10/13/2015 12:08 EDT | Updated 10/13/2015 12:59 EDT

Canadagram: Meet @VerneHo


This week, we're meeting @verneho a designer who works at one of Canada's most interesting startups. Here he is in his own words:

Hey everyone, my name is Verne and I'm a Toronto based designer and photographer. By day, I lead the design practice at @Shopify as the Director of Design, overseeing our design team in Toronto and ensuring the happiness and well being of our designers. In my free time, I'm usually out pursuing other creative projects through speaking, writing, and more recently, photography.

What inspires you to take photos?

Photography has offered me a unique lens to see the world through. We all play extras in each other's lives, which means there are an infinite number of storylines happening at any given time. I've learned that if you pay enough attention, you're bound to be surprised by what you find. This inspires me to keep taking photos, and in turn, to keep searching for the stories that we'd otherwise overlook on any given day. — @Verneho

What’s your favourite photo/instagram tip? Did you take a photo that demonstrates this?

Take common places, people, and things, and observe them from a different perspective. Sometimes you need to dig deep to reveal the underlying story, while other times, you literally just need to look at things from an angle that others normally don't see. — @Verneho

How did you get started in photography or on Instagram? Is there an early photo you want to share with us?

As a designer, photography has always been an natural extension of my work. But it wasn't until the start of this year that I really started to experiment with it. For the first few months, I only shot with my iPhone, focusing more on composition, lighting, and storytelling instead of hardware. As time went on, I developed a few personal truths, became more opinionated about my work, and started to define a style to call my own. And since these things are part of a never-ending process to get better, my photography work today ends up being an ongoing reflection of my growth as a photographer, creative, and storyteller. — @Verneho

Throwback Thursday! Pick a photo you love from your archive. Tell us about it.

Here's one of my all time favourites. It's special to me not only because it follows the theme of #scaleandsolitude — a juxtaposition of the grandness of our creations against the singularity of its creators — but also because of how serendipitously this photo came together. As staged as it may look, the shot is authentically a reflection of good friends goofing around and making the most out of a rainy day. — @Verneho

Follow Friday. Which Instagrammers do you love? Who inspires you to take better photos? Tell us about them.

@jenniferbin, @jesseherzog, and @riversandtwilight are all people that can do no wrong right now. Each with their own distinct styles and themes, I'm constantly inspired by their perspective on the world around them. Collectively, their work is having an immense impact on the way I approach both architectural and portrait photography today. — @Verneho

Are you working on a project? Do you have something else you’d like us to mention to our followers? Let us know what it is.

While most of my photography has been focused on streets and architecture in the past, more recently I've been working on getting up close and personal with portraits. As a photographer, I want to be versatile so I'm mindful of when I need to mix things up and challenge myself creatively. As such, I'm constantly looking for people who are willing to model and experiment with me. If you're interested, get in touch! — @Verneho

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