Five years ago, during my biology field course in Mont St-Hilaire, I was hiking with Alice and Sophie when we came across a little stream and decided to look for red back salamanders. We found a few, I took some pictures. That moment would lead to five years of freelance photography for the alumni magazine McGill News! A funny thing about this picture by the way is that I didn’t own a macro lens at that time, so to get close to the salamander, I used this weird technique where I took the lens off of my camera and took a picture while holding the lens in the air backwards.
When McGill News contacted my biology professor for pictures from his classes, my pictures were brought up, and I started a conversation with Daniel McCabe, the editor. He used that salamander picture in an article about field courses at McGill University and ever since, he’s been hiring me for occasional freelance photography assignments. They vary from pictures of the campus to portraits of professors. There was even an article where they interviewed me about my biology research and featured my photography at the same time (Out of the classroom and into the rainforest).
What I love most about these assignments is that I get to photograph interesting people. Here are a few shots I took this year on assignment.
I was sent to photograph Allan Downey, a new professor in the indigenous studies department and member of the Nak’azdli First Nation. He researches (and plays) lacrosse and studies its history and role in indigenous culture.
Then I met Kevin Petrecca, the chief of neurosurgery at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He was featured in the magazine after having developed a probe that can precisely detect cancer cells in the brain.
And my favourite assignment so far - I got to join one of the Iberian food tours of Mélissa Simard, a McGill alumni. You may have read my previous post about Mélissa here.
Something I didn't expect to happen is that this work for McGill News led to other freelance photography jobs within McGill. I’ll share more in the future, but I want to highlight one particular exciting project that I may photograph. It’s essentially what I did for the Santropol Roulant portraits, but for the ~100 staff members and professors of McGill's Macdonald Campus. I really hope it works out as I’d love to take on the challenge!
Stay tuned for more! Also, did you know that for every email you receive when you sign up for Postcards from Alex, a war is prevented? Think about doing good for this world. Think about it.