Towards the end of 2017, I decided I wanted to try a photography project in 2018. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do, and what type of duration I wanted this project to have. I knew I loved people, and portraits; a huge part of why I love photographing weddings so much is the faces and emotions I get to capture. I decided my project would be a portrait project and run the whole length of the year, one person a week; 52 portraits in total.

I knew I needed something else though. I wanted it to be a little more original than just 52 images of people I chose. I thought about themes, colours, situations; and again I thought about what I loved about photography and photographing people. It’s the storytelling. As documentary photographers, we’re hired to capture full events or days as they transpire. Only a small portion of these days or events are posed and planned; the rest unfolds as it will, and it’s our job to capture that. During my job, I talk to people a lot. I listen to them, and what they have to say, and I love it. I decided my project would be called 52 Pieces of Advice. Each of the 52 people I photographed throughout 2018 would provide me with their best, favourite, funniest, saddest, or most heartfelt piece of life advice.

Initially, I wanted to gain experience and knowledge from this project. I wanted to better my portrait skills, and get used to bringing my camera with me on more day to day outings. While I did learn those things, I learned a lot more too. First and foremost, in general people are inherently good. I photographed 52 people. This sample was made up of family, friends, acquaintances, clients, people from my past, and total strangers. They ranged in age from 2 to 90, and geographically were from all ends of the island. Out of all of the people I approached, I was never received negatively; even when I was politely declined. Of the advice I gathered, while it’s quite a range; many of the quotes were centred around kindness and doing good by others. While some were sad, not one person spoke with anger, bitterness, or resentment. All of this surprised me; in a good way.

I loved every minute of this project, even when it got real hard to keep up with (what’s up wedding season); and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Just not this year 😉 2019 will focus on weddings and personal creative projects, but I’ll bring back another portrait project in the future. In the meantime, here’s 52 Pieces of Advice in its entirety. You can also see each individual post in full on Instagram under #52PiecesofAdvice. THANK YOU, to everyone who lent me their face, time, words, kid’s face, or space for this project. You guys rock.


1 // “Always smile.” – Jacob


2 // “Don’t waste your life when you’re young.” – Derm


3 // “Life is full of ups and downs; make sure you don’t throw up.” – Matt


4 // “Don’t alter who you are to fit someone else’s opinion of who you should be.” – Courtney


5 // “Don’t fall off the bed.” – Anna


6 // “The more you travel, the more the world will be opened up to you.” – Val


7 // “Be sure to mitigate life’s risks.” – Dad


8 // “Travel!!! Travel a lot!!” – Blayre


9 // “Don’t walk the line.” – George


10 // “Do what you love, and love what you do.” – Shawn


11 // “Always say yes to the dip.” – Costa


12 // “You only have one life to life; don’t waste it.” – Ashley


13 // “Always smile and say hello.” – Margot & Sylvia


14 // “Life’s better when you’re laughing.” – Tash


15 // “Don’t psych yourself out.” – Nicole


16 // “Stop tumbling on the couch.” – Kevin


17 // “It’s important to stay hydrated.” – Tim


18 // “Drink a lot of beer.” – Ed


19 // “Make a decision to be an unstoppable force. Let nothing in this world stop you from achieving anything you want to. You’ve got this.” – Hasan


20 // “Ducks!!!!!!” – Henry


21 // “Watch yer bobber.” – Dave


22 // “It’s never too late. Find the courage to be yourself, ask for what you really want, and never settle for ‘good enough’.” – Carla


23 // “I’m not going to tell you to smile more to to just ‘be happy’, because that isn’t the world we live in. Change is inevitable. The only constant is change. Embrace the ups and downs in life, they are what make it so beautiful.” – Kayla


24 // “Always wait two hours after eating before going swimming.” – Rob


25 // “It’s not the end of the world, it’s just the end of the artichokes.” – Alex


26 // “Make sure to fill up a bucket of kindness wherever you go.” – Bonnie


27 // “Enjoy your life now; don’t wait ’til you’re 65.” – Ron


28 // “Be kind to everyone.” – Reg


29 // “Don’t fall asleep with a smoke in your mouth.” – Junior


30 // “Follow your heart, but take your head with you.” – Joy


31 // “You don’t need no car.” – John


32 // “Live each day to the fullest.” – Debbie


33 // “Try and know which cook is in the kitchen before you comment on the food. This is true for life and for lunch.” – Justin


34 // “Be wary of people in suits; they’re trying to sell you something. Be friends with people in t-shirts; they’re trying to build something.” – Adrian


35 // “Be generous, and not just with yourself.” – Jess


36 // “Don’t give up until you find what makes you truly happy.” – Allison


37 // “Be honest.” – Joe


38 // “The pursuit of knowledge keeps you relevant. Besides career development, I believe there are many other benefits. It allows you to understand change, to be tolerant of others’ actions. Never stop your pursuit of knowledge.” – Derek


39 // “Every twist, every turn, can challenge our sense of direction. But it’s the choices we make when we reach a fork in the road that define who we are.” – Janene


40 // “If ya feel like giving up, take a look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re awesome.” – Linda


41 // “No matter how far you’ve gone on the wrong road, you can still turn around.” – Julie


42 // “If you’re feeling tired, make sure to rest; but not to quit.” – Brittany


43 // “Life advice? I’m still tryin’ to figure out life myself. I like this job though; it’s outside, and the dead don’t bother ya. Find a career ya likes.” – Chad


44 // “Be patient with life, confident in yourself, and kind to others.” – Vanessa


45 // “Follow your interests. Let them fuel your creativity, and help guide you through an inspired life.” – Steve


46 // “Oh Jesus, that’s a real hard question. I don’t know about advice, but listen here; just do good by people.” – Dale


47 // “Advice? Like to go with this picture, or in general? Stay in school; that works for both.” – Shawn


48 // “Learn that sometimes it’s okay to say. no.” – Ray


49 // “Say what you want out loud. Career ambitions, relationship needs, or wild ideas..share, and share often. People want to help you – and will help you – more than you think.” – Anna


50 // “Be true to yourself.” – Grace


51 // “When you get an opportunity, say yes.” – Dave


52 // “In our world of digital instant gratification, make sure to not lose sight of what really matters.” – Me