to the push to become self-employed. After seeing how popular my grilled cheese sandwich recipes were, with National Grilled Cheese Month coming up, I decided that I was going to post a new grilled cheese every day for the month of April, in celebration! Along with creating all these sandwiches, I shot this video to help promote the whole extravaganza:
I like to say I owe it all to grilled cheese, since this was the video that led me to work with General Mills, on their website Tablespoon.com, which was the moment I made the decision to pursue photography and videography full-time! It all came about after posting the video, when I received an email from General Mills, expressing interesting in creating similar, short videos for the recipe website Tablespoon.com, of course I said yes, and the rest is history! I started blogging for them, going from one video a month, to two, then to three, and I continue to do 2-3 a month. Ever since that moment, I haven’t slowed down, and am super grateful to be able to focus the majority of my work on food related projects, working with everybody from Ayden Kitchen & Bar, Co-op, Sask Pulse Group’s Canadian Lentil brand, and more!