Owner / Photographer
I entered the Bachelor of Humanities in 2004, intent on studying in a Great Books program. Though I eventually left the program and went on to graduate in Political Theory, I remained in touch with my professors and friends in the Humanities and availed myself of their knowledge and advice.
In a program the size of the College of Humanities, you really get to know everyone. Professors are there for their students from the moment you enter the college, rather than years down the line when class sizes have thinned down from gargantuan lecture halls. Your fellow students are doing the same things you’re doing, puzzling through the same Platonic dialogue, blowing off steam together when the going gets rough. It’s hard at that stage not to start liking them and calling them friends.
It was in the College that I was first asked to shoot a friend’s wedding photos. Naturally, this led to another, then another, and shortly after graduating I opened up a busy photography business in Toronto. It’s a calling that has led to travels across the world, meeting and collaborations with all sorts of fantastic people, and a wealth of wonderful experiences. A good number of my clients are referrals from Humanities friends who have all gone on to pursue incredibly diverse careers.
Of course, I’m making it sound a bit too easy. There was the obligatory amount of hum-ing and ho-ing, an unpaid internship at a telecom giant, a few odd jobs here and there when the business wasn’t quite yet off the ground. Through it all, I found that a liberal education set me far above the competition in any endeavour. Being able to attack any problem from multiple perspectives, thoroughly think through any problem and then express the solution is a tremendous boon in any circumstance.
It would also not have been possible without the support of my former professors and colleagues. To this day I continue to seek their advice as I consider where to take my life next, and pester them about readings I’ve recently revisited. The results are often illuminating.
Johann Kwan runs a photography business based out of Toronto, and spends what little spare time he has divided between volunteering with the Liberal Party of Canada and travelling.