A missed phone call at 11:30 p.m., that subject line in the inbox, and the opportunity to photograph the Prime Minister of Canada. For a photographer and former journalist, it really does not get any better. 

Opportunity can feel so random–and we are never, ever ready. Charge the camera batteries, clear the memory cards, shift the schedule around, and make it happen. There was no way I was missing that chance. Sure, it meant a very late week night, and sandy eyes the following morning. But it was absolutely, unequivocally worth it. 

Photographing Justin Trudeau was the first real test of my new camera equipment. After using one system for about eight years, I made the plunge and bought into a different line of equipment. I had all of three days of this new stuff in my possession (which realistically meant it was sitting in the box it arrived in) and was faced with this task. Perfect timing, right?

Fate has a great sense of humour. 

But alas, I prevailed. After the minor adjustments and a few decisions made on the fly, I got the photos I wanted. I filed all on time. 

I circle back to the thought that opportunity is random–it isn’t. We tell ourselves  it’s random as a safeguard in case we fail at a task that has been unexpectedly presented. It’s much simpler to write off failure or a lack of quality because “I wasn’t ready.” The solution is obvious: stay ready. Always, always, always be ready to seize opportunity when it knocks because we aren’t given endless chances in this world. 

There’s a reason you were asked to do something. If opportunity truly was random, it literally could have been anyone with a camera. This city is inundated with photographers, but they asked me.

I hope my name stays on the freelance list, because I’m ready. The batteries are charged and the memory cards clean. I will never make that mistake again.