Meet Curtis Heinzl one of our many multi-talented employees that will be joining us the 2019 Camp Season! Being with us over the past couple months as one of our all star co-op students in Toronto, our team got to know Curtis and see his raw talent. The young photographer is now joining the team as our 2019 camp photographer for Toronto! Curtis found his passion for photography in 2017, where he found himself always wanting to take the next step to improve his skills. With such raw, authentic and interesting photographs we can’t wait to see what Curtis captures this summer!
We asked Curtis to tell us a little more about his passion for photography and here’s what he had to say!
When and how did you fall in love with photography?
I took a digital art course in my first year of high school where I was introduced to Photoshop. I quickly became hooked on surreal photo manipulations. When a couple friends who owned cameras invited me out to “shoot” downtown for the first time, I knew I had to get my own. The streets of Toronto were calling! I bought my first camera in June 2017 and have been on the run since.
How do you love about camp?
This is actually my first year at camp. I was a high school co-op student this past year and I was so blown away by the positive atmosphere that I had to come back for the summer! I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about camp and I can’t wait to experience it with everyone.
What was your most memorable photoshoot or photograph?
There have been several, but the most recent was taken over the March Break this year. I was visiting Europe for my very first time. It was a school trip, so our freedoms were quite limited. The evening before our flight back, we were given an hour and a half to shop in a famous Parisian mall, but I was not about that. I had a very specific photo on my bucket list and I was not going to leave Paris without taking it. This was my very last chance, so my friend and I hopped on the metro and got off on the other side of the city. I took the shot (FIRST PHOTO). It was exactly as I’d imagined it. Then I realized we were expected meet back at the mall in 15 minutes. I panicked. The subway map estimated a 49 minute return time, so we got a cab to take us back through the dense Parisian rush hour. We arrived about half an hour late, causing our group to nearly miss our dinner at one of the most prestigious restaurants in the city. I provided a heartfelt apology, but it was still totally worth it.
What camp will you be counselling or helping with? Why do you love this camp?
I’m a floater counsellor, so I’ll be working with every camp. I’m really looking forward to meeting new campers every week who share the same passion as me!
How would you define your photography style?
I enjoy capturing stories as they unfold before my eyes. My aim is to shoot images which evoke emotion and curiosity in the viewer’s mind, so I am constantly searching for raw and authentic moments on the street. My love of street photos has introduced me to other areas of candid photography such as sports and journalism.
Which piece of gear (lens, tripod etc.) is your favourite?
Nikon FM2n. It is incredibly satisfying to use a battery-free, fully-mechanical film camera.
What’s your next photography purchase?
I’m very new to analog photography, so I only own a 50mm lens. It’s a bit too tight for my street photography, so I’m hoping to get my hands on a 35mm soon.
What is your favourite place you have ever photographed?
I would do anything to go back to the beautiful city of Paris.
What advice would you give to amateur photographers?
ONLY shoot manual mode! You will miss a lot of shots at first, but there is absolutely no better way to get your camera settings nailed down (besides attending Teen Camp 1). Soon enough, you’ll have a light meter built into your brain!
Just so we can find out a bit more about the person behind the lens, could you tell us…
Who is your favourite photographer past or present? John Free. He isn’t famous but I look up to him greatly both as a photographer and as a person. His work ethic, positive attitude and the level of respect he has for strangers is incredibly inspiring to me. Watch some of his YouTube videos and you’ll see what I mean.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Being able to instantly travel through space would be pretty sweet. I want to see the universe and meet aliens. You didn’t say it had to be on Earth.
What’s your favourite movie? I hate when I’m asked this question, because I don’t watch movies or TV shows. At all. I’m just weird like that.
What would you do if you won the lottery? I’d donate a lot to climate change research and charity, and save the rest. But first I’d splurge on photo gear, duh.
What’s your favourite hobby outside of photography? I play a lot of hockey!
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