It has been said, if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Corner Brook native Dru Kennedy has done just that.
“Honestly, it doesn’t feel like work,” the 28-year-old said of owning his own photography business.
Kennedy started shooting at age 17, capturing images of his friends snowboarding and skateboarding. A self-taught photographer, Kennedy captures everything from scenic shots for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism ads to weddings.
His work for the provincial government is through Target Marketing and may mean using images he’s previously captured or heading to a particular part of the province on assignment.
The ads have garnered numerous tourism awards throughout the years and Kennedy is proud to be part of the team.
“The team that they have put together to do tourism ads is flawless," he said. "It’s great to work side-by-side with these people. I’ve been on set with them and I’ve gotten the goose bumps just looking through my camera,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy is married to Corner Brook’s Candace (Cunning) Kennedy. She is also a professional photographer. Her work has appeared in The New York Times and she’s worked on the acclaimed musical “Come From Away.” Kennedy and his wife shoot weddings together as a team.
“We met through photography years ago," he said. "We both work from home ... and we are both so fortunate to have the most amazing clients, the most friendly and welcoming people."
Kennedy takes his photography seriously. He does it to earn a living. However, it’s also great therapy, he said.
“Every time you turn around, there is something to look at ... You could be having a bad day. I can watch sunsets, and all it takes is one click to change how you’re feeling,” he said.
Kennedy uses Canon cameras but the camera is only as good as the person behind the lens.
“It’s like an oven. In order to cook you have to have an oven. But you have to know how to use that oven,” he said.
While he enjoys shooting weddings, Kennedy’s favourite things to shoot are landscapes. As a photographer living in Newfoundland and Labrador, he said he never gets bored.
“Newfoundland is so beautiful. Wherever you look, especially living on the west coast of the island, we have fjords, we’ve got massive mountains. This time the fall foliage is insane. It’s amazing.”
The province’s east coast is also a great area to photograph, he said, as are other communities in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Kennedy’s camera has also taken him well beyond his home province.
In September, he was invited on a trip to Iceland with several of his friends. The young men wanted him along to capture their memories.
“We booked the flight and an RV and off we went. It was just fantastic,” Kennedy said.
With its waterfalls, mountains, volcanic activity and Northern Lights, Iceland is a photographer’s paradise. We checked out the big waterfalls and all the sites. When we didn’t have an agenda, we drove the entire coast of Iceland. The places that weren’t populated and weren’t structured towards tourism were the best."
An avid snowboarder, Kennedy is a brand ambassador for Burton snowboards and he uses Burton backpacks.
“(Burton) supports me — and keeps me comfortable when I’m outside — no matter the weather. That’s really important because you can’t be outside shooting if you’re uncomfortable, especially in the nighttime. I’ve gone out for sunsets and noticed the stars out and never came home until sunrise.”
Kennedy said making a living doing something he loves is “super rewarding,” but it doesn’t come without challenges.
Both he and his wife have their own businesses, he said, and as two young entrepreneurs, he feels their incomes are taxed beyond what’s reasonable.
On the upside, he said, working from home means he gets to spend a lot of time with Candace.
“I live with my wife. I work with my wife. And I cannot imagine doing this with anybody else.”