Margaret began exploring photography as a creative hobby in 2004 and is now completely self-taught photographically and in post-production editing/printing. After a varied career in accounting and aesthetics, she decided to focus on photography full time in 2007. Her early ventures included shooting weddings, nature and in-studio fine art portraiture, but her perspective and creative interests changed profoundly after discovering the imaginative underwater works created by Howard Shatz (New York) and Zena Holloway (London). She was enthralled by the amazing ethereal, flowing and weightless quality and wonderful play of light offered by the underwater environment that no studio setting could ever replicate. And, since so few Canadian photographers were working in this medium, she knew there was a fine art niche here just waiting to be explored and filled.
Ontario doesn’t enjoy salt water (excepting frigid Hudson Bay), but is home to one-third of the world’s fresh water in its quarter-million lakes. Unfortunately, most of these are too inaccessible, cold and lack the pristine clarity required for her particular style of work. Not a problem, since the home she and her husband Rod have in Whitby, Ontario just east of Toronto happened to come with a 20 by 40 foot heated in-ground pool, a made-to-order ‘Studio’ ready for action.
Margaret jumped in with both feet, acquiring her first Ikelite housing for a Canon 40D with various ports and one DS125 strobe in 2008. The first shoot with her new Ikelite kit involved a friend’s teenage daughter who had competitive dance but no prior modelling or underwater experience. It was shot during a wild mix of bright sun, stormy cloud and torrential rain conditions. The beautiful results simply blew her and everyone else away, and she knew she was hooked. Margaret has since expanded her professional underwater portfolio to include glamour, boudoir, maternity, engagement, and child photography, and finds she is continually learning as her shoots become increasingly creative, complex and far more challenging technically.