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Photographer brings style to the altar

Cathy Dobson A local photographer making a name for himself in the wedding and portrait field is also drawing attention from the wider Canadian industry.
This shot from the wedding portfolio of Natasha and Andrew Sit of Sarnia helped photographer Daniel McQuillan win national recognition for his work.

Cathy Dobson

A local photographer making a name for himself in the wedding and portrait field is also drawing attention from the wider Canadian industry.

Daniel McQuillan, 27, has been named a Top 30 Under 30 wedding and portrait photographer by the Canada Photo Convention.

“This is the first time I submitted anything for an award,” said McQuillan. “My confidence definitely got a boost.”

The Canada Photo Convention is one of the country’s biggest and most prestigious events celebrating the modern approach to digital photography. McQuillan said that’s what drew him to the competition.

“I figured I’d throw my name in there because some of my favourite photographers are a part of it and I consider one of the judges, Jennifer Moher, one of the top wedding photographers in the country.”

McQuillan has only been shooting professionally for three years but his relaxed style and penchant for the unusual is catching on.

“I really didn’t think people would like my style of wedding photography because I don’t do any of the old school posing,” he said. “I used to think wedding photography was so uncreative but I’ve found a whole other side to it."

McQuillan was born and raised in Sarnia, left for a few years to study psychology in Windsor and returned to his hometown still uncertain of where his life would lead.

He’s also a musician and was playing in local bars when he met a photographer who took shots of the bands.

“That got me interested in doing some research, so I went on the Internet and learned most of my skills by studying the basics of photography online.”

Soon, he approached a local nightclub to see if he would be hired to take some photos. Clubs often hire photographers to collect promotional material, especially for social media use.

“When I approached them, I hadn’t even bought a camera yet,” he laughed. “When they said yes, I went out and got one that day. I figured I’d fake it till I made it. It was definitely an odd way to get started.”

Something really clicked between McQuillan, his camera and his subjects.

Daniel McQuillan
Daniel McQuillan

He did a lot of event photography at first, then made the leap to weddings.

“I did one wedding not knowing if the people would like it, and it snowballed from there.

These days, he’s generally booked for two weddings each weekend. His engagement photos are never taken in a studio. Instead, he tends to travel with the couple to the place they got engaged or other meaningful location.

Being named a Top 30 Under 30 photographer is giving McQuillan a lot of recognition on social media. This summer, his business has slowly expanded beyond Sarnia to people and weddings all over Ontario.

To see his work or contact him, visit Daniel McQuillan Photography online or call 519-381-8760.


Got an interesting business story?  Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or call 226-932-0985.  Note that next week The Business Journal is taking a short siesta and will return Aug. 20.

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