By Evan Buhler
In the middle of a busy production day, putting the paper together, I received a phone call from an Ontario number. My gut told me this was going to be really good news. I was at a loss for words when Megan Leach, Director, Planning & Packaging at The Canadian Press, notified me that I was the recipient of the 2021 Tom Hanson Award. Working for The Canadian Press had always been a dream of mine. At the time, I was working full-time for the Rocky Mountain Outlook, in Canmore, which had provided me with many unique opportunities, but not enough to further my career. I knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime and a chance to start taking my career to the next step.
My time at CP was one of the most rewarding and challenging learning experiences of my career. I felt pressure knowing that my images would be seen by editors all across the country, but my mind was put at ease after Nathan Denette and Frank Gunn reassured me of my abilities. The opportunity to learn from Nathan and Frank, the CP photo editors and other photojournalists in Toronto was invaluable. I have a lot to thank them for. During the internship, I quickly learned the importance of planning ahead, showing up early and filing quickly and accurately.
Before starting my internship, I told Megan and Joe O’Connal that I wanted to cover as much sports as possible. After having the opportunity to cover a few games with Frank and Nathan, I quickly learned what it took to work for a wire service and my confidence started to grow. It wasn’t long before I was covering NHL, NBA, CFL and MLS action on my own, including the Leafs and Raptors home openers, which were two standout experiences during the internship. Other highlights included simply meeting other photographers, watching them at work and seeing my pictures appear in national and international publications. Aside from the sports coverage, I also had the opportunity to cover news, features and press conferences.
The six-week internship at CP offered many invaluable lessons and experiences working at a wire service. I finished the internship having a clear idea of the kind of photojournalist I want to be. I still have a lot to learn but the internship provided me with a network of photographers to learn from and left me with the confidence I needed to pursue my career. It also helped me make the decision to take the next step and move from Alberta to Montreal, to jump with two feet into the world of freelance.
I’m so thankful to everyone at CP, Tom Hanson’s family and the Canadian Journalism Foundation. It was a true honour to spend six weeks working at The Canadian Press.
Check out the details of the Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award.
The Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award is generously supported by: