Joy - People of Pearson

“My name is Joy and I am a photographer with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA). My husband is a pilot, so I was already familiar with the world of aviation before joining the GTAA. I work with the Corporate Marketing and Design team to fulfill a wide variety of photographic needs. I never know where this position will take me from day to day; some days I’m in the terminals photographing social media features such as People of Pearson, other days I’m on the roof of a building photographing the landing of special aircraft like the Antonov, or on the outside ring of the tower photographing the flyby of the Snowbirds.

“I’ve been interested in photography, art, music and anything else creative for as long as I can remember. I have pictures I took when I was 10, where I would pose my sister in front of bed sheet “backgrounds”, so I was already exploring that interest at a young age. I spent several years learning everything I could before eventually going on to complete a Master of Arts in Photography degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. What I love the most about the field of photography is the creative aspect of it. I also love the way it allows me to see the world differently and capture the world from my unique perspective. I think in some ways it helps me make sense of my world to be able to capture it through my lens.

“As with most careers in the arts, one of the most frustrating aspects is that despite years invested in training and honing my skills, I often feel that I have to justify that my work is worth paying for when everyone has a camera phone, and the idea that all it takes to be a photographer is to press a button. There is also the idea that if you have a good camera, that is what creates good pictures, which is not always the case. Another thing that can be difficult is that corporate photography tends to be male dominated. Often as a woman in the field I feel I am not taken seriously, especially by the other photographers I run into while working, the majority of which are men.

“I think the best advice I can give anyone who is interested in photography, either as a hobby or as a career, is to invest in the learning first. You can have all the fancy equipment you want, but that is not going to make you the best photographer you can be. Learn about the elements of art, what makes a strong image, how to use light, how to use all the settings of your camera, whichever one you have, to their greatest advantage. Once you do that, you will have a much better idea of what equipment you really need and want for the kind of photography you want to pursue.

“I enjoy many different types of photography, from landscape to conceptual, but the photography that always interests me the most is photography that involves people. It spans a wide variety of genres, but I really love trying to capture the essence of who someone is in a particular moment.”

- Joy, Photographer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority

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