During the pandemic, I took a course on how to get published with Travel Media Lab. It had been a dream of mine since I was old enough to flip through the National Geographic magazines we received every month while growing up. It took the world shutting down for me to finally take some action and figure out how. It wasn’t rocket science but no, I wasn’t just going to be ‘discovered’ because I had a great photo on Instagram. The course gave me a roadmap and the confidence to start pitching. It was a great way to keep my mind busy while I couldn’t do much of my normal work as a photographer and a travel advisor and photo tour leader. It gave me purpose and allowed me to revisit past trips and really appreciate what a privilege it is to travel. I also realized how much I want to share stories, whether my own or of the people I meet along the way. Travel has been my greatest teacher and inspiration. It has made me love this planet even more and worry that we are doing irreversible damage affecting so many people and places. My hope is that by sharing stories and encouraging people to travel (responsibly), we can truly help each other.
Jumping into a new industry is hard but also exciting. After years of being a member of the Professional Photographers of Canada, I knew being a part of an association would be a benefit and help me grow and make connections. As soon as I had enough work under my belt, I applied to become an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers. Less than a month after applying, I entered the Canadian Chapter’s writing and photography competition. A few months later, I found out I won a Silver for the Best Photography – Places category for one of my favourite images from Morocco that was published with my article in Pilgrim Magazine. I was so excited to have been recognized by my new peers. I got to meet many of them at the Canadian Chapter meeting in Banff, Alberta in May and felt so welcome that I knew joining was the right decision.
This past summer, I entered the national (i.e. all the of the US plus Canada) Bill Muster Photo Awards. I also decided to attend the SATW’s national conference in Puerto Rico in September, despite worrying about it being during hurricane season. I went and had an amazing time, although some plans changed due to the threat of Hurricane Lee. Luckily, it missed the island so we avoided getting the strong winds and rain but the ocean was rough for days. As a first-timer, I enjoyed the reception thrown for us and having a buddy (thanks for being mine Jim Byers!). There were great sessions and events. While there were many highlights, sitting at a table of strangers (though not for long) and seeing my image come onto the screen when announcing the Gold winner of the Cultural Scenic category during the 2024 Bill Muster Photo Awards Gala, is definitely a moment I will not soon forget. Not long after, another one of my images received a Merit in the Action/Adventure category. What a night!
I had also submitted some images of published work to the Canadian Chapter Awards again and found out a few days ago that I won a Bronze in the Best Photography – Places category for an image of Joe Batt’s Arm on Fogo Island that was published in Dreamscapes Magazine.
Here are my winning images: