The Injury Chronicles – Part One: The Streets of Toronto

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted many new articles lately.  It isn’t because of lack of content;  I’ve currently only edited personal work up to July so I still have a lot of new work to share.  It is, rather, that I am rehabilitating a hand injury that has become a roadblock to shooting, typing, and playing guitar.  You know, just the main things I do to make a living and for personal enjoyment.  🙂

Having something small get in the way of my work (like a hand injury) was frustrating at first.  There is always a silver lining though, and I have come to appreciate this quiet period of time away from the creative process.  I am viewing this break as an opportunity to be with family, to re-charge as a person and to get inspired by the world around me again.  I’ve been making notes, conceptualizing ideas, storyboarding projects, and I’m excited by the possibilities once I have full use of my hand again.  People often have a fear of missing out on things or of falling behind, but the truth is that breaks are good.

…and in the meantime?

Well, I have a lot of photo essays sitting on my computer that I haven’t posted yet.  They are random and diverse, and I’m going to use this opportunity to post several of them over the next few weeks.  We will start today with a collection of new images from the Toronto street photography workshop that I taught this past July

I hope you like them!



Using Photography to Heal From PTSD

I am so damn excited to finally be able to share this with you:

Over the years I have written a lot about my journey with PTSD.  I have spoken about it on podcasts, on countless stages, in magazine articles and over coffee with friends who needed to talk.  Putting yourself out there and speaking from a place of vulnerability is never easy.  On the contrary, it can be terrifying at times.  But, there is magic in doing it because it helps people.  

At my core that is who I have always tried to be… a helper.  For so many years I did it with my hands, with IVs full of medication, with bandages and tourniquets and with defibrillators.  The tools of my trade have changed now of course, I traded in my stethoscope for a camera a long time ago, but I am still trying to help by telling my story to anyone who will listen.  

I tell it because I know it has helped other people who are struggling, much like I was helped by hearing about the experiences of others when I needed it the most.

Here is where the plot thickens…

A few months ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Muse Storytelling.  We spoke about this new project that my friends at Fujifilm Cameras were doing.  It was a  video based project that focused on the creative process, on why we make art and on what drives us to do what we do.  There would be no talk about camera settings, or which lens is better, or what accessories you should buy.  It was going to be a celebration of life, of people, of art and of storytelling.  It was amazing, and I knew right away that I had to be a part of it.

And now, finally, all of you who helped me on this journey can be a part of it too.  You are all amazing.  You saved me, and I will be eternally grateful.  

Please follow this link to view my video in the Create Forever series.

I hope you like it.




Podcasts, Loss, New Directions & Mr. Rogers

We lost two giants this week:  Fred Herzog and Robert Frank.  I never met either of them personally, but both of these gentleman were hugely influential to me as a photographer.  They passed away at the ages of 88 and 94, respectively, after long lives spent pursuing their artistic passions.  

Inspirational indeed.

I was the guest on this week’s FujiCast podcast (episode 30), where I spoke to one half of the dynamic duo that host the show (Kevin Mullins and Neale James).  We chatted about photography, my PTSD, and about how important the arts can be to a person who is suffering from something.  Neale was a gracious host, an even better interviewer, and I think we covered a lot of ground during our short talk.  Be sure to check it out:

It feels like I am spending a lot of time talking about my journey these days, perhaps even as much as I spend working as a photographer.  This wasn’t something that I intentionally set out to do, but I have had so many people reach out to let me know that my story helped them.  That’s pretty much the best thing in the world.  

The truth is that I have always tried to be a helper in one form or another… it is what I do and it is who I am.  Mr Rogers once said:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world.” 

That was me for over 20 years on an ambulance, and for 25 years in the classroom.  Helping others has been my life’s work and, even though I am not on an ambulance anymore, maybe this is just my little way of trying to help right now.  There is actually a new project launching soon, related to this, that I am very excited to share with you in the coming month.

And to the both of you, Mr. Herzog and Mr. Frank, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the art that you created and so generously shared with the world.  We are all better for it.