11/05/2015 12:28 EST | Updated 11/05/2015 12:28 EST

Canadagram: Meet DonovanPee


We stay in Vancouver and meet street photographer Donovan Patrick Mahoney (@donovanpee). Here he is in his own words:

My name is Donovan Patrick Mahoney. I've been taking photos since 2011. I started taking photos with an iPhone that was bought for me by the staff at the detox I was in at the time. A friend of mine introduced me to Instagram and I was immediately hooked. It wasn't until a few years after I'd been sober that I really understood the obsession with taking photos. What I understand about the process for me now is that its really a tool I use to manage my mental health and sobriety.

What I mean by that is, that when I go out to take photos it changes my life perspective. For most of my life I focused on what was wrong, which created a nightmarish world and eventually led me to drugs and homelessness in a desperate attempt to manage and medicate. What the camera does for me is it immediately shifts that to a beautiful brighter positive outlook. It is impossible to take beautiful (or see beautiful things) pictures in the world with a negative mind. The likes that I received on Instagram... were instant feedback. I wasn't alone, people cared and thats all I've ever really wanted. — @DonovanPee

[Editor's Note: You can also read our profile of Donovan Patrick Mahoney from 2014]

What inspires you to take photos?

It's actually a pretty tough question... I take my camera everywhere with me and In the back of my mind I'm always looking for an opportunity and ya never know when an opportunity will present itself. — @DonovanPee

What’s your favourite photo/instagram tip?

The only real rule I know I think is the rule of thirds that and puddles look better when they're flipped upside down :). – @donovanpee

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

I started taking photos and posting them on instagram in 2011 after a staff member at The residential detox centre I was at bought me an iPhone 4s. The follow up story is that a guy who I met off Twitter said I needed to take photography more serious and gave me my first "big boy" camera. It was a Canon 30D. That guy has become not only my photography mentor but one of my best friends. — @DonovanPee

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

This is the first photo I ever printed. It's one thing to see the photos I take on the internet but a way different experience seeing it printed. This photo also had a lot more meaning. It was a physical representation of the distance I had traveled from Canada's poorest neighborhood, homeless and drug dependdnt to travelling, documenting and sharing my life journey with and audience that was invested in me. All I ever wanted was to be heard. And today that dream is a reality. — @DonovanPee

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

As I was getting started in photography, I was turned onto street photographers Fred Herzog, Vivian Maier, and Brandon aka Humans Of New York. They were the ones that I drew on for direction and focus in creating my own voice and style. When I'm stuck, I'll reference their books or websites. An homage to those who came before me. — @DonovanPee

Are you working on a project? Do you have something else you’d like us to mention to our followers?

I'm working on my Kickstarter video for a book of photos and stories from Vancouver's DTES (Downtown East Side). Hope to have it done by the beginning of November. I've been procrastinating for the past year mostly out of fear and perfection. I have the content, all that's left to do is lean into the discomfort and get'er done. – @donovanpee

Meet Canada's best Instagrammers. Follow Canadagram.


Also on HuffPost

Canadagram Project