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  • My Photography Journey: Vanessa Burns

My Photography Journey: Vanessa Burns

By: Vanessa Burns

Curious about our photography certificate or wondering what taking a photography class is like? Continuing Education student, Vanessa Burns, describes her photography experience at Humber College. Read more to learn about her journey and how she has progressed through her practice.

A Humber Continuing Education Student's Journey Through Photography

Vanessa Burns

Headshot taken by Megan Vincent

What draws you to photography?

Definitely my interest in “pictures”. Having them, and taking them, was a result of there not being many photographs taken of me as a child. And I absolutely loved looking at the photos in the few family albums we did have. I memorized every single one!

Around age 11, I got my first camera and that was it! From there on I was always taking photos of my family and friends and continued to be the designated family photographer for several years.

A few years ago, I got my first DSLR and with that came a real desire to learn more about photography so I could take truly beautiful photographs.

For me - photography is an opportunity to preserve the most precious of memories.

What is your favourite style to shoot?

A year ago I would have said candids were my favourite. I did a bit of volunteer event photography and I absolutely loved using my longer lens to capture beautiful candids that hold genuine emotion. Now my favourite styles are portrait and children’s sports! I suppose the sports photography actually falls under candids so that makes sense! It’s just so rewarding when I get really nice shots of young children out on the soccer field playing their hearts out!

How long did it take for you to feel confident in your work?

Hm... I’m working on that. I’m still learning - always learning! So I don’t know that I always feel confident. Doubt sometimes creeps in even when I’m doing a type of shoot I’m very comfortable with. And then once I see the photos I realize I had nothing to worry about! Confidence is definitely something I’m working on day by day.

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Image by: Vanessa Burns

Describe your Humber experience?

My experience at Humber has been great! In my recent Documentary Wedding Photography course, I was taught by someone who actually does wedding photography for a living ( Sam Sciarrino) not just any photographer filling a class. To have someone teach a course that falls in line with their own specific work is incredibly valuable. We were given real insight on all aspects of the wedding photography business from Sam’s first hand experience. You can’t beat that!

Do you have any advice for students learning photography at Humber?

Ask questions! Do not ever hesitate to ask questions. I promise you that if you have a question about something, the chances are that someone else does too. If nobody speaks up, you lose the opportunity to learn and isn’t that what you’re there for? Asking questions allows you to make the most of your learning experience, and it also gives your instructor an indication of how well the class is receiving the material. It’s win-win!

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Image by: Vanessa Burns titled ‘16’ and submitted for Humber 2019 Photo Contest

Learn more about Vanessa’s work as a photographer here: and follow her on Instagram.

For more information on our Photography Certificate and Photography Courses, please visit: