As a photographer, I always think about those memes where it says “What people think I do vs. What I actually do.” I have conversations with my friends and they think what I do is fun and glamorous and I’m surrounded by models all day and night but in actuality, most of my time is spent by myself in my room editing work or learning how I could get better.
Yes, there are times where I have taken pictures of good looking people and celebrities, but my passion photography-wise is imperfection and unpredictability.
Yesterday I was about to run some errands before I started some work and I saw smoke in the sky above my house. I knew there was a fire somewhere nearby. As I got in my car and got to the main street, the smoke was wild. So I drove back home, ran inside and got my camera.
The police blocked Passmore Ave, so I parked at a nearby plaza and walked across the street. I made sure to wear my mask because I wasn’t sure if anything hazardous could’ve been in that smoke. Not that my 100 Miles mask was going to protect me from smoke, but better safe than sorry.
The smoke was so dark and thick. It was such a contrast to the blue sky. Several fire trucks were on the scene. There was a firefighter on a ladder fighting the fire but the way the land was laid out, it was hard to see him and all I could see was water shooting from the fire hose. I was thinking to myself, “How could I get higher so I can get a vantage point to see the fireman in action?” I saw some newspaper boxes and one was knocked over. At first, I was wondering if I can stand on it or will I be too heavy? It took my weight and I got some shots that I wanted.
The Fire department brought a second truck and I saw a ladder go up into the sky with this black smoke in the background. Myself as a photographer, I was hoping for them to send a firefighter up the ladder to fight the fire with the smoke in front of him but at the same time, I didn’t want him to be unsafe for the sake of me “getting the shot”. A few minutes later, not only did they send up one fireman but two.
Shooting glamorous Instagram models and upscale parties are cool but photographing things where you don’t know what’s going to happen next is what excites me. The challenge of getting the shot and telling a story through pictures is what keeps the spark in me.
Thanks to the Toronto Fire Services and all the first responders keeping us safe. Check out CP24 for more about this incident.