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Brendan Ptolemy

My name is Brendan Ptolemy. I am a self-taught, advanced amateur photographer from Calgary, Alberta. Although I’ve taken a lot of photos, I’ve only been involved in the photography industry for a little over two years now. Right out of high school I did what a majority of my friends did, found a job in Alberta’s booming oil and gas industry. For the past 11 years, that job has been trucking. From regional short haul, to coast to coast long haul all over Canada and the United States. I loved it, for a time. One day in 2007, however, I decided I was tired of being just another truck driver for some unappreciative company, and figured I could do it better, myself, with my own trucks and my own company. In late 2007 I started putting together what would eventually become Ptolemy Bros. Energy Corporation, a small to mid-sized Super-B tanker fleet, servicing some of the largest oil and gas producers in western Canada. It was great but then the recession of 2008 hit, and that dream came to a screeching halt faster than anyone could have realized. After some significant personal losses – including the loss of my father - within the span of 12 months, I found myself lost; personally and spiritually, and no longer on any path whatsoever. It was the economic failure of the western world and the insurmountable loss I had experienced that put a camera in my hands; igniting a passion within that I had never experienced.

I decided last year to take the plunge and venture down the road of “Professional” photographer. This was both extremely valuable, as well as a huge mistake. As anyone in the industry knows, EVERYONE is a “Professional” these days, and the hustle involved in making even a half decent living, is incredible! Through this process, I quickly figured out what I do, and don’t want to shoot, who I want to be, and don’t want to be. At the same time, I became burnt out with photography. I lost focus, the passion, and eventually just walked away and went back to being just another truck driver, for another unappreciative company. Changing my personality, sense of humor, and everything that defines who I am, to attract a certain type of client didn’t make sense to me, and struck me as completely wrong. One person I kept thinking about was Howard Stern…. THE MOST successful radio host in the world, and he didn’t change a thing about himself in the 30+ years he’s been on the radio. If being a successful “Professional” photographer meant being someone else, then I was just plain not interested!

Today I am happy with my choice to remain an advanced amateur photographer. I’ve found the passion again, and I am currently completing my 4th class power engineering certificate. This decision will provide me a very well paying career, and roughly 8 months off a year to do as much, or as little photography as I choose.

This is my hobby. This is my passion.

Brendan Ptolemy

"To be nobody but yourself- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

~ E.E. Cummings

  • 20 Affection
  • 7,650 Photo Views
  • 41 Following
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada