Meet Bannon Morrissy - Professional Photographer
Hey friend. Before you dive in, let’s quickly go over what Wavy does and why we’re sharing Bannon’s story. We’re building software that helps people find things to do based on their personal preferences and criteria in the moment. Now here’s the catch: we don’t recommend just anything to our members. Everything in our database has been curated by local experts like chefs, sommeliers, adventure bloggers, and photographers. In this series, we’ll be introducing the experts behind the scenes, what they’re working on, and how they're making waves in their community.
Everyone, meet Bannon Morrissy!
Bannon is one of our experts and is a master of all things photography. Through a recent meeting with the man himself, I had the chance to learn more about his photography journey, influences and favourite hidden gems in Toronto. I am super excited to share his story with you!
Bannon’s interest in photography began about 7 years ago, and since then, he has been exploring and documenting his adventures in Toronto, Halifax, and BC along the way. His explorations are pretty equally split between the urban jungle, to the great outdoors, because we all need a bit of both.
Keep on swimming (oops - scrolling) to learn more.
Q: What got you interested in photography?
A: I think what sparked my initial interest in photography was my father giving me his Nikon D60 about seven years ago. He bought it with the intention of using it, but once smartphones came around, it started collecting dust and eventually asked me if I wanted the camera. So, of course I said yes! Being born and raised in Nova Scotia, I’ve always had a desire to spend a lot of time outdoors and I figured having a camera would be a good way to document the beauty that the province has to offer.
Q: Who are your biggest creative influences? Why?
A: Starting off, I don’t know if I had any influences. I think I was trying to figure out on my own how to get comfortable behind a camera (still working on it 😉) and it felt as though I was aimlessly photographing what I thought was interesting. Over the years – and certainly, with the rise of social media - I have definitely learned a tremendous amount and have been influenced by many other great photographers.
A few that come to mind are:
Franck Bohbot (@franckbohbot): He’s based in California, so a lot of his work has a very “Cali Vibe” to it but it can be quite moody as well. He also has a way of composing images to turn a seemingly “normal” situation into a truly captivating one.
Miles Clark (@milesclarkphoto): Based in Vancouver, Miles does a majority of Sport + Lifestyle work which is really captivating with most of the subjects being in motion. He tends to only use natural light and plays around a lot with the shadows which creates a unique feel to his photos.
Jamal Burger (@jayscale): Toronto based, Jamal has a very unique style that has captivated me ever since moving to Toronto. The majority of his work focuses on telling stories through photos which is something I have been trying to implement myself over the past few months.
Q: You seem to have a good balance between exploring the city and escaping the city (Toronto). What do you enjoy about both? Which area is more fun to take pictures in?
A: What I enjoy most about photographing in Toronto is the amount of diversity and unique characteristics that each neighbourhood embodies. As soon as you find yourself in a new neighbourhood, you feel as though you’ve transported directly into that culture, overwhelmed by the sights, scents and sounds that surround you.
When it comes to escaping the city, I’ve always had a desire to be outdoors which I think stems from growing up in NS and having TONS of accessibility to the coastal landscape and beaches. Also, I’m naturally curious so the thought of going somewhere new always excites me!
I find I go back and forth on this question a lot and I think it depends on the season. As I write this, it is currently the end of August, so the past few months I have been shooting mostly in outdoor settings and it will mostly likely continue that way until the Fall. Because, who can say no to those dreamy Fall colours!
Q: What’s an area outside of Toronto that you’re dying to go back to? Why?
A: Prince Edward County! Only about 2.5 hrs from Toronto, this made for an excellent getaway that I took last September (first time being there) and absolutely loved it. Toronto is a big city and it can feel a little too busy at times which was what made this trip all the better. I stayed in a quaint little town called Bloomfield, which is about halfway between Picton and Wellington, so it made for a convenient location to explore the county. Being someone who is always physically active, it was a good excuse to take my road bike down and really take in the county with all of the farmland and backcountry roads from a different perspective.
Q: What are three of your favourite spots that you think others should check out?
A: I feel as though this will be an ever-growing list as I’ve only experienced a fraction of what this province has to offer, but the three spots that come to mind are:
Rattlesnake Point: In the Fall, it’s unbelievable! A little over an hour from Toronto, this makes for a great getaway for the day. The park runs along the Niagara Escarpment which lends itself to amazing views of the valley below and beyond. With a myriad of hiking trails at your disposal, rock climbing, and camping, there is something for everyone at Rattlesnake Point.
Rouge Park: Being about 45 minutes from downtown Toronto, this makes for another great choice to escape into nature without having to travel too far. With Rouge Beach being the most Southern point of the park, you can continue north along the river and then onto the well-maintained trails.
Evergreen Brickworks: The beauty of the Evergreen Brickworks is that it’s right in the city along the Don Valley, making it extremely accessible by walking, biking or driving. What is now an urban oasis filled with naturalized ponds, walking trails and revitalized structures was once a former quarry and brickwork facility supplying bricks to Toronto and beyond.
Q: What’s something everyone should know about each place before they go?
A: Alright, here’s what you need to know:
Rattlesnake Point: There is a small fee to access the park, which can range between $5-$8.
Rouge Park: Given the immense geographical size of Rouge Park, this is one place that you can keep coming back to over and over again with new areas/trails to check out each time. Especially in different seasons!
Evergreen Brickworks: Although much busier on weekends, it may be worth checking out on Saturdays for their weekly farmers’ market that takes place showcasing the beautiful bounty of Ontario produce. Be sure to check it out in the Fall when the majority of Ontario produce is in-season (late Aug-Oct).
You can check out some of Bannon’s adventures on Instagram if you need a daily dose of photography and the great outdoors (because who doesn’t). Stay tuned for Bannon’s favourite go-to’s and local tips on Wavy. If you want to get the inside scoop, you can join Wavy here.