Monday, May 2, 2011

An assignment causes me to reflect

I photographed Hadia Akhtar on her last day in Toronto. She had just graduated from university and was boarding a flight that evening to Camroon (!!) for a six month internship. Hadia was nonchalant about it but I could tell she was excited.

Hearing about the trip I was excited for her and couldn't help but remember my last day of university. I was exhausted from four years in class and couldn't wait for what was next.

Then I stopped and realized that I had graduated from university just over a decade ago.

One. Decade. Ago.

Instead of being upset about the passage of time, it was actually nice to stop and reflect on how much has happened in my life since graduating. I realized that my last decade looked like this:

0 - 5: Traveled Western Europe, moved to Toronto, started a career in PR, went back to school part-time for three years while working full-time, moved way up the corporate ladder through seven promotions and travelled to Thailand, Ecuador, Peru, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

5 - 10: Quit successful career to backpack solo for eight months through Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Tibet and China, made decision to change career and become a photojournalist, moved to Victoria for photo school, worked as a photojournalist in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto, traveled to Uganda and Tanzania as a photojournalist, fell in love with Matt who is the most incredible guy ever (easily the most important thing that has happened in my life), drove across Canada in a 1970s convertible with Matt, traveled to Hong Kong, LA, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, fulfilled dream of having a photo (and more than one!) published in the Globe and Mail, fulfilled dream of a front page of the Globe and Mail, started a successful photography business and bought a house with Matt.

When I graduated I had no idea that ten years later I would have fallen in love with the most incredible person I have ever met, seen the world and be living my dream of being a photojournalist. I am the luckiest gal in the world.

...and my job made me remember this.


Rick Talbot May 3, 2011 at 4:26 PM  

One decade ago. That's a big realization. I hit that mark recently too. Soooo easy on that day to fall into the 'what am I doing with my life' train of thought, isn't it?

blindmind May 9, 2011 at 8:44 PM  

I have great love for you. You're the sweetest.

About Della

I'm Della. I take pictures.

I'm a freelance photojournalist based in Toronto. My work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Toronto Life, Hello! Magazine, The Calgary Herald and Sun Media publications. I have also shot for a number of corporate clients, including the Government of Canada, the Law Society of Upper Canada, ING, Accenture, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Takeda, Amgen and Merck Frosst.

Likes: Snoopy Sno-Cone makers, dinosaurs, sharks, hot chocolate, ice cream, This American Life, CBC Radio, asparagus, zebras, travel, photography, grape soda, ice cream, naps, hoodies, the library, good e-mails, duvets, new books, mittens and lists.

Dislikes: Unicorns, ponies, glitter, tomato, wet cat food.

Check out my website at
Contact me at: drollinsphoto (at)

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